Grace + Grace

Grace is such a wonderful word to the believer.

When was the last time you spent some time reflecting on what it means to be the beneficiary of grace – undeserved grace from our glorious God?

“For from His fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” John 1:16 (ESV)

“Our ‘receivings’ by Christ are all summed up in this one word: grace; … even grace, so great a gift, so rich, so invaluable; we have received no less than grace; this is a gift to be spoken of with an emphasis. It is repeated, grace for grace; for to every stone in this building, as well as to the top stone, we must cry, ‘Grace, grace.’

It is the grace; the good will of God towards us, and the good work of God in us. God’s good will works the good work, and then the good work qualifies us for further tokens of His good will.

As the cistern receives water from the fullness of the fountain, the branches sap from the fullness of the root, and the air light from the fullness of the sun, so we receive grace from the fullness of Christ.

‘Grace for grace’ is abundance of grace, grace upon grace, one grace heaped upon another.”

~Matthew Henry, 1662-1714

“Grace is favor shown to people who don’t deserve any favor at all.”

~Martyn Lloyd-Jones, 1899-1981

A Restful Christmas

One of my favorite Christmases was the Christmas after I first became a Christian. I was 25 years old and I remember going to church and singing the Christmas hymns I had sung since I was a child. But that year I could relate to the words of the songs like never before. I knew in my heart that the new born King we were singing about was my King!

Earlier that year, I became a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. My life was different. I had a peace inside like never before and  I wanted to live my life for God.

I hope you can relate to my experience those many years ago. But maybe you can’t. Perhaps you’ve gone to church all your life, but you know in your heart that you’re not a Christian. Others think you are, but you know deep down inside that you’re not.

I understand how you feel. I felt that emptiness, that restlessness, for a long time.

May I encourage you to talk to someone about how you’re feeling? You likely know someone you feel is a true Christian. You’ve watched his or her life and you know that they are a believe. If you’d like to talk to me, you can email me at rickdrob@gmail.com. I’d love to visit with you.

Also, I encourage you to read the Bible and as you’re reading ask God to help you understand what you’re reading. A good place to start is in the book of John.

Life is empty and pointless, unless it’s lived for Jesus Christ. I’m sure you’ve felt that. Someone has said that our lives are restless until they find their rest in Jesus Christ. I know that to be true.

The Bible says to seek the Lord while He may be found. That’s right now. Please don’t delay.

Edward Payson lived a couple centuries ago in America. Here’s a small portion of a message he shared around Christmas one year. He had a heart for those who had not yet found their rest in Jesus.

“Trembling sinner, … permit me to take you by the hand and lead you to Jesus.

Why do you linger, why do you hang back?

It is to Christ, it is to Jesus, it is to the Babe of Bethlehem, to a man like yourselves, to the meek and lowly Savior of sinners, that I would bring you. Here are no terrors, no flaming sword, no burning throne to appall you.

Come, then, to His feet, to His arms, to His heart which overflows with compassion for your perishing souls.

Come and contemplate the glory of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, and receive of His fullness grace for grace.”

~Edward Payson, 1783-1827


Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-29: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

A Christmas Hope

We can depend on J. I. Packer to assist us in our pledge to stay Christ-centered this Christmas season.

“We see now what it meant for the Son of God to empty Himself and become poor. It meant a laying aside of glory; a voluntary restraint of power; an acceptance of hardship, isolation, ill-treatment, malice and misunderstanding; finally, a death involved such agony – spiritual even more than physical – that His mind nearly broke under the prospect of it.

It meant love to the uttermost for unlovely human beings, that they through His poverty might become rich.

The Christmas message is that there is a hope for ruined humanity – hope for pardon, hope for peace with God, hope for glory, because of the Father’s will Jesus Christ became poor and was born in a stable so that 30 years later He might hang on a cross.”

~J. I. Packer, Knowing God


“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

~Matthew 1:21 (ESV)

For Unto Us

Here’s a small portion of a Christmas day message from Reverend Edward Payson to help us as we determine – with God’s help – to make this a Christ-centered Christmas season.

“Is it true that unto our sinful race a child is born, to whom belong the wonderful names mentioned in our text, and to whom the salvation and the government of the world is committed? Surely then, my friends, it becomes us to rejoice, and to commemorate this all-important event with most lively emotions of thankfulness and praise.

In this offering all mankind are called upon to join [in], since the gift is to the whole race of men; for all people, and nations, and tongues, and languages, may cry,

‘Unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end.’

