Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? – Romans 2:4
There rises up in the mind of every favoured Christian a deep repentance for past sin. He asks himself this question, “How could I have lived as I have done when God has entertained such love towards me?” When I discovered the election of God’s grace, and when I saw at what a price I had been redeemed by our Lord Jesus, I was ashamed of all my evil ways. When I read my name inscribed on the palms of Jesus’ hands, when I understood that I was united to Him by a union that never could be broken, I said to myself, “What a thousand fools I have been to have lived forgetful of my highest glory, unmindful of my dearest friend!” To have lived year after year in open enmity against my Lord seemed like a grim and ghastly dream, almost too horrible to be true. Have you not felt the same? Have you not felt ashamed and confounded at the memory of your former life? Have you not felt as if you could never open your mouth anymore because of all your unkindness to your heavenly friend? Such penitent reflections keep the Lord’s people right, by creating a fear and trembling in the presence of His overflowing goodness.
Has not your deepest sense of unworthiness come upon you when you have been conscious of superlative mercy? When the Lord has scourged and chastened you, you have seen your sins in your sorrows, and have been ashamed: but, by the memory of His great goodness, you have been far more corrected and humbled. When our secret sins are set in the light of God’s countenance, it is a light indeed! Love makes the crimson of sin more red than ever. Blood-bought pardon makes sin look black as sackcloth of hair. I tell you, sirs, it is not the flames of hell, but the glories of heaven, that most of all fills us with trembling before the Lord. Nothing touches the heart like undeserved and unexpected love. ~ C.H. Spurgeon