Thursday, September 27, 2012


"There is no other key like love to open the heart.
Self-denial is a grace so necessary to suffering that Christ lays the whole weight of the cross on its back: "Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me" Mark 8:34. Some Christians, like Simon of Cyrene, may be compelled to carry Christ's cross after him only a short way. But the self-denying saint will stoop to his knees and wait for Christ to lay this burden on him. Now there are two ways that peace with God empowers the Christian in the kin of self-denial, which prepares him for suffering.
Sin may well be called self because it cleaves as close to us as our human body. It is as hard to mortify a lust as it is to cut off an arm or leg. Yet when Christ and the Christian feast together with the "hidden manna" of pardon and peace, he can ask for the head of the proudest lust of all, and take it with less regret on the part of the saint than Herodias felt as she demanded the head of John the Baptist.
There is no other key like love to open the heart. When love knocks at the door and expresses kindness, there is little reason to fear rejection. Esther, for example, persuaded her husband's heart against Haman her enemy as she showed strong love to Ahasuerus at a banquet. And God demonstrates His love to Christians each time He entertains at the feast of His Gospel. Surely this is the time He prevails with His children to send the cursed Amalekite to the gallows-- that is, lust to its execution.
After Jesus' blessed words of forgiveness fell into Mary Magdalene's heart, do you think she could have been persuaded to leave the embraces of His love and open the door to any of her former lovers and to whoredom again? She would have chosen martyrdom first! That one love, which makes the saint deny a lust causes him not to deny a cross.”
Quoted material from, ”The Christian in Complete Armour Daily Readings in Spiritual Warfare” by Gurnall and James S Bell.

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