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Page 178

By nature, who is king in man's heart? Why does God's regenerating and converting work require divine power?

What is the difference between slavish and childlike fear, between forced and loving obedience? Which types of fear and obedience are active in true conversion?

Have you experienced personal conversion - repentance from sin and faith in Christ? If so, then you desire, above all else, to increasingly know, love, and serve the Lord. You will desire to grow in obedience to His will - to serve and please the Lord in all things. If not, then you are'yet desiring, above all else, to love and serve self. You desire obedience to your will - that all things will serve and please you. Who is king in your heart - God or selp The one produces true worship; the other, sinful rebellion.

    John was converted when he was fifteen years old. One day, one of his former neighborhood friends met him.

    "Hi, John!" he called. "How are you doing?"

    "Very well, thank you," he answered.

    "Say, John, I hear you're really serious about church and religion; is that true?"

    "Yes, it is," John replied.

    "You told me once that you disliked going to church so much and praying and Bible reading and all that; and now you're doing that, aren't you?"

    "Yes, I am," John answered, looking at his friend with a contented smile. "I will tell you the difference. At that time, I did not know the Savior who is spoken of in the Bible and at church; but now, I have come to know and to love Him. When you come to love someone, Frank, then being with that person, hearing about that person, and doing what's pleasing to that person is no chore, but a delight, isn't it?"

    When speaking of obeying God, love makes a great difference. Why? How is forced obedience different from loving obedience? Which pleases God, who knows our hearts? Has your heart been won over to lovingly serve the Lord?

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