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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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Gainful Loss

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There is much believers can unknowingly treasure that pertain only to this life. Such is liken unto a king visiting a foreign land who admires much of what he encounters, and in so doing is often unaware of being obstructed from remembering his own land, to where he startlingly recalls that he will be returning.


The longer saints are here the more is realized how void it is (apart from salvation) to our minds and hearts of any value-deeming sustenance. May God increasingly direct us in our mindset to revolve heavenly “things” (Phil 4:8) enough to be in sufficient communion and concert with Him here. God be blessed!






Gainful Loss


“What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ” (Phil 3:7). Can you say that you do not value your amiability, for instance, but count it loss for Christ? It is a fact that it is harder to correct a man with what is called a nice nature, than a man with a very bad one; an amiable person is the most difficult to move, because he is so satisfied with himself.


Paul never knew Him but in glory (Acts 9:5), and he says, “I count all things but loss for the excellency if the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord” (Phil 3:8). See what an object He was to eclipse everything, there is no question about Christ having put away all the bad things, but can you say He eclipses the best, and the brightest, and the most beautiful things on the earth to me, because He has so satisfied my heart?


Do you say: What heart-breaking work it is that I must give up this thing and not have that thing—what miserable work it is? No, but, I count them but rubbish! I give them up, not because they are wrong, but because “I count all things but loss …”


There is no way of getting a person out of the good things (from treasuring them—NC) but by showing him what is superior to them. So, if you say to me, That is a beautiful view, I quite admit it; but if it is to satisfy my heart, it cannot, for it will pass away; the only thing that can satisfy my heart is the Father’s beloved Son—“the excellency of the knowledge of Christ”—not just salvation—but “that I may win Christ” (increase in His “image”—NC).


The important thing is, do you desire to see Him? That is what the queen of Sheba did (concerning Solomon – 1 King 10:7); and what is more, she said, I will not rest until I have seen him. She had very far to get to him. She came to Jerusalem “from the uttermost parts of the earth” (Mat 12:42). You have not this long journey to go, but you will certainly have to go through the exercise that represents it. It is very easy for the soul to say, I should like to know Christ in glory; but it is a very humbling fact that every soul possess what it values (occupied with the heart’s treasure – Mat 6:21—NC).


I know I can say that the first effect on me of finding Him was that the things that I had been in vain trying to get rid of just dropped off without my giving them a thought; they dropped off without my realizing it. Some have one kind of attraction, some another. Things lost their hold that I had thought I never could give up or do without. Some things, of course, are uncomely, and those we are told are evil and we must drop them off; but it is the things that are not evil I mean. Why should I not be able to say, like the Apostle Paul, The things that were gain to me, those I count loss for Christ? I have seen something that puts everything here in the shade.


Thus I am clear of the badness by the Blood of Christ, but I am clear of the goodness by Him in glory. It is not the sin of this world, it is what man calls goodness that most balks the saints in their growth. But what are good things here compared to what I see in glory? The day is coming when all here will be burnt to ashes, but I have seen that which will never fade away. I have seen that which will endure in all its brightness forever; and though I can see the beauty of things here, they do not hold my heart a bit.


“But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor 3:18).


- J B Stoney




Excerpt from MJS devotional for October 3:

“Until the believer’s faith is firmly established in the fact of his position in the risen Lord Jesus, he will not be able to rest in Him during the process of his position becoming his condition. One must be sure of the Source before he can trust for the growth.” - MJS


“The standing of the believer is settled, perfect, eternal (Heb 5:9; 9:12; Jude 1:21). His state is imperfect and fluctuating. He is partaker of the new life which cannot sin; but he bears about within him the old man which can do nothing else but sin. Now his standing is in the new and not the old. He is not in the flesh, but in the Spirit (Rom. 8:9). He is not under law, but under grace. This is his perfect and unalterable position (Rom 11:29); his sins are gone before God; his person is accepted by God—all complete in the Lord Jesus Christ.” – CHM


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