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Reading Puritan Richard Sibbes’ The Bruised Reed with Tim Challies right now and chapter 4 is precious.  Here are some excerpts that convicted, comforted and motivated me:

“Here see the opposite dispositions in the holy nature of Christ and the impure nature of man.  Man for a little smoke will quench the light.  Christ, we see, ever cherishes even the least beginnings.  How he bore with the many imperfections of his poor disciples!  If he did sharply check them, it was in love, and that they might shine the brighter.  Can we have a better pattern to follow than this from him by whom we hope to be saved?”

[Am I patient with others the way Christ is patient with me?  Is my gentleness evident to all?  How quick am I to identify and major on people’s shortcomings instead of their successes, no matter how small?]

“It is not the best way, to assail young beginners with minor matters, but to show them a more excellent way and train them in fundamental points…it is not amiss to conceal their defects, to excuse some failings, to commend their performances, to encourage their progress, to remove all difficulties out of their way, to help them in every way to bear the yoke of religion with greater ease, to bring them to love God and his service, lest they acquire a distaste for it before they know it.”

[Sounds like Proverbs 19:11 and 1 Thess 5:14 to me.]

“For the most part we see that Christ plants in young beginners a love which we call their ‘first love’ (Rev 2:4), to carry them through their profession with more delight, and does not expose them to crosses before they have gathered strength;”

[This describes my experience precisely!  My early walk with Christ seemed like problem-less bliss!  He has steadily increased his good and kind providential struggles in my journey.  I praise him for his preparation of my soul!]

“It would be a good contest amongst Christians, one to labour to give no offence, and the other to labour to take no offence.”

[Romans 14!!!]

“Christ refuses none for weakness of parts, that none should be discouraged, but accepts none for greatness, that none should be lifted up with that which is of so little reckoning with God”

[I wonder if Ryle got the idea for his quote about the thieves on the cross from Sibbes’ words here? “Christ saved one thief on the cross so that none should despair, but only one that none should presume” – JC Ryle]

Perfect refining is for another world, for the world of the souls of perfect men”

[Hebrews 12:23.  I rejoice at the truth of this statement.  He will refine me, but not perfectly, this side of eternity.  What I am has not yet been fully revealed.  But when he appears, I will be like him!  Perfect in glory!]

Read the whole book online here.  Read it with others at Challies.com (above).  It’s a lovely work written with lovely English.  But more importantly – written about a Lovely Savior.