James Bryan Smith — God expects more failure from us…

God expects more failure from us than we do from ourselves because God knows who we are. We are not the righteous person who occasionally sins, we are the sinful person who occasionally- by God’s grace- gets it right. When we start from this perspective we are released from the bondage of perfectionism and are able to forgive ourselves once and for all. We are to take our cue from him. We may be disappointed with ourselves but God is not. We may feel like condemning ourselves, but God does not.

James Bryan Smith

Tony Campolo — The story is told of a church…

The story is told of a church that secured a new preacher, and the word spread around town about how well he preached. The church members were abuzz about what an improvement he was over their former preacher, and how much more attention they gave to his sermons. When the town cynic asked what made this new preacher so much better than his predecessor, he was told, “The old preacher told us that we’re all sinners, and that if we didn’t repent, we’d burn in hell forever!” This cynic then asked, “And what does this new one say?” The answer was, “That we’re all sinners, and that if we don’t repent, we’ll burn in hell forever!” When the cynic responded that he didn’t see any difference between the two of them, he was told, “This new preacher says it with tears in his eyes.”
Tony Campolo

Thomas Merton — Creation had been given to men…

Creation had been given to men as a clean window through which the light of God could shine into men’s souls. Sun and moon, night and day, rain, the sea, the crops, the flowering tree, all these things were transparent. They spoke to man not of themselves only but of Him who made them. Nature was symbolic. But the progressive degradation of man after the fall led the Gentiles further and further from this truth. Nature became opaque.
Thomas Merton

Charles H. Spurgeon — The greatest wonder…

The greatest wonder that I ever heard of is that God should ever justify me. I feel myself to be a lumpy of unworthiness, a mass of corruption, and a heap of sin apart from His almighty love. I know and am fully assured that I am justified by faith which is in Christ Jesus, and I am treated as if I had been perfectly just and made an heir of God and a joint-heir with Christ. And yet, by nature I must take my place among the most sinful. I, who am altogether undeserving, am treated as if I had been deserving. I am loved with as much love as if I had always been Godly, whereas before I was ungodly. Who can help being astonished at this? Gratitude for such favor stands dressed in robes of wonder.
Charles H. Spurgeon

Corrie ten Boom — It wood seem…

It would seem, after having been a Christian for almost 80 years, that I would no longer do ugly things that need forgiving.  Yet I am constantly doing things to others that cause me to have to go back and ask their forgiveness.  Sometimes these are things I actually do- other times they are simply attitudes I let creep in which break the circle of God’s perfect love.
Corrie ten Boom

C. H. Spurgeon — Ah! the bridge of grace…

Ah! the bridge of grace will bear your weight, brother.  Thousands of big sinners have gone across that bridge, yea, tens of thousands have gone over it.  I can hear their trampings now as they traverse the great arches of the bridge of salvation.  They come by their thousands, by their myriads; e’er since the day when Christ first entered into His glory, they come, and yet never a stone has sprung in that mighty bridge.  Some have been the chief of sinners, and some have come at the very last of their days, but the arch has never yielded beneath their weight.  I will go with them trusting to the same support; it will bear me over as it has borne them.
C. H. Spurgeon

Thomas a Kempis — We must be watchful…

We must be watchful, especially in the beginning of the temptation.  The enemy is then more easily overcome, if he is not permitted in any wise to enter the door of our hearts, but is resisted without the gate at his first knock…First there comes to the mind a bare thought of evil, then a strong imagination thereof, afterward delight, and an evil motion, and then consent.  And so little by little our wicked enemy gets complete entrance, because he is not resisted in the beginning.  And the longer a man is slow to resist, so much the weaker does he become daily in himself, and the enemy stronger against him.
Thomas a Kempis