Although the goodness of God and his rich mercies in Christ Jesus are sufficient assurance to us that he will be merciful to our unavoidable weaknesses, we have no reason to expect the same mercy toward those sins which we have not intended to avoid.
You may say that all people fall short of the perfection of the gospel and, therefore, you are content with your failings. But this is not the point. The question is not, Can gospel perfection be fully attained? but, Have you come as near it as a sincere intention and careful diligence can carry you? If you have made as much progress in the Christian life as you can, then you may justly hope that your imperfections will not be laid to your charge. But if your defects are the result of your negligence and lack of sincere intention, then you leaven yourself without excuse.
If my religion is only a formal compliance with those modes of worship which are in fashion where I live; if it costs me no pain or trouble; if it puts me under no rules and restraints; if I have no careful thoughts and sober reflections about it – is it not foolish to think that I am striving to enter in at the strait gate? How can it be said that I am working out my salvation with fear and trembling?
[I included the quotes above by Law with some reservation. I don't think he's suggesting that our works... or even our intentions... can save us. What I did like about his comments, and why I chose to include them, is his emphasis against an antinomian attitude of... "I'm saved by grace, therefore, I don't have to pursue holiness." That's the interpretation of his words that I'm sticking with for the purpose of including them here.]
By our attitude to prayer we tell God that what was begun in the Spirit we can finish in the flesh. What church ever asks its candidating ministers what time they spend in prayer? Yet ministers who do not spend two hours a day in prayer are not worth a dime a dozen, degrees or no degrees.
But who now “earnestly contends for the faith once delivered to the saints?” Preachers who should be fishing for men are now too often fishing for compliments from men. Preachers used to sow a seed; now they string together intellectual pearls.
[God] longs and delights to bless. He has inconceivably glorious purposes concerning every one of this children, by the power of his Holy Spirit, to reveal in them his love and power.
And, each time you come to wait upon him, or seek to maintain in daily life the holy habit of waiting, you may look up and see him ready to meet you. He will be waiting so that he may be gracious unto you.
Yes, it is blessed when a waiting soul and a waiting God meet each other. Let waiting be our work, as it is his. And if his waiting is nothing but goodness and graciousness, let ours be nothing but a rejoicing in that goodness, and a confident expectancy of that grace.
Almighty and everlasting God, in whom we live and move and have our being, who hast created us for thyself, so that our hearts are restless until they find rest in thee: Grant unto us such purity of heart and strength of purpose, that no selfish passion may hinder us from knowing thy will, and no weakness from doing it. In thy light may we see life clearly, and in thy service find perfect freedom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (The Methodist Book of Worship for Church and Home, 1965)