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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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In the risen Lord Jesus Christ, we see Him who was dead alive again and that for evermore; and know that the Father has, in the riches of His grace, given us life in Him. “God hath given to us eternal life (which begins at rebirth—poster) and this life is in His Son” (1 Jhn 5:11). It is totally new life surely, risen life, life in One who is eternally beyond death, the mighty Conqueror of Satan, death and the grave.


He who is now in the very glory of God is now our life (Col 3:4). Hence we are spoken of as “risen with Christ,” having been quickened together, raised up together, “and made to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ep 2:5, 6). What a marvelous blessing to be thus associated in life with One who has risen triumphantly out of death, and sat down on the right hand of God! What liberty as well as gladness it gives us!


How natural therefore it is because of this, that we should be enjoined to seek the things which are above, and not the things on the earth (Col 3:1, 2). These surely must be the exercises of risen-life in us, for its associations are above, its proper element is where the Lord Jesus is seated.


As we grow in the realization of our personal position in the Lord Jesus above, we will become more at home there, and more concerned that we are not occupied with earthly things beyond our necessary duties and responsibilities. We begin to enjoy the “Holiest of all” as our proper dwelling place. “The throne of grace” world assures us of constant access with confidence, while reading continually our title to glory in, “the Blood of sprinkling” (Heb 12:24).


The risen and ascended Man in glory becomes the constant object that attracts, transforms and satisfies our hearts. We learn to joyfully contemplate Him as our life, righteousness (1 Cor 1:30), peace and blessed hope. His various offices too, on our behalf in the glory as our “High Priest,” “Advocate,” “Shepherd and Bishop of our souls,” are enough to fill us with overflowing consolation and refreshment. Contemplating Him also as “Head of all principality and power,” we are reminded by the Holy Spirit that, if He is above “every name that is named not only in this world but also in that which is to come” (Eph 1:21), we are “complete in Him” (Col 2:10).


- H H Snell





MJS devotional excerpt for Dec 6:

“The Father passes us through all the seasons here; and the winter, the most trying one, is the most helpful, if we are really cast on Him in it. Then the real measure of our dependence on Him is ascertained, and also the extent of our resources in Him; and we make acquisitions in Him which we never make at any other time. All our growth and fruit depend on our winters, or rather on how we pass through them.”




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