by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
Sometimes God has been gracious on a Sunday and I have been conscious of exceptional liberty, and I have been foolish enough to listen to the devil when he says, ‘Now, then, you wait until next Sunday, it is going to be marvellous, there will be even larger congregations’. And I go into the pulpit the next Sunday and I see a smaller congregation. But then on another occasion I stand in this pulpit labouring, as it were left to myself, preaching badly and utterly weak, and the devil has come and said, ‘There will be nobody there at all next Sunday’. But, thank God, I have found on the following Sunday a larger congregation. That is God’s method of accountancy. You never know. I enter the pulpit in weakness and I end with power. I enter with self-confidence and I am made to feel a fool. It is God’s accountancy.... He is always giving us surprises. His book-keeping is the most romantic thing I know of in the whole world.
Our Lord spoke of it again in the third parable in the twenty-fifth chapter of the Gospel according to St Matthew. You remember His description of the people who will come at the end of the world expecting a reward but to whom He will give nothing, and then the others to whom He will say, ‘Come ye blessed of My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you’. And they will say, ‘We have done nothing. When have we seen you naked, when have we seen you hungry or thirsty and given you drink?’ And He will say, ‘Because you have done it unto the least of my brethren you have done it unto me’. What a surprise that will be. This life is full of romance. Our ledgers are out of date; they are of no value. We are in the Kingdom of God and it is God’s accountancy. It is all of grace.
Spiritual Depression, pp. 131–2