Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.
Scripture: Psalm 45.1
My heart overflows with a pleasing theme;
I address my verses to the king;
my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.
Reflection: The Good of Christ
By Christopher Fowler (1610–1678)
O the amazing stupidity of the world called Christian, that we can smile, and laugh, and hug ourselves in deceiving comforts upon the brink of hell! There can be nothing comfortable to us, without the God of all comfort; and no comfort can be to us from God, but by the Lord Jesus; and no Jesus to us without faith.
Christianity is a glorious thing. Religion is not a little formality in duties, joined with some morality in life; but it consists in the new creature, or faith working by love. It consists in the exercise of repentance, self-loathing, hatred of sin as such, faith in Jesus: love to him, obedience before him, communion with God by him, peace and comfort from him, and well-grounded hope of eternal life through him.
If we would live in true comfort, we must be true Christians. A man may be a Protestant, yet not a Christian indeed; a man may be blameless and Christ-less, and by consequence Godless. The smell of his garments, the savor of his ointment, the taste of his preciousness, makes a believer think he can never do enough for Jesus.
Remember the parable of the foolish virgins: they were not harlots or profane, but “virgins.” They were not persecutors, blasphemers, or malicious, but “foolish”—supine, careless, negligent: they had lamps in their hands, but no oil in their hearts.
Let us look to ourselves; the oil of faith and comfort go together, the oil of holiness and the oil of gladness; true Christians are anointed with both. Consider, the man that wanted the wedding-robe was not discerned by any at the table; the Lord espied him quickly. Who would have thought such a professor should go to hell? “Bind him hand and foot.” He did pretend to Christ, and it was but a pretense.
I may preach of Christ’s righteousness, active and passive—and the imputation thereof—and yet I may go about to establish mine own [apart from Christ]. If I lift-up Christ to you, I must pull him down in mine own heart. The sum is this: No good without the Supreme Good.
*Abridged from How A Christian May Get Such A Faith That Is Not Only Saving, But Comfortable And Joyful At Present by Christopher Fowler.
Prayer: The Request for Presence
May God be merciful to us and bless us, show us the light of his countenance and come to us.
Let your ways be known upon earth,* your saving health among all nations. —Psalm 67.1–2
– From The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime by Phyllis Tickle.