And the song [that started] in one part of the earth at the dawn of this [Christmas day], ought to be echoed round the world as the same day dawns successively on its different chimes.

Even the blessed spirits of the ‘just made perfect’ in heaven may be considered as rejoicing in the birth of the great Deliverer, who redeemed them from worse than Egyptian bondage, brought them into the glorious light and liberty of the children of God, and finally raised them to the blissful mansions which they now inhabit, and where the increase of happiness will never end.

Nay more, the blessed angels themselves, who sang ‘glory to God in the highest,’ when they announced the Saviour’s birth, may be considered as repeating the same song.

Let it give intensity to our joy, that we may now celebrate His birth and resurrection at once.”

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you; you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!'”

~Luke 2:11-14 (ESV)


Reverend Edward Payson, whose dad was a pastor too, was born in 1783 in Rindge, New Hampshire. His daughter, Elizabeth Payson Prentiss, wrote the familiar hymn, “More Love to Thee.”

Unparalleled Sufferings

” [Jesus] was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; by His stripes we are healed. We all like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to His own way and the LORD hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all.” Isaiah 53:5-6

“Here, my friends, we see the true cause of our Savior’s unparalleled sufferings. He was cut off, says the prophet, but not for Himself. He knew no sin, but He was made sin, made a curse for us. We have all strayed from the path of duty. Yes, you and I,  and all our race, have forsaken the God that made us, and chosen the path that leads to hell. God’s violated law condemned us to die.

Justice demanded the execution of the sentence. There was apparently no remedy. It is true that God, as our Creator and Father, bade Him to do it, unless a suitable atonement could be found.

There was but one individual in the universe who could make such an atonement, and that being, prompted by infinite compassion, offered Himself for this purpose.

The Father, with equal love, accepted the offer. To carry it into effect, the Son assumed our nature, and appeared on earth; and the bitter cup, which the divine law condemned us to drink, was put into His hand, and He drank it to the last drop. …

Come then, sympathize with your sorrowing Master in His sufferings. Come and look at this great sight, until sin appears above all things hateful, until Christ appears most precious and lovely, until your hearts are broken for sin, and the love of Christ constrains us to feel and live to Him who died for you.”

~The Complete Works of Edward Payson

Oh Blessed State

The New Testament talks a lot about being ‘in Christ.’ Reverend Octavius Winslow in his book, Personal Declension and Revival of Religion in the Soul, reflects on what it means for the believer to be ‘in Christ.’ I encourage you to let his thoughts settle deep down into your heart.

“To be ‘in Christ,’ is to stand accepted in His righteousness, to be justified by Him freely from all things; it is to be brought to the knowledge of our own vileness, sufficiency, and guilt; to be made to cast aside all self-dependence, that is, all works of human merit, and to come as the thief on the cross came, without any allowed confidence in anything of self, but as a poor, helpless, ruined, condemned sinner, all whose hope be ‘in Christ,’ is to be the subject of a living, holy, influential principle of faith; it is to be brought into the blessed state thus described by the apostle as his own:

‘I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me’ Galatians 2:20 (ESV).

To be ‘in Christ’ is to be one with Him; it is to be a member of His … body, of which He is the spiritual head, and the members are one. It is to have Christ dwelling in the heart; ‘Christ in you the hope of glory.’ … ‘Yes, it is to dwell in the heart of Christ; it is to rest there in the very pavilion of His love, to dwell there every moment, to be sheltered there from all evil, and to be soothed there under all sorrow.

Oh blessed state of being ‘in Christ!'”

~Octavius Winslow, 1808-1878

That Glorious Pursuit

We should never get over the fact that there was a day when God stirred our hearts to love Him and live for Him. A. W. Tozer helps us put things on pause for a moment to reflect on our new birth and the journey beyond.

“The moment the Spirit has quickened us to life in regeneration our whole being senses its kinship to God and leaps up in joyous recognition. That is the heavenly birth without which we cannot see the Kingdom of God.

It is, however, not an end but an inception, for now begins the glorious pursuit, the heart’s happy exploration of the infinite riches of the Godhead. That is where we begin, I say, but where we stop no man has yet discovered, for there is in the awful and mysterious depths of the Triune God neither limit nor end.

Shoreless Ocean, who can sound Thee? Thine own eternity is round Thee, Majesty divine! To have found God and still to pursue Him is the soul’s paradox of love, scorned indeed by the too-easily-satisfied religionist, but justified in happy experience by the children of the burning heart.”

~A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience – among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved.

~Ephesians 2:1-5 (ESV)