• “He is never late.” – Annie Poonen

Chapter 5

THE MELTED HEART OF CALVARY 

"MY heart is like wax; it is melted," was the language of 
" the Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross as foreshadowed by 
the psalmist in the 22nd Psalm, fitly named " a psalm of 
sobs " by Archbishop Alexander, for, he says, in the Hebrew 
there is not a single complete sentence in the first part, but all 
is in fragmentary sighs, like the words of a dying person, when 
there is not strength to complete a sentence. In the pathway 
of the soul brought into conformity to the death of the Son of 
God, there comes a time when there opens to him, by the 
deep in-working of the Spirit, the meaning of fellowship with 
His heart In its meltedness under the touch of God. 

" Put on, therefore, as God's eject, holy and beloved, a heart 
of compassion " (" bowels of mercies," A.V., Colossians 3: 12, 
R..V.) , writes the apostle to the Colossians ; and in all his letters 
he so lays bare his own heart that he himself becomes an 
example in his own person of that " heart of compassion " 
which he enjoins upon his readers. " Though ye have ten 
thousand tutors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers," he 
exclaims to the Corinthians as he writes to them in their 
babyhood of the spiritual life, to lovingly admonish them, 
and bid them beware of the danger of being " puffed up " 
and " glorying " in spiritual experiences greater than others. 
They gloried in being "rich" and " reigning ", whilst he 
and the other apostles were living as "men doomed to 
death ". These " babes in Christ ", yet " carnal ", whom 
he could not feed with strong spiritual meat, were glorying 
in being " wise in Christ ", whilst he and Apollos were " fools 
for Christ's sake ". They were " strong ", whilst the chosen 
vessel called to suffer great things for the name of Christ, 
was *' weak ". They had " glory lf , whilst he had only 
" dishonour . . .". 

What a contrast between the rich, reigning, strong " babes 
in Christ ;? and the apostle with the great heart who calls 
himself their " father "—for "in Christ Jesus M he had 
begotten them through, the Gospel ! " Ten thousand 
tutors 11 ! " Not many fathers" ! How true it is to-day ! 
" Many hacks rs " (James 3:1), but not many willing to suffer, 
and to bear others on their hearts, until they are borne 
through their babyhood stage into maturity, 

A " heart of compassion "—of yearning, tender pity born 
only of the life of God in a believer, and which brings in power 
to surfer and to endure for the growth and life of other souls. 
There are those who think that fellowship with Christ in His 
death means a lessening of sensitiveness and power to feel, 
whilst others rebel against this thought, and say they do not 
believe in the eliminating of the " emotional " in spiritual 
experience. The life of the Lord Himself, and especially the 
letters of Paul, show us clearly the true balance between these 
two extremes. In the first case, the truth is that fellowship 
with Christ in His death simply delivers us from undue 
self-sensitiveness, and sets us free to be increasingly and 
acutely sensitive for all that concerns Christ and others ! 
And in the second case, all that is needed is that the surface 
emotionalism be taken away, so that the very deepest depths 
of the whole inmost being may be opened for the life of God 
to be poured out for souls. 

The expression in the Authorised Version of Colossians 3:12 
is very suggestive: " Put on bowels of mercies " ? This speaks 
of depth and truth and power of sacrifice which does not 
come from the moving only of the surface emotion in a 
" powerful " meeting. Br, Woods Smyth points out in 
connection with this word in Colossians 3: is, that Professor 
Bain tells us that " feelings " and " emotions " are " dis- 
tributed throughout the nerve centres of the internal organs 
of the body ". " Hence their great power compared with mere 
thought, which is confined to the limited range of the head." 
This means true "emotion' 1 and " feeling " for others, and 
speaks of the deepest work of God in our whole being. 
" Thought " " confined to the limited range of the head " 
describes the " ten thousand tutors " who can be teaching, 
and giving light and knowledge without a trace of the " bowels 
of mercies " — the " heart of compassion " referred to by Paul. 
In brief, it is heart we want — the power to fed and to sacrifice 
for others, for it is the lack of heart which makes " truth " 
cold and repelling to needy souls. 

" My bowels, my bowels ! I am pained at my very heart; 
my heart is disquieted in me; I cannot hold my peace ,f (Jere- 
miah 4: 19, R.V.), cries the prophet Jeremiah concerning 
Israel; and this capacity for suffering over others made him 
peculiarly a picture of Christ when He came as a ** Man of 
Sorrows ", This inward " melting " of the heart, when the 
"nerve centres of the internal organs of the body" are 
moved, so that the whole man is broken up with pain for 
others, is referred to as the experience of the Saviour when 
He cried: " My heart is like wax ; it is melted in the midst . + ." 
(Psalm 22: 14). 

