“Get a life!” We’ve heard it said many times. But one Scotsman from long ago may start you thinking differently about “getting a life.” Henry Scougal was a young Scottish minister and Bible professor in the 1670s. Though only 28 years old when tuberculosis claimed his life, Scougal left behind one of the greatest treasures of Christian literature.
What was originally written as a letter to a friend struggling with his faith has been republished over the centuries as The Life of God in the Soul of Man. In it, Scougal maintains that being a Christian really starts from the inside out. It’s not just religious duties you start to perform, but a truly new life–what Scougal calls a “divine life.”
When you receive God’s offer of salvation, you ultimately are receiving Him. The Bible calls this “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). Scougal thinks of it as “the image of the Almighty shining in the soul of man . . . it is a real participation of His nature, it is a beam of the eternal light, a drop of that infinite ocean of goodness.”
With God’s actual presence living in your soul, you can’t help but be different. The greatest evidence of a Christian, or “divine life,” will be love. After all, God is love (1 John 4:8). It’s now possible to keep His great commandment to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind” (Luke 10:27) because we first receive His great love to us (1 John 4:19).
So, with Scougal, let us be those who “delight to adore [God’s] perfections and recount His favors, and to [declare] their affection to Him, and tell Him a thousand times that they love Him.” Whole-hearted worship; now that’s a life worth living.