This morning as I reflected on my early Christian life two thoughts came to mind.
Firstly, “Life reduced to fellowship with Christ makes the complicated simple.” This truth was drilled into me at bible school.
Secondly, I remember a conference I attended. The speaker was Dr. Robert Smith. He was a brilliant man yet very humble. Everyone called him Dr. Bob. His vision of the sacrifice of Christ left a lasting impression upon me. He spoke of Christ’s sacrifice with tears.
After all these years these two impressions still remain.
Both Mr. Joseph Carroll, my bible school director, and Dr. Smith wanted to share their vision of Christ. Their attitude is reflected in the words of the hymn “All for Jesus” (Mary D. James). Here is the forth stanza:
“Since mine eyes were fixed on Jesus,
I’ve lost sight of all beside;
So enchained my spirit’s vision,
Looking at the Crucified.”
A hymn by Isaac Watts, “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” also reflects their attitude. Here is the third and fifth stanzas:
“See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down;
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love, so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.”
Such a vision of Christ draws us into a life of love for Him. When we begin to grasp the enormity of His sacrifice and what it cost Him to make us whole we are drawn out of our selfish ambitions. We begin to desire to know Him better. We then want to learn His ways, to know His will, and to desire His glory.
Yet another hymn writer, Lucy Bennett, wrote in “O Teach Me What It Meaneth“:
“O teach what it meaneth,
For I am full of sin:
And grace alone can reach me,
And love alone can win.”
Charles Wesley wrote in “O Love Divine, What Hast Thou Done“:
“Then let us sit beneath His cross,
And gladly catch the healing stream;
All things for Him account but loss,
And give up all our hearts to Him;
Of nothing think or speak beside:
My Lord, my Love is crucified.”
Dear Father, melt away any hardness of our hearts. Father, clarify our perception of Your divine love. May our response to Your love be joyous and may we serve You by the Spirit for Your glory and pleasure.
May we say along with Charles Wesley in “All Things Are Possible to Him“:
“All things are possible to God;
To Christ, the power of God in me;
Now shed Thy mighty Self abroad,
Let me no longer live, but Thee;
Give me this hour in Thee to prove
The sweet omnipotence of love.”