This same wonderful moving of the whole inner being in 
strong compassion is said to be the cause of God the Father 
sending the Son as the Dayspring from on high to visit us. 
This came about through " the heart of mercy of our God " 
(Luke 1 :78, A.V.m.), and Jeremiah, in fellowship with God, 
also pictures Him moved and troubled over Ephraim as a 
" dear son ", who had turned away from Him, 

It is this wondrous unveiling of the heart of our Father-God 
which we so deeply need to know, so that we may speak as 
Jeremiah spoke of Him, to wandering souls, " I am a Father 
to Israel, and Ephraim is My first-born," said the Lord; and 
" I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself " but " as 
often as I speak against him, I do earnestly remember him. 
still . . , " (Jeremiah 31: SO). 

Dr. Woods Smyth points out that this same word " bowels 
of mercies "," bowels of compassion," is translated "tender- 
hearted " in various passages. " Be ye kind, tender-hearted, 
forgiving one another " (Ephesians 4: 32), the apostle writes 
to the Ephesians; M If there are any Under mercies and com- 
passions, fulfil ye my joy, that ye be of " Onesimus ... I have 
sent back to thee in his own person, that is my very heart . . ." 
(Philemon 12, R.V.) he writes to Philemon. These passages 
show how God can communicate to His redeemed the very 
" heart of mercy ", and " bowels of compassion ", which 
moved Him to give His Son to die for sinners, and moved (hat 
Holy One upon His Cross in strong love and pity for all who 
crucified Him. 

"Tender-hearted, forgiving . . . even as God forgave," said 
Paul. And who that has known how freely, and sweetly, and 
compassionately, the whole inner being can be moved by the 
love of God to pour out gracious, loving, melting M forgive- 
ness " to another, even before the very first trace of sorrow or 
regret for wrong doing is seen, will not better be able to tell 
of Gad's forgiveness to any repentant sinner or child of God ? 
And how these "tender mercies" and " compassions" 
rejoice in filling to the full the joy of others, and is poured out 
also in gracious, exquisite, tactful words, as seen, in the 
apostle's letter to Philemon over Ins runaway slave. How 
Paul's " heart of mercy " — " heart of compassion "—comes 
out in Ins language concerning him. " My child, whom I 
have begotten in my bonds," he writes (v. io, R.V.). And 
this about a Phrygian stave ! The " very heart " of Paul had 
yearned over this soul, in "bowels of mercies ", so that he 
ceased to be to him a " slave ", and he saw only in him a 
child ", begotten in his time of suffering and sorrow. 

What a wealth of gracious, God-given compassion was 
manifested in Paul ! His letters may be said to be " all 
heart" — not "heart" in our narrow conception of "heart" 
in the sense of earthly, personal affection, loving only those 
who Jove us (Matthew 5: 46); but " heart " in the wider, 
fuller, rich revelation opened to us in the words of our theme — 
bowels of compassion," yearning, pitying, suffering. 
pouring out in wealth of divine fulness upon all, irrespective 
of any thought of " return ". " I seek not yours, but you," 
the apostle writes to the Corinthians; " for the children ought 
not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children. 
And I will mo&t gladly spend, and be spent out for your 
souls . . ." (s Corinthians 12: 14, 15, R.V.). " Though the 
more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved " (A.V.). 
And again to the Thessalonians he writes: " Life is for us life 
indeed, since you are standing fast in the Lord " (1 Thessa- 
lonians 3: 8, Weymouth), and "when I could no longer 
endure the uncertainty ", 1 " sent tc know the condition of 
your faith . . ." (1 Thessalonians 3 : 5, Weymouth) ; showing 
how deeply Paul's " heart of compassion " lived In the life of 
those he had nurtured for Christ (1 Thessalonians 2: 7), as 
" a father ... his own children " (v. u, Weymouth). 

Ten thousand tutors I Not many " fathers ", we can say in 
the light of this glimpse into the heart of the apostle Paul. 
" Tutors " to teach, correct, admonish, advise — but few to 
suffer with others, with such burden of heart as to write in 
need with "anguish of heart and many tears". Few to 
yearn over others with the whole inner being moved in 
compassionate longing for their welfare in fellowship with 
the very " heart of mercy of our God "- 

Would we say to-day that the apostle's language was 
exaggerated ? Gould he really speak of a soul he had yearned 
over as his ! * very heart " ? Yes, for Paul's great heart was in 
fellowship with God, and with His Son Jesus Christ, and 
" desperate tides of the whole great world's anguish " were 
" forced through the channels of this single heart " (Meyer's 
" Saint Paul "), reaching out upon even a slave, brought to 
him in his bonds. 

Is this " heart of compassion " possible for each of us ? 
Yes, for the apostle writes: " Put on" as " God's elect, holy 
and belovedf a heart of compassion . . .**. And why ? " See- 
ing that ye have put off the * old man ' with his doings ..." 
(Colossians 3: 9, R.V.). Calvary's Cross is the place of blessing. 
There let the old narrow, earth-born limitations be put away. 

