Friday, November 27, 2009
"The gifts of grace are not enjoyed all at once by believers. Coming to Christ we are saved by a true union with Him, but it is by abiding in that union that we further receive the purity, the joy, the power and the blessedness that are stored up in Christ for His people. See how our Lord states this when He speaks to the believing Jews in the eighth chapter of John: 'Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye coninue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free' (vss. 31-33).
"We do not know all the truth at once: we learn it by abiding in Jesus. Perseverance in grace is an educational process by which we learn the truth fully. The emancipating power of that truth is also gradually perceived and enjoyed. 'The truth shall make you free.' One bond after another snaps, and we are free indeed. You who are beginners in the divine life may be cheered to know that there is something better still for you: you have not yet received the full reward of your faith. You shall have happier views of heavenly things as you climb the hill of spiritual experience. As you abide in Christ you shall have firmer confidence, richer joy, greater stability, more communion with Jesus, and greater delight in the Lord your God. As physical infancy is beset with many evils from which adulthood is exempt, so it is in the spiritual world.
"...You have to live with Christ to know Him, and the longer you live with Him, the more you will admire and adore Him. Yes, and the more you will receive from Him, even grace for grace...Oh that we may continue to grow up into Him in all things who is our Head and prize Him more and more!" - Charles Spurgeon
Yesterday, I think everyone in our family was dreading the point at which we would go around the table and thank God for the ways He has blessed each one of us this year. It may be a bit of a cliche thing to do, especially considering that we should be thankful all of the time, but nonetheless, I enjoy hearing the hearts of each member of my family. Not many other occasions afford such an opportunity. But anyways, like I was saying, things were a little different this year. We all knew it would be a particularly emotional time. How do you thank God for your dad's death? It sounds wrong to say so, but I think that's because if it was up to us, we wouldn't have chosen it. However, he's in Heaven, with God! And although we miss him, we have the hope of seeing him again. So it was interesting to see, we often go on about the various aspects of our lives in which God has blessed us; job, home, etc...and while we are thankful for these things, as Jeremy put it, those are all the more obviously temporary in light of the ways God has shown us His love, protection, provision and ETERNITY this year. The section from Spurgeon above reflects what I have been learning through it all.
"Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation." Psalm 68:5