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Graham: Comforted with the sufficiency of God.

Isaiah, the mighty prophet of God, knew by experience that one must bow the knee in mourning before one can lift the voice in jubilation. When his sin appeared ugly and venomous in the bright light of God’s holiness, he said: “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips . . . for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts” (Isaiah 6:5).

We cannot be satisfied with our goodness after beholding the holiness of God. But our mourning over our unworthiness and sinfulness should be of short duration, for God has said: “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins” (Isaiah 43:25).
Isaiah had to experience the mourning of inadequacy before he could realize the joy of forgiveness. If I have no sense of sorrow for sin, how can I know the need of repentance?

In God’s economy, a person must go down into the valley of grief before he or she can scale the heights of spiritual glory. One must become tired and weary of…
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Berkoff: The glory of God is the only end...

The infinite God would hardly choose any but the highest end in creation, and this end could only be found in Himself. If whole nations, as compared with Him, are but as a drop in a bucket and as the small dust of the balance, then, surely, His declarative glory is intrinsically of far greater value than the good of His creatures, Isa. 40:15, 16. (3) The glory of God is the only end that is consistent with His independence and sovereignty. Everyone is dependent on whomsoever or whatsoever he makes his ultimate end. If God chooses anything in the creature as His final end, this would make Him dependent on the creature to that extent. (4) No other end would be sufficiently comprehensive to be the true end of all God’s ways and works in creation. It has the advantage of comprising, in subordination, several other ends. (5) It is the only end that is actually and perfectly attained in the universe. We cannot imagine that a wise and omnipotent God would choose an end destined to fail wholl…

Horton: God cannot limit his freedom...

This view of the God-world relationship shapes our understanding of “double agency.” God wills and works and we will and work, but at no point do we trip over each other. God’s agency operates over, in, and with creaturely agency, because God is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In every external work of the Trinity, the Father is the source, the Son is the mediator, and the Spirit is at work within creation to bring about the appropriate effect. Yet in all of these works, the triune God and his agency transcend us.

Therefore, God cannot limit his freedom any more than he can limit his love, knowledge, holiness, or any other attribute. “The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof” (Ps. 24:1). Yet this in no way implies that God deprives us of the kind of freedom that he deemed appropriate for creatures. On the contrary, God is generous and liberal in his gifts. Tyrants stalk the earth, consuming the freedom of others in order to amass their own oppressive dominion, but God…

Ortlund: Have you come to realize how the God-centeredness of God is good news for you?

King Hezekiah prayed for God's salvation of Judah in Isaiah 37 v 20.

20 Now, O LORD our God, deliver us from his hand, so that all kingdoms on earth may know that you alone, O LORD, are God.”

Hezekiah finally sees what Isaiah has been saying all along. It is not this world with whom we have to deal, primarily; it is always God. The nations and powers and ideas and fashions of human making are not ultimate and definitional of us; God is. It is not human power that we need; what we need is God. He has allied himself with us not to serve our will but to defend his own glory as we serve his will.

Have you come to realize how the God-centeredness of God is good news for you? For one thing, it means that your unworthiness is irrelevant to God’s readiness to save you. He is not responding to what you deserve; he is proving what a good Savior he is. Don’t you see? This opens up a new definition of happiness. Happiness is God being God to you. Stop praying, “Lord, I want you to make my life b…

Gill: It puts grace into man’s power, not man’s will under the power of grace.

THE ABSURDITIES OF FREE-WILLDr. John Gill Free-will brings with it so many absurdities that it cannot be received. 1. It makes man the cause of his own salvation. 2. It puts grace into man’s power, not man’s will under the power of grace. 3. It robs God of the honour of making one to differ from another, and ascribes it to man. 4. It allows man a liberty of boasting to God, saying, “God, I thank Thee that Thou gavest me power to will (yet Thou gavest that to Judas as well as me), but I thank myself for the act of willingness, since I receive from Thee no more than Judas did.” 5. It exempts the creature from the power of God, as if man, spider-like, could spin a thread out of his own bowels whereon to climb to Heaven. 6. It maketh man the cause why God willeth this or that; so God must attend on the will of man, and not be infallible in His decrees, nor working all things according to the counsel of His own will (Eph 1:11, Ps 115:3). 7. Then the apostle James lied in saying “every good gift” i…

Graham: "The church has lost its ability to discipline..."

"You Keep in Perfect Peace Him Whose Mind Is Steadfast"

Thought Life and Anxiety
How often do you take personal inventory of your thought life? Have you ever noticed the connection between where your mind is focused and the levels of anxiety you feel? 

I, like many of you, can see much of my anxiety in mood swings and my reactions to things. However, I do not often stop to reflect on where my thought life has been and how it is affecting my level of anxiety. 
Captive Imaginations?
One of the primary reasons we can lack peace from so much of our anxieties is because our imaginations have been filled with everything else but God.
Let’s me ask some questions. Do the things you read call you to self-sacrifice or to just to think about self?Do you catch yourself caught up in the greatness of God more often or of yourself?How long can you go without checking the news or your social media feeds?How many times a day do you think about the prospect of others publicly recognizing your strengths, your abilities and giftings?How often do you find yourself t…