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"Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus." — 2 Timothy 2:1

We may have this grace, and not be strong in it. The reality is one thing, the degree is another. We read of weak faith, as well as of strong faith. There are lambs in our Shepherd's fold, as well as sheep, and in our Father's house there are little children, as well as young men. But while there is in religion an infancy which is natural and lovely, there is also another which is unlooked for and offensive — it is the effect of relapse. It is not of the beginning of the Divine life, but of an after-period, the Apostle speaks, when, reproving the Hebrews, he says, "Ye are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong drink." We must not despise the day of small things. The Saviour himself does not break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax, but he is concerned to bring forth judgment unto victory. And while the feeble-minded are to be comforted, the slothful are to be stimulated, and all are to be kept from "settling upon their lees."

Every thing shows how necessary it is to be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. Your dangers require it. These are to be found in all the relations, offices, conditions, and circumstances of life. Your passions are not wholly mortified. There is the sin that yet dwelleth in you. The world lieth in wickedness, and you are passing through it. Your adversary, the Devil, goeth about seeking whom he may devour. How much depends upon one instance of falling! And did not Abraham equivocate? Did not Moses speak unadvisedly? Did not Peter deny his Lord? And what says all this to us? Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

Your duties require it. You have a family, and with your house you are to serve the Lord. You have a calling, and in this you are to abide with God. You have the exercises of devotion, in which you are to worship God in spirit and in truth. You have to walk by faith, and not by sight. You are to have your conversation in heaven, while every thing conspires to keep you down to earth.

Your usefulness requires it. You are not to live to yourselves, but to him that died for you, and rose again. You are to look not on your own things, but also on the things of others. You are to walk in wisdom towards them that are without, and endeavour to win souls. You are to do good, as you have opportunity, unto all men, especially unto those that are of the household of faith.

Your trials require it. Who but must reckon upon these in a world like this? And if you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small. To glorify God in the fires, and to recommend religion by its supports and comforts, when every thing else fails, demands no small share of grace.

Your consolations require it. Consolations are not only delightful, but they are even of practical importance in religion. They enlarge the heart, and enliven zeal, and embolden courage, and wean from the world. And you read of a peace that passeth all understanding, and a joy that is unspeakable and full of glory. Yet, what do some of you know of these? More grace would bring more evidence, and raise you more above your fears and depressions. "If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established."

Death requires it. Other events may, but this must occur. It is a melancholy day to those that have no God, and a very serious one to those who have. To think of it, to meet it with triumph, or even with confidence — will not this call for more grace than you now possess? And what is the language of all these demands? Despond? No; but be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. Without him you can do nothing; but through his strengthening of you, you can do all things.

Rest not, therefore, in any present attainment. Like Paul, forget the things that are behind, and reach forth unto those that are before. It is to be lamented that we are easily dissatisfied where we ought to be content, and content where we ought to be dissatisfied. In temporal matters we should have our conversation without covetousness, and be content with such things as we have. But here, alas, we are avariciously anxious. And though three feet are enough for us in the cradle, and seven in the grave, nothing will hardly satisfy us between. But in spiritual things, with what trifling acquisitions are we contented! Yet here it is even our duty to be covetous, to be ambitious. And as before us lies an infinite fulness, and we are not straitened in our resources, let us not be straitened in our desires and expectations; let us ask, and receive, that our joy may be full.

Morning Exercises For Everyday In The Year
By Rev. William Jay

 
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