Think on These Things is Dr. Maslin’s third book, published November 2015.
The subtitle, “Truth Does Matter!” to Dr. Maslin’s book, Think on These Things, says it all. Dr. Maslin has drawn on his 40 years as a pastor to guide him in selecting practical and spiritual topics to which he applies the truth of God’s Word. He draws upon both classical and contemporary authors for illustrations and insight. His research ranges from Bible commentaries to websites and scholarly books. He draws it all together in light of the Scriptures. For those who wish to think deeply on important topics, reading Think on These Things by Dr. Maslin is a good place to begin. ~ Dr. H. Hershel Adams, Retired Pastor and Director of Missions
To see the Table of Contents and passages covered, as well as ordering information from your favorite bookseller, click on a link below:
“SINCE JESUS CAME INTO MY HEART”
I believe we assume too much when we use a “stained glass vocabulary” or “ecclesiastical jargon” with unbelievers. I remember an instance where I was invited to be the visiting minister evangelist for a revival meeting. In one of the services I made a point to remind the congregation that Jesus was present in the service. Later a mother shared with me that her daughter asked, “Was that preacher lying? He said Jesus was there. I looked all around and I didn’t see him.” When we speak of Jesus coming into our heart, it may be just as bewildering to the unbeliever. Just what do we mean by that phrase?
The physical heart is a magnificent machine designed and created by our all-wise God. It is a body organ essential to life. Dr. Richard Swenson describes it this way: “Powering the circulatory system is a formidable task unforgiving of errors. But the heart is remarkably effective. Every day, uncomplaining, this 10-ounce muscle contracts 100 thousand times nary missing a beat.” He explains how this wonderful organ is made up of two high-capacity pumps that will beat two and one-half billion times over the average lifetime without rest and never miss a beat. (More Than Meets the Eye, p.23) Mine has because it is beset with heart disease. I am glad it is still pumping. However, I don’t think that is what the songwriter meant when he used the phrase, “Since Jesus Came into My Heart.”
The heart, in Scripture, is used in various ways. Sometimes it refers to our reason or understanding. Sometimes it may refer to our affections and emotions. Sometimes it has reference to our will. Generally, it denotes the whole soul of man and all of its faculties, not individually, but as they work together in doing good or evil. It includes the mind as it reasons, discerns and makes judgments. It includes the emotions as they register likes and dislikes. It includes the conscience as it determines right and wrong, and warns of the consequences by yielding to what is wrong. It includes the will as it chooses or refuses. All together these are called the heart in Scripture.
In 1914, after the death of his son, Rufus H. McDaniel wrote the words for the favorite hymn, Since Jesus Came Into My Heart. (This hymn is what inspired me to write this chapter.) He well understood the meaning of Jesus coming into the heart. The songwriter gave us a simple key to understanding the words he wrote by the introductory phrase, “What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought …” He is making heart and life synonymous. Jesus coming into the heart is the same thing as Jesus coming into a person’s life in saving grace.
In the beautiful picture John gives us in Revelation 3:20, we can understand better the meaning of Christ coming into the life of a person, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” This He does in the acceptance of Him as Savior, but He also delights to come in for mutual fellowship.
There is a wonderful change in us when Jesus comes in to share our lives. He does make a difference. It is a difference that is more readily visible in some lives than others. The basic difference is we pass from spiritual death to eternal life when Jesus comes in to share His life with us. The more He takes control, the more visible will be the change. The more we yield to His control, the happier we will be, and the more we will know the meaning of abundant living. John Newton, the famous clergyman and hymn writer, was once captain of a slave ship. Gradually, he became convicted of the inhuman aspects of what he was doing and quit. This is the man who wrote, “I once was lost but now am found, was blind, but now I see.” ( Amazing Grace, 1779)
This whole hymn is filled with great doctrinal truths, as well as a testimony of personal experience. It describes our sinful past and our glorious future. It magnifies the atoning work of Christ: “And my sins, which were many, are all washed away.” We can show that this change is real by being careful to maintain good works. “I have ceased from my wandering and going astray.” We have a sure foundation when we are trusting only in Jesus’ shed blood and His righteousness. We can also sing out of joyful experience, and divine authority, the words penned by Rufus H. McDaniel after the death of his son: “I’m possessed of a hope that is steadfast and sure … no dark clouds of doubt my pathway obscure.” (Since Jesus Came into My Heart, 1914)
The music for these immortal words, composed by Charles H. Gabriel, the famous hymn writer, enhances the words, lifts the spirit, and lingers in our memory. I wish contemporary Christian music could do that for me.
When the congregation sings this favorite hymn, they are honoring the testimony of the author. It also becomes the testimony of the believers present stating and describing their own faith experience. Another hymn writer, Edward Mote, indicated the sure foundation we have for our faith when he wrote, “Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.” (The Solid Rock, 1832)
Manna For Thought
If you are reading this and cannot say, “Floods of joy o’er my soul like the sea billows roll” it is because you have not opened the door of your life and invited Jesus to come in. He still knocks, and He still promises, “I will come in to him and sup with him and he with me.” I covet this experience for all who read this chapter.