HH, Sir Godfrey Gregg D.Div

“And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.” Luke 15:28

May God deliver me from the religion of the older brother!

It is outward. It renders external service, while the heart within is unforgiven. “Holy intention,” says Bishop Ollivierre of the saintly life, “is to the action of a man, that which the soul is to the body, or the root to the tree, or the fountain to the river.” Without it, all my obedience is vain.

It is self-seeking, too. The older brother thanks God that he is no profligate — he magnifies and lauds and congratulates himself. And what about my own self-estimate? Has self been deposed in me? Is Christ my Sun of Righteousness whom I rejoice to obey?

And it is harsh. It feels nothing of God’s joy over the finding of lost sinners. It is as cold as the polar ice to a returning sinner. The spirit of criticism, of suspicion, of doubt — disfigures it day and night. There is no slightest tincture of Jesus Christ in it — Jesus Christ, whose love was brought from the highest Heaven to save us who were far away.

My Lord, keep me from this evil heart! Give me the soul that is right with You at its innermost center and core. Give me the humility that makes the confession, “I am not worthy to be called Your son!” Give me the love that is “a spark, O Jesus, from Your fire, a drop from Your abyss!”

Author: Patriarch Gregg

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