Friday, 26 December 2014

The Love Covenant

(Excerpt from Come Away My Beloved by Frances J. Roberts)

All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth, To such as keep His covenant.  Psalm 25:10

My children, there is no good thing that I would withold from you. I have not left you to fend for yourselves nor to make your way by your own devices. I am the Lord your God. I am your provider and your defender. I care for you with a deep and tender love. I am all-wise and all-powerful and will be your defense against every onslaught of the enemy.

Anticipate My help. I will not fail you. Look down at the path before you. You will see the print of My feet. ” ‘I will go before you and make the crooked places straight’ ” (Isaiah 45:2). I will make the path ready for you as you follow.

It is a joy to My heart when My children rely on Me. I delight in working things out for you, but I delight even more in you yourself than in anything I do to help you. Even so, I want you to delight in Me just for Myself, rather than in anything you do for Me.

Service is a salvage of love. It is like the twelve baskets of bread that were left over. The bread that was eaten was like fellowship mutually given; and the excess and overflow was a symbol of service. I do not expect you to give to others until you have first eaten. I will provide you with plentiful supply to give if you first come to receive for your own needs.

This is not selfishness. It is the Law of Life. Can the stalk of corn produce the ear unless first it receives its own life from the parent seed? No more can you produce fruit in your ministry unless you are impregnated with divine life from its source in God Himself. It was from the hands of the Messiah that the multitudes received bread. From His hands you must also receive your nurture, the Bread of Life to sustain your health and your life.

This is His love covenant with you. It is the message of John 15:4: Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” This abiding is a love relationship, and this is why service is the salvage of love.

Service will be futile and burdensome unless it springs from an overflowing heart. Overflowing not with good intentions and condescending self-righteousness, but overflowing with the love of God. This you do not have of yourself, nor can you give, however much you might desire to do so. You will possess this love only as you wait upon Me and take time to absorb it from Me, like a quiet flower takes life from the warm rays of the sun.

Your heart will be cold otherwise. For your ready ardor and natural sympathy, and commom kindness will soon be cooled by the chill winds of ingratitude and others’ unlovely reactions. Do you think the love of Jesus was always well received? Would He not have brought His ministry to an abrupt end on many an occasion if He had needed the appreciation of people to motivate His loving service?

Have you read the reaction of the religious people to the recital of His miracle-working power in Luke 4? The exhibition of God’s love draws forth emotions in the unregenerate heart that are nothing short of murderous at times. In other cases, God’s love is met by callous indifference and criminal ingratitude, as with the nine lepers who never returned to express so much as a word of thanks for their deliverance from a walking death (see Luke 17:12-19)

In the face of divine love being poured forth on Calvary – the holy, sinless God Himself dying for the sinful, depraved, undeserving humanity – what is the reaction? Gratitude? Love? Contrition? No! Hate lashes out in jeers and mocking. Violence and cruelty flow forth like a river and mingle with the very blood that was spilt for their redemption!

No. Human kindness will never be enough. It will never fill the twelve baskets with fragments. There will never be any crumbs left over for others unless you first eat from your own personal love feast with the Savior.

Let Him fully satisfy your soul-hunger, and then you will go forth with a full basket on your arm. Twelve baskets there were (see Matthew 14:20). One for each disciple. There will always be the multitudes to be fed, but the few called to minister. This is by My own arrangment. As the Scripture says: “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment” (James 3:1)

Many are called. Few are chosen.

Friday, 5 December 2014

No flowers, but a crown

I said: “Let me walk in the field”;
God said: ‘Nay, walk in the town”;
I said: “There are no flowers there”;
He said: “No flowers, but a crown.”
I said: “But the sky is black,
There is nothing but noise and din”;
But He wept as He sent me back,
“There is more,” He said, “there is sin
I said: “But the air is thick,
And fogs are veiling the sun”;
He answered: “Yet souls are sick,
And souls in the dark undone.”
I said: “I shall miss the light,
And friends will miss me, they say”;
He answered me, “Choose tonight,
If I am to miss you, or they.”
I pleaded for time to be given;
He said: “Is it hard to decide?
It will not seem hard in Heaven
To have, followed the steps of your Guide.”
I cast one look at the fields,
Then set my face to the town;
He said: “My child, do you yield?
Will you leave the flowers for the crown?”
Then into His hand went mine,
And into my heart came He;
And I walk in a light Divine,
The path I had feared to see.
–George MacDonald