This call from Thomas Watson is so rich, we are invited into repentance and what joy it is.
“Have you repented? God looks upon you as if you had not offended. He becomes a friend, a father. He will now bring forth the best robe and put it on you. God is pacified towards you and will, with the father of the prodigal, fall upon your neck and kiss you… Have you been penitentially humbled? The Lord will never scold you with your former sins. After Peter wept, we never read that Christ scolded him with his denial of him. God has cast your sins into the depth of the sea. How? Not as a cork, but as lead… The repenting sinner can go to God with boldness in prayer and look upon him not as a judge but as a Father. He is born of God and is heir to a kingdom. He is encircled with promises. He no sooner shakes the tree of the promise but some fruit falls.”
How powerful is the gospel that you cling to? Because the gospel I see in Scripture, the gospel that awakened my dead and hateful soul, is the power of God for salvation. The power of God to transform the lost cause. The power of God to lead the murderer to repentance. The power of God to restore relationships… to heal the scars of abuse… to bring the abuser to repentance… to bring peace to the battlefield…. To reconcile racial disparity… to free the oppressed, to make demons flee, to strengthen a believer that has lost his family because he believes in Jesus… to make ordinary people so bold that they would rather die than stop preaching Jesus to a world in need.
Too often, we view our neighborhoods and cities as simply as necessary piece of life; we have to be close to work, or afford a life in some place and this is where we are. But in reality, you are exactly where God has determined for you to be, and he wants you to do good while you are there.
Our exile is not a political one like Israel’s; but in Christ, we are exiles in the midst of our cultures driven by the ways of the world. The answer is not to close ourselves off and start a commune, but instead work for the flourishing of our cities.
A modern adaptation of The Hound of Heaven.