Godly sorrow worketh repentance. — 2 Cor 7:10
Genuine, spiritual mourning for sin—is the work of the Spirit of God. Repentance is too choice a flower to grow in nature’s garden! Pearls grow naturally in oysters but penitence never shows itself in sinners—unless divine grace works it in them. If you have one particle of real hatred for sin, God must have given it you, for human nature’s thorns never produced a single fig. “That which is born of the flesh—is flesh.”
True repentance has a distinct reference to the Savior. When we repent of sin, we must have one eye upon SIN and another upon the CROSS! It will be better still—if we fix both our eyes upon Christ and see our transgressions only in the light of His love.
True sorrow for sin is eminently practical. No man may say he hates sin—if he lives in it. Repentance makes us see the evil of sin, not merely as a theory but experimentally—as the burnt child dreads fire. We shall be as much afraid of it, as a man who has lately been accosted and robbed—is afraid of the thief upon the highway. We shall shun sin—shun it in everything—not in great things only but in little things; as men shun little vipers—as well as great snakes.
True mourning for sin will make us very watchful over our tongue—lest it should say a wrong word. We shall be very watchful over our daily actions—lest in anything we offend; and each night we shall close the day with painful confessions of shortcomings; and each morning awaken with anxious prayers, that this day God would preserve us—that we may not sin against Him.
Sincere repentance is continual. Believers repent until their dying day. Repentance is not intermittent. Every other sorrow yields to time but this dear sorrow grows with our growth, and it is so sweet a bitter, that we thank God we are permitted to experience it, until we enter our eternal rest!
Love is strong as death. — Song 8:6
Whose love can this be—which is as mighty as the conqueror of monarchs, the destroyer of the human race? Would it not sound like satire if it were applied to my poor, weak, and scarcely living love to Jesus my Lord? I do love Him, and perhaps by His grace, I could even die for Him but as for my love in itself—it can scarcely endure a scoffing jest, much less a cruel death! Surely it is my Beloved’s love which is here spoken of—the love of Jesus, the matchless lover of souls!
His love was indeed stronger than the most terrible death, for it endured the trial of the cross triumphantly! It was a lingering death but love survived the torment! It was a shameful death but love despised the shame! It was a penal death but love bore our iniquities! It was a forsaken, lonely death, from which the eternal Father hid His face but love endured the curse, and gloried over all. Never such a love—never such a death. It was a desperate duel but love conquered.
What then, my heart? Have you no emotions excited within you at the contemplation of such heavenly affection? Yes, my Lord, I long, I pant to feel Your love flaming like a furnace within me! Come Yourself, and excite the ardor of my heart!
“For every drop of crimson blood
Thus shed to make me live,
O wherefore, wherefore have I not,
A thousand lives to give?”
Why should I despair of loving Jesus, with a love as strong as death? He deserves it—I desire it! The martyrs felt such love, and they were but flesh and blood—then why not I? They mourned their weakness, and yet out of weakness were made strong. Grace gave them all their unflinching constancy—there is the same grace for me. Jesus, lover of my soul, shed abroad such love, even Your love in my heart, this evening.