Love of God; Mercy & Voice of Cross
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DELAYS ARE NOT DENIALS
"Therefore will the Lord wait, that He may be gracious
unto you, and therefore will He be exalted, that He may have
mercy upon you; for the Lord is a God of judgment; blessed are
all they that wait for Him."-- Isa_30:18.
THERE ARE many illustrations of this Divine method in the Word
of God. The Angel at the Jabbok-ford waited till Jacob could
wrestle no more, being completely exhausted by his struggles;
and then, as his helpless antagonist clung to Him for support,
He whispered in his ear His mystic name and blessed him there.
Our Lord waited till the Syrophenician woman fell helpless at
His feet, with the cry: "Lord, help me!" that He might grant
to her the boon she craved for her child. From His throne in
Heaven He pursued the same method, waiting to be gracious till
the apostles and others in the upper room had reached such a
condition of helplessness that He could give them their
Pentecost; waiting till the little group of disciples had
exhausted every other expedient, that He might release to them
Peter from his prison; waiting till Paul had renounced all
creative energy, that He might make him strong in His almighty
power, while He whispered: "My grace is sufficient for thee;
My strength is made perfect in weakness."
Too often we have misinterpreted God's dealings with us. When
He has tarried beyond the Jordan, in spite of our entreaties
that He should hasten to save Lazarus, we have concluded that
He was strangely neglectful. But, in fact, He was waiting, at
no small cost to His heart, till we had come to the end of
ourselves, and the way was clear for Him to work a more
astounding miracle than we had dared to hope.
God's delays are not denials; they are not neglectful nor
unkind. He is waiting with watchful eye and intent for the
precise moment to strike, when He can give a blessing which
will be without alloy, and will flood all after life with
blessings so royal, so plenteous, so divine, that eternity
will be too short to utter all our praise.
We ask from the treasures of Thy grace for a more childlike
trust, a more faithful spirit, a more loyal