Christ and the Church: Part 3

 •  4 min. read  •  grade level: 6
IT is the heart God wants. He has done all that love could do, in the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ, to win the heart of poor sinners to Himself. He has, as it were, thrown the whole door open to receive us, and thus to draw us into joy and blessing. Oh, the rich unfoldings of grace in that fourteenth chapter of John; grace laying open the rich glories in the Father's house for those who were ready to forsake the Lord (John 16:3232Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. (John 16:32)). What a contrast we are to Him, and yet He is ever occupied in caring for us, in preparing joy for us. His eye is ever following us, and He knows well every beat of the heart and every thought. And shall I dare to say that He is more sympathizing to-day than yesterday, because I appreciate it more. Are not the sympathies. of Christ ever flowing, and is not our varied appreciation of them as if one lifted up a stone-in the desert and the water is seen flowing, and again lifting up a stone and it is seen flowing still?
It would certainly be a much happier thing to be present with Him and absent from the poor body, but if it is the will of Him who loves me with a love that wills I should stay here, the sweetness of doing His will ought to be enough. Ought I to mind being here for a while, in the midst of all that tries me in every way, if I am to taste His love in it all? Then why stand still gazing up with tearful eyes, instead of pressing forward, full of joy? It is but " a little while."
There is no selfishness mixed with the cry, " Come, Lord Jesus; " but if He were to rise up and come tonight, would He find many waiting for Him? I believe He would, and bless God it is so. It is distinctly manifest that God is now working. He never came of old without giving a testimony beforehand....
" We are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." God is dealing with us now, and He would have us go forward with Him. He sets value on these works because they ate prepared by Himself. Is it nothing to have God working in us now, to will and to do of His good pleasure? Nothing that He should see in us the expression of the life of Christ? Think what it will be when we see the Lord Jesus, what it will be to have the life of Christ filling the body (Phil. 3:2121Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. (Philippians 3:21)), in a scene where all will harmonize. We begin in the wilderness to go on in the glory. The energy of God given to the soul, enables us now to walk in works which are the expression of that energy, and of our vital union with Christ. Is this only in the wilderness? No; it is to be carried on in glory, and forever.
There is a specialty, too, of providence in connection with every individual. God is great enough to count the hairs of our head. You and I are too little for this. God is so great that He can count up the cups of cold water (Matt. 10:30, 4230But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. (Matthew 10:30)
42And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward. (Matthew 10:42)
). We are too little to do so; we can only lay hold of general traits, and things and services more marked. Who marked the path for a Daniel or for a Paul in their day, and the early Christians in theirs? Who fixed the time of your birth, all your path in life, your sicknesses, your bereavements?-God, the living God. God comes in everywhere, in every thought, and step, and act of life, in every bit of testimony, to speak a right word to one in the street. These are works prepared of God that we should walk in them.—The thought of this will give. importance to many a thing little in itself; it will give sweetness to many a bitter cup, and stop many an act where self-will would come in and take the rein. Doubtless as you look back you will see much failure, much going after your own will, but can you not see that God was there to turn the page over (Gen. 28:16; 32:24, 3016And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the Lord is in this place; and I knew it not. (Genesis 28:16)
24And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. (Genesis 32:24)
30And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved. (Genesis 32:30)
), to mark out again your walk with Him in the path prepared for you? You may be stumbling through your duties and going wrong, the thoughts taken up with this care and that trouble, but having loved you, His love changes not because of what you are. " Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever."