Tag Archives: Winslow

From “Morning Thoughts” by Winslow

“And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” 1 John 5:15

Believing prayer is prevailing, successful prayer. It assails the kingdom of heaven with holy violence, and carries it as by storm. It believes that God has both the heart and the arm; both the love that moves Him, and the power that enables Him; to do all and to grant all that His pleading child requests of Him. We may mention a few of the attributes of believing prayer.

It is real prayer, because it is the expression of need. It springs from a felt necessity of the mercy which it craves. It is sincere prayer, welling up from a soul schooled in the knowledge of its deep poverty and need. Oh, how much passes for real prayer which is not prayer; which is not the breathing of the soul, nor the language of the heart, nor the expression of need. There is in it no true approach to God, no thirsting for Christ, no desire for holiness. Were God to bestow the things which had been so thoughtlessly and heartlessly asked, the individual would be taken by surprise.

The prayer of faith is importunate and persevering. It will not take a refusal. It will not be put off with a denial. Thus Jacob wrestled with the Angel of the covenant until he prevailed; “I will not let you go until you bless me.” Thus the woman of Canaan would not release the Savior from her hold until He had granted her suit; “If I am a dog, satisfy me with the crumbs.” And thus, too, the man who besieged the house of his friend at midnight for bread, and did not go away until he obtained it; and the oppressed widow, who sought justice at the hands of the unrighteous and reluctant judge until he righted her; illustrate the nature of that prayer; even earnest, persevering prayer, which prevails with God, and obtains the blessing.

Believing prayer is humble. How low in the dust the truly importunate suppliant lies before God! There is nothing of bold ruffianism, of unholy freedom, in the cases of earnest prayer which we have cited. There is no irreverence of manner, nor brashness of speech, nor rushing into God’s holy presence as if He were an equal. But rather that awful consciousness of the Divine presence, that profound spirit of self-abasement which seems to say, “How dreadful is this place!” “Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer you? I will lay my hand upon my mouth.” Oh, how lowly is the heart from where arises the incense of believing prayer! How utterly unworthy it feels of the least of all the Lord’s mercies; how unfit to be a channel of grace to others; and with what trembling it lies prostrate upon the spot where God, the Triune God, is passing by! “Do not be rash with your mouth, and let not your heart be hasty to utter anything before God; for God is in heaven, and you upon earth; therefore let your words be few.”

Submission is another attribute of the prayer of faith. Its utmost range of request is bounded, and its deepest fervor of spirit is chastened, by submission to the Divine will. It presumes neither to dictate to God, nor to counsel Him. It leaves the mode of answering its petitions; the time, the place, the way; with God. Trained, perhaps, in the school of bitter disappointment, it has learned to see as much love in God’s heart in withholding as in granting its requests; as much wisdom in delaying as in promptly bestowing the blessing. And, seeing that delays in prayer are not denials of prayer, he who believes will not make haste to anticipate the Divine mind, or to antedate the Divine blessing. “Your will, not mine, be done,” ever breathes from the praying lip of faith.

Yet another and the crowning attribute of believing prayer is; that it is presented in the name of Jesus. As it is life from God through Christ, so through Christ it is life breathed back again to God. It approaches the Divine Majesty by the “new and living way”; its mighty argument, and its one prevailing plea, is the atoning blood of Jesus. This is the ground of its boldness, this the reason of its nearness, and this the secret of its power and success. “Whatever you shall ask in my name,” observes Christ, “that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”

 

 

From “Morning Thoughts” by Winslow

“And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.” John 17:19

Christ is glorified in the progressive holiness of His people. “The kingdom of God is within you,” says our Lord. The increase of this kingdom is just the measure and extent of the believer’s advance in sanctification. This is that internal righteousness, the work of God the Holy Spirit, which consists in the subjugation of the mind, the will, the affections, the desires, yes, the whole soul; to the government and supremacy of Jesus; “bringing into captivity,” says the apostle, “every thought to the obedience of Christ.”

O you who are “striving against sin.” Longing to be “conformed to the image of God’s Son,” panting to be more “pure in heart,” “hungering and thirsting for righteousness,” think that in every step which you take in the path of holiness; in every corruption subdued; in every besetting sin laid aside; in every holy desire begotten; Christ is glorified in you! But you perhaps reply, “The more I strive for the mastery, the more I seem to be conquered. The stronger I oppose my sins, the stronger my sins seem to be.”

But what does this prove? It proves that “God is working in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure”; that the kingdom of God is invading the kingdom of Satan; that the Spirit dwelling in the heart is warring with the flesh. It is truly remarked by Owen, that “if a believer lets his sins alone, his sins will let him alone.” But let him search them as with candles, let him bring them to the light, oppose, mortify, and crucify them; they will to the last struggle for the victory. And this inward warfare undeniably marks the inhabitation of God the Holy Spirit in the soul.

To see one advancing in holiness; thirsting for God; the heart fixed in its solemn purpose of entire surrender; cultivating higher views; and aiming for a loftier standard; to behold him, perhaps, carving his way to his throne through mighty opposition, “fightings without; fears within;” striving for the mastery of some besetting sin; sometimes foiling and sometimes foiled; sometimes with the shout of victory on the lip, and sometimes with the painful consciousness of defeat bowing down the heart; yet still onward; the needle of the soul, with slow and tremulous, but true and certain movement, still pointing to its glorious attraction- God; faith that can never fail; and hope that can never die; and love that can never be quenched; hanging amid their warfare and in all their weakness upon the “nail fastened in a sure place”; how is Christ, our sanctification, glorified in such a saint!

Oh, to be like Jesus! meek and lowly, gentle, kind, and forgiving, without duplicity, without deceit, without malice, without revenge, without one temper, or thought, or feeling, or look, that is unlike Him!

Beloved, mistake not the nature and the evidence of growth in sanctification. In all your self-denial in this great work, be cautious of grace-denial. You will need much holy wisdom here, lest you overlook the work of the Spirit within you. You have thought, it may be, of the glory that Christ receives from brilliant genius and profound talent, from splendid gifts and glowing zeal, from costly sacrifices, and even extensive usefulness. But have you ever thought of the glory, the far greater, richer glory, that flows to Him from a contrite spirit, a broken heart, a lowly mind, a humble walk; from the tear of godly repentance that falls when seen by no human eye, and the sigh of godly sorrow that is breathed when heard by no human ear; from the sin-abhorrence and self-loathing, the deep sense of vileness, poverty, and infirmity that takes you to Jesus with the prayer- “Lord, here I am; I have brought to You my rebellious will, my wandering heart, my worldly affections, my peculiar infirmity, my besetting and constantly overpowering sin. Receive me graciously; put forth the mighty power of Your grace in my soul, subdue all, rule all, and subjugate all to Yourself. Will it not be for Your glory, the glory of Your great name, if this strong corruption were subdued by Your grace, if this powerful sin were nailed to Your cross, if this temper so sensitive, this heart so impure, these affections so truant, this mind so dark, these desires so earthly, these pursuits so carnal, and these aims so selfish, were all entirely renewed by Your Spirit, sanctified by Your grace, and made each to reflect Your image? Yes, Lord, it would be for Your glory, through time and through eternity.”

 

 

From “Evening Thoughts” by Winslow

“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all those who believe.” Rom_3:20-22

Thus does Paul triumphantly establish the perfect freeness and unconditional character of a sinner’s acceptance with God. By “the deeds of the law,” he has reference to those many and fruitless efforts to obey the law which men in a state of nature are found so zealously to aim at. Are you striving, dear reader, to conform to the requirement of this holy, this inflexible law of God? Let me assure you, that all these strivings, all these works, all this toiling, is worse than worthless in God’s holy sight; they are sinful-they proceed from an unregenerate nature, from an unrenewed, unsanctified heart-they flow not from faith and love; and therefore, the heart being thus a fountain of corruption, every stream that branches from it must partake of the foulness of the source from where it flows. Let the failure of the past suffice to teach you that this holy law you can never keep. Let your formal prayers, your lifeless religion, your vows forsworn, your resolutions broken, all confirm the solemn declaration of the apostle: “by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in His sight.” Again: “For by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Accompanied by the Spirit of God, it discloses to the soul the sinfulness of the heart and life, and brings it in guilty and self- condemned before God. Now, how is it possible that the law can ever be an instrument of life and an instrument of death to a sinner? It is utterly impossible that it can be. It never yet gave spiritual life to the soul-it never yet emancipated the soul from its thraldom-it never yet conducted it to Jesus-it never yet whispered liberty and peace. It can and does condemn-it can and does curse-and this is the utmost extent of its prerogative. Oh, then, resign all the hope you fondly cherish of life, peace, and acceptance by “the deeds of the law,” and betake yourself to Him who has, by His most precious blood, “redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us.”

