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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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Position & Path

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My position is in heaven, and my path upon earth is that which belongs to, and is consistent with, this place I have in the Lord Jesus in glory. My path ought to be the expression that. What was the Lord Jesus’ path in this world? Even as the Son of Man upon earth, He was ever “the Son of Man who is in heaven” (John 1:18; 3:13—omnipresence of Christ—NC). Every atom of His life was the manifestation of this blessed One in heaven; and so is it with us, so far as we are consistent in our “walk in the Spirit.” The Lord Jesus who is in heaven, and who gives me this position in light, in the presence of the Father, is the One that is in me here on earth.

 

So the Apostle Paul says, “Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh” (2Cor 4:11). The life of the believer on earth is the manifestation of the Life of the Lord Jesus (Col 3:4), in Whom he is though He is in heaven: he is to be the manifestation in this world of that One. Where we fail, where our life does not manifest Him, there comes the Word of God, which is the expression of it, and searches us; and thus there is sanctification by the truth. The Word brings Him to me where He is not shown forth in my life, and judges it.

 

But the place where the Lord Jesus keeps us is in the Holiest of All. He has sanctified Himself in the presence of the Father for us, and that is the position where He keeps us. We may forget Him, we may and often do fail in appreciating the position in which He has set us, and in walking according to it (due to the old man, thus unintentionally—NC); but in the Holiest of All He keeps us, in unmingled, untiring enjoyment of what is there. There in perfect love and in the light, as my Father is in the light—sin put away, and ourselves as new creations made the righteousness of God in Him.

 

I have nothing to think about as to my competency to be there. I am there, and I cannot be there except as now being perfectly cleansed as a new creature in Christ Jesus. All sin now blotted out, and there consequently, as thus positioned, I enjoy the unclouded favor of my Father. Presently, here in this world, the Lord Jesus is to be manifest in me. But in the midst of all the trials and difficulties of the way, we find these two means which our Father uses to carry us on—the Word, “sharper than any two-edged sword,” which judges everything that is contrary to the Father, and the intercession of the Lord Jesus which meets all our weakness and failure.

 

He has trodden the path which we have to tread and has met the same temptations in that path. Now our very weakness, if we are kept in dependence upon the Spirit, is but the continual exercise of affection for the Lord Jesus, and the drawing out of His affection towards us.

 

- J N Darby

 

 

 

Excerpt from MJS devotional for January 2:

 

"Christian growth is the becoming real in ourselves, of what is already true of us in the Lord Jesus. 'I am the vine, ye are the branches’, He says. But the vine furnishes the branches, not only with the principle of life, but with the type of life. No pressure or molding from without is needed to shape them to the pattern of the parent stock. Every minutest peculiarity of form, and color, and taste, and fragrance is determined by the root, and developed from it. A true believer, therefore, will ask no better thing of the Lord than that the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in his body (2 Cor. 4:11). For such a manifestation will, by a necessary principle, be the unfolding within him of every needed element of joy and sorrow, of suffering and triumph." -A.J.G.

 

"Straining, driving effort does not accomplish the work God gives a man to do; we must partake of Christ so fully that He more than fills the life. It will then be not overwork but overflow." – MJS

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

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