“How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day?” Psalm 13:2
Our sorrow and grief for sin must not spring merely from a fear of wrath. For if we have no other ground but that it proceeds from self-love, and not from any love for God. And if love for God is not the chief motive in your repentance, your repentance is in vain and not to be esteemed true. Many, in our days, think their crying to God is repentance, and that God will forgive them as such; but indeed, they are mistaken; it is not the drawing near to God with our lips, while our hearts are far from him, which he regards. Repentance does not come by fits and starts; no, it is one continued act of our lives; for as we daily commit sin, so we need a daily repentance before God to obtain forgiveness for those sins we commit. It is not your confessing yourselves to be sinners, it is not knowing your condition to be sad and deplorable, so long as you continue in your sins; your care and endeavors should be, to get the heart thoroughly affected therewith, that you may feel yourselves to be lost and undone creatures. Christ came to save such as are lost; and if you are enabled to groan under the weight and burden of your sins, then Christ will ease you and give you rest. And until you are thus sensible of your misery and lost condition, you are a servant to sin and to your lusts, under the bondage and command of Satan, doing his drudgery: you are under the curse of God and liable to judgment. Consider how dreadful your state will be at death, and after the Day of Judgment, when you will be exposed to such miseries which the ear has not heard, neither can the heart conceive, and that to all eternity, if you die impenitent.
*Excerpted from George Whitefield Daily Readings (Christian Heritage, 2010).
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