Having established the incapacity of the law to justify the sinner, the apostle then proceeds to unfold the glory, fitness, and freeness of that righteousness which can and does justify the soul before God. He takes up and argues two important points-the nature of the righteousness, and the instrument by which it is received. With regard to the first, he declares it to be “the righteousness of God”-and nothing but “the righteousness of God” can justify a soul in the sight of God. It must not be the righteousness of angels, nor the righteousness of Adam, nor the righteousness of Moses-it must be the righteousness of God in our nature. Away with every other refuge-away with every other covering; and let not the reader dream of entering with acceptance into the presence of a holy and heart-searching God, clad in any other righteousness than that which the adorable Immanuel wrought out. In this righteousness the believing sinner is safe, and safe forever; take him for a moment out of this righteousness, and he is lost, and lost for ever!

The instrument by which this divine righteousness is received is the second point established by the apostle. He clearly proves it to be by faith. Thus: “Even the righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all those who believe.” How perfectly does this statement of the instrument or medium by which the blessings of pardon and justification are received into the soul harmonize with every other portion of God’s word! Thus, for instance-“By Him all that believe are justified from all things.”

“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved.” “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Oh see, disconsolate soul, the freeness of the gift! “To him that believes”-not to him that works, not to him that deserves, not to the worthy, but “to him that believes.” “Where is boasting, then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith (in Christ) without the deeds of the law.”

 

From “Morning Thoughts” by Winslow

When was the last time you took a good, hard look at yourself.  Where are you in your standing with the Almighty?

 
” Those who live according to the sinful nature (the flesh) have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” Romans 8:5

By this truth let us test the reality of our religious profession. In this light let us closely examine our Christian character and walk. What, reader, is the habitual and supreme bent of your mind? Is it that which is spiritual, or that which is carnal? Judge of your preparation for death, in the near view of its approaching solemnities. Decide upon your state for eternity, in the rapid progress of its deepening shadows. Ascertain the real state of your case for the judgment, in the certain arrival of its dread scrutiny. You have your mind either set upon the things of the flesh, or upon the things of the Spirit. You are either born again from above, or are groveling in things below. You are either holy, or you are unholy. You are for the Lord, or you are against Him. You are either Satan’s slave or Christ’s freeman. Which?

You inquire, “How may I know that I am of the Spirit?” We answer-by your producing the fruits of the Spirit. A broken heart for sin-a felt conviction of the hidden plague-a humble and a contrite spirit-an utter rejection of a human righteousness-a simple, believing reception of the Lord Jesus-and a breathing after Divine conformity, are evidences of a renewed and sanctified state. If these are yours in any degree, then you are of the Spirit.

But rest not here. Be exhorted to walk in the Spirit. Do not be satisfied with having the question decided in your favor-with just barely knowing that you have crossed the line that separates the regenerate from the unregenerate-death from life. Remain not where you are: go forward. Do not be content with a low standard. Compare not your church with other churches, nor yourself with other Christians; nor measure yourself by yourself. But fix your eye upon Christ; copy His example, imbibe His mind, and place yourself under the government of His Spirit. Strive to go forward! Endeavor to be always sowing to the Spirit. Be satisfied with the Lord’s disposal of you. Study the divine art of contentment. Be convinced that what the Lord ordains is best. Covet but little of earthly good; and, as an old divine exhorts, “sail with a low gale.” Lie low. The great secret of a holy and a happy life is contained in a small compass-walking humbly with God. In all failures in duty, in all shortcomings in practice, in all transactions with God, and in all dealings with man-remembering the innumerable traces of imperfection and sin found upon all you do-deal frequently, closely, with the atoning blood. “Wash and be clean.”

From “Morning Thoughts” by Winslow

A good reminder for those of us who are burdened with the past…..

” And if any man sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” John 2:1

The work of our Lord as Priest was two-fold, atonement and intercession. The one He accomplished upon the cross, the other He now transacts upon the throne. “When He had by Himself purged our sins, He sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high.” The high priest, under the law, after that he had slain the sacrifice, took the blood, and, passing within the veil, sprinkled it on the mercy-seat, so making intercession for the people. “The Holy Spirit this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing.” “But, Christ being come, an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by His own blood, He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”

And what is He now doing? Presenting His own blood each moment before the mercy-seat on behalf of His redeemed people! “He ever lives to make intercession for us.” Oh, do not forget this, dear saint of God! This is spoken for the comfort of the mourners in Zion-for those who, knowing the plague of their own hearts, and deploring its constant tendency to outbreak, are humbled in the dust with deep godly sorrow. Look up! Does sin plead loudly against you? the blood of Jesus pleads louder for you. Do your backslidings, and rebellions, and iniquities, committed against so much light and love, call for vengeance? the blood of Jesus “speaks better things.” Does Satan stand at your right hand to accuse you? your Advocate stands at God’s right hand to plead for you. All hail! you mourning souls! you that smite on the breast, you broken-hearted, you contrite ones! “who is he that condemns! It is Christ who died, yes rather, who is risen again; who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.”

