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Friday, December 02, 2005 

The Acceptable Sacrifice

I am just in the middle of reading John Bunyan's book, The Acceptable Sacrifice which is about what it means to have a broken and contrite heart before God. Our pastor commented on Wednesday night on Joel 2:12-13, "Yet even now," declares the LORD, "return to me with all your heart,with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; and rend your hearts and not your garments." How we should have a broken, rent, humbled heart before God. Here are some great Bunyan quotes:

God, as I may say, is forced to break men's hearts, before he can make them willing to cry to him, or be willing that he should have any concerns with them; the rest shut their eyes, stop their ears, withdraw their hearts, or say unto God, Be gone (Job 21:14). But now the broken in heart can tend it; he has leisure, yea, leisure, and will, and understanding, and all; and therefore is a fit man to have to do with God. There is room also in this man's house, in this man's heart, in this man's spirit, for God to dwell, for God to walk, for God to set up a kingdom.

Now when the hand of the Lord is with the Word, then it is mighty: it is 'mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds' (2 Cor 10:4). It is sharp, then, as a sword in the soul and spirit; it sticks like an arrow in the hearts of sinners, to the causing of the people to fall at his foot for mercy (Heb 4:12). Then it is, as was said afore, as a fire and as a hammer to break this rock in pieces (Psa 110:3). And hence the Word is made mention of under a double consideration. 1. As it stands by itself. 2. As attended with power from heaven.

Men, whatever they say with their lips, cannot conclude, if yet their hearts want breaking, that sin is a foolish thing. Hence it says, 'The foolishness of fools is folly' (Prov 14:24). That is, the foolishness of some men, is that they take pleasure in their sins; for their sins are their foolishness, and the folly of their soul lies in their countenancing of this foolishness. But the man whose heart is broken, he is none of these, he cannot be one of these, no more than he that has his bones broken can rejoice that he is desired to play a match at football. Hence, to hear others talk foolishly, is to the grief of those whom God has wounded: or, as it is in another place, their words are 'like the piercings of a sword' (Psa 69:26; Prov 12:18).

Man, as he comes into the world, is not only a dead man, a fool, proud, self-willed, fearless, and a false believer, but a great lover of sin; he is captivated, ravished, drowned in the delights of it. Hence it [the Word] says, they love sin, delight in lies, do take pleasure in iniquity, and in them that do it; that they sport themselves in their own deceivings, and glory in their shame (John 3:19; Psa 62:4; Rom 1:32; 2 Peter 2:13; Phil 3:19). This is the temper of man by nature; for sin is mixed with and has the mastery of all the powers of his soul. Hence they are said to be captives to it, and to be led captive into the pleasures of it, at the will of the devil (2 Tim 2:26). And you know it is not an easy thing to break love, or to take the affections off that object on which they are so deeply set, in which they are so deeply rooted, as man's heart is in his sins. Alas! how many are there that contemn all the allurements of heaven, and that trample upon all the threatenings of God, and that say, 'Tush,' at all the flames of hell, whenever these are propounded as motives to work them off their sinful delights! so fixed are they, so mad are they, upon these beastly idols. Yea, he that shall take in hand to stop their course in this their way, is as he that shall attempt to prevent the raging waves of the sea from their course, when driven by the mighty winds. When men are somewhat put to it, when reason and conscience shall begin a little to hearken to a preacher, or a judgment that shall begin to hunt for iniquity, how many tricks, evasions, excuses, demurs, delays, and hiding-holes will they make, invent, and find, to hide and preserve their sweet sins with themselves and their souls, in the delights of them, to their own eternal perdition? Hence they endeavour to stifle conscience, to choke convictions, to forget God, to make themselves atheists, to contradict preachers that are plain and honest, and to heap to themselves such of them only as are like themselves, that speak unto them smooth things, and prophesy deceits; yea, they say themselves to such preachers, 'Get you out of the way; turn aside out of the path; cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us' (Isa 30:8-11). If they be followed still, and conscience and guilt shall, like blood-hounds, find them out in their secret places, and roar against them for their wicked lives, then they will flatter, cogg, dissemble, and lie against their soul, promising to mend, to turn, to repent, and grow better shortly; and all to daff 13 off convictions and molestations in their wicked ways, that they may yet pursue their lusts, their pleasures, and sinful delights, in quiet, and without control.
Yea, further, I have known some that have been made to roar like bears, to yell like dragons, and to howl like dogs, by reason of the weight of guilt, and the lashes of hell upon their conscience for their evil deeds; who have, so soon as their present torments and fears were gone, returned again with the 'dog to his vomit; and as the sow that was washed, to her wallowing in the mire' (Hosea 7:14; 2 Peter 2:20-22). Once again, some have been made taste of the good Word of God, of the joy of heaven, and of the powers of the world to come, and yet could not by any one, nay, by all of these, be made to break their league for ever with their lusts and sins (Heb 6:4,5; Luke 8:13; John 5:33-35). O Lord! what
is man, that thou art mindful of him? Wherein is he to be accounted of? He has sinned against thee; he loves his sins more than thee. He is a lover of pleasures more than he is a lover of God! But now, how shall this man be reclaimed from this sin? How shall he be brought, wrought, and made, to be out of love with it? Doubtless it can be by no other means, by what we can see in the Word, but by the wounding, breaking, and disabling of the heart that loves it, and by that means making it a plague and gall unto it. Sin may be made an affliction, and as gall and wormwood to them that love it; but the making of it so bitter a thing to such a man, will not be done but by great and sore means.

It is amazing how He continually graces (breaks) my heart and continually sends me running back to Him. Where would I be without my Lord? Praise God for His mercy!!!

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About me

  • I'm TwinsK&D
  • From Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Oh, this is about us...um...well theres two of us and we're twins. We both attend Grace Fellowship Church in Toronto, Canada. We love Jesus Christ and long to be more like Him and to desire Him above all things!
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