A beautiful devotional I read recently:
The roaring thunder of the law and the fear of the terror of judgement are both used to bring us to Christ, but the final victory culminating in our salvation is won through God’s loving-kindness. The prodigal son finally decided to return to his father’s house out of his sense of need, “but while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him” (Luke 15:20). Thus, his last few steps to his father’s house were with that kiss still warm on his face and with his father’s gracious welcome still resounding as music in his ears.
Law and terror do but harden
All the while they work alone,
But a sense of blood-bought pardon
Will dissolve a heart of stone.
Joseph Hart, 1712-1768
The Master came one night and knocked on a man’s door with the iron hand of the law. The door shook, trembling on its hinges, but the man piled every piece of furniture he had against the door and said to himself, “I will not let Him in.” So the Master turned away, yet sometime later He returned, this time knocking with His own gentle hand. Using the very part of His hand the nail had pierced, He knocked again – oh, so very softly and tenderly.
This time the door did not shake, but strangely enough, it opened. And there on his knees was the once unwilling host now rejoicing to receive his guest. In humbleness he said, “Come in, come in, for Your knocking has turned my soul toward You. As You knocked I could not bear to think of Your pierced hand leaving the stain of Your precious blood on my door, and then of turning You away without a house in which to reside. I could not bear for You to have to say, ‘Open to me…. My head is drenched with dew, my hair with the dampness of the night’ (Song 5:2). I surrender! I surrender! Your love has won my heart.”
Thus, in every case loving-kindness wins the day. What Moses’ stone tablets of law could never do, Christ does with his pierced hands. This is what so aptly characterizes the doctrine of God’s powerful and effectual calling. Can I say, however, that I understand this and have truly experienced it? Can I say:
He drew me, and I followed on,
Glad to confess the voice divine.
Philip Doddridge, 1702-1751
If so, may He continue to draw me until at last I will sit down at “the wedding supper of the Lamb!” (Rev. 19:9).
Charles Spurgeon 1834-1892
From the devotional Morning by Morning.