Thursday, March 12, 2015

Broken And Contrite Spirit - Thursday Devotionals

Have we thrown the ballast overboard?

Was Charles Simeon right?

And is this why contemporary Christians are emotionally capsized so easily – so vulnerable to winds of criticism or opposition?

Is it that in the name of forgiveness and grace, we have thrown the ballast of our own sinfulness overboard?

Simeon’s boat drew a lot of water.

But it was steady and on course and the mastheads were higher and the sails bigger and more full of the Spirit than most people’s today who talk continuously about self-esteem.

For Simeon, adoration of God grew best in the plowed soil of his own contrition.

In 1794 his friend Marsden found Simeon “so absorbed in the contemplation of the Son of God, and so overpowered with a display of His mercy to his soul, that he was incapable of pronouncing a single word, till at length, he exclaimed, “Glory, glory.”

Few days later, another friend called Thomason found Simeon at the hour of the private lecture on Sunday scarcely able to speak, “from a deep humiliation and contrition”.

According to  H.C.G. Moule these two experiences are not the alternating excesses of an ill-balanced mind.

Rather, according to Moule, they are “two poles of a sphere of profound experience”.

Simeon had no fear of turning up every sin in his life and looking upon with great grief and hatred, because he had such a vision of Christ’s sufficiency that this would always result in deeper cleansing and adoration.

“I would have the whole of my experience one continued sense – first, of my nothingness, and dependency on God; second, of my guiltiness and desert before Him; third, of my obligations to redeeming love, as utterly overwhelming me with its incomprehensible extend and grandeur. Now I do not see why any of these should swallow up another.”
Charles Simeon

Simeon was convinced that Biblical doctrines at once most abase and most gladden the soul.

“I have deep and abundant cause for humiliation, I have never ceased to wash in that fountain that was opened for sin and uncleanness, or to cast myself upon the tender mercy of my reconciled God.”
Charles Simeon

He actually fled for refuge to the place which we today try so hard to escape.

“Repentance is in every view so desirable, so necessary, so suited to honor God, that I seek that above all. The tender heart, the broken and contrite spirit, are to me far above all the joys that I could ever hope for in this vale of tears. I long to be in my proper place, my hand on my mouth, and my mouth in the dust… I feel this to be safe ground. Here I cannot err… I am sure that whatever God may despise… He will not despise the broken and contrite heart.”

Charles Simeon

This post is part of Thursday Devotionals series. Right now it is going through the life, work and faith of Charles Simeon.

Would you like to read the first part, Are You Ready To Suffer For Christ?

You might also enjoy the second part of the series, Growing Downward.

I also recommend the thrird part for the children of this generation called, All Consuming Interest.

The fourth part is called, Peace Flowed In Rich Abundance.

If you have not yet read the fifth part  This Sweet Hope.

Take some time to read the sixth part also, Blessed Are The Peacemakers.

Hope you will enjoy reading the seventh part, A Double Blessing To Your Ministry.

Are you willing for, A Little Suffering For Christ's Sake.

The part before this was about Growing Upward In Adoration Of Christ


  1. Hi Joanna. I found you in the Thoughtful Thursday linkup. This was truly thoughtful and captured the intense level that our faith can reach. Some people are so superficially "Christian" but those are the same ones that the nonbelievers label as hateful and bigoted. I would say my faith is not quite deep but deep enough to make me look strange to the world. Thank you for making me think!

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Meredith. I think faith, and Christianity, is about letting Christ change us more into His likeness. And that can get pretty intense.