Fill Your Mind with God’s Eye

Ask God to show you Christ in all his glory and beauty so that your soul drinks deeply of him.  Meditate on him and fill yourself with him.  Fill your mind with God’s Word and with the writings of godly men and women who exalt Christ and point you to him as your only hope.  Reading the Bible and other great literature won’t guarantee your ability to rest in Christ; you will still need a fresh act of the Holy Spirit to make you able and willing to read good books, and you will need his work to open up your eyes to understand.  But if you come to believe that you are completely dependent on him for all things you will find yourself praying more and more, talking to God constantly, and asking him to do for you what you cannot do for yourself.

– Duguid, Barbara; Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in our Weakness; P&R Publishing; Philipsburg, NJ; copyright 2013; Page 226

Our Rags for His Robe

Rest must be the primary paradigm, for even if we strive with all our might for obedience we will always need the righteousness of Christ to stand in our place.  No goodness of our own will ever be good enough; even in our best moments our righteousness is like filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6).  If we are to stand before God we must be constantly hidden in the royal robes of his goodness.

– Duguid, Barbara; Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in our Weakness; P&R Publishing; Philipsburg, NJ; copyright 2013; Page 226

God Knows What He Is Doing

The more you come to admire God’s wisdom and believe in his love and kindness to each of us, the freer you will be from envying those with more faith and strong gifts and from feeling superior to those who are weaker than you.  God knows what he is doing, and he does all things well in the body.

– Duguid, Barbara; Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in our Weakness; P&R Publishing; Philipsburg, NJ; copyright 2013; Page 224

We Need Help To Understand Ourselves

We need help to understand our weaknesses and protect ourselves in areas where we are vulnerable.  We also need help to know when we are crushing others with the abilities God has given to us and when our expenditures of others are unrealistic and harmful.

– Duguid, Barbara; Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in our Weakness; P&R Publishing; Philipsburg, NJ; copyright 2013; Page 223

We Have No Reason to Be Proud or Ashamed

Yet God has assigned the measure of faith that each one of us will receive, and he calls us to live accordingly.  That means we have no reason to be proud if we have strong faith and no reason to be ashamed if we have weak faith.

– Duguid, Barbara; Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in our Weakness; P&R Publishing; Philipsburg, NJ; copyright 2013; Page 223

The Friends We Need…

We desperately need to surround ourselves with brothers and sisters in Christ who are truly honest about their sin.  Like John Newton, they can remind us of the gospel time and time again.  These are people who won’t be surprised by your sin when you confess it.  They will say, “Of course you sinned….Come with me to the throne of grace to celebrate the love of your Savior and to find help in your time of need.  Now let me help you understand your heart so that you may continue to obey God.”

– Duguid, Barbara; Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in our Weakness; P&R Publishing; Philipsburg, NJ; copyright 2013; Page 221-222

He Wants You as You Are

…[of] the grace of the gospel, which is so hard for the pious to understand…it confronts us with the truth and says: You are a sinner, a great, desperate sinner,; now come as the sinner that you are, to God who loves you.  He wants you as you are; He does not want anything from you, a sacrifice, a work; he wants you alone.  “My Son, give me thing heart!” (Proverbs 23:26).  God has come to you to save the sinner.  Be glad!

– Duguid, Barbara; Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in our Weakness; P&R Publishing; Philipsburg, NJ; copyright 2013; Page 221

Are You a Weak and Weary Pilgrim?

Are you a weak and weary pilgrim?  Have you reached the conclusion that this life is a difficult wilderness and you need all the help you can get just to hang in there?  Then go where you can hear the Scriptures proclaimed faithfully and regularly.  Come to the Lord’s Table as often as you can be reminded that the battle has been won for you and that you stand approved by God in the righteousness of another.  There at Christ’s table you will find real food to feed your soul and strengthen you for  the journey: the body Christ that has been broken and his blood that has been shed for you.

– Duguid, Barbara; Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in our Weakness; P&R Publishing; Philipsburg, NJ; copyright 2013; Page 221

That Great Day

It is a great thing to die; and, when flesh and heart fail, to have God for the strength of our heart, and our portion forever.  I know whom I have believed, and he is able to keep that which I have committed against that great day.  Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me that day.

– John Newton

as quoted by Duguid, Barbara; Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in our Weakness; P&R Publishing; Philipsburg, NJ; copyright 2013; Page 215

This is a Misunderstanding of His Character Profoundly

Just as we see Jesus grieving over sin during his earthly ministry, so the Father hurts for us and with us even as he turns us over to painfully shattering life experiences.  But he is not punishing us for our sin in this, nor is he angry with us.  To interpret God’s heart as being angry, disappointed, impatient or exasperated with his redeemed children is to misunderstood his character profoundly.  Instead, he is training us in righteousness and causing us to grow in him.

– Duguid, Barbara; Extravagant Grace: God’s Glory Displayed in our Weakness; P&R Publishing; Philipsburg, NJ; copyright 2013; Page 211