Gleanings 158

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 8
John could say of Christ, " He was a Man down here whom we looked upon and our hands handled, but I never think of Him under any other character than that of the only-begotten Son of God." (God manifest in flesh.)
"I beseech you, abide in him, that when he appears; we may have confidence, and not be ashamed;" that is, He has set us to work, to preach and to build you up in Him, and we want to see you all so walking that we may have gladness of heart when He appears, because of not having labored in vain. This thought of John's in connection with the appearing is touching, but not the same as Paul's joy at standing in the presence of Jesus with his dearly beloved Thessalonians round him. The fruit of his ministry will be his crown of rejoicing in the Lord's presence with all the blessedness that belongs to it-the grace of Christ being sufficiently large to admit of Paul's joy at that crown. People say, "What, shall we think of any other in the glory save the Lord?" Surely of none like Him. (I shall worship Christ but never Paul.) But while giving Christ the place which He only can have in every heart up there, my soul would exceedingly miss it if the Lord would not allow my affections to be there in connection with those dear to me down here; and so Paul says, " What is our hope or joy or crown of rejoicing, is it not even ye? who are the fruit of our labor for him in whose presence ye will be with us, at his coming?" A great many things will rejoice us in the glory, and you are one of them, a crown of rejoicing. Paul expected every groan in the wilderness to shine in the glory, and it may well be so, for it is life down here, the life of Christ in the soul, and it will not be another life when in glory. It will be the same life that was displayed in different circumstances down here, that will be displayed there.
Every vessel will be filled up to the brim in the glory, but there will be the difference between big and little vessels. If I saw Paul walking in the glory, I should understand the difference between large and little vessels; and should I not delight to see him honored of Christ, who wrote many and many a blessed sentence in my soul? delight to see him there within with Christ, enjoying the reward of his much suffering here, up there where will be the full manifestation of everything.