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Only Mockeries if Empty of Affection

“There are no hearts that hunger so for expressions of affection as the hearts of which we are most sure. There is no love that so needs its daily bread as the love that is strongest and holiest. There is no place where rudeness or disrespect is so unpardonable as inside our own homes and towards our best beloved. The tenderer the love and the truer, the more it CRAVES THE THOUSAND LITTLE ATTENTIONS and kindnesses which so satisfy the heart. It is not costly presents at christmas and birthdays and anniversaries that are wanted; these are only mockeries if the days between are empty of affection.”

J.R. Miller

Source: https://puritanboard.com/threads/the-home-beautiful.92749/, Comment 1

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So Will You Be Strong In The Lord

Do not strive in your own strength; cast yourself at the feet of the Lord Jesus, and wait upon Him in the sure confidence that He is with you, and works in you. Strive in prayer; let faith fill your heart-so will you be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.

— Andrew Murray

Source: https://christianquote.com/holiness-10/

We Need To Suspect Our Own Hearts

Oursonne et son petit

Ralph Erskine (Self-conceit dissected), Sermons 1:364-365:

What! am I a dog, to do so and so! Men persuade themselves, through self-conceit, that their nature is not so far venomed, that it should break forth into such wickedness. Indeed, there may be some sins that we are not so much tempted to as others: so Luther said of himself, “That he never was tempted to covetousness.” Yet there is no sin but we may both be tempted to, and, through temptation, even fall into, if the everlasting arms do not under-prop. This is supposed in that motive adduced, Gal. 6:1, “Brethren, if any man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” We need to suspect our own hearts, if we knew our nature: however they may be tamed by education, civility, good example, and the like. As you would readily suspect a bear, or wolf, or lion, or any such like beast, and be loath to trust yourself to it, though never so well tamed, knowing its natural voracious disposition: even so, “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool,” and he that leaneth to his own understanding is not wise. Fear even those sins which ye least suspect, and to which you find not yourselves so pronely carried.

Source: https://puritanboard.com/threads/we-need-to-suspect-our-own-hearts.92989/

The Principal Motive is the Love of Christ Constraining

Ralph Erskine (Christ the People’s Covenant), Sermons 1:161:

Hence we may see what are the motives that now should influence the believer in his obedience. If Christ be the all of the covenant, and that he is loosed from all his former relation to the covenant of works, he is not to obey either from a legal hope of heaven or slavish fear of hell. Not from a legal hope of heaven; for the covenant secures the purchase of that by Christ’s perfect obedience: not from a slavish fear of hell; for the covenant hath secured freedom from that by Christ’s complete satisfaction. The principal motive is the love of Christ constraining; the love of a God in Christ, who is given for a covenant of the people. God deals not with believers now according to the covenant of works, neither ought they to deal with him as if they were under it. They ought to mourn for sin, to repent, to confess, to beg pardon, but not in a legal way, as if they had to do with a wrathful judge, but as having to do with a merciful Father in Christ. They are to yield obedience to the law, not out of a servile fear of hell and wrath, but out of a child-like love and willing mind; so far as the believer acts otherwise, so far he is under a spirit of bondage. Neither ought the believer to act from a dread and fear of his being disinherited. So far as he does so, it is not an act of faith, but of unbelief; for he cannot view this covenant, and yet see himself left at an uncertainty. There is no liableness to a forfeiture of its privileges; Christ is the covenant of the people.

Source: https://puritanboard.com/threads/the-motives-to-influence-obedience.92818/

When Our Heart Is Not In It

Heart and Soul nebulaeHeart and Soul Nebulae

We cannot wait until we feel the Spirit moving us… We must obey God even when our heart is not in it – often to discover that our hearts come alive to our duty even while we do it.

— Samuel Bolton

Source: https://christianquote.com/we-must-obey-god/

Mercies Should Be Treasured Up

Robert Traill (Sermons from 1 Peter 1:1-4), Works 4:141:

Sapphire colourchanging 1.40ctsIt is impossible that we can remember all God’s mercies, but it is a very sinful thing to forget his special mercies. They should be treasured up in our memories as the most precious jewels that we can lodge there. Our memory is a kind of room, in which we must lay up what we would keep safe; and a marvellous house our memory is. Now meditation is nothing else, if I may so say, but a man’s going from one chamber to another in this house, and to compare together, and to examine all God’s loving kindness towards us. When the Psalmist charges it on himself not to forget all his benefits, the man is far from meaning that he could remember them all; but he was desirous to charge himself with them as well as he could, and laboured to remember them as well as he could. This is the first thing that we should mind in praising the Lord; for unless the mind be well employed, fixedly and seriously employed, in thinking upon the Lord’s mercies, we shall never pay the debt of thankfulness and praise honestly and heartily.

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/a-marvellous-house-our-memory-is.92622/, Comment 1

Spiritual Attention in an Age of Distraction

Ferdinand Hodler - Der Lesende (ca.1885)

“We live in an age of distraction. Apparently, the average long-term attention span is only 5 minutes. The average short-term attention span is only 8 seconds due to the influence of social media. Constant skimming content online means that we can struggle to read books closely. Yet the most important subjects require extended attention span. With this we must disengage from distractions to give exclusive attention to something. Nothing is more significant for the good of our soul than sustained attention. Scripture emphasises this constantly.”

http://www.reformationscotland.org/spiritual-attention-in-an-age-of-distraction/

Source: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/spiritual-attention-in-an-age-of-distraction.92080/, Comment 1