There is a common, worldly kind of Christianity in this day, which many have, and think they have enough - a cheap Christianity which offends nobody, and requires no sacrifice - which costs nothing, and is worth nothing.
Author: J.C. Ryle Source: Holiness, Baker, 1979, p. 204.
To break altogether, and at every point, with the old environment, is a simple impossibility. So long as the regenerate man is kept in this world he must find the old environment at many points a severe temptation.
Do not spoil your life at the outset with unworthy and impoverishing correspondences; and if it is growing truly rich and abundant, be very jealous of ever diluting its high eternal quality with anything of earth.
To concentrate upon a few great correspondences, to oppose to the death the perpetual petty larceny of our life by trifles--these are the conditions for the highest and happiest life... The penalty of evading self-denial also is just that we get the lesser instead of the larger good. The punishment of sin is inseparably bound up with itself.
When we feel the need of a power by which to overcome the world, how often do we not seek to generate it within ourselves by some forced process, some fresh girding of the will, some strained activity which only leaves the soul in further exhaustion?
A photograph prints from the negative only while exposed to the sun. While the artist is looking to see how it is getting on he simply stops the getting on. Whatever of wise supervision the soul may need, it is certain it can never be over-exposed, or that, being exposed, anything else in the world can improve the result or quicken it.
And as men's diversions increase from the world, so do their entanglements from Satan. When they have more to do in the world than they can well manage, they shall have more to do from Satan than they can well withstand.
If our principal treasure be as we profess, in things spiritual and heavenly, and woe unto us if it be not so! on them will our affections, and consequently our desires and thoughts, be principally fixed.
We all profess that we are bound for heaven, immortality, and glory: but is it any evidence that we really design it if all our thoughts are consumed about the trifles of this world, which we must leave behind us, and have only occasional thoughts of things above?
If you don't see the greatness of God then all the things that money can buy become very exciting. If you can't see the sun you will be impressed with a street light. If you've never felt thunder and lightning you'll be impressed with fireworks. And if you turn your back on the greatness and majesty of God you'll fall in love with a world of shadows and short-lived pleasures.
The best means of resisting the devil is, to destroy whatever of the world remains in us, in order to raise for God, upon its ruins, a building all of love. Then shall we begin, in this fleeting life, to love God as we shall love him in eternity.