9.28.2010

Not a good or bad frame

'But one day, as I was passing in the field, and that too with some dashes on my conscience, fearing lest yet all was not right, suddenly this sentence fell upon my soul, Thy righteousness is in heaven; and methought withal, I saw, with the eyes of my soul, Jesus Christ at God's right hand; there, I say, is my righteousness; so that wherever I was, or whatever I was a-doing, God could not say of me, He wants my righteousness, for that was just before Him. I also saw, moreover, that it was not my good frame of heart that made my righteousness better, nor yet my bad frame that made my righteousness worse; for my righteousness was Jesus Christ Himself, the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever (Heb. 13.8). Now did my chains fall off my legs indeed, I was loosed from my affliction and irons, my temptations had fled away; so that, from that time, those dreadful scriptures of God left off to trouble me now; now went I also home rejoicing, for the grace and love of God.'
 - passage from John Bunyan, Pilgrims Progress

Do you live in misery or happiness* based on your frame of heart for any given day? Any given week? Any time of married life? Any time of material abundance? Any given "Christian life"?

I have a dare which I issue (you can call it a triple-dog dare if you wish): "dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus' name." Lean on his name, which may I remind you, never changes, never has, and never will. Jesus' righteousness for you does not change. You do. You change every moment. Speaking for myself, I can hardly keep a train of thought in the station of my mind for more than a few moments. So trust in Jesus.

I dare you.

*happiness does not equal joy

2 comments:

  1. Good thoughts. I think I need to focus more on God's unchanging nature an character. So much in this life changes, but God never does. Thanks for the reminder.

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  2. A thought I had yesterday in the course of listening to some good teaching was this:

    What is true about God cannot be based on what we feel about Him. What we feel about God must be based on what is true about Him.

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