Bible Top 1000



We Won't Reach It On Tiptoes
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"Add to your brotherliness . . . love."
(2 Peter 1:7)

Love is indefinite to most of us, we don't know what we mean when we talk about love. Love is the sovereign preference of one person for another, and spiritually Jesus demands that that preference be for Himself (cf. Luke 14:26). When the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, Jesus Christ is easily first; then we must practise the working out of these things mentioned by Peter.

The first thing God does...is to knock pretence and the pious pose right out of us. The Holy Spirit reveals that God loved us, not because we were lovable, but because it was His nature to do so. Now, He says to us, show the same love to others---"Love as I have loved you." "I will bring any number of people about you whom you cannot respect, and you must exhibit My love to them as I have exhibited it to you." We won't reach it on tiptoe. Some of us have tried to, but we were soon tired.

"The Lord suffereth long. . . ." Let's look within and see His dealings with us. The knowledge that God has loved us to the uttermost, to the end of all our sin and meanness and selfishness and wrong, will send us forth into the world to love in the same way. God's love to us is inexhaustible, and we must love others from the bedrock of God's love to us. Growth in grace stops the moment we "get huffed". We get huffed because we have a peculiar person to live with. Just think how disagreeable we've been to God! Are we prepared to be so identified with the Lord Jesus that His life and His sweetness are being poured out all the time? Neither natural love nor Divine love will remain unless it's cultivated. Love is spontaneous, but it has to be maintained by discipline.
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The Test of Self-interest

"If thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left."
(Genesis 13:9)

As soon as we begin to live the life of faith in God, fascinating and luxurious prospects will open up before us, and these things are ours by right; but if we're living the life of faith we'll exercise our right to waive our rights, and let God choose for us. God sometimes allows us to get into a place of testing where our own welfare would be the right and proper thing to consider if we weren't living a life of faith; but if we are, we'll joyfully waive our right and leave God to choose for us. This is the discipline by means of which the natural is transformed into the spiritual by obedience to the voice of God.

Whenever right is made the guidance in the life, it'll blunt the spiritual insight. The great enemy of the life of faith in God isn't sin, but the good which isn't good enough. The good is always the enemy of the best. It would seem the wisest thing in the world for Abraham to choose, it was his right, and the people around would consider him a fool for not choosing. Many of us don't "go on...spiritually" because we prefer to choose what's right instead of relying on God to choose for us. We have to learn to walk according to the standard which has its eye on God.
"Walk before Me."
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The Never-failing God

"For He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."
(Hebrews 13:5)

What line does our thought take? Does it turn to what God says or to what we fear? Are we learning to say not what God says, but to say something after we've heard what He says? "He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me."

"I will in no wise fail thee"---not for all our sin and selfishness and stubbornness and waywardness. Have we really let God say to us that He will never fail us? If we've listened to this say-so of God's, then let's listen again. The Never-failing God "For He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."
(Hebrews 13:5)

What line does our thought take? Does it turn to what God says or to what we fear? Are we learning to say not what God says, but to say something after we've heard what He says? "He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me."

"I will in no wise fail thee"---not for all our sin and selfishness and stubbornness and waywardness. Have we really let God say to us that He will never fail us? If we've listened to this say-so of God's, then let's listen again.

"Neither will I in any wise forsake thee." Sometimes it's not difficulty that makes us think God will forsake us, but drudgery. There's no Hill Difficulty to climb, no vision given, nothing wonderful or beautiful, just the commonplace day in and day out---can we hear God's say-so in these things?

We have the idea that God's going to do some exceptional thing, that He's preparing and fitting us for some extraordinary thing by and bye, but as we go on in grace we find that God is glorifying Himself here and now, in the present minute. If we have God's say-so behind us, the most amazing strength comes, and we learn to sing in the ordinary days and ways.

"Neither will I in any wise forsake thee." Sometimes it's not difficulty that makes us think God will forsake us, but drudgery. There's no Hill Difficulty to climb, no vision given, nothing wonderful or beautiful, just the commonplace day in and day out---can we hear God's say-so in these things?

We have the idea that God's going to do some exceptional thing, that He's preparing and fitting us for some extraordinary thing by and bye, but as we go on in grace we find that God is glorifying Himself here and now, in the present minute. If we have God's say-so behind us, the most amazing strength comes, and we learn to sing in the ordinary days and ways.




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