“Rend your heart, and not your garments.”—Joel 2:13.
ARMENT-RENDING and other outward signs of religious emotion, are easily manifested and are frequently hypocritical; but to feel true repentance is far more difficult, and consequently far less common. Men will attend to the most multiplied and minute ceremonial regulations—for such things are pleasing to the flesh—but true religion is too humbling, too heart-searching, too thorough for the tastes of the carnal men; they prefer something more ostentatious, flimsy, and worldly. Outward observances are temporarily comfortable; eye and ear are pleased; self-conceit is fed, and self-righteousness is puffed up: but they are ultimately delusive, for in the article of death, and at the day of judgment, the soul needs something more substantial than ceremonies and rituals to lean upon. Apart from vital godliness all religion is utterly vain; offered without a sincere heart, every form of worship is a solemn sham and an impudent mockery of the majesty of heaven.
HEART-RENDING is divinely wrought and solemnly felt. It is a secret grief which is personally experienced, not in mere form, but as a deep, soul-moving work of the Holy Spirit upon the inmost heart of each believer. It is not a matter to be merely talked of and believed in, but keenly and sensitively felt in every living child of the living God. It is powerfully humiliating, and completely sin-purging; but then it is sweetly preparative for those gracious consolations which proud unhumbled spirits are unable to receive; and it is distinctly discriminating, for it belongs to the elect of God, and to them alone.
The text commands us to rend our hearts, but they are naturally hard as marble: how, then, can this be done? We must take them to Calvary: a dying Saviour’s voice rent the rocks once, and it is as powerful now. O blessed Spirit, let us hear the death-cries of Jesus, and our hearts shall be rent even as men rend their vestures in the day of lamentation. C. H. Spurgeon
In this day of self gratification and self indulgence, I found this message to be a timely reminder. Let us press toward Jesus, and enter into His courts.
“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. (1 Corinthians 12: 4-12 KJV)
We are many members, but there is but one Holy Spirit. God the Holy Spirit gave each of us a special gift to build up the body of Christ, and bring hope to the world. Do you know what your gift is? If not, ask God to reveal what your gift is. Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you in using your gift. Your special gift will strengthen the body, so we can continue kingdom building work.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
Do you remember these lyrics, “There is no secret what God can do, what He done for others, he’ll do for you?” This song is not sung that often in today’s churches, however the meaning is true. Our God is no respecter of person. He showers blessings upon us each day. He grants forgiveness to his beloved yet wayward children who frequently mess up. And yet, in His infinite mercy and grace God fills us with His spirit. We are the recipients of divine hope, immaculate grace, priceless joy, and unmerited love. Our most wonderful Lord provides us with peace that passes all understanding if we trust in His word.
Rest in the holy and comforting knowledge that this day you are the recipient of God’s hope. And may that knowledge strengthen you.