Feeling Christ's Love Afresh in Gospel-Motivated Emotions

Friday, April 15, 2005

Feeling Christ's Love Afresh in Gospel-Motivated Emotions

After being convicted by the sermon notes of Dan Cruver - The Gospel of the River of Delights - I was sorely convicted about the old rut that Christians, and especially pastors, often fall into. It is the rut of a heart not sincerely, truly, and deeply affected by the love of Christ. I determined to couple my conviction with action. I requested a sermon tape from Dan and I recalled a chapter in Maurice Robert's book The Christian's High Calling. So I picked it up and was more sorely convicted yet excited again to get myself out of the rut before it became a ditch or possibly a ravine! For the next couple of days I'd like to offer snippets of this chapter to spark conviction and action in others who may also be in this rut.

"No experience of a Christian is more profitable to the soul than to feel afresh Christ's love for him. Yet no experience is so neglected in our day. The reason for this is because of our pride and ignorance of Christ as a living Saviour..."

"Surely we must admit that this is so. There is in us, even after conversion, a sinful reluctance to take the time and trouble necessary to have our hearts brought into a feeling state. We learn to be content with head knowledge of Christian truth, and we allow ourselves to be bullied by the unfeeling Christianity all around us into thinking that emotions accompanying faith must be a mark of excess...For some reason we who live in the modern world are afraid of emotion. We suppoe it to be a virtue to stifle tears of conviction, to suppress all talk about Christ's visits to the soul, to make it a crime to express excitement when we receive tokens of God's love to us."

"It was a good saying of the English martyr, John Bradford, that he made it his rule not to go away from any duty before he had felt something of Christ in it. He meant, of course, that he strove, when he prayed, always to have his heart aflame before he left off praying and that he would not laay his Bible or book down before he had felt his heart burning with him (Luke 24:32)...Bernard of Clairvaux used to say to Christ: 'I never go away from thee without thee.' By these quaint words he meant that he waited on Christ til he had a lively sense of Him, which followed him after his devotions were over..."

"The above-quoted sayings of Bradford and Bernard assume something which is not always very readily assumed by modern Christians, that it is posible and very desirable to get our hearts worked up with holy emotion in this way. Christ is not mere doctrine, it must be remembered. He is a risen, glorified Saviour. His love for us today is as great and as a real at the time when he was suffering for us on the cross. He is as much 'with us' and ministering to us by his Spirit as in the days of his flesh" (pp. 145-46).

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