Love As Christ

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church.”—Ephesians 5:25.

HAT a golden example Christ gives to His disciples! Few masters could venture to say, “If you would practise my teaching, imitate my life;” but as the life of Jesus is the exact transcript of perfect virtue, He can point to Himself as the paragon of holiness, as well as the teacher of it. The Christian should take nothing short of Christ for his model. Under no circumstances ought we to be content unless we reflect the grace which was in Him. As a husband, the Christian is to look upon the portrait of Christ Jesus, and he is to paint according to that copy. The true Christian is to be such a husband as Christ was to His church. The love of a husband is special. The Lord Jesus cherishes for the church a peculiar affection, which is set upon her above the rest of mankind: “I pray for them, I pray not for the world.” The elect church is the favourite of heaven, the treasure of Christ, the crown of His head, the bracelet of His arm, the breastplate of His heart, the very centre and core of His love. A husband should love his wife with a constant love, for thus Jesus loves His church. He does not vary in His affection. He may change in His display of affection, but the affection itself is still the same. A husband should love his wife with an enduring love, for nothing “shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” A true husband loves his wife with a hearty love, fervent and intense. It is not mere lip-service. Ah! beloved, what more could Christ have done in proof of His love than He has done? Jesus has a delighted love towards His spouse: He prizes her affection, and delights in her with sweet complacence. Believer, you wonder at Jesus’ love; you admire it—are you imitating it? In your domestic relationships is the rule and measure of your love—“even as Christ loved the church”?

C.. H. Spurgeon

Longing for Purity of Heart

Here is an amazing quote from Prof. Ronda De Sola Chervin, from her book Prayers of the Women Mystics.

Longing for Purity of Heart”

“Such close union with God could not be without anguish because of the many imperfections of even a holy soul. But why should someone see seemingly small defects as offenses against God in the first place? We find a clue in our human loves. Don’t we feel worse when we display a weakness in front of someone we especially admire? How much more if the beloved one is hoping that his or her love would heal us of the insecurities revealed in sin. The offense comes when our behavior manifests the fact that some trifle is worth more to us than even love. Such defects include not only addictions of the flesh, but also those virtues themselves can becomes vices if worn with pride”.

Prof. Chervin wrote this in a chapter on St. Catherine of Genoa.  The comment that hit me the most was,  “The offense comes when our behavior manifests the fact that some trifle is worth more to us than even love”.  Some trifle; some insignificant thing which we hold onto for dear life, instead of letting it fall into the sea of love and forgiveness.  We, as a people are very good at holding onto the trifles of life.  We displayed them as ornaments for others to see. “So and so did this to me. Don’t you see it?”  Oh yes, we do.  We can’t help but see them, because we have some of our own trifles.  Trifles cling to us, and we cling to them.  We turned them into golden idols which drain away precious opportunities to dive deeply into the forgiving-truth; the healing truth; the saving truth of a love that is greater than anything.

Can’t we forgive as Christ did, and seek a purity of heart which does not remembers those trifles?

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Romans 8:35 KJV

Let no trifle, or anything else separate you from the love found in Christ.  Abandon the trifles beloved, and long for the purity of heart offered to us.

 

Prayers for our world

Dear fellow believers:

Pray for Paris, Mali, and Nigeria…may the Spirit of love and forgiveness rein supreme during these perilous times.  May heaven comfort the families of victims.  Lord, prick the hearts, souls of those living in the darkness, and have them turn away from this evil, and return to you.

Help us all Lord, to be more like you.  May we never give up on hope, love, peace, joy, trust and faith in YOU.

Amen

fruit-of-the-spirit

Resist The Enemy

“He left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.”—Genesis 39:12.

N contending with certain sins there remains no mode of victory but by flight. The ancient naturalists wrote much of basilisks, whose eyes fascinated their victims and rendered them easy victims; so the mere gaze of wickedness puts us in solemn danger. He who would be safe from acts of evil must haste away from occasions of it. A covenant must be made with our eyes not even to look upon the cause of temptation, for such sins only need a spark to begin with and a blaze follows in an instant. Who would wantonly enter the leper’s prison and sleep amid its horrible corruption? He only who desires to be leprous himself would thus court contagion. If the mariner knew how to avoid a storm, he would do anything rather than run the risk of weathering it. Cautious pilots have no desire to try how near the quicksand they can sail, or how often they may touch a rock without springing a leak; their aim is to keep as nearly as possible in the midst of a safe channel.
This day I may be exposed to great peril, let me have the serpent’s wisdom to keep out of it and avoid it. The wings of a dove may be of more use to me to-day than the jaws of a lion. It is true I may be an apparent loser by declining evil company, but I had better leave my cloak than lose my character; it is not needful that I should be rich, but it is imperative upon me to be pure. No ties of friendship, no chains of beauty, no flashings of talent, no shafts of ridicule must turn me from the wise resolve to flee from sin. The devil I am to resist and he will flee from me, but the lusts of the flesh, I must flee, or they will surely overcome me. O God of holiness preserve thy Josephs, that Madam Bubble bewitch them not with her vile suggestions. May the horrible trinity of the world, the flesh, and the devil, never overcome us! C. H. Spurgeon

With every injustice posted on social media, the hate rises it ugly head, and some succumb to the temptation to create more injustice amid calls for protects, and in some cases, retaliation.   But we must resist the “jaws” of evil to walk in the light and justice of Christ.  It is HIS power, not ours that right the wrongs.  It is HIS love, and only HIS that can cure and conquer the darkness.   Cover yourselves in HIS mercy and Grace.  The world needs more of it.

