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IN TOUCH WITH GOD    by Edward Heppenstall

Love in Our Hearts MAY 23


For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Rom. 10:10.

A verbal confession of Christ without a heart experience lacks genuineness. We are to have both the inner experience and the outward confession.

Unfortunately, the heart has been interpreted to mean the emotions. Consequently, much of religion is aimed at arousing the emotions. The craving for excitement is universal. We find it in sports, certain types of music and music festivals, and religious revivals geared to arouse the emotions. Here people experience highly fantastic moods, beyond what they are able to live each day. To "get in the spirit" is to feel intoxicated, to experience thrills that go beyond the boundary of the rational and intelligible. For a short time people are distracted from their troubles of life, but the problems are never resolved in this way. Nothing is really changed. Emotional excitations in religion do not solve the inner problems of the mind, the unchristian attitudes, the inner discords that cause so touch agony.

A genuine heart religion means a permanent change in the life throughout. No epidemic of emotionalism will ever justify the slightest departure from obedience to the law of God. The permanence of heart religion is the result of Christ within, of the Spirit's indwelling, which empowers the whole of our inner selves. A heart religion makes us faithful in our responsibilities to God and to man. Where Christ rules within, there is a quiet peace and gladness, an abiding beauty of spirit. There is no excitement, but a permanent charm, a dignity of soul that lifts us above the sinful excitements of the world.

A heart religion is "known and read of all men" (2 Cor. 3:2). It is fit for all places. It does not belong to occasional revivals where excitement is aroused and people tend to lose self control. Heart religion is for all people on all occasions. It can grow in a dungeon. It can bloom in a palace. It bears its fruits in the workshop, in business, in the office, and in the home. A prison can become a paradise.

Christ in us is something far beyond any passing excitation. He fills the whole of our lives with likeness to Himself.

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