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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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Rest in His Love

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Though there are many difficulties within believer’s trials and infirmities, the hardness contained therein is the instrument of their growth in faith and in their “being conformed to the image of Christ.” The more patiently one endures, the more successfully it is seen to have learned of “casting all your care on Him; for He cares for you (1 Pet 5:7).





Rest in His Love


In our trials, difficulties, sorrows and exercises, if immediate relief is not afforded, we have to remember there is some deep reason connected with the glory of the Father and our real good, why the desired relief is withheld. In seasons of pressure we are apt to think only of the one thing, namely—relief.


But there is much more than this to be considered. We should think of the glory of our Father. We should seek to know His object in putting us under the pressure. We should earnestly desire that His end might be gained, and His glory prompted. This would be for our fullest and deepest blessing, while the relief which we so eagerly seek might be the worst thing we could get. His glory and our growth are so inseparably bound together, that when the former is maintained, the latter will be secured.


Never measure the Father’s love by your circumstances. If you do you will reach a false conclusion. Judge not according to outward appearances. Never reason from you surroundings. Get to the heart of the Lord Jesus and believe out from that blessed center. Always interpret your circumstances by His love.


We are not to measure divine love by the mode of its manifestation. We are prone to do so; but it is a great mistake. The love of our Father clothes itself in varied forms, and frequently the form seems to us, in our shallowness and short-sightedness, mysterious and incomprehensible. But, if only we wait patiently in artless confidence, divine light will shine upon the dispensation of divine providence, and our heart shall be filled with wonder, love and praise.


Let no one imagine that he can ever be used in the Lord’s work, or ever make true progress in the divine life without some measure of real entrance into this valuable principle: “When I am weak (i.e. realizing our vulnerabilities due to the old man affecting our discernment—NC), then am I strong” (2 Cor 12:10). It is absolutely essential in forming the character of the true servant of the Lord Jesus. Where this is not known, where it has not been felt, there is sure to be unsubduedness, unbrokenness and self-occupation in one form or another.


All of the Father’s servants in the Word stand before us as vivid illustrations of the value and necessity of broken material. All those beloved and honored servants before us had to be broken in order to be made pliable—to be emptied in order to be filled. They had to learn this in order to be ready in the Lord’s strength for anything and everything.


May it be given us to prove, in this day of headiness and high-mindedness, the moral security of a lowly mind and a humble spirit—gladly bearing the Lord Jesus’ yoke—the yoke of entire subjection to His will in all things (Eph 4:15). This is the secret of true peace and power. We can only taste true rest of heart when the will is kept in subjection to the Father’s Word. It is when we can meet every dispensation of our Father’s hand with an “Even so” (Mat 11:26; Luk 10:21), that rest is our potion. It is one thing to receive rest of conscience in coming to Him as Savior, and quite another thing to find rest of heart through taking His yoke and learning of Him (Mat 11:28-30). May it be given to us to know very much more of the latter in this day of restless activity!


- C H Mackintosh





MJS devotional for November 14:


“There is no use in forcing any spiritual issue in our lives, nor in anyone else’s. When our Father has us prepared for progress through the knowledge of His facts, we will believe; we will reckon upon and rest in the required truth.” - MJS


“What is the secret of reckoning? We need revelation from the Word of God (Matt. 16:17; Eph. 1:17, 18). We need to have our eyes opened to the fact of our union with the Lord Jesus. Most of us can remember the day when we saw clearly that He died for us, and we ought to be equally clear as to the time when we saw that we died with Him. It is not that I reckon myself to be dead, and therefore I will be dead. It is that, because I died—therefore I reckon myself to have died. It is not reckoning toward death, but from death.

- F J H


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