Anglican Morning Devotion for 28 April 2021 Anno Domini
A ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide (AOC)
“Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you? 2Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: 3Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.” (2 Corinthians 3:1-3)*
Have you ever considered your heart as a medium for writing – especially as a book of laws? The laws of nature such as gravity, heat, and motion are for the physical bodies; but the spiritual laws are without value unless written on the soft sinews and deep chambers of the heart. The heart is considered the seat of the soul. The higher rules of evidence are only perceived by the heart that has that resource of God’s Law written therein. As Blaise Pascal has said: “The heart has reasons that reason cannot know.”
In the above text, Paul is referring to a written letter (Epistle). The Letter to which he refers are the believers whose testimonies are written by the ink of the Holy Spirit in their hearts.
15 Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, 16 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Hebrews 10:15-17
Ancient Rome was a great power whose armies were filled with citizens who loved Rome and fought out of that love for her defense and expansion. In the process of time, Rome began to hire mercenary soldiers who had little feeling for the welfare of Rome to fight their battles. This signaled the decline of the Roman Empire. The degradation did not begin by any threat from without, but from decay from within. This has been the fall of every major world power from the beginning until now. When the heart fails, the body dies.
The Old Testament covenant was a testament symbolized by the blood sacrifice of animals for sin. But this was only symbolic of a greater sacrifice to come. The animal sacrifices were a shadow of the true sacrifice of our Lord. In the fulness of time, God sent His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to redeem us from the bondage of sin. This was the once-and-for-all-time sacrifice that could atone for our sins. It heralded a New Testament (or Last Will and Testament) of the Lord which, if not written in the hearts of His elect, would avail nothing for the lost sinner.
“But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; 12Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. 13For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: 14How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. 16For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. 18Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood.” (Hebrews 9:11-18)
Have you opened your heart lately to find what is written there? If it is the graffiti of the world, woe is you; but if the love of God and His Law is written there, then rejoice at the prospect of Heaven. As Jeremiah the prophet says, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart?” (Jeremiah 17:9-10) Who can know it? The heart of man is an open book to the Lord. Nothing can be hidden from Him in the darkest corner of the heart. If Christ abides there, no evil can prosper.
*All scripture quoted is from the King James Version