God’s Tenderest Care is Over the Weakest

Men, for the most part, are not lost enough in their own feeling for a Saviour. A holy despair in ourselves is the ground of true hope. In God the fatherless find mercy (Hos. 14:3); if men were more fatherless, they should feel more God’s fatherly affection from heaven, for the God who dwells in the highest heavens dwells likewise in the lowest soul (Isa. 57:15). Christ’s sheep are weak sheep, and lacking in something or other; he therefore applies himself to the necessities of every sheep. He seeks that which was lost, and brings again that which was driven out of the way, and binds up that which was broken, and strengthens the weak (Ezek. 34:16). His tenderest care is over the weakest.  ~ The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes

Christ’s Way is First to Wound, Then to Heal

Let this support us when we feel ourselves bruised. Christ’s way is first to wound, then to heal. No sound, whole soul shall ever enter into heaven. Think when in temptation, Christ was tempted for me; according to my trials will be my graces and comforts. If Christ be so merciful as not to break me, I will not break myself by despair, nor yield myself over to the roaring lion, Satan, to break me in pieces. ~ The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes

Christ Most Mercifully Inclines to the Weakest Saint

See the contrary disposition of Christ on the one hand and Satan and his instruments on the other. Satan sets upon us when we are weakest, as Simeon and Levi upon the Shechemites, `when they were sore’ (Gen. 34:25), but Christ will make up in us all the breaches which sin and Satan have made. He `binds up the broken hearted’ (Isa. 61:1). As a mother is tenderest to the most diseased and weakest child, so does Christ most mercifully incline to the weakest. Likewise he puts an instinct into the weakest things to rely upon something stronger than themselves for support. The vine stays itself upon the elm, and the weakest creatures often have the strongest shelters. The consciousness of the church’s weakness makes her willing to lean on her beloved, and to hide herself under his wing. ~ The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes

Christ Will Not Break the Bruised Reed

In pursuing his calling, Christ will not break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax, in which more is meant than spoken, for he will not only not break nor quench, but he will cherish those with whom he so deals. ~ The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes

Bruising is Required Before Conversion

This bruising is required before conversion that so the Spirit may make way for himself into the heart by leveling all proud, high thoughts, and that we may understand ourselves to be what indeed we are by nature. We love to wander from ourselves and to be strangers at home, till God bruises us by one cross or other, and then we `begin to think’, and come home to ourselves with the prodigal (Luke 15:17). It is a very hard thing to bring a dull and an evasive heart to cry with feeling for mercy. Our hearts, like criminals, until they be beaten from all evasions, never cry for the mercy of the judge.

Again, this bruising makes us set a high price upon Christ. Then the gospel becomes the gospel indeed; then the fig leaves of morality will do us no good. And it makes us more thankful, and, from thankfulness, more fruitful in our lives; for what makes many so cold and barren, but that bruising for sin never endeared God’s grace to them?

Likewise this dealing of God establishes us the more in his ways, having had knocks and bruisings in our own ways. This is often the cause of relapses and apostasy, because men never smarted for sin at the first; they were not long enough under the lash of the law. Hence this inferior work of the Spirit in bringing down high thoughts (2 Cor. 10:5) is necessary before conversion. And, for the most part, the Holy Spirit, to further the work of conviction, joins with it some affliction, which, when sanctified, has a healing and purging power. ~ The Bruised Reed by Richard Sibbes

God’s Word Wielded By His Arm Breaks Hard Hearts

The instrument with which the heart is broken, and with which the spirit is made contrite, is the Word. ‘Is not my word like as a fire, saith the Lord; and like a hammer, that breaketh the rock in pieces?’ (Jer 23:29). The rock, in this text, is the heart, which in another place is compared to an adamant, which adamant is harder than flint (Zech 7:11, 12; Eze 3:9). This rock, this adamant, this stony heart, is broken and made contrite by the Word. But it only is so, when the Word is as a fire, and as a hammer to break and melt it. And then, and then only, it is as a fire, and a hammer to the heart to break it, when it is managed by the arm of God. No man can break the heart with the Word; no angel can break the heart with the Word; that is, if God forbears to second it by mighty power from heaven.  ~ The Acceptable Sacrifice by John Bunyan

God is More Willing to Pardon than to Punish

Are we under the guilt of sin? There is a promise, ” The Lord merciful and gracious ” (Exod. xxiv. 6), where God as it were puts on His glorious embroidery, and holds out the golden scepter, to encourage poor trembling sinners to come to Him. ” The Lord, merciful. ” God is more willing to pardon than to punish. Mercy does more multiply in Him than sin in us. Mercy is His nature… He shows mercy, not because we deserve mercy, but because He delights in mercy. “All Things for Good

Shall I Sin Against Goodness

The goodness of God works for good to the godly. God’s goodness is a means to make us good. ” The goodness of God leadeth to repentance ” (Rom. ii. 4). The goodness of God is a spiritual sunbeam to melt the heart into tears. Oh, says the soul, has God been so good to me? Has He reprieved me so long from hell, and shall I grieve His Spirit any more? Shall I sin against goodness? The goodness of God works for good, as it ushers in all blessings. The favours we receive, are the silver streams which flow from the fountain of God’s goodness. “All Things for Good

What Mercy is Like

Mercy is not like the sun to the fire, to dull it, but like the oil to the wheel, to make it run faster. “The Godly Man’s Picture” pg. 133

A Gracious Heart Produces Obedience

A gracious heart is like a piece of good ground that, having received the seed of mercy, produces a crop of obedience. “The Godly Man’s Picture” pg. 133