“We dwell in Him.”—1 John 4:13.
O you want a house for your soul? Do you ask, “What is the purchase?” It is something less than proud human nature will like to give. It is without money and without price. Ah! you would like to pay a respectable rent! You would love to do something to win Christ? Then you cannot have the house, for it is “without price.” Will you take my Master’s house on a lease for all eternity, with nothing to pay for it, nothing but the ground-rent of loving and serving Him for ever? Will you take Jesus and “dwell in Him?” See, this house is furnished with all you want, it is filled with riches more than you will spend as long as you live. Here you can have intimate communion with Christ and feast on His love; here are tables well-stored with food for you to live on for ever; in it, when weary, you can find rest with Jesus; and from it you can look out and see heaven itself. Will you have the house? Ah! if you are houseless, you will say, “I should like to have the house; but may I have it?” Yes; there is the key—the key is, “Come to Jesus.” “But,” you say, “I am too shabby for such a house.” Never mind; there are garments inside. If you feel guilty and condemned, come; and though the house is too good for you, Christ will make you good enough for the house by-and-by. He will wash you and cleanse you, and you will yet be able to sing, “We dwell in Him.” Believer: thrice happy art thou to have such a dwelling-place! Greatly privileged thou art, for thou hast a “strong habitation” in which thou art ever safe. And “dwelling in Him,” thou hast not only a perfect and secure house, but an everlasting one. When this world shall have melted like a dream, our house shall live, and stand more imperishable than marble, more solid than granite, self-existent as God, for it is God Himself—”We dwell in Him.”
Our lives reflect that which we seek. Whether it is influence, position, throne or money, the problem is the same. We’ve placed something other than the Almighty in the place that rightfully belongs to him. Dear friend, let this reminder from C.H. Spurgeon help to remove anything that bars the sacred space that is Christ.
“Shall a man make gods unto himself, and they are no gods.”—Jeremiah 16:20.
NE great besetting sin of ancient Israel was idolatry, and the spiritual Israel are vexed with a tendency to the same folly. Remphan’s star shines no longer, and the women weep no more for Tammuz, but Mammon still intrudes his golden calf, and the shrines of pride are not forsaken. Self in various forms struggles to subdue the chosen ones under its dominion, and the flesh sets up its altars wherever it can find space for them. Favourite children are often the cause of much sin in believers; the Lord is grieved when He sees us doting upon them above measure; they will live to be as great a curse to us as Absalom was to David, or they will be taken from us to leave our homes desolate. If Christians desire to grow thorns to stuff their sleepless pillows, let them dote on their dear ones.
It is truly said that “they are no gods,” for the objects of our foolish love are very doubtful blessings, the solace which they yield us now is dangerous, and the help which they can give us in the hour of trouble is little indeed. Why, then, are we so bewitched with vanities? We pity the poor heathen who adore a god of stone, and yet worship a god of gold. Where is the vast superiority between a god of flesh and one of wood? The principle, the sin, the folly is the same in either case, only that in ours the crime is more aggravated because we have more light, and sin in the face of it. The heathen bows to a false deity, but the true God he has never known; we commit two evils, inasmuch as we forsake the living God and turn unto idols. May the Lord purge us all from this grievous iniquity!
“The dearest idol I have known,
Whate’er that idol be;
Help me to tear it from thy throne,
And worship only thee.”
I remember well the times when my parents disciple me for my disobedience. It was never easy or enjoyable, even when they told me it was for my own good. I also remember how often God has administered His correcting rod. His”good swift kick” have left a lasting impression. As painful and uncomfortable as those my parents gave me, I endured His with a higher degree of discomfort and unease. And although I complained in both instances, the truth is those “kicks” were necessary for my “own good.”
As today’s meditation from Spurgeon points out, God uses chastening with love to help his us regain their balance in righteousness, so we can shine and operate brightly as one of His own. The warning, though is not to succumb to murmuring or complaining. Take the instruction, learn from it and then share those valuable lessons, we all need with someone else.
“And all the children of Israel murmured.”—Numbers 14:2.
HERE are murmurers amongst Christians now, as there were in the camp of Israel of old. There are those who, when the rod falls, cry out against the afflictive dispensation. They ask, “Why am I thus afflicted? What have I done to be chastened in this manner?” A word with thee, O murmurer! Why shouldst thou murmur against the dispensations of thy heavenly Father? Can He treat thee more hardly than thou deservest? Consider what a rebel thou wast once, but He has pardoned thee! Surely, if He in His wisdom sees fit now to chasten thee, thou shouldst not complain. After all, art thou smitten as hardly as thy sins deserve? Consider the corruption which is in thy breast, and then wilt thou wonder that there needs so much of the rod to fetch it out? Weigh thyself, and discern how much dross is mingled with thy gold; and dost thou think the fire too hot to purge away so much dross as thou hast? Does not that proud rebellious spirit of thine prove that thy heart is not thoroughly sanctified? Are not those murmuring words contrary to the holy submissive nature of God’s children? Is not the correction needed? But if thou wilt murmur against the chastening, take heed, for it will go hard with murmurers. God always chastises His children twice, if they do not bear the first stroke patiently. But know one thing—”He doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.” All His corrections are sent in love, to purify thee, and to draw thee nearer to Himself. Surely it must help thee to bear the chastening with resignation if thou art able to recognize thy Father’s hand. For “whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons.” “Murmur not as some of them also murmured and were destroyed of the destroyer.”