Jesus is a glorious and a successful Advocate. He has never lost a cause entrusted to His advocacy, and never will. He pleads powerfully, He pleads eloquently, He pleads prevalently, because He pleads in behalf of a people unspeakably dear to His heart, for whom He “loved not His own life unto the death,” and presses His suit, on the ground of His own most precious blood and accepted person, and with His father and their Father, His God and their God.

From “Winslow, Morning Thoughts”

     Read this then tell me how you feel…..

” That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection.”  Philippians 3:10

Of the downward tendency of our hearts we are, alas! but too conscious. We need an antagonistic principle- something to counteract the overworking influence of an ungodly world. Where shall we meet with it? We answer, in the power of Christ’s resurrection, felt, realized, and experienced in the soul. This is the argument of Paul: “You are a risen people, risen in union with Christ. If this be so, then seek after heavenly mindedness, setting your affections on things above.” What a heaven-attracting power, then, has this glorious truth! What is Christ? He is alive. Where is Christ? He is in heaven, at the right hand of God, as my head- my representative- my forerunner- my treasure- my all. Then, let me rise! Shall not my affections soar to their best beloved? Shall not my heart be where its treasure is? Shall I set my mind upon things on the earth, when my Lord rose out of the earth, and ascended above the earth, and bids me rise and follow Him in faith, in spirit, and in love, until He calls me to come away to Him entirely, that I may be ever with Him and behold His glory? If I am indeed risen with Christ, then let me evidence it by my increasing spiritual-mindedness. Christ, who is my life, is in heaven- why should I needlessly be buried in the earth? Why allow- as I appear to do- that there is an object upon earth whose claims to my love are paramount, whose beauty to my eye is greater, whose attraction to my soul is stronger, than my risen, ascended, and glorified Lord? Is there upon earth one who loves me as Jesus loves me? Is there one who has done for me what Jesus has done? Is there one who is doing for me now what Jesus is doing? Is there one who is to me such a friend, such a brother, such a counselor as Jesus? No, not one! Then, why should not my thoughts be more with Him? Why should not my heart cling closer to Him? Why this vagrancy of mind, this truancy of affection, this wandering of desire; why this forgetfulness, coldness, and cleaving to earth, when my Lord is risen, and I am professedly risen with Him? Oh, to feel more sensibly, more deeply; more constantly the power of His resurrection! Lord! I detect my heart settling down on creature things- objects of sense and sin. My business is a snare- my domestic blessings are a snare- my friendships are a snare- my position is a snare- the too fond opinion which others entertain of me is a snare- my grace, my gifts, my usefulness, through the corruption of my heart, are snares. Lord, place beneath my soul the mighty lever of Your resurrection, and lift me towards Yourself! Oh, let me feel the earth-severing, the heaven-attracting power of Your resurrection-life! Having been buried with You by baptism into death, sincerely would I now rise with You, like as You were raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father; that I might walk with You in newness of life, until I reach You in the realms of glory.

 

From “Morning Thoughts” by Winslow

     We live in a world, and in a culture, where we pay lipservice to God; where we embrace Him in every way except in the ways that mean the most to Him.  We live in a time where there are many spiritual people, and where spirituality runs rampant, but let me ask you something.  Does God still care about Holiness?  Does He expect His children to be holy?  Does He expect His children to be obedient?  There are some hard truths that a lot of people in this world don’t want to see, and that goes for me too.  We’re willing to accept some truth, the parts of it that don’t bother us too much, but when we come across those parts that get in the way, that put walls between us and what we want to do then we go about the business of tearing them down and making them more palatable.  
     We live with a lot of false ideas in this world.  We believe in God, but don’t believe the Bible is His infallible, inerrant word, and the only truth we should live our lives by.  We believe we can love Jesus, and hate the church.  We belive that God is all about love, but doesn’t care about Justice, Mercy, Compassion,  and Holiness.  We believe that God loves us and it’s okay to live any way we want.      We believe we can really know God without spending any time in prayer or in reading His word.  The list goes on and on.  
     So what do you really believe.  Just as an experiment take a sheet of paper and write down the top 5 things you truly believe to be true, then take the rest of your day and try to notice the way you go about living today, your words and actions, and at the end of your evening reflect back upon your day.   How did it go? 

