Monday, August 3, 2009

"You can readily speak of yourselves, and do often, either directly or obliquely, commend yourselves, which reveals your great self-love. How little do you commend your Lord and Master and extol His excellencies with your lips! And does not this evidence that you have but little love to Him in your hearts?"
- Thomas Vincent, The True Christian's Love
How is it that I am so eager to commend and speak of myself when my self has deceived me, cheated me, led me astray, stolen my peace, confused and betrayed me, corrupted my joys, tainted all my good deeds, distracted me and clouded my heart with anxious fears? (Surely it has proven itself worthy of all the devotion I give it!) When I consider how I esteem myself, I can attribute it to nothing but the most contemptible blindness and folly.

And Jesus Christ, of whom I speak so little, has given me every pleasant thing that I enjoy and every good and necessary provision; He has faithfully stayed with me as He promised to do always, despite the countless ways in which I try His patience with my unbelief, ingratitude and stubborn pride; He forgives all my sins because He has paid for them with His own blood; He softens my heart with his grace so that I repent of my sins, love my neighbor and brother, help those in need, rejoice in God, sing, pray and work unto Him - all of which I could not do in myself; He answers my prayers, restores my health and protects my life; He guides the path of my life into good ways when I would have no idea where to go, and does the same for all His own. Should I not think and speak of Him and for Him rather than myself? I often feel, wrongly, that to speak of Jesus is the task of the preacher and my friends would rather hear me speak of myself. But Jesus is mine, my own God, my Friend, Helper and Savior. He is my only honor, and without Him I would have nothing in which to glory, but only shame. He is my all and my very life, so that if someone did not wish to hear me speak of Him, I should consider them not to be my friend.

O that the Lord would set my crooked heart straight, that He would heal my heart's eyes of their distorted vision that I might see things as they are - Him as everything and myself as nothing, that He would restore my imbalanced affections so that all the weight of them may be set upon Him. And this He must do, for His name is Jesus and He saves His people from their sins.

1 comment:

Mother said...

I appreciated how you defined this struggle which seems to be prevalent all through the Christian's life. I always liked the many Psalms that spur us toward voicing God's praise.
Here are a few:

Psa 40:5 You have multiplied, O LORD my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told.

Psa 22:22 I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:

Psa 145:21 My mouth will speak the praise of the LORD, and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.