Posted by jerrywhite on May 20, 2013
“The danger of falling out of love with Christ is no less present in our times, and it occasions our Lord as much grief now as then. Intimacy with God is a fragile thing that must be carefully guarded.
M. Basilea Schlink tells of her own experience of waning love.
‘I came to see that my relationship to my Lord Jesus Christ, with the passing years had eroded away, something like a marriage gone humdrum. What did I do when I found a little pocket of spare time, on a Sunday or a holiday? I couldn’t wait to get together with other people—people I liked, people with whom I had something in common—so that we could share ideas and experiences. Or I read a stimulating book. Or I went out to enjoy nature. I even plunged further into my work, doing things that I normally didn’t have time for. But to go to Jesus—to give Him first claim on my spare time, that I did not do.’”
J. Oswald Sanders
Enjoying Intimacy With God, p.43
But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.
Revelation 2:4 (ESV)
Supreme love for the Lord Jesus can be lost. And sadly so! The Lord Jesus takes it personally when this happens, and His Spirit grieves. This is not because He needs your love. Rather it is because He loves you with all of His infinite and eternal being, and He does not want to see you lose the fullness you have when you love Him supremely and passionately. When our first love wanes, the Lord Jesus waits, like the Father for his prodigal son, longing for our return. His love never ever wanes. We must carefully guard our hearts so that our love for Him does not wane—and quickly repent if it does. Like the Father of the prodigal, He lovingly embraces us when we return, and is glad.
Email This Post
Posted by jerrywhite on Apr 23, 2013
“John Gibson Paton was born in a Christian home near Dumfries, Scotland, in 1824. From an early age he had a special awareness of a closet in the three-room cottage, where he lived with his parents and ten brothers and sisters. He described it thus:
‘The closet was…the Sanctuary of that cottage home. Thither daily and oftentimes a day…we saw our Father retire, and ‘shut the door’; and we children got to understand by a sort of spiritual instinct that prayers were being poured out there for us…. We knew whence came that happy light as of a new-born smile that always was dawning on my father’s face: it was the reflection from the Divine Presence, in the consciousness of which he lived…. My soul would wander back to those early scenes, and, hearing still the echoes of those cries to God, would hurl back all doubt with the victorious appeal, ‘He walked with God, why may not I?’
Paton [having become a Christian at 12 years] applied for a position as a tract distributor, which included one year of training at the Free Church Normal Seminary in Glasgow. When it was time to leave for Glasgow, his father walked with him for the first six miles of his journey. Paton recalled:
His counsels and tears and heavenly conversation on that parting journey are in my heart as if it had been but yesterday…. For the last half-mile or so we walked on together in almost unbroken silence. His lips kept moving in silent prayers for me…on reaching the appointed parting-place, he grasped my hand firmly for a minute in silence, and then solemnly and affectionately, said: ‘God bless you, my son! Your father’s God prosper you, and keep you from all evil.’
Unable to say more, his lips kept moving in silent prayers, in tears we embraced, and parted…. I was soon out of sight. But my heart was too full, so I darted into the side of the road and wept for a time. Then, rising up cautiously, I climbed the dyke to see if he yet stood where I had left him, and just at that moment I caught a glimpse of him climbing the dyke and looking out for me! He did not see me, and after he had gazed eagerly in my direction, he got down [and] set his gaze toward home…. I watched through blinding tears, till his form faded from my gaze; and then hastening on my way, vowed deeply and oft, by the help of God, to live and act so as never to grieve or dishonour such a father and mother as he had given me.”
The One Year Christian History, 214-215
E. Michael and Sharon Ruston
Children learn from seeing their parents love and be devoted to God through Jesus Christ.
Email This Post
Posted by jerrywhite on Jan 17, 2013
“The heart and soul of a relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ the Lord is love. This is not ordinary human love; rather it is a love beyond human emotion and affection. It is a quality of love that is self-sacrificing for the highest good of another without any expectations of a return benefit. It is love where God alone is its source. John 13:1 contains a tender reference to this kind of love Jesus had for His disciples. ‘Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end’ (margin, ‘to the uttermost; or eternally’). He then commanded them to love each other with the same kind of love with which He loved them (John 13:34). Then He said, ‘If you love Me, you will keep My commandments’ (John 14:15).
