Bible Top 1000

Christ The Model
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"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church."
(Ephesians 5:25)

What 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's 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 favorite of heaven, the treasure of Christ, the crown of His head, the bracelet of His arm, the breastplate of His heart, the very center and core of His love. A husband should love his wife with a constant love, for thus Jesus loves His church. He doesn't 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's not mere lip-service. Hey, 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. We wonder at Jesus' love; we admire it---are we imitating it? In our domestic the rule and measure of our love--- "even as Christ loved the church"?

"I Will Build My Church"

"And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shall bind on earth shalt be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." Matthew 16:18-19

To twelve men with little know-how of building and probably even less money, Jesus says, "I will build My church." He owned no home, not even a place to rest His head, yet He declared, "I will build My church."

Anyone who has a part in building a church realizes that much effort, planning, and financing is required to build even the modest of buildings. But our Lord is not speaking of a structure made of materials here. He will build a church not made with hands or earthly materials, but one made of living stones ~ men, women, and children! He will erect a structure for all eternity. Jesus is speaking here of His Holy Temple ~ the church of the living God.

The erection of this building was costly. Christ first had to suffer and die for us before we could be a part of that temple. We were purchased with His holy, precious blood and His innocent suffering and death. By the power of the Holy Spirit we have been brought to faith.

Through many centuries, Christ has been building His church through the Word and Baptism. And when eternity dawns, the church, made up of all believers, of all times, will stand complete and resplendent in His glory.

We cannot decide to open or close the Kingdom of Heaven for others, but God uses us to help others find the way inside. For all who believe in Jesus Christ and His gift of salvation for this sinful world, and those who obey His Word, the Kingdom doors are swung wide open!

May the Lord bless you as you lend a hand in building His church. Be a builder for Christ ~ every day!

The Harvest

The period beginning with the ministry of Christ was God's harvest time for the Jews. (Matt. 9:37-38, Luke 10:2, John 4:35.) Matt. 3:12 -- "Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire."

When a man plants wheat, his objective is not to see how much straw and chaff he can produce. He's after wheat. If you were to harvest an acre of wheat, plant and all, it would make a very impressive pile. However, the true yield of an acre of wheat is measured in bushels of wheat kernels. The rest of the plant serves only a temporary purpose.

Until the harvest, the kernels of wheat, the chaff and the straw all continue together, making an impressive sight. But at the harvest a separation takes place. The plants are cut down, beaten and shaken. Then, the wheat is tossed into the air repeatedly to separate the chaff, which the wind carries away.

The status quo has to be seriously disturbed before the farmer has bushel baskets containing pure wheat! Let's ask ourselves..."Is my spiritual world being disturbed?" Well, let's fear not! God won't lose one kernel of wheat!

Until Christ came, the Jewish religious system prevailed and the nation was enveloped in gross spiritual darkness. The remnant, with the true faith of Abraham in their hearts, could do nothing but wait and hope in God's promises through the prophets.

Until light came it would have been well nigh impossible to distinguish Abraham's true seed from the false. They worshipped side by side in the synagogues; they observed the Jewish feasts; they offered the same sacrifices.

It was much like today as true believers are a dwindling minority---scattered through the religious systems of men. Although large numbers profess to be followers of Christ---just as large numbers then professed to be followers of Moses---it would likely shock us if we knew the number of true sheep left in the world. I'm glad the Lord knows them that are His!