Cherish a Holy Warmth

I really appreciated this excerpt from Spurgeon, finding that it both challenged and encouraged me personally and expressed what I am aiming for in teaching and preaching. It is so easy to become the overly cautious person he rebukes here. I think he is exactly right that the failure to be loving and gracious often arises from a failure to revel in the reality of God’s grace.

I hope the quote encourages you as it has me.

“Next to that, cherish a holy warmth. Do not repress your emotions and freeze your souls. You know the class of brethren who are gifted with refrigerating power. When you shake hands with them, you would think that you had hold of a fish: a chill goes to your very soul. Hear them sing. No, you cannot hear them! Sit in the next pew, and you will never hear the gentle hiss of mutter which they call singing. Out in their shops they could be heard a quarter of a mile off, but if they pray in the meeting, you must strain your ears. They do all Christian service as if they were working by the day for a bad master and at scanty wages: when they get into the world, they work by the piece as if for dear life. Such brethren cannot be affectionate. They never encourage a young man, for they are afraid that their weighty commendation might exalt him above measure. A little encouragement would help the struggling your mightily, but they have none to offer. They calculate and reckon and move prudently; but anything like a brave trust in God they set down as a rashness and folly. God grant us plenty of rashness, I say, for what men think imprudence is about the grandest thing under heaven. Enthusiasm is a feeling which these refrigerators do not indulge. Their chant is, ‘As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen’; but anything like a dash for Christ and a rush for souls they do not understand. Mark this, if you trace such brethren home, you will find that they have little joy themselves and make very little joy for others. They are never quite certain that they are saved, and if they are not sure of it we may readily guess that other people are not. They spend in anxious thought the strength which ought to have gone in hearty love. They were born at the north pole and live amid perpetual frost: all the furs of Hudson’s Bay could not warm them. About them you see none of the rich tropical flowers which bedeck the heart upon which the Sun of Righteousness shines with perpendicular beams. These chilly mortals have never traversed the sunny regions of heavenly love where the spices of holy delight load the air, and apples of gold are everywhere within the reach of glowing hearts. The Lord bring us there!

Jesus Christ loves warm people; he never shines on an iceberg except to melt it. His own life is so full of love that its holy fire kindles the like flame in others, and thus he has fellowship with those whose hearts burn within them. The fitness for love is love. To enjoy the love of Jesus we must overflow with love. Pray for earnest, eager, intense affection. Lay your hearts among the coals of juniper till they melt and glow.”

(Charles H. Spurgeon, Sermons on Men of the Bible, 237-238)

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