It is a curious fact that there is such a thing as being proud of grace. A man says, "I have great faith--I shall not fall; poor little faith may, but I never shall." "I have fervent love," says another. "I can stand; there is no danger of my going astray." He who boasts of grace has little grace to boast of. Some who do this imagine that their graces can keep them, knowing not that the stream must flow constantly from the fountainhead or else the stream will soon be dry. If a continuous supply of oil does not come to the lamp, even though it may burn brightly today, it will smoke tomorrow, and noxious will be its scent.
Pay attention that you do not glory in your graces, but let all your glorying and confidence be in Christ and His strength, for only in this way can you be kept from falling. Be much more diligent in prayer. Spend longer time in holy adoration. Read the Scriptures more earnestly and constantly. Watch your lives more carefully. Live nearer to God. Take the best examples for your pattern. Let your conversation be full of heaven. Let your hearts be perfumed with affection for men's souls. Live in such a way that men may recognize that you have been with Jesus and have learned of Him; and when that happy day shall come, when He whom you love shall say, "Come up higher," may it be your happiness to hear Him say, "You have fought the good fight, you have finished the race, and henceforth there is laid up for you the crown of righteousness that doesn't fade."
Keep on, Christian, with care and caution! Go on, with holy fear and trembling! On, with faith and confidence in Jesus alone, and let your constant petition be, "Uphold me according to Your promise."1 He alone is able "to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy."2
verse 1 Exodus 25
verse 2 John 4
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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.