Alas, how cold are our hearts, how trifling are our thoughts, how small is our zeal and love!
(Francis Bourdillon, "We Need Stirring Up!" 1864)
"For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you!" 2 Peter 1:12-13
We need stirring up — not so much to be taught something new, as to be stirred up as to what we have learned already.
Most of us have long ago been taught the facts and doctrines of the gospel. Probably we know them well. Perhaps we are even firmly "established in the present truth." We have learned of Heaven and Hell and eternity. We have been taught our lost estate as sinners, and that Jesus died for sinners — that His precious blood has atoned for sin, that He has opened the way for us to the throne of grace and to acceptance with God. We have heard of death and of judgment — and of the uncertainty of life and the shortness of time. We have been told . . .
of Satan's devices,
of the value of prayer,
of the mercy and love of God in Christ,
and of the work of the Spirit.
What is our spiritual state, after so much teaching? Alas, how cold are our hearts, how trifling are our thoughts, how small is our zeal and love! How little we have of deep sorrow for sin — and how little sincere faith in Jesus! Where are the fruits of the Spirit in us? Where is . . .
that deep concern,
that earnest desire,
that warmth of feeling,
that pressing toward the mark —
which might be expected in those who have learned such things?
We need stirring up!
We should stir ourselves up by the Word of God.
Let us apply it to ourselves and take it as if addressed to us.
Let us not listen to it or read it carelessly — but as the message of God to us!
Let us not be hearers only — but doers of the Word . . .
receiving it as God's message,
pondering it in our minds,
applying it to ourselves,
believing it, and
striving to live by it!
Let us also pray for the quickening influence of God's Holy Spirit. This alone can really . . .
stir the depths of our hearts,
rouse us from spiritual sloth and
give us new earnestness and zeal!