Like a tenacious self-adhesive label, it stuck. Like a subcutaneous tattoo, it has never been erased from my consciousness.
The late Dr. Oswald J. Smith, founding pastor of People’s Church in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, wrote about “The expulsive power of a new affection.” Dr. Smith likely borrowed the term from a detailed sermon (more like a treatise!) on the subject by Thomas Chalmers, an esteemed Scottish nineteenth-century minister and theologian.
From time to time during the decades since I first read it, this statement has helped me gain and regain perspective on what’s important and what should be of less importance to me in life.
It also reminds me of the way God works grace in the hearts of those who receive Christ and desire to “grow in grace and knowledge of Him” (2 Peter 3:18).
The expulsive power of a new affection that comes from God and is directed towards His good purpose for our lives and for His kingdom demonstrates the power of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. This expulsive power represents “the power of God for salvation” in its redemptive work (Romans 1:16-17).
Does God ever take away something we cherish without giving us something better in its place?
Perhaps you’ve heard testimonies or have read of people who used to have a strong affection for something – a pursuit, or a certain lifestyle that they’d thought was really great, but which came to mean little or nothing to them, because God put an affection in their heart for other things – what they now considered to be better things?
I recall Norm (not his real name) sharing such a story. He’d been a well-schooled, competitive accordionist, winning numerous championship awards and competitions in North America.
After he came to know Jesus Christ as his Saviour, he experienced a strong sense of need to yield to Christ’s lordship in his life. Norm saw that his instrument and music and the competitive scene held an inordinate, idolatrous place in his life. And so, he quit playing his beloved instrument.
The Lord had given him a higher reason to live – raising his family in the love of the Lord and reaching out to others with the Good News of Jesus, especially men.
‘Norm’ shared with me that he would only take up playing the instrument again, if and when he was sure that playing it would have no negative hold on his life (in other words, no “inordinate affection”).
Thought for Today
It has been said that God never takes away something we once delighted in without giving us something better in its place.
~ Can I identify an instance in my life of an old affection’s being displaced by a new affection that I now know was from God?
~ What did I learn about myself and God’s love and grace through that experience?
~ Am I aware of an affection in my life now that ought to be expelled? Is God preparing my heart to replace that affection by displacing it with a new and holy affection that would be pleasing to Him?
From Higher Up
Colossians 3:1-4 (NIV)
Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
For further consideration: Philippians 4:8-9.
Photo Credit: Dr. Oswald J. Smith – cyberhymnal
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Positive reader feedback continues to come for the book “Raise Your Gaze . . . Mindful Musings of a Grateful Heart.” Some have purchased second and third copies – and even a fourth – to give to family members and friends.
Ebook version available. Click: Raise Your Gaze … EbookMindful Musings of a Grateful Heart is a collection of 52 articles from Black’s P-Pep! column, sprinkled with Words to Bless. Inspirational; some biographical. 190 pp. ISBN: 978-0-9920074-2-3 Also Available from Angel Hope Publishing: Angelhopepublishing@glynisbelec.com ; www.glynisbelec.com Amazon.com ; Amazon.ca Ebook version now available.
Reader reflections of “Raise Your Gaze . . . Mindful Musings . . .” indicate how much they’ve enjoyed its variety as well as the format and structure. They like its warmth, human interest stories and encouraging inspiration.
Peter A. Black is a freelance writer in Southwestern Ontario, and is author of “Parables from the Pond” – a children’s / family book (mildly educational, inspirational in orientation, character reinforcing. 39 stories, 232 pp, b/w illustrations. Finalist – Word Alive Press. ISBN: 1897373-21-X. $14.00 (list price $15.99) + mailing cost. Also available through bookstores, the author and at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca
The book continues to find a place in various settings with a readership ranging from kids to senior adults. His inspirational column, P-Pep! appears weekly in The Standard Guide Advocate (of Southwestern Ontario). His articles have appeared in 50 Plus Contact and testimony, and several newspapers in Ontario. ~~+~~