The obvious inference is that this quality of love Jesus has for His followers is the kind of love that will motivate them to obey Him. He further expounds this essential truth when He says, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him’ (John 14:23). He adds to this paramount theme in John 15:9, ‘Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.” The next verse explains that the way to abide in His love is by obedience to His commandments. He continues to emphasize this same indispensable truth of a love relationship with Him in later verses (John 15:12-14, 17; 16:27).
From this brief overview of Jesus’ last instructions to His disciples, it is plain to see that God’s marvelous plan for His children is that they enjoy a wonderful, loving relationship with Him as their heavenly Father. Nowhere is it in the heart of God that the Christian life should be a burden to bear or a drudgery to endure or mere duties to be done. He purposes that we live a life saturated with His love (Ephesians 3:18-19, 5:1-2). He wants and has made every provision for you and me to enjoy our Christian life with Him with joy and peace (John 14:27, 15:11).”
The Spirit and Presence of Christ, 49-50
Email This Post
Posted by jerrywhite on Sep 20, 2012
If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.
Luke 14:26, (ESV)
“What is Christ’s claim upon us if we want to be His disciples? First of all, a supreme love. We cannot follow Christ unless we love Him better than anyone else. He puts Himself alongside the dearest relationships of earth, and says in unforgettable words, ‘You must hate all these, or you cannot be my disciple.’ …The word ‘hate’ is a relative word, it is not absolute….
He demands from you and me a love greater than the earliest love—the love to father and mother, greater than the dearest love—the love to wife and child, greater than the nearest love—the love of our own life.”
W. Y Fullerton (1915)
Quoted by J. Oswald Sanders
Enjoying Intimacy with God, 120
An authentic disciple of Jesus Christ is one who is captured by Christ’s love and responds with whole-hearted love for Him. One can mentally say that he or she loves the Lord Jesus because it is the right thing for a professing Christian to say, but true love for Christ is a matter of the heart. Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind” (Luke 10:27, ESV, emphasis mine). One who loves this way pursues Him diligently, trusts Him implicitly, obeys Him explicitly, and follows Him faithfully. True discipleship requires this measure of love.
O Jesus, Jesus, dearest Lord,
Forgive me if I say,
For very love Thy sacred name
A thousand times a day.
Burn, burn O love within my heart
Burn fiercely night and day
Till all the dross of earthly love
Is burned and burned away.
F. W. Faber
Email This Post
Posted by jerrywhite on Jul 26, 2012
They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?”
Luke 24:32 (ESV)
“Of what value to Christ is outward service, if love be wanting? Of what value to the Bridegroom would the rigid observance of her duties be, if the bride were cold in her heart toward him? A church without heart, is a church without Christ.
Beloved, let us see well to this. Let nothing satisfy us short of the living realized presence of Christ within us. No ministry, however excellent, can supply the lack of this; neither will truth itself nourish the soul, unless the power of Him who is the Truth be present to minister it.
We need to exhort one another respecting this, for these are days when the itching ear is more common than the glowing heart, and the teacher is often more sought than the Lord. Thus Christ is, as it were, often supplanted in His own house.
It is not difficult to discern the power of the Lord’s presence in our meetings; the unlettered believer is as competent to ascertain this as the most instructed.
The two disciples on their way to Emmaus were very ignorant, but their hearts were occupied with the right object. Christ was the subject of their mutual intercourse as they journeyed on together. They loved Him, they had lost Him, and were sad. Soon He joined Himself to their company, because He knew that they were occupied with Him. His presence was felt, though they knew but little; and their hearts burned within them by the way. So shall we also find it to be the case, if our hearts are occupied with Christ and Him crucified; the presence of the Lord with us will be realized, and our souls will be filled rather with the blessedness of having been with Him, than with questions as to the ministry we may have heard.”
“Crumbs For The Lord’s Little Ones”
His Victorious Indwelling, 273-274
Nick Harrison, Editor
The Lord’s presence becomes graciously real when we desire Him with our whole heart.
Email This Post