There let the old selfish, self-seeking, self-grasping life be left, 
as we " put on " the " new man which is being renewed . . ." 
after the image of Him that created him, where there cannot 
be " earthly distinctions* divisions, separation ",but " Christ 
all in all ", In the heavenly sphere—" In Christ Jesus " — 
alone can the " heart cf compassion " be given, and the soul 
be so taken into fellowship with Christ's sufferings as to know 
throughout its whole being that yearning love and pity which 
is, in truth, of God, and not of man. It is written that the 
" new man ** is " being renewed " — a gradual process which 
follows the crisis of the definite "putting off" of all that is of 
the old creation, and the decisive putting away of all " anger, 
wrath, malice, railing, shameful speaking . . .'*. 

And in the "renewal" of the " new man " comes, in due 
season, the stage of real fellowship with Christ in His travail 
over others, when the whole inner being is moved by the 
" tender mercies " of God to pain over a nation — as with 
Jeremiah; or to yearning for Christ to be formed in others, as 
with Paul; to the compassionate, gracious manifestation of 
God's forgiving love (Ephesians 4: 32), and the impossibility 
of " shutting up " f! compassion " from any in need (1 John 
3: 17); to the yearning, longing prayers for others " in the 
tender mercies of Christ Jesus " (" tender heart ", AJford) 
(Philippians 1:8); and the glad spending out of life and love 
for all, though the more abundantly the love is given, the 
" less the outpourer is loved " ! 

But how does this come about ? " He that believeth into 
Me " (lit. Greek), the Lord Jesus said, and this means a faith 
in Him which draws the soul into Him on His Gross— something 
more than a mental assent to His finished work, or a faith 
similar to faith in some other person. It means a faith which 
unites the trusting 1 one with the Saviour. " I, if 1 be lifted up 
from the earth, will draw all men unto Myself. But this He 
said signifying by what manner of death He should die " 
(John 12; 32, 33}, The Saviour on the Gross draws, and the 
believing one is drawn into Him there, by the working of the 
divine Spirit, so that the Saviour and the saved are united in 
His death. Thus is the believer M planted together " (Romans 
6 : 5) with Him in death, or ' ' grafted ' ' into Him on His 
Cross, as a graft is placed on the stock with the view of vital 
union, so that stock and graft become one, and share in one life.
These arc the stages of the work of the Spirit in bringing the 
believer into that place in Christ whence out of Him shall flow 
the rivers of living water: The uplifted Christ draws; the 
believer " believes into " — or is drawn into Him on His Cross. 
Then the Holy Spirit grafts the trusting one } with a view to 
vital union, and " plants " him ever deeper and deeper into 
the c< likeness of His death '% as by faith he abides in his place 
of " crucified with Christ ". As the "graft" is kept In place 
— bound with cords of surrender and faith to the Crucified 
One — the vital assimilation goes on, until the Saviour and the 
saved become so one that His death works in him in deeper 
power } and he is evermore becoming " conformable to His 
death" (Philippians 3: 10). In this ever-deepening con- 
formity the grafted soul, planted into Him, begins to know 
aspect after aspect of His death on the Cross, until there comes 
the knowledge of His broken and melted !ten?t t and out of the 
depths of the one who has thus " believed into " the Redeemer, 
comes the outflow of rivers of life, breaking forth from the 
Lamb slain in the midst of the Throne, and through the one 
brought into vital union and conformity to Him, Then he is 
" always delivered unto death for Jesus 1 sake, that the life also 
of Jesus may be manifested in (his) mortal flesh ". "So then 
death worketh in us, but life in you," adds the apostle, for the 
" death working " is the condition for the life-stream to flow 
to others. 

Out of the heart are the " issues of life ", wrote Solomon, 
and this is specially seen in the death of the Christ on the 
Cross ! His body was broken for us, and becomes, in a strange, 
deep, spiritual sense, the " true meat " for all who truly are 
united to Him, and live by Him, as He lived by the Father. 
His *' soul " was poured out unto death, that He might " divide 
the spoil with the strong" (Isaiah 53: 12), and bring all 
united to Him, out of the power of darkness, by the hating of 
their soulish life, and the laying of it down with the Repre- 
sentative Man on the Gross. Out of His broken heart came the 
" issues of life " for the dying world. " He that believeth on 
Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers 
of living water "; or, as the old Syriac gives it, " Out of the 
depths of his life shall pour torrents of living water ". The 
Lord said " rivers ", and rivers He must mean. Rivers of life 
broke out of His heart, opened on the Cross, and they are 
issuing now in limitless measure from the Lamb slain in the 
midst of the Throne. The children of God must learn that 
only through the inlet of Csbary can the life-streams In the 
heart of God break into the world ; and again, only through 
each believer as he is brought into deep conformity with the 
death of the Son of God.

 

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  • “Direct me in your service, and I ask no more. I would not choose my position of work, or place of service. Only let me know your will, and I will readily comply”. – Ann Judson

Verse of the Day

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, — Ephesians 5:25-26 (NKJV)

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