This message from Spurgeon landed hard. It is a powerful reminder for each of us. Let me know if you enjoyed its teaching. I would really like to hear from you. Blessings.
“This do in remembrance of Me.”—1 Corinthians 11:24.
T seems then, that Christians may forget Christ! There could be no need for this loving exhortation, if there were not a fearful supposition that our memories might prove treacherous. Nor is this a bare supposition: it is, alas! too well confirmed in our experience, not as a possibility, but as a lamentable fact. It appears almost impossible that those who have been redeemed by the blood of the dying Lamb, and loved with an everlasting love by the eternal Son of God, should forget that gracious Saviour; but, if startling to the ear, it is, alas! too apparent to the eye to allow us to deny the crime. Forget Him who never forgot us! Forget Him who poured His blood forth for our sins! Forget Him who loved us even to the death! Can it be possible? Yes, it is not only possible, but conscience confesses that it is too sadly a fault with all of us, that we suffer Him to be as a wayfaring man tarrying but for a night. He whom we should make the abiding tenant of our memories is but a visitor therein. The cross where one would think that memory would linger, and unmindfulness would be an unknown intruder, is desecrated by the feet of forgetfulness. Does not your conscience say that this is true? Do you not find yourselves forgetful of Jesus? Some creature steals away your heart, and you are unmindful of Him upon whom your affection ought to be set. Some earthly business engrosses your attention when you should fix your eye steadily upon the cross. It is the incessant turmoil of the world, the constant attraction of earthly things which takes away the soul from Christ. While memory too well preserves a poisonous weed, it suffereth the rose of Sharon to wither. Let us charge ourselves to bind a heavenly forget-me-not about our hearts for Jesus our Beloved, and, whatever else we let slip, let us hold fast to Him.
“Him hath God exalted.”—Acts 5:31.
JESUS, our Lord, once crucified, dead and buried, now sits upon the throne of glory. The highest place that heaven affords is His by undisputed right. It is sweet to remember that the exaltation of Christ in heaven is a representative exaltation. He is exalted at the Father’s right hand, and though as Jehovah He had eminent glories, in which finite creatures cannot share, yet as the Mediator, the honours which Jesus wears in heaven are the heritage of all the saints. It is delightful to reflect how close is Christ’s union with His people. We are actually one with Him; we are members of His body; and His exaltation is our exaltation. He will give us to sit upon His throne, even as He has overcome, and is set down with His Father on His throne; He has a crown, and He gives us crowns too; He has a throne, but He is not content with having a throne to Himself, on His right hand there must be His queen, arrayed in “gold of Ophir.” He cannot be glorified without His bride. Look up, believer, to Jesus now; let the eye of your faith behold Him with many crowns upon His head; and remember that you will one day be like Him, when you shall see Him as He is; you shall not be so great as He is, you shall not be so divine, but still you shall, in a measure, share the same honours, and enjoy the same happiness and the same dignity which He possesses. Be content to live unknown for a little while, and to walk your weary way through the fields of poverty, or up the hills of affliction; for by-and-by you shall reign with Christ, for He has “made us kings and priests unto God, and we shall reign for ever and ever.” Oh!, wonderful thought for the children of God! We have Christ for our glorious representative in heaven’s courts now, and soon He will come and receive us to Himself, to be with Him there, to behold His glory, and to share His joy. C. H. Spurgeon
I had a wonderful conversation with one of my aunts recently. We talked about family, friends, current events; just things. You get some much history when you stop and talk with your elders. You get to learn about their lives, their likes, dislikes, and what made them who they are. During our 45 minute conversation, she shared that all she wanted was to be married and have kids. “I just wanted kids, she said. I never wanted to work outside the home. It wasn’t for me. I wanted to support my husband and raise our children by staying home.”
As she continued, it was so clear. She wanted to raise bright, intelligent children, who would one day contribute to society and be a blessing. There was so much strength in her voice. A strength I had never noticed before. She would never write a sonnet, or perform in front of people, or create a masterpiece; her true mission was that of being a wife and mother.
Thanking God for this priceless moment, where I learned so much about my dear aunt, I also had a revelation; “aha” moment. I thought, Father God made a similar decision, when he decided to create us. He just wanted to have kids; bright, intelligent, gifted, anointed images of himself all around the world. Children who would contribute, and be a blessing.
People spend years trying to find themselves, or their purpose. For some it only takes a moment, and their course is set. No matter what lies ahead, they just know this is what they were meant to do. God knew before eternity was formed, that he would create us, and he did it knowing that his wayward children would fail, and yet here we are. He just wanted to have kids.
You never know when, or where these moments of revelation will. When they do, take a moment to soak them in. They put life into perspective, these precious moments, or at least give us a chance to say “thank you.”
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.