O Lord, I am astonished at the difference
between my receivings and my deservings,
between the state I am now in and my past gracelessness,
between the heaven I am bound for and the hell I merit.
Who made me to differ but thee?
for I was no more ready to receive Christ than were others;
I could not have begun to love thee hadst thou not first loved me,
or been willing unless thou hadst first made me so.
O that such a crown should fit the head of such a sinner!
such high advancement be for an unfruitful person!
such joys for so vile a rebel!
God’s loving motive [in discipline] is to bring us into total harmony with himself so that moral power and holy usefulness becomes ours in this world and in the world to come.
O that the Lord would open our understandings! for they are but a dead letter without the illumination of his Holy Spirit.
If you believe in Jesus, you are not to spend all your time in the smooth waters just inside the harbor bar, full of delight, but always moored; you have to get out through the harbor bar into the great deeps of God and begin to know for yourself, begin to have spiritual discernment.
It’s true that it is difficult to love if you have been unloved, but it is not impossible. For basically we are all loved by God and loved by Agape… We begin to love, not that man first loved us, but that God first loved us.
O God, nothing but Thy grace, Thy Agape, can help us to love the unlovely. Thy Agape covers the lovely and the unlovely. Help me then to love with Thy love, and everyone will be lovely. Amen.