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IN TOUCH WITH GOD    by Edward Heppenstall

Love in Our Hearts MAY 21


Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. Matt. 22:37.

The problem for many in the church is a heart problem. There is an increasingly slight attachment to Christ, to truth, to purity, to honesty, and to righteousness. "Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish" (Matt. 25:1, 2). Christ draws a clear distinction between the two groups in the church. Both groups look quite similar. They profess the same religion. But the five foolish virgins did not get in to the wedding.

We are appalled to learn that by the slam of that door, five girls are shut out of the kingdom of heaven. It was not because God wanted it that way; it was the result of a great spiritual indifference in their lives. The five foolish virgins failed to have that inner heart experience that is made possible only by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Church membership will profit nothing in the final analysis. We may bear the honored name of Christian. We may hope that the church may have Christ's righteousness and the Holy Spirit available somewhere about for everybody who joins the organization. The church has no more of the indwelling Spirit than each of us brings to it. We may enjoy a good choir and good social fellowship, but fail to make a full heart response, to love God with all our heart.

We surely know what such an act of the heart means. It needs no explanation. This is no mere knowledge, but a commitment, a companionship with Christ. In my Christian experience I must be beyond any arguments about the furniture and the veils in the heavenly sanctuary. I do not go to my own home and say: "How are the draperies? How are the bed and the couch?" I meet a person and have companionship with a personómy wife. Is not this the way it must be between us and the Lord? The heart motive is love to God and to man.

Such a heart response and commitment is crucial. We are no longer doubleminded, unstable like the waves of the sea. Our heart is fixed. "My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed" (Ps. 57:7).

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