a persistent sinner
a long-time sinner
a depraved sinner
a mocking sinner
an unrepentant sinner
and yet you, Most High God, condescended to enter this world of sin to save us. Lord, you broke my heart. You broke my heart of stone and gave me a heart of flesh, soft, beating in love for Abba and Your ways. (Ezekiel 11:19).
You are a Friend to Sinners, compassionate in all your paths, the beloved Groom. The Woman at the Well said, “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did.” (John 4:29a). All I ever did was evil. (Genesis 6:5). And yet You loved me while I was still a sinner. (Romans 5:8)
You have set around me a sacred circle, outside of which are cares and burdens, worries and problems. Inside is your throne of peace, love, and Fatherly care. Let me always to come to You boldly humble, timorously brave, to the Father of Lights and the Ancient of Days. Inside this circle is all, because You are there.
I recall my worldly days outside the circle, wandering and unhappy, yet sinning all the more, never seeing your circle of color, the rainbow of covenant, as shining gloriously bright. (Revelation 4:3). My eyes were dim and blind. It is You, Lord Most High, Abba, who brought me in, washed me with Your blood, and saved me from the penalties of all my evil deeds. You gave me Your righteousness, a soft heart longing for purity, and a mind of transformation.
You gave me grace.
The other evening I was riding home after a heavy day’s work. I felt very wearied, and sore depressed, when swiftly, and suddenly as a lightning flash, that text came to me, “MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR THEE.” (2 Cor. 12:9). I reached home and looked it up in the original, and at last it came to me in this way, “MY grace is sufficient for thee”; and I said, “I should think it is, Lord,” and burst our laughing! I never fully understood what the holy laughter of Abraham was until then. It seemed to make unbelief so absurd.
It was as though some little fish, being very thirsty, was troubled about drinking the river dry, and Father Thames [River, London] said, “Drink away, little fish, my stream is sufficient for thee.
Or, it seemed after the seven years of plenty, a mouse feared it might die of famine; and Joseph might say, “Cheer up, little mouse, my granaries are sufficient for thee.”
Again, I imagined a man away up yonder, in a lofty mountain, saying to himself, “I breathe so many cubic feet of air every year, I fear I shall exhaust the oxygen in the atmosphere,” but the earth might say, “Breathe away, O man, and fill the lungs ever, my atmosphere is sufficient for thee.”
Oh, brethren, be great believers! Little faith will bring your souls to heaven, but great faith will bring heaven to your souls!
Let this little fish never say, I have drunk enough.
Let this little mouse never say, I have eaten my fill.
Let this man never say, I do not need this air any more.
How foolish! Breathe deeply the Words of Life, for where else would I go? (John 6:68). I am in the circle of Your love and the days of wrath have ceased for me. Where else would I go? Let me not wander. This circle of grace is enough.