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Sunday Considerations: Losing the Wonder

There are some Christians, and even preachers, who have lost the wonder of the Christian Life. They pray prayers that have no meaning and preach sermons that have no passion. The salt has lost its savor and it’s good for nothing but to be trodden underfoot; insipid, flat, tasteless (Matt. 5: 13). There ought to be something about our Christianity to smack the lips over. There ought to be a taste and a zest and a relish. I’ve seen more cheerful faces on iodine bottles than I’ve seen on some saints over America. Where is the blessedness I knew when first I loved?

At the church at Ephesus, the trouble wasn’t false doctrine; it wasn’t worldliness. They weren’t playing bingo in the basement. They were still sound in doctrine. But, you can believe the truth and stand for the truth, and yet in the very activities of the truth you can get over being gripped by the truth so you live in unfelt truth. You can work in the bakery till you lose your taste for the bread. And, it was old Baxter who said, “Many a tailor goes in rags that maketh costly clothes for others, and many a cook scarcely licks his fingers when he hath dressed for others the most costly dishes.” Oh, what a besetting ailment that is. The salt loses its taste. I used to think losing your first love meant you were a confirmed backslider and you’d quit praying and reading your Bible and going to church. Oh, no. You can be in the middle of church work, teaching a Sunday School class, backsliding with a Bible under your arm, leaving your first love.

Think about the Old Testament character Samson, who found himself with shaven head, binding, blinding and grinding and saying, “I’ll shake myself. I’ll go through the old calisthenics,” but the power was gone, Samson was bound to a treadmill. And, you get into the place where it’s a battle of wits and a bustle of works, and if you’ve lost the wonder, you might as well stop the work. Nothing under the sun can be as dry and flat and tedious and exhausting as religious work without the wonder.

No wonder some people dread going to church. No wonder they’re bored with the sermons. No wonder the Sunday School lesson puts them to sleep. We grow weary in well doing. Singing in the choir becomes a chore. Church visiting becomes drudgery. We sing, “I stand amazed in the presence of Jesus and wonder how He could love me”. But, this generation wants to be amused, entertained instead of edified.

Some years ago on a train crossing the continent, everybody was unhappy. It was before air conditioning, and it was a stuffy coach. Everybody was miserable except for one man over by a window, and he was having the time of his life. Every once in awhile, he’d look out at the passing scene and say, “Wonderful, wonderful.” Finally, somebody could take it no longer and went over and said, “My friend, the rest of us are miserable, and you’re having the time of your life. Can you tell us why you keep saying ‘wonderful’?” He said, “I was a blind man until a few weeks ago, and then a great doctor restored my sight. And, what is perfectly commonplace to you is out of this world for me.”

And, my friend, if the Great Physician has opened your eyes; if you’ve been to the pool of Siloam and have come back seeing; if you’ve had a touch and no longer see men as trees walking; if all that has happened to you, why shouldn’t you make your way through this poor world singing, “Wonderful, wonderful, Jesus is to me; Prince of peace, counselor, mighty God is He, saving me and keeping me from all sin and shame. He’s my redeemer. Praise His name. A wonderful savior is Jesus, my Lord; wonderful, wonderful Jesus in the heart he implanteth a song.”

We need to remember our conversion and become as little children again. G. Campbell Morgan says, “Begin again as though you’d never known Him.” And, with all the simplicity of a little child, call it what you want: first love, joy of salvation, victorious life, and revival. The secret of a growing, glowing Christian experience is to be able to say with Gypsy Smith, “I’ve never lost the wonder.”1

  1. Havner, Vance (2014-02-20). Holy Desperation: How to Find God When You Need Him Most (Inspirational Messages of Spiritual Truths and Holy Living) (Kindle Locations 354-384). His Way Publishing. Kindle Edition.
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The above article was posted on March 29, 2014 by Mark Lamprecht.
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