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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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NetChaplain

Wilderness Wakening

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“The Lord is my strength and my song, and He is become my salvation” (Ex 15:2). The salvation of the Father puts us in a place where the oppressor can never reach us, because it positions us in the place and acceptance of Christ risen. When you see that, every question as to divine righteousness is settled, and you enter into perfect peace with the Father.

 

The oppressor may say, “You are this or that,” or “You have done such and such things,” and you can admit it. Yea, you are (should be—NC) convinced that if the best five minutes of your life were selected, and your righteousness (our supposed righteousness alone—NC) with God were made to depend on it, the lake of fire would be your eternal abode. But the believer’s righteousness before the Father is measured by the Lord Jesus Christ risen; he is set in all the acceptance of the Beloved. There is not a single spot upon Him and never will be. The Father will not reckon sin to the believer, but does reckon righteousness to him.

 

When the question of divine righteousness is settled for the believer the exercises which follow are all, more or less, connected with growth. It is after the believer is entirely delivered from fear of the consequences of sin that he is most deeply and truly exercised about his growth and maturity. There are people who tell us that if souls are made sure of their eternal salvation, and that they are set in everlasting righteousness before God, it will make them careless about sin.

 

This argument is based upon ignorance of the immense reality of the fact that the believer is born again. A converted person hates sin for its own sake. An unconverted man may wish to be good for three reasons:

(1) Because sin brings him into trouble; (2) because it lowers him; and (3) because he is afraid of its consequences. He does not abhor sin because it is an unholy and defiling thing. The one born again hates sin for its own sake. The forty years of wilderness experience was to teach the people what they were—what was in their hearts. We have to go through this experience; there is no escaping it. Romans Seven comes before Romans Eight.

 

It is a solemn moment when a believer who has been going on for years with a flourishing profession wakes up to the fact that his heart is entirely unsatisfied. I believe we have very little idea how natural feelings may be mixed up with what we think is our spiritual joy. Many go on happily, and they have no opposition to speak of—perhaps in a Christian family, or in happy Christian. They are carried along by the current of things around them.

 

But everything that outwardly contributes to your joy (God our joy, things our enjoyment – 1Tim 6:17) will sooner or later fail you. You may think this is a discouraging statement, but my object in making it is to turn your heart to what can never fail. The Father loves us too well to allow us to rest in anything short of Himself and His Beloved—not even Christian fellowship (as the primary source—NC). He wants to be so known by us that He becomes the deep eternal spring of satisfaction for our hearts. Therefore, “set your affection on things above.”

 

- C A Coates

 

 

 

Miles J Stanford Devotional: http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/ (Note: this link always shows the present day’s reading)

 

This link is a full presentation of the daily devotional: http://www.fbcva.org/filerequest/7883.pdf

 

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