Monday, 6 October 2014

Is Your Heart Right?

Preparing for this week's sermon, I was reminded of this. It was written by John Wesley and comes from his book "Sermons on Several Occasions," also known as the Forty-Four Sermons. The language may be archaic but the book is well worth persevering with.
This comes from sermon number thirty-four, "Catholic Spirit." These days it might be better called a sermon on the unity of Christ's church. The quote is lengthy so I have taken the liberty of bringing the language a bit more up to date in the hope that you will read all of it.
"Is your heart right with God? Do you believe his being and his perfections? his eternity, immensity, wisdom, power? his justice, mercy, and truth? Do you believe that he now "upholds all things by the word of his power?" and that he governs even the most minute detail to his own glory, and the good of them that love him? Do you "walk by faith not by sight?" looking not at temporal things, but things eternal?
Do you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, "God over all, blessed for ever?" Do you know Jesus Christ and him crucified? Does he dwell in you, and you in him? Are you "found in him, not having your own righteousness, but the righteousness which is by faith?" And are you, through him, "fighting the good fight of faith, and laying hold of eternal life?"
Is your faith filled with the energy of love? Do you love God "with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul, and with all your strength?" Do you seek all your happiness in him alone? And do you find what you seek? Does your soul continually "magnify the Lord, and your spirit rejoice in God your Saviour?" having learned "in everything to give thanks, do you find "it is a joyful and pleasant thing to be thankful?" Is God the centre of your soul, the sum of all your desires? Are you laying up your treasure in heaven, and counting everything else rubbish? Has the love of God cast the love of the world out of your soul? Then you are "crucified to the world;" you are dead to all below; and your "life is hid with Christ in God."
Are you employed in doing, "not your own will, but the will of him that sent you" — him that sent you down to sojourn here awhile, to spend a few days in a strange land, till, having finished the work he has given you to do, you return to your Father's house? Is it your meat and drink "to do the will of your Father which is in heaven?" Is your eye single in all things? always fixed on him? Do you point at him in in all your labour, your business, your conversation? aiming only at the glory of God in everything?"
Does the love of God constrain you to serve him with fear? Are you more afraid of displeasing God, than either of death or hell? Is nothing so terrible to you as the thought of offending the eyes of his glory? Do you "exercise yourself, to have a conscience free from offence toward God, and toward man?"
Is your heart right toward your neighbour? Do you love as yourself, all mankind, without exception? Do you "love your enemies?" Is your soul full of good-will, of tender affection, toward them? Do you love even the enemies of God, the unthankful and unholy? Do you "bless those who curse you, and pray for those who despitefully use you, and persecute you?"
Do you show your love by your works? While you have time as you have opportunity, do you in fact "do good to all men," neighbours or strangers, friends or enemies, good or bad? Do you do them all the good you can; endeavouring to supply all their wants; assisting them both in body and soul, to the uttermost of your power?
If you are thus minded, even if you just sincerely desire it, and are determined to work on till you attain, then "your heart is right, as my heart is with your heart."
"Is your heart right, as my heart is toward your heart?”
“If it is, give me your hand.”
2 Kings 10:15
Oh and you can hear my sermon on the subject of the unity of Christ's church at on killicomaine.org. Its called "Big Church, Wee Church" Not such a catchy title as John Wesley's.

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