Sunday, December 14, 2008

When I read John Newton’s remarks in my post titled “The deep things of God” on Saturday the 13th, regarding his visit with a mentally handicapped girl where he said –

“Sometimes when her heart is enlarged I listen to her with astonishment. I think no books or ministers I ever met with have given me such an impression and understanding of what the apostle calls ‘The deep things of God’ as I have upon some occasions received from her conversation.”

I had to stop and consider what he meant by “The deep things of God’.

I think that day he went to the hospital to share his faith. He knew not in what manner he would share it, either by word, deed, prayer, but off to share it he went. I picture him meeting this girl, who had some degree of mental handicap, and he thought that he would share his faith in words with her or maybe share a deed of kindness, when he came to find that Christ had visited her heart, and in spite of her mental capacity, Christ’s love poured out of her heart in profound simplicity, such as Newton had never witnessed or felt even among great scholars. Her infectious love for the Savior no doubt humbled him and simultaneously caused him to exalt in the mercies of God. He, who came to share, was rapt up in God’s presence as this simpleminded girl rejoiced in God’s love.

I believe these are ‘the deep things of God’; when we have a deep spiritual connection with someone in the midst of serving our God; worshiping in spirit and truth.

It makes no difference how we choose to share our faith; sharing our faith is the act of living out a conviction we hold by faith in the Lord’s teachings. It may be we share our faith in the goodness of doing a kind deed; it may be applying bandages to the wounded as an expression of our faith in Christ’s love, feeding the hungry or it may be we give a word of testimony to a stranger who has never heard the Gospel message. However we act upon our faith, so long as we “Do everything in love”, 1Co. 16:14, it becomes a pleasing sacrifice and this is the will of God for us in Christ Jesus; these are the deep things of God.

This connection that God often graces our deeds of love with is what I think astonished John Newton as he talked with this girl. We too, sense His love in our deeds; where our souls unite with the person we serve in word or deed, and we are moved by God’s manifest love. Sometimes simply displayed by holding a hand we would not like to let go of.

As I look back over my posts this last year, I think this post by Newton and the July 2nd, 5th, and 15th posts by Kay Warren have left indelible marks on my spirit.
Marks left by the deep things of God.

Photo by Sheri Doty

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dear Fred,

John Newton also wrote to a friend:

It is more honourable and important to be an instrument of saving one soul, than to rescue a whole kingdom from temporal ruin. Let us, therefore, while we earnestly desire to be more useful, not forget to be thankful for what the Lord has been pleased already to do for us; and let us expect, knowing whose servants we are, and what a Gospel we preach, to see some new miracles wrought from day to day; for, indeed, every real conversion may be accounted miraculous, being no less than an immediate exertion of that power which made the heavens, and commanded the light to shine out of darkness.

Kind works do not save a soul. If we have the Gospel and we know the gospel and we fail to share the gospel (the "good news") God tells us that our works are as wood, hay and stubble. God does care about our temporal comfort, but He cares more about souls. That is why Christ has to die.

We are to love people enough to do BOTH and risk their rejection of us and of Christ, but keep loving and serving them anyway.

Here is a link to more of Newton's personal letters:

http://www.puritansermons.com/newton/newt_b.htm

I think you will enjoy them very much.

Anonymous said...

If you would like me to stop commenting I will honor that request.

I simply feel compelled (by love) to ask you, after reading your many of your blog posts, 1) Why do you believe Christ came? 2) What was God's purpose in sending a Savior?

Anonymous said...

Forgive me - I'm not sure why I feel the need to share, but I assure you it is not motivated by anger or pride.

The thought occurred to me that you may have been so disgustd by bible-thumbing, pretenders who use the Gospel to poke people in the eye and view people as scum compared to themselves; as just notches on their evangelical belts; people who do not have the light of Christ in them and bring shame and dishonor to his name--that (at some point) you decided that you would simply hope that people would see Christ in you through your loving acts of kindness, compassion and mercy.

Fred - If you love people and you love Christ, let them not only see Christ in you, tell them about Him. "I am not ashamed of the gospel for IT IS THE POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION". How will they believe if they do not hear? How will they hear if we do not tell them?

There is not danger of you becoming one of those "pretenders" that poke people in their eye. Love them enough to tell them about Jesus.

Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Fred :)

Very educative post prepared after great thought and meditation.

Many thanks for sharing.

Have a wonderfull day :)

Mel said...

Fred, thank you. Your recent posts regarding John Newton were particularly meaningful to me because of recently having been so deeply moved by the movie "Amazing Grace."

I can completely relate to this post. I'm glad you shared the ones that have been most impacting to you. I was deeply moved by each one of the posts you mentioned.

May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ abound to you and yours today and always.

Merry Christmas! :)

FCB said...

Hi Anon,
Thanks for your comments, good points.
God bless,
Fred


Hi Joseph,
Thanks for your comments as well.
It was interesting to consider which quotes this last year impacted me the most. This one really struck a chord.
God bless,
Fred



Hi Mel,
Yes, I picture Finny, I think that is the actors name that played Newton in the film, anyway, I picture him when I read Newton. I'm sure he was a rough-cut.
It is a testimony to me how humble he became after his conversion. His letters are so loving.
Glad it blessed you, very glad,
Fred

venus66 said...

A very good post. Thank you for sharing it here. God Bless.