“Such is pure and genuine religion, namely, confidence in God coupled with serious fear – fear, which both includes in it willing reverence, and brings along with it such legitimate worship as is prescribed by the law. And it ought to be more carefully considered, that all men promiscuously do homage to God, but very few truly reverence him. On all hands there is abundance of ostentatious ceremonies, but sincerity of heart is rare.”
John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion
I. Could. Not. Be. More. Guilty. Of. This.
I’ve taken more pride in carrying around this 1200 page book on theology than I have boasted in the grace of Christ.
I’ve concerned myself more with all the ways I’m falling short than I have meditated on the goodness of the Lord.
I care way more about working at my faith than I care about “working out my salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12).
I’ve spent more time in the past week discussing deferred interest payments and tax laws than I have spoken about the grace and mercy of the Father.
Sincerity of heart is rare.
“For, until men feel that they owe everything to God, that they are cherished by his paternal care, and that he is the author of all their blessings, so that nought is to be looked for away from him, they will never submit to him in voluntary obedience; nay, unless they place their entire happiness in him, they will never yield up their whole selves to him in truth and sincerity.” (Calvin)
My entire happiness is not in the Lord. At least not all of the time.
C.S. Lewis says it best: “Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
Again, I. Could. Not. Be More. Guilty. Of. This.
Thank you, Lord for your infinite grace.
We are a tragic people.