A man does not get grace till he comes down to the ground, till he sees he needs grace. When a man stoops to the dust and acknowledges that he needs mercy, then it is that the Lord will give him grace.
If you are ready to partake of grace you have not to atone for your sins--you have merely to accept of the atonement. All that you want to do is to cry, "God have mercy upon me," and you will receive the blessing.
Violent efforts to grow are right in earnestness, but wholly wrong in principle. There is but one principle of growth both for the natural and spiritual, for animal and plant, for body and soul. For all growth is an organic thing. And the principle of growing in grace is once more this, "Consider the lilies how they grow."
Growth in grace is sometimes described as a strange, mystical, and unintelligible process. It is mystical, but neither strange nor unintelligible. It proceeds according to Natural Law, and the leading factor in sanctification is Influence of Environment.
There is an infinite distance between God and His creatures, and it is an act of sheer grace for Him to take notice of earthly things. Christ, as God, is completely self-sufficient in His own eternal blessedness. How great, then, is the glory of His self-humiliation in taking our nature that He might bring us to God! Such humiliation was not forced on Him; He freely chose to do it.
Author: John Owen Source: Meditation on the Glory of Christ, 1684, ch. 4.
As rivers, the nearer they come to the ocean whither they tend, the more they increase their waters, and speed their streams; so will grace flow more fully and freely in its near approaches to the ocean of glory.
My burden is to plead for the supremacy of God in preaching--that the dominant note of preaching be the freedom of God's sovereign grace, the unifying theme be the zeal that God has for his own glory, the grand object of preaching be the infinite and inexhaustible being of God, and the pervasive atmosphere of preaching be the holiness of God.
The best helps to growth in grace are the ill usage, the affronts, and the losses which befall us. We should receive them with all thankfulness, as preferable to all others, were it only on this account, -- that our will has no part therein.