Do not be Discouraged at the Small Beginnings of Grace

Let us not therefore be discouraged at the small beginnings of grace, but look on ourselves as elected to be `holy and without blame’ (Eph. 1:4). Let us look on our imperfect beginning only to enforce further striving to perfection, and to keep us in a low opinion of ourselves. Otherwise, in case of discouragement, we must consider ourselves as Christ does, who looks on us as those he intends to fit for himself. Christ values us by what we shall be, and by what we are elected unto. We call a little plant a tree, because it is growing up to be so. `Who has despised the day of small things?’ (Zech. 4:10). Christ would not have us despise little things. ~ The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes

A Broken Heart Esteemed By God, But Not the World

‘The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.’ But note by the way, that this broken, this broken and contrite heart, is thus excellent only to God: ‘O God, ‘ saith he, ‘THOU wilt not despise it.’ By which is implied, the world have not this esteem or respect for such a heart, or for one that is of a broken and a contrite spirit.  ~ The Acceptable Sacrifice by John Bunyan (pg. 3)

There is a Difference Between Being Sanctified and Civilized

Others think that because they have given up their riotous ways, and are broken off from evil company or some particular lust, and are reduced to sobriety and civility, they are now real converts. They forget that there is a vast difference between being sanctified and civilized. They forget that many seek to enter into the kingdom of heaven, and are not far from it, and arrive to the almost of Christianity, and yet fall short at last. While conscience holds the whip over them, many will pray, hear, read, and forbear their delightful sins; but no sooner is the lion asleep than they are at their sins again. Who more religious than the Jews when God’s hand was upon them? Yet no sooner was the affliction over, than they forgot God. You may have forsaken a troublesome sin, and have escaped the gross pollutions of the world, and yet in all this not have changed your carnal nature. ~ A Sure Guide to Heaven by Joseph Alleine

It is a Kind of Hell to be in the Company of the Wicked

It is a kind of hell to be in the company of the wicked, where we cannot choose but hear God’s name dishonored. It was a capital crime to carry the image of Tiberius, engraved on a ring or coin, into any sordid place. Those who have the image of God engraved on them should not go into any sinful, sordid company. I have only ever read of two living people who desired to keep company with the dead, and they were both possessed of the devil (Matt. 8:28). “The Godly Man’s Picture” pg. 141

Serving Men or Serving God

When we are advocates in a bad cause, pleading for any impious, unjustifiable act; when we baptize sin with the name of religion, and with our oratory wash the devil’s face, this is to be the servants of men. In these cases, a godly person will not so unman himself as to serve men. He says, like Paul, ‘If I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ’ (Gal. 1:10); and like Peter, ‘We ought to obey God rather than men’ (Acts 5:29). “The Godly Man’s Picture” pg. 43

None Say on Their Deathbed that They have Been Too Holy

Do we think walking with God can do us any hurt? Did we ever hear any cry out on their deathbed that they have been too holy, that they have prayed too much, or walked with God too much? No, that which has cut them to the heart has been this, that they have not walked more closely with God; they have wrung their hand and torn their hair to think that they have been so bewitched with the pleasures of the world. Close walking with God will make our enemy (death) be at peace with us. “The Godly Man’s Picture” pg. 181

A Dark Prison for a King’s Palace

Will not anyone be willing to exchange a dark prison for a king’s palace? Will he not exchange his brass for gold? You who become godly change for the better: you change your pride for humility, your uncleanness for holiness. You change a lust that will damn you for a Christ who will save you. If men were not besotted, if their fall had not knocked their brains out, they would see that is it the most rational thing in the world to become godly. “The Godly Man’s Picture” pg. 201

Let not Any Man say He is Called of God, that Lives in Sin

As chastity distinguishes a virtuous woman from a harlot, so holiness distinguishes the godly from the wicked. It is a holy calling; ‘For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness’ (I Thess. 4:7). Let not any man say he is called of God, that lives in sin. Has God called you to be a swearer, to be a drunkard? Nay, let not the merely moral person say he is effectually called.

What is civility without sanctity? It is but a dead carcass strewed with flowers. The king’s picture stamped upon brass will not go current for gold. The merely moral man looks as if he had the King of heaven’s image stamped upon him; but he is not better than counterfeit metal, which will not pass for current with God. “All Things for Good” pg. 108

A Godly Man is Heavenly in His Disposition

A godly man is heavenly in his disposition. He sets his affections on things above (Col. 3:2). He sends his heart to heaven before he gets there; he looks upon the world as but a beautiful prison and he cannot be much in love with his fetters, though they are made of gold. A holy person contemplates glory and eternity; his desires have got wings and have fled to heaven. “The Godly Man’s Picture” pg. 104

Be Often Among the Godly

Be often among the godly. They are the salt of the earth, and will help to season you. Their counsel may direct, their prayers may enliven you. Such holy sparks may be thrown into your breasts as may kindle devotion in you. It is good to be among the saints to learn the trade of godliness: ‘He that walketh with the wise men shall be wise’ (Prov. 13:20).  “The Godly Man’s Picture” pg. 208