Friday, May 05, 2017

Underhill: obstacle to grace

Friday, May 5, 2017
    Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness, where your fathers put me to the test and saw my works for forty years. Therefore I was provoked with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart; they have not known my ways.’ As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall not enter my rest.’”
    —Hebrews 3:7-11 (ESV)
    If the Christian penitent dares to ask that his many departures from the Christian norm, his impatience, gloom, self-occupation, unloving prejudices, reckless tongue, feverish desires, with all the damage they have caused to Christ’s Body, ... be set aside, because—in spite of all—he longs for God and Eternal Life; then he too must set aside and forgive all that the impatience, selfishness, bitter and foolish speech, [and] sudden yieldings to base impulse in others have caused him to endure. Hardness is the one impossible thing. Harshness to others in those who ask and need the mercy of God sets up a conflict at the very heart of personality and shuts the door upon grace.
    ... Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941), Abba, New York: Longmans, Green, 1940, p. 64-65 (see the book)
    See also Heb. 3:7-13; 2 Chr. 30:8; Pr. 29:1; Matt. 13:15; Rom. 2:5-6; Eph. 4:32
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, melt the stone of my heart in the blast-furnace of Your love.
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