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THE HEART START
So has vainglory, whether in race or culture, in the indigenous or exogenous, the secular or the quasi-religious, in things military or irenic, militant or milling, shows its sordid and tatterdemalion squalor, At times, for effect, it wears robes of splendour over its narrow shoulders to cover its scanty heart; at other, it glories in simple gore.
Yet the glory of God does not meet it half-way, nor unbind everlasting riches for its self-delusive and exhibitionist folly. It requires change before sacredness, repentance before bounty and wisdom before power.
Christ has shown His people not to pray for this world (John 17:9), while Peter declares that world and works alike, the system and its products, are to be consumed (II Peter 3). This ? not as edible, but burnt in inordinate heat (II Peter 3).
The goodness of God to man is not an implant, but the stream of His life, an everlasting and inextinguishable life, incapable of extinction or variation, flowing in the renewed and choice channels of a heart not only washed, but regenerated (Titus 2-3).
With His mercy and truth, it conforms the branches to the genuine, not like botanical sports, reverting to original type, but through genetic conferment, continuing in their new constitution, while the vital sap of truth sustains and the strength of mercy refreshes.
Vitality, victory and reality are His. The rubbish tip of despondency, decline, doubt and despair is for what lingers in the field, cut off from life, to which at best it had merely a formal, not a genetic relationship.
As I John 3:9 tells us, as to what is born of God, His seed STAYS in that person.
That is the nature of birth: you get what is coming to you, and in spiritual new birth, it is God who gives it, as much a fixture as is your physical genetic code.
If you begin to try the waters of vainglory, He prunes, perhaps quite hard; but when you abide closely in Him, the true vine develops in you, and you see more clearly that as you wait on Him, and will with His word, you ask and receive (John 15:7).
What you receive, in marvellous plenty, is the vital goodness of the living God.