by Ralph Bouma, Conrad, MT
"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise."-Psalm 51:17.
According to Webster's American Christian History Education Series, contrition means, "Penitence; deep sorrow for sin; grief of heart for having offended an infinitely holy and benevolent God."
So to address the words of our text, let's see what God's Word says in Psalm 112:1; "Praise ye the Lord, Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments." This fear is not a slavish fear, but a holy reverence for the Lord. If we understand what true contrition is, then we also have some knowledge of what true reverence is, which results in not only a desire to keep his commandments out of true reverence for his revealed will; but keeping His commandments becomes our greatest delight.
The heart that feels the power of sin as a burden, that suffers under temptation, that groans beneath Satan's fiery assaults, that bleeds under the wounded conscience over committed evil, and has repented of past sins is a broken and a contrite heart. This repentance, brokenness of heart and contrition of spirit is that which accompanies salvation. It is the quickening power of the Holy Spirit that works ". . . repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ." Acts 20:21.
A contrite one need not despair of hope, but look away from self and every human help unto the Saviour, for He is calling unto you!!!! "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Matt. 11:28-30.
Oh, how suitable to "a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart" is such an invitation!! Oh, to see how our lovely Saviour can relate to just such a one, as He says, ". . . for I am meek and lowly . . .," and then, oh how beautiful! "Take my yoke upon you . . . and learn of me . . . ." Don't you see he is saying that Christ must be formed in you, or you must become Christ like. "For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
And what does Christ mean by, "my yoke is easy, and my burden is light?" See how He first says, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden," under the power of sin. Your heart seems so hard sometimes. There seems to be no spiritual revivings, so you labour under these trials and become heavy laden with a broken and a contrite heart. And at just such a time Jesus brings your attention to the true meaning of His name; "and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins." Matt. 1:21.
But what does it mean, "my yoke is easy, and my burden is light?" See Psalms 112:1, how those who learn the fear of the Lord, ". . . delighteth greatly in his commandments." Oh then the yoke is easy because it is our delight to serve the Lord, ". . . and his commandments are not grievous." 1-John 5:3. Look unto Jesus and away from sin ". . . and ye shall find rest unto your souls." Matt. 11:29.
The gospel's the law of the Lamb;
My soul of its glories shall sing;
With pleasure my tongue shall proclaim
The law of my Saviour and King;
A sweet law of liberty this;
A yoke that is easy and mild;
Of love it the precious law is,
Unknown unto all but a child.
The law of the Spirit of life,
That takes the old yoke from our neck,
Proves Zion to be the Lamb's wife,
And Zion with beauty does deck;
Provides her a clothing divine,
And makes here all-glorious within;
Nor angels are clothed more fine,
Nor can it be sullied with sin.
Its beauties all center in Christ,
For Christ is the substance of it;
It makes broken hearts to rejoice,
And insolvent debtors will fit.
Tis wisdom, tis strength, and tis love,
Tis all that a sinner can need;
And all that are born from above,
By Jesus from Moses are freed.
This law is the poor pilgrim's rule;
With boldness this truth I'll maintain;
Thrice happy's the man, though a fool,
That in it can look and remain;
This man shall be blest in his deed,
For Jesus and he are but one;
He'll therefore supply all his need,
For ever and ever. Amen.
Source: Devotion from Gospel Chapel
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Scripture is filled with teachings, examples, violations, commands, and encouragements regarding humility. Nothing cinches it for believers like knowing that even Jesus Christ was humble and became our example.
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