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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

Winsome Servant

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To know and to possess the truths of all that salvation presently provides is not necessarily to walk in them (except for redemption which all believers walk in). For example, if we are not completely convinced of being guilt-free of the sin nature we will not conscientiously walk in it, thus not enjoying the freedom of mind concerning it. The objective of possession is in appropriation (walk in). First, we “live in the Spirit” (and are completely holy and sanctified), then we progressively learn to “walk in the Spirit” (manifesting it all - Gal 5:25).

NC

 

 

 

 

 

Winsome Servant

 

 

It is deeply interesting to see how Timothy was fitted to be a servant. It is a great blessing that everyone is prepared inside with the Lord in order to serve outside among men. The Lord knows all that is before His servant, and as he is with Him He prepares him for the work—“no man goeth to war at his own charges.”

 

You get this principle in Psalm 23; you are made to lie sown in green pastures before you are led in the paths of righteousness. Stephen realizes his own portion first, showing that the Lord prepared His servant for His work. The work of Christ has secured this new place for him, and he must set forth the new center, the new testimony of a Man at the right hand of God, who was there because He was rejected here. Now Stephen’s testimony was that the Son of Man was in heaven.

 

The witness has to confront everything which opposed our Lord down here, but it is in His strength, and therefore as triumphant as Stephen was. The Man in heaven is now the center of all the Father’s ways. I long to see a more engrossed enjoyment of Him in His own place in Glory.

 

How Rebekah bore up on that long journey because of the object before her heart! The journey is long in order to exercise our hearts (Rom 5:3). It might often have occurred to her: “Have I done right to leave all for Isaac?” If the heart is set on seeking Him, how His presence must be desired now!

 

This we may enjoy privately or collectively. Oh, how little we conscientiously enter into our union with Him, though we are united to Him by the Spirit.

 

You will not be fit for service until you are clear with the Father. What proved that Job was clear with Him? When he prayed for his friends. When freed as to himself he can properly intercede for others. But must not I not think of my poor soul? By all means! Do not think of anything but your poor soul until your poor soul is settled before the Father. But when it is finally settled, think upon Him who settled it (Col 3:1, 2). And who settled for it? The Lord Jesus Christ who is your life (Col3:4). Now think of Him (2Cor 3:18).

 

The servant must attract others to the Lord Jesus Christ by making known His love to them. The servant must know it himself first; love must be felt, not just seen, and the more the servant attracts others to the Savior, the more he leads them on to union with Him, and this is the great purpose of the Father for every believer now. The servant must come from the Lord, thus he brings others something from the Lord Jesus Himself.

 

- J B Stoney

 

 

 

 

Excerpt from MJS devotional for Jan. 11:

 

“You are one of God’s rough diamonds, and He is going to have to cut you so that you may really shine for Him. It takes a diamond to cut a diamond. You are to be ground and cut, and hurt by other diamonds, by other Christians, by spiritual Christians. But the more cutting and the more perfecting, the more you are going to shine for your Lord.” -G.M.

http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/

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