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Isaac Watts penned a beautiful hymn based on the parable of the feast in Luke 14:
HOW SWEET AND AWFUL IS THE PLACE WITH CHRIST WITHIN THE DOORS,
WHILE EVERLASTING LOVE DISPLAYS THE CHOICEST OF HER STORES.
WHILE ALL OUR HEARTS AND ALL OUR SONGS JOIN TO ADMIRE THE FEAST,
EACH OF US CRY, WITH THANKFUL TONGUES, LORD, WHY WAS I A GUEST?
WHY WAS I MADE TO HEAR THY VOICE AND ENTER WHILE THERE’S ROOM
WHEN THOUSANDS MAKE A WRETCHED CHOICE AND RATHER STARVE THAN COME?
‘TWAS THE SAME LOVE THAT SPREAD THE FEAST THAT SWEETLY DREW US IN;
ELSE WE HAD STILL REFUSED TO TASTE, AND PERISHED IN OUR SIN.
PITY THE NATIONS, O OUR GOD, CONSTRAIN THE EARTH TO COME;
SEND THY VICTORIOUS WORD ABROAD, AND BRING THE STRANGERS HOME.
WE LONG TO SEE THY CHURCHES FULL, THAT ALL THE CHOSEN RACE
MAY, WITH ONE VOICE AND HEART AND SOUL, SING THY REDEEMING GRACE.
God ... does not lavish his children with a jolly discipleship so that they may swim in spiritual ecstasy between conversion and death. God is a giver, but he does not give happiness. He gives redemption, meaning, security, love, victory, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And happiness is our response to his gifts. -- Calvin Miller in The Taste of Joy. Christianity Today, Vol. 31, no. 6.
Sin is a blasting presence, and every fine power shrinks and withers in the destructive heat. Every spiritual delicacy succumbs to its malignant touch...
Sin impairs the sight, and works toward blindness.
Sin benumbs the hearing and tends to make men deaf.
Sin perverts the taste, causing men to confound the sweet with the bitter, and the bitter with the sweet.
Sin hardens the touch, and eventually renders a man “past feeling.”
All these are Scriptural analogies, and their common significance appears to be this—sin blocks and chokes the fine senses of the spirit; by sin we are desensitized, rendered imperceptive, and the range of our correspondence is diminished. Sin creates callosity. It hoofs the spirit, and so reduces the area of our exposure to pain.
John Henry Jowett in The Grace Awakening.
“Joy is like the hidden note in the glass. Joy is tuning in to what God is doing around you, seeing the world through his eyes, picking up on his delight in us as his children. Anyone can find happiness for a while… Happiness depends on what is happening to you. Joy is different; joy goes deeper. Joy is when your whole being sings because you hav...
Francois Fenelon, a seventeenth century Roman Catholic said this about prayer:
Tell God all that is on your heart, as one unloads one’s heart, its pleasures and its pains, to a dear friend. Tell Him your troubles, that He may comfort you; tell Him your joys, that He may sober them; tell Him your longings, that He may purify them; tell Him your dislikes, that He may help you conquer them; talk to Him of your temptations, that He may shield you from them; show Him the wounds of your heart, that He may heal them; lay bare your indifference to good, your depraved tastes for evil, you instability. Tell Him how self-love make you unjust to others, how vanity tempts you to be insincere, how pride disguises you to yourself and others.
If you thus pour out all your weaknesses, needs, troubles, there will be no lack of what to say. You will never exhaust the subject. It is continually being renewed. People who have no secrets from each other never want for subject of conversation. They do not weigh their words, for there is nothing to be held back; neither do they seek for something to say. They talk out of the abundance of their heart, without consideration they say just what they think. Blessed are they who attain to such familiar, unreserved intercourse with God.
There is a stage in a child’s life at which it cannot separate the religious from the merely festal character of Christmas or Easter. I have been told of a very small and very devout boy who was heard murmuring to himself on Easter morning a poem of his own composition which began ’Chocolate eggs and Jesus risen.’ This seems to me, for his age, both admirable poetry and admirable piety. But of course the time will soon come when such a child can no longer effortlessly and spontaneously enjoy that unity. He will become able to distinguish the spiritual from the ritual and festal aspect of Easter; chocolate eggs will no longer seem sacramental. And once he has distinguished he must put one or the other first. If he puts the spiritual first he can still taste something of Easter in the chocolate eggs; if he puts the eggs first they will soon be no more than any other sweetmeat. They will have taken on an independent, and therefore a soon withering, life.
C. S. Lewis
“It is a wretched taste to be gratified with mediocrity when the excellent lies before us.” Isaac Disraeli, 1834
George Muller was asked, "What is the secret of your service for God?" Muller’s responce: "There was a day when I died, utterly died, died to George Muller, his opinions, preferences, tastes and will... died to the world, its approval or censure... died to the approval or blame even o...
"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome."
"Fish, to taste good, must swim three times: in water, in butter, and in wine."