A Mother’s Tears

Ferguson, Ottawa, Marysville….days of pain, grief, and sorrow.  In the midst of the horror, there is a mother out there crying for the loss of a child.  The truth is we need the light and love of Christ to help us in this dark days.  We need to rally around the truth that love never fails.

“For the truths sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever.”—2 John 2.

NCE let the truth of God obtain an entrance into the human heart and subdue the whole man unto itself, no power human or infernal can dislodge it. We entertain it not as a guest but as the master of the house—this is a Christian necessity, he is no Christian who doth not thus believe. Those who feel the vital power of the gospel, and know the might of the Holy Ghost as He opens, applies, and seals the Lord’s Word, would sooner be torn to pieces than be rent away from the gospel of their salvation. What a thousand mercies are wrap up in the assurance that the truth will be with us for ever; will be our living support, our dying comfort, our rising song, our eternal glory; this is Christian privilege, without it our faith were little worth.

Some truths we outgrow and leave behind, for they are but rudiments and lessons for beginners, but we cannot thus deal with Divine truth, for though it is sweet food for babes, it is in the highest sense strong meat for men. The truth that we are sinners is painfully with us to humble and make us watchful; the more blessed truth that whosoever believeth on the Lord Jesus shall be saved, abides with us as our hope and joy. Experience, so far from loosening our hold of the doctrines of grace, has knit us to them more and more firmly; our grounds and motives for believing are now more strong, more numerous than ever, and we have reason to expect that it will be so till in death we clasp the Savior in our arms.

Wherever this abiding love of truth can be discovered, we are bound to exercise our love. No narrow circle can contain our gracious sympathies, wide as the election of grace must be our communion of heart. Much of error may be mingled with truth received, let us war with the error but still love the brother for the measure of truth which we see in Him; above all let us love and spread the truth ourselves.” C. H. Spurgeon

Spread the truth of the love of Christ.  Repel the darkness.  Pray for those mothers whose arms are empty, whose tears are flowing and hearts are broken.  Embrace love and light of God and move back the darkness.

Blessed Hope

“The hope which is laid up for you in heaven.”—Colossians 1:5.

UR hope in Christ for the future is the mainspring and the mainstay of our joy here. It will animate our hearts to think often of heaven, for all that we can desire is promised there. Here we are weary and toilworn, but yonder is the land of rest where the sweat of labour shall no more bedew the worker’s brow, and fatigue shall be for ever banished.

To those who are weary and spent, the word “rest” is full of heaven. We are always in the field of battle; we are so tempted within, and so molested by foes without, that we have little or no peace; but in heaven we shall enjoy the victory, when the banner shall be waved aloft in triumph, and the sword shall be sheathed, and we shall hear our Captain say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

We have suffered bereavement after bereavement, but we are going to the land of the immortal where graves are unknown things. Here sin is a constant grief to us, but there we shall be perfectly holy, for there shall by no means enter into that kingdom anything which defileth. Hemlock springs not up in the furrows of celestial fields. Oh! is it not joy, that you are not to be in banishment for ever, that you are not to dwell eternally in this wilderness, but shall soon inherit Canaan?

Nevertheless let it never be said of us, that we are dreaming about the future and forgetting the present, let the future sanctify the present to highest uses. Through the Spirit of God the hope of heaven is the most potent force for the product of virtue; it is a fountain of joyous effort, it is the corner stone of cheerful holiness. The man who has this hope in him goes about his work with vigour, for the joy of the Lord is his strength. He fights against temptation with ardour, for the hope of the next world repels the fiery darts of the adversary. He can labour without present reward, for he looks for a reward in the world to come.  C. H. Spurgeon.

Be Thou Clean

“I will; be thou clean.”—Mark 1:41.

RIMEVAL darkness heard the Almighty fiat, “light be,” and straightway light was, and the word of the Lord Jesus is equal in majesty to that ancient word of power. Redemption like Creation has its word of might. Jesus speaks and it is done. Leprosy yielded to no human remedies, but it fled at once at the Lord’s “I will.” The disease exhibited no hopeful signs or tokens of recovery, nature contributed nothing to its own healing, but the unaided word effected the entire work on the spot and for ever. The sinner is in a plight more miserable than the leper; let him imitate his example and go to Jesus, “beseeching Him and kneeling down to Him.” Let him exercise what little faith he has, even though it should go no further than “Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean”; and there need be no doubt as to the result of the application. Jesus heals all who come, and casts out none. In reading the narrative in which our morning’s text occurs, it is worthy of devout notice that Jesus touched the leper.healing-touch-of-jesus

This unclean person had broken through the regulations of the ceremonial law and pressed into the house, but Jesus so far from chiding him broke through the law Himself in order to meet him. He made an interchange with the leper, for while He cleansed him, He contracted by that touch a Levitical defilement. Even so Jesus Christ was made sin for us, although in Himself He knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. O that poor sinners would go to Jesus, believing in the power of His blessed substitutionary work, and they would soon learn the power of His gracious touch. That hand which multiplied the loaves, which saved sinking Peter, which upholds afflicted saints, which crowns believers, that same hand will touch every seeking sinner, and in a moment make him clean. The love of Jesus is the source of salvation. He loves, He looks, He touches us, WE LIVE.   C.H. Spurgeon