We often think about, and enjoy the love of God the Father for us who are His children. But how often do we consider the love of the Father for His only begotten Son the Lord Jesus Christ? This is the Son of whom we read, “I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him” (Proverbs 8:30). This is the Son of whom the Father declared from heaven, “Thou art My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Mark 1:11).
Wonder of wonders, this is also the Son, that the Father sent into this world to go to the cross, bear our sins, lay down His life, and shed His precious blood. And this is the Son, who could say to His Father, “I have glorified Thee on the earth: I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do” (John 17:4).
How much do these precious facts grip our hearts today? The Son of God is loved by His Father, and the Son of God is the joy and delight of His Father. May He be our joy and delight as well, and may our love for Him deepen as we consider the Father and the Son today.
“The gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God…Repent ye, and believe the gospel…For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth…But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them…For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance…But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts…But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you…What shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” (Mark 1:1, 15; Romans 1:16; 2 Corinthians 4:3-4; 1 Thessalonians 1:5; 1 Thessalonians 2:4; 1 Peter 1:25; 1 Peter 4:17).
Have you believed and obeyed the gospel? If not, it is our prayer that the above verses, by the power of the Spirt, would convict you, and that you would be saved right now.
We don’t normally have poetry, other than the 1st Tuesday of the month. However, I came across a piece, written some years ago by a poetess by the name of Elisabeth Byland, and thought it was worth passing on:
That little sin you’ve sought to hide,
And thought nobody knew it,
May grow to such a monstrous size,
You’ll wish at first you slew it!
So when you find an egg of sin,
Left temptingly around,
Smash the awful thing at once,
Lest with it you are found!
For if you hold it close to you,
The thing may incubate,
And when you want to turn it loose,
Then it may be too late!
“Every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (James 1:14-15).
“The fish gate did the sons of Hassenaah build” (Nehemiah 3:3).
This gate reminds us of when the Lord called Peter and Andrew from mending their nets by the sea of Galilee: “And He saith unto them, Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). Every believer can have a part in the work of spreading the gospel. Timothy was told, “Do the work of an evangelist” (2 Timothy 4:5). We read of another incident in Peter’s life, when after the Lord rose from the dead some of the disciples followed him back to their old job of fishing. Catching nothing all night they finally, under the Lord’s direction, have a great haul. “Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken” (John 21:11). We often refer to this as the “gospel net” and the number of fish is significant. One hundred is the number of complete salvation (like in the parable in Luke 15:3-7). Fifty denotes Pentecost, and three reminds us of death and resurrection. Are we building the fish gate by spreading the gospel as fishers of men? How much fishing will you do today?
A friend of Hudson Taylor once told of some counsel that the missionary gave from his long experience in China, to some young recruits who were just entering the missionary field:
Taylor poured out a glass of water and filled it to the brim. Then while speaking, he struck the table with a hard blow. As the water spilled out, he said, “Here in China you get many a nasty knock. You will come up against much criticism and doubt. But remember that when you do, whatever you are full of will spill out.”
How true this is of us all, whether we are at home, at school, at work, with the world, or with other believers. What spilled out of you the last time somebody said an unkind thing or performed an uncharitable act against you? Was it self? Or was it Christ? Remember the words of the Lord Jesus Himself, when He said: “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh” (Luke 6:45).
Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde (1854-1900), was an Irish writer and poet. He became one of London’s most popular playwrights in the early 1890s. There are many memorable quotes from his writings, but the other day one especially caught my attention. Here is what it said:
“Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.”
We smile at a statement like this that seems so elementary and obvious, but it got me thinking of how every child of God is an individual in His vast family, and how we each have a unique place to fill in our service for Christ. We are told, “But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another” (Galatians 6:4). When we try to be someone or something we are not is when we get into trouble. There is no power or blessing in pretence. God has made you, YOU! Be who you are and don’t try to be somebody else. Paul said to the Corinthians, “Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called” (1 Corinthians 7:20). That’s where the blessing and fruit will result in your life.
I was visiting a school in Nassau Bahamas the other day, and noticed these words on a bulletin board in the hallway:
FREEDOM HAS IT’S PRICE,
IT’S NOT FREE!
I didn’t have time to stop and see what it was in connection with, or the subject matter of the board. But it made we think of the freedom and liberty that we have in Christ, and the great cost to God to bring it about. We have so much freely given to us, but at infinite cost. It cost God the giving of His Son; it cost the Lord Jesus His life and the shedding of His blood. Yes, we are free from sin, death, and hell, but let’s never forget that this freedom had its price. Let’s enjoy this liberty we have in Christ, and let’s not forget to thank God the Father and the Lord Jesus every day this week, and for the rest of our lives. “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free” (Galatians 5:1).
The delight of God the Father is to occupy us with His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. Over and over again, and in one way or another, the person and work of that blessed One is brought before us throughout the Bible. The following are just a few examples:
David said: “Behold the beauty of the Lord” (Psalm 27:4).
Matthew records: “Behold, the Bridegroom” (Matthew 25:6).
John the Baptist said: “Behold the Lamb of God” (John 1:36).
Nathanael declared: “Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile” (John 1:47)!
Pilate said: “Behold the Man” (John 19:5).
He also declared: “Behold your King” (John 19:14).
The Lord said: “Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I” (Luke 24:39).
One of the elders said: “Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda” (Revelation 5:5).
God says: “Behold My Servant” (Isaiah 42:1).
What fresh view of the person of Christ will you have today?
Some people seem to think that a Christian is a sad person who goes through life without much joy or pleasure and whose life is filled with many “don’ts.”“Don’t do this” or “Don’t do that” he always seems to be saying. This, however, is not true. It is a lie of Satan. A Christian can and should be full of peace and joy. Real and lasting happiness is the portion of every believer.
Sad! What is there about God’s good news calculated to make a person sad? Does it make a person sad to know that all of their sins are forgiven? Does it make one sad to know that he will spend eternity with the Lord Jesus in heaven?
In the Bible, King David said: “Happy is that people, whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 144:15). He also wrote: In Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Psalm 16:11). Being delivered from the bondage of sin, death, and judgment, is the only way we can have peace of heart now and the hope of eternal joy. “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing” (Romans 15:13).
The widow of Zarephath was gathering a couple of sticks so she and her son could have their last meal and die due to a famine. Elijah, as a picture of the Lord, says to her, “But make me thereof a little cake first” (1 Kings 17:13). As a result of her faith and obedience she and her son were provided for during the rest of the time of famine. “And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by Elijah” (1 Kings 17:16). You can read the whole account for yourself and you will find it is a wonderful example of a person who did not say, “Me first” and was blessed because of it. (1 Kings 17:8-16).
Let’s learn, in our daily lives, to get up every morning and put Christ first. Not only will it delight our hearts, but it will delight the heart of the One who loves us and desires our blessing and happiness. Give Him the first place! Not just in some things, or in most things, but in all thngs.
Remember, the Lord says to us, “Me first,” and He has every right to do so! Are we honestly responding, “JESUS FIRST?”