I, I am the Lord,
and besides me there is no savior.
I delight to do your will, O my God, you law is within my heart.
I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation;
behold, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O Lord.
I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart;
I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness from the great congregation.
As for you, O Lord, you will not restrain your mercy from me;
your steadfast love and your faithfulness will ever preserve me!
I am going to send my Messenger—The Promised One.
The One you have been waiting for.
He is coming. So, get ready!
Sally Lloyd-Jones, The Jesus Storybook Bible
The path to holiness is through (not beyond) the grace of the gospel, because only undeserved grace can truly melt and transform the heart. Disobedience is not healed with obedience. Morality can reform, but never transform, immorality. Immorality is transformed only by the free grace of God—grace so free that it will be misheard by some as a licence to sin with impunity (see Rom. 5.20–6:1).
Dane Ortlund, Defiant Grace:The Surprising Message and Mission of Jesus
Indeed, by loving myself badly I lost myself; by seeking only You and by truly loving You I have found both myself and You, and by that love I have reduced myself more profoundly to nothing. For You, O sweetest Lord, deal with me above all my merits and above all that I dare to hope or ask.
May You be blessed, my God, for although I am unworthy of any benefits, yet Your nobility and infinite goodness never cease to do good even for those who are ungrateful and far from You. Convert us to You, that we may be thankful, humble, and devout, for You are our salvation, our courage, and our strength.
—Thomas a Kempis, The Imitation of Christ
Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me,
for I am poor and needy.
2 Preserve my life, for I am godly;
save your servant, who trusts in you—you are my God.
3 Be gracious to me, O Lord,
for to you do I cry all the day.
4 Gladden the soul of your servant,
for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
5 For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving,
abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you.
6 Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer;
listen to my plea for grace.
7 In the day of my trouble I call upon you,
for you answer me.
8 There is none like you among the gods, O Lord,
nor are there any works like yours.
9 All the nations you have made shall come
and worship before you, O Lord,
and shall glorify your name.
10 For you are great and do wondrous things;
you alone are God.
11 Teach me your way, O Lord,
that I may walk in your truth;
unite my heart to fear your name.
12 I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart,
and I will glorify your name forever.
13 For great is your steadfast love toward me;
you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.
14 O God, insolent men have risen up against me;
a band of ruthless men seeks my life,
and they do not set you before them.
15 But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
16 Turn to me and be gracious to me;
give your strength to your servant,
and save the son of your maidservant.
17 Show me a sign of your favor,
that those who hate me may see and be put to shame
because you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.
Though sin wars, it shall not reign; and though it breaks our peace, it cannot separate us from his love.
Great God, in public and private, in sanctuary and home, may my life be steeped in prayer, filled with the spirit of grace and supplication, each prayer perfumed with the incense of atoning blood. Help me, defend me, until from praying ground I pass to the realm of unceasing praise. Urged by my need, invited by Thy promises, called by Thy Spirit, I enter Thy presence, worshipping Thee with godly fear, awed by Thy majesty, greatness, glory, but encouraged by Thy love.
I am all poverty as well as all guilt, having nothing of my own with which to repay Thee, but I bring Jesus to Thee in the arms of faith, pleading His righteousness to offset my iniquities, rejoicing that He will weigh down the scales for me, and satisfy thy justice. I bless Thee that great sin draws out great grace, that, although the lest sin deserves infinite punishment because done against an infinite God, yet there is mercy for me, for where guilt is most terrible, there Thy mercy in Christ is most free and deep. Bless me by revealing to me more of His saving merits, by causing Thy goodness to pass before me, by speaking peace to my contrite heart; strengthen me to give Thee no rest until Christ shall reign supreme within me in every thought, word, and deed, in a faith that purifies the heart, overcomes the world, works by love, fastens me to Thee, and ever clings to the cross.
—The Valley of Vision
Grant, Almighty God,
since Thou hast reconciled us to Thyself by the
precious blood of Thy Son,
that we may not be our own, but devoted to Thee
in perfect obedience, and may consecrate ourselves
entirely to Thee.
May we offer our bodies and souls in sacrifice
and be rather prepared to suffer a hundred deaths
than to decline from Thy true and sincere worship.
Grant us, especially, to exercise ourselves in prayer,
to fly to Thee every moment and to commit ourselves
to Thy fatherly care, that Thy Spirit may govern us
to the end.
Do Thou defend and sustain us, until we are collected
into that heavenly kingdom Thy only begotten Son
has prepared for us by His blood, Amen.