” Submit yourselves therefore to God.”  James 4:7

 

Submission to the Divine will is a great advance in holiness; and this is mainly and effectually attained through sanctified chastisement. In prosperity, how full are we of self-sufficiency! When the Lord asks our obedience, we give Him our counsel. But when He sends the rod, and by the accompanying grace of His Spirit sanctifies its stroke, we learn in what true obedience consists. It was in this school our blessed Lord Himself was taught. “Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered.” He learned to obey in suffering- to bring His will in suffering into complete submission to His Father’s will. God has not in His family such obedient children as those who, “passing under the rod,” are “brought into the bond of the covenant.” Oh, what a high Christian attainment is submission to the will of God! The noblest grace attainable upon earth is it.

When our Lord taught His disciples to pray to the Father for the spread of holiness, He embodied the petition, in these words, “Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” The universal and complete holiness of heaven springs from the universal and complete perfection in which the will of God is done by angels and glorified spirits. In proportion as the Divine will prevails upon earth, holiness will reign. And, oh, what a beauteous earth and what a blissful world would this be, were the will of God done by every creature! In the new earth, in which will dwell righteousness, it will be so. The original harmony of this fallen universe will then be restored, its pristine beauty recovered, and God, in the person of His Son, will once more reign over, and walk in the midst of, a people whose will shall be but the reflection of His own. Thus to approximate to the Divine will is to assimilate with the Divine holiness. What God will, how God will, and when God will, defines the rule which should govern all the conduct and limit all the desires of the child of God. The instant the overwhelmed heart is brought into this state, the afflicted believer has planted his feet upon the Rock that is higher than he. All is peace, all is composure, because all is submission to the will of God. “The Lord reigns” is the truth whose all-commanding yet gentle whisper has stilled the tempest and calmed the waves. In its intense anxiety that the Divine will might be done, the chastened soul is but breathing after deeper holiness; and every fervent desire for the attainment of holiness is holiness already attained. Blessed chastening of love, that produces in this world, so distant and uncongenial, the buds and blossoms and fruits of heaven! A richer fruit grows not within the Paradise of God than Holiness. And yet, in the experience of a chastened believer, bleeding under the rod of his heavenly Father, there may be obtained such victories over sin, such purification of heart, such meekness of spirit, such Christ-like conformity, and such a discipline of the will, as to make him a rich “partaker of the Divine holiness.”

From Winslow “Morning and Thoughts”

     As christians our view of holiness and our occupation with it’s role in our lives says a lot about our witness and relationship with Christ Jesus.  If you’ve never given thought to the subject of holiness in your life perhaps it’s time to do so.

“As you therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk you in him: rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.”

Colossians 2:6, 7

BY simple, close, and crucifying views of the cross of Christ does the Spirit most effectually sanctify the believer. This is the true and great method of gospel sanctification. Here lies the secret of all real holiness, and, may I not add, of all real happiness. For, if we separate happiness from holiness, we separate that which, in the covenant of grace, God has wisely and indissolubly united. The experience of the true believer must testify to this. We are only happy as we are holy-as the body of sin is daily crucified, the power of the indwelling principle weakened, and the outward deportment more beautifully and closely corresponding to the example of Jesus. Let us not, then, look for a happy walk, apart from a holy one. Trials we may have; yes, if we are the Lord’s covenant ones, we shall have them, for He Himself has said, “in the world you shall have tribulation;” disappointments we may meet with-broken cisterns, thorny roads, wintry skies; but if we are walking in fellowship with God, dwelling in the light, growing up into Christ in all things, the Spirit of adoption witnessing within us, and leading to a filial and unreserved surrender-oh, there is happiness unspeakable, even though in the very depth of outward trial. A holy walk is a happy walk: this is God’s order, it is His appointment, and therefore must be wise and good.

Seek high attainments in holiness. Do not be satisfied with a low measure of grace, with a dwarfish religion, with just enough Christianity to admit you into heaven. Oh, how many are thus content-satisfied to leave the great question of their acceptance to be decided in another world, and not in this-resting upon some slight evidence, in itself faint and equivocal, perhaps a former experience, some impressions, or sensations, or transient joys, long since passed away; and thus they are content to live, and thus content to die. Dear reader, be you not satisfied with anything short of a present Christ, received, enjoyed, and lived upon. Forget the things that are behind-reach forth unto higher attainments in sanctification-seek to have the daily witness, daily communion with God; and for your own sake, for the sake of others, and for Christ’s sake, “give all diligence to make your calling and election sure.”