Nothing grieves our Heavenly Father quite so much as a cool assessment of His only Son.  He takes it very personally indeed.  It makes Him angry-- Good and angry, mind you, but angry none the less. 

The Triune nature of God renders this wrath other-centered and God-centered all at the same time.  God's emotions, therefore, are never self-centered in the toxic and destructive way yours and mine often are.  

The Father is full of indignation that people think so little of His lovely Son, the Son is enraged that men slight the glory of His ever Blessed Father, and the Spirit is grieved beyond measure that men put so little stock by the Father and the Son.  What base ingratitude to think so little of God-- the author of our every happiness, the giver of our every breath, the ruler of our every moment, the limiter of our every earthly pang, the forgiver of our every sin,  and the present restrainer of our true deserts (Psalm 103:10). 

For the Christian, lukewarmness to Jesus is an especially staggering incongruity.  We must all hang our heads in shame....

Jesus, and shall it ever be,
A mortal man, ashamed of Thee?
Ashamed of Thee, whom angels praise,
Whose glories shine through endless days?

Ashamed of Jesus! sooner far
Let night disown each radiant star!
’Tis midnight with my soul, till He,
Bright Morning Star, bid darkness flee.

Ashamed of Jesus! O as soon
Let morning blush to own the sun!
He sheds the beams of light divine
O’er this benighted soul of mine.

Ashamed of Jesus! that dear Friend
On Whom my hopes of Heav’n depend!
No; when I blush, be this my shame,
That I no more revere His Name.

Ashamed of Jesus! yes, I may
When I’ve no guilt to wash away;
No tear to wipe, no good to crave,
No fears to quell, no soul to save.

Ashamed of Jesus! empty pride!
I’ll boast a Savior crucified,
And O may this my portion be,
My Savior not ashamed of me!
— Jo­seph Grigg, in Four Hymns on Di­vine Sub­jects, 1765, alt.

Back in Mississippi, in every visitors' book he ever signs, a good friend has the habit of leaving 1Cor 16:22 as his calling card.  At times, I have to confess, I thought it a bit quirky-- you might even deem it obnoxious! But this is, you remember,  Paul's conclusion after writing his great 15th chapter to the Corinthians. Glorious verses, several of which inspired Handel's great Christmas oratorio, the Messiah.  Writing to the Church in Laodicea, Jesus is no less hard hitting when it comes to addressing spiritually lethargic souls (Rev. 3:1-6).

O, may God help us to live without such an epitaph appended to our religiosity.   May God fill our hearts with love for his Son this Christmas time.  Love that would constrain and command all the redeemed energies of our souls for the worship and service of our Triune God.

I am well satisfied it will not be a burden to me at the hour of death, nor be laid to my charge at the day of judgment, that I have thought too highly of Jesus, expected too much from him myself, or laboured too much in commending and setting him forth to others, as the Alpha and Omega, the true God and eternal life. On the contrary, alas! alas! my guilt and grief are, that my thoughts of him are so faint, so infrequent, and my commendations of him so lamentably cold and disproportionate to what they ought to be....

It would be amazing to me, were I not aware of human depravity (of which I consider this as one of the most striking proofs), that they who have any good hope of an interest in the Gospel salvation, do not find their hearts (as Dr. Watts expresses it) all on fire; and that their very looks do not express a transport of admiration, gratitude, and love, when they consider from what misery they are redeemed, to what happiness they are called, and what a price was paid for their souls.
— Newton, J., & Cecil, R. (1824). The Works of John Newton (Vol. 2, p. 8). London: Hamilton, Adams & Co.


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