“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” John 15:11
Ever been in love? If so, you know what it means to be preoccupied. I met my wife Martie in the fall of our freshman year at college. It didn’t take long for me to know that my heart had become hopelessly lost to her. When summer came, she went home to Cleveland, and I went on the road for 10 weeks with a team of musicians to represent our college.
We had a great summer. Our days were filled with exciting experiences, interesting places, and chances to meet all kinds of people. But no matter how new and exciting the trip, my mind kept returning to Martie. I hoped there would be a letter from her at the next church, and that she would be at home when I called. I wondered where she was, what she was doing, and what we’d be doing if we were together. I looked forward to the joy we would experience when we were together again.
It’s like that for those of us who are developing an ever-deepening relationship with Jesus. Though busy in our daily routines, we find that He increasingly becomes the backdrop to all of life. We love to hear from Him in His Word, where we find out more about Him and about what He wants us to know. We are thrilled to learn about Him and His ways, and we listen carefully to His direction for our lives. We increasingly enjoy times of prayer, as we speak with Him and sense His communication with us. And we find ourselves longing for the day we will see him face-to-face.
Loving Jesus is not an escape from life, nor is it a brief encounter on some monastic retreat. It’s the joy of staying in touch and the pleasure of knowing that regardless of what a day may bring, the best day is still to come.
- What people, places, or things occupy your heart? In what ways can you keep them from eclipsing your love for Jesus?
- How have you experienced the joy of spending time with Him recently?
- How are you doing in your love relationship with Jesus? What joy has He brought to your heart this day?
Lions lacking–but the children satisfied
“The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.” Psalm 34:10
We take it concerning things spiritual. Are we wanting a sense of pardon? We shall not want it long. Are we desiring stronger faith? We shall not want it long. Do you wish to have more love to your Saviour, to understand more concerning inward communion with Jesus? You shall have it. “They that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.” Do you desire to renounce your sins, to be able to overcome this corruption or that, to attain this virtue, or that excellency? “They that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.” Is it adoption, justification, sanctification that you want? “You shall not lack any good thing.” But are your wants temporal? Do you want bread and water? No, I know you do not, for it is said, “Bread shall be given, and water shall be sure.” Or, if you do want it somewhat, it shall come before long; it shall not be to starvation. David said, “I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” Do you want clothes? You shall have them. “He that clothes the lilies of the valley, will he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?” Do you need temporary supplies? You shall receive them, for “your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.” Whatever your desire, there is the promise, only go and plead it at the throne, and God will fulfil it. We have no right to look for the fulfilment of the promises unless we put the Promiser in mind of them, although truly, at times, he exceeds our desires or wishes.
For meditation: A true seeking of God will mould our desires to the things which we need and which please him—as such he cannot but answer when we call (Psalm 37:3-5).
‘Through sanctification of the Spirit.’ 1 Peter 1:2
We may without the slightest mistake speak of sanctification as the work of the Spirit, yet we must take heed that we do not view it as if the Father and the Son had no part therein. It is correct to speak of sanctification as the work of the Father, of the Spirit, and of the Son. Jehovah says, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness,’ and thus ‘we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.’ My brethren, I beg you to notice and carefully consider the value which God sets upon real holiness, since the Trinity is represented as co-working to produce a church without ‘spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.’ Holiness is the architectural plan upon which God builds up his living temple. We read in Scripture of the ‘beauties of holiness;’ nothing is beautiful before God but that which is holy. All the glory of Lucifer, that son of the morning, could not screen him from divine abhorrence when he had defiled himself by sin. ‘Holy, Holy, Holy,’—the continual cry of cherubim is the loftiest song that creature can offer, and the noblest that the divine Being can accept. See then, he counts holiness to be his choice treasure. It is as the seal upon his heart, and as the signet upon his right hand. I pray you who profess to be followers of Christ, set a high value upon purity of life and godliness of conversation. Value the blood of Christ as the foundation of your hope, but never speak disparagingly of the work of the Spirit.
For meditation: Some overemphasise the work of the Holy Spirit so much that they appear to worship him alone as a unity. Others in reaction seem to overlook the work of the Holy Spirit so much that they appear to worship only the Father and Son as a duality. Real Trinitarians give due honour to all three persons of the Godhead. Something is seriously wrong if any one is belittled or omitted (John 5:23; Acts 19:2).