Friday, October 15, 2010

But the end of all things is at hand

“But the end of all things is at hand: be you therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.” 1 Peter 4:7
WATCH unto prayer, with all diligence and perseverance. Expect an answer to your prayer, a promise to your request, a compliance with your suit. Be as much assured that God will answer, as that you have asked, or that He has promised. Ask in faith; only believe; watch daily at the posts and at the gates of the return; look for it at any moment, and through any providence; expect it not in your own way, but in the Lord’s; do not be astonished if He should answer your prayer in the very opposite way to that you had anticipated, and it may be dictated. With this view, watch every providence, even the smallest. You know not when the answer my come—at what hour, or in what way. Therefore watch. The Lord may answer in a great and strong wind, in an earthquake, in a fire, or in a still small voice; therefore watch every providence, to know which will be the voice of God to you. Do not pray as if you asked for or expected a refusal. God delights in your holy fervency, your humble boldness, and your persevering importunity. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” Pray submissively, expect hopefully, watch vigilantly, and wait patiently.
Behold then the throne of grace! Was ever resting-place so sacred and so sweet? Could God himself invest it with richer, with greater attraction? There are dispensed all the blessings of sovereign grace—pardon, justification, adoption, sanctification, and all that connects the present state of the believer with eternal glory. There is dispensed grace itself—grace to guide, to support, to comfort, and to help in time of need. There sits the God of grace, proclaiming Himself “the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth; keep mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin.” There is extended the scepter of grace, bidding welcome the sons of daughters of want, the weary and the heavy laden, the guilty, the broken in heart, the poor, the friendless, the bereaved. There stands Jesus the High Priest and Mediator, full of grace and truth, waving to and fro His golden censer, from which pours forth the fragrant incense of His atoning merits, wreathing in one offering, as it ascends, the name, the needs, and the prayer of the lowly worshiper. And there, too, is the Spirit of grace, breathing in the soul, discovering the want, inditing the petition, and making intercession for the saints according to the will of God. Behold, then, the throne of grace, and draw near! You are welcome. Come with your cross, come with your infirmity, come with your guilt, come with your want, come with your wounded spirit, come with your broken heart, come and welcome to the throne of grace! Come without price, come without worthiness, come without preparation, come without fitness, come with your hard heart, come and welcome to the throne of grace! God, your Father, bids you welcome. Jesus, your Advocate, bids you welcome. The Spirit, the Author of prayer, bids you welcome. All the happy and the blessed who cluster around it, bid you welcome. The spirits of just men made perfect in glory, bid you welcome. The ministering spirits, “sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation,” bid you welcome. All the holy below, and all the glorified above, all, all bid you, poor trembling soul, welcome, thrice welcome, to the throne of grace!
Octavius Winslow