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You will never be a Christian until you accept that there must be bad news on the way to good news. We will not know our only comfort in life and in death unless we are willing to see our misery. The goal in Christian preaching is not to have us all wallow in condemnation. But the question is this: How am I to live and to die in the joy of Christ’s comfort? The answer to that question begins with knowing your misery.

If you do not know that your sin is serious and significant and sustained, and that you stand guilty before a holy God, you will never cry out to God for deliverance. You never fall on your knees before the Savior and say, “You’re all that I have in life and in death, and all I plead is your precious blood. All I have to stand on is your mercy alone. O Lord Jesus, comfort and save a wretch like me.”

Oh that we might utter these words as our own!

And yet such cry will not explode out of your heart because a perfunctory religious ritual. God must do a quickening work in our hearts. He must mortify in order to vivify. He must bring us low to lift us up. When we kneel before God as a miserable offender, he comes to us with the sweetest balm and the richest healing and the highest hope.

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5 thoughts on “Get Low”

  1. Alex J. says:

    This reminds me of the wonderful prayer in The Valley of Vision Prayer book.

    The Valley of Vision [by Arthur G. Bennett]
    “Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,
    Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
    where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights;
    hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory.
    Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up,
    that to be low is to be high,
    that the broken heart is the healed heart,
    that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
    that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
    that to have nothing is to possess all,
    that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
    that to give is to receive,
    that the valley is the place of vision.
    Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,
    and the deeper the wells the brighter Thy stars shine;
    let me find Thy light in my darkness,
    Thy life in my death,
    Thy joy in my sorrow,
    Thy grace in my sin,
    Thy riches in my poverty,
    Thy glory in my valley.”

    Taken from The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions, edited by Arthur Bennett.

  2. Simon J says:

    “For until men recognize that they owe everything to God, that they are nourished by His fatherly care, that He is the Author of their very good, that they should seek nothing beyond Him – they will never yield Him willing service.” – John Calvin

  3. Ginny Jaques says:

    You’re so right, Kevin. We’ve lost sight of the holiness of God, so we don’t realize how awful sin is. Everything is degraded when this happens, including the great cost of the cross and the joy of redemption. Our whole world needs to see God’s holiness. We have no sense of remorse anymore. I was pleased to see John Stonestreet (Breakpoint) actually use the world “immoral” to describe the sexualization of our society today. We need more of that boldness.

  4. Aaron says:

    I grew up in the church and knew the ends and outs of everything and thought the Lord had saved me at the age of 13 but I was wrong. The Lord had not truly broken my heart of stone but on Jan 27 He regenerated me and made me a new creature for the first time. This blog really speaks to the fact that I never truly understood where I stood in the eyes of the Lord. Praise God that He opened my eyes to my sin and that He is a glorious God and merciful!

    Thanks Kevin for the article!

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Kevin DeYoung

Kevin DeYoung is the senior pastor at Christ Covenant Church in Matthews, North Carolina. He is chairman of the board of The Gospel Coalition, assistant professor of systematic theology at Reformed Theological Seminary (Charlotte), and a PhD candidate at the University of Leicester. Kevin and his wife, Trisha, have seven children. You can follow him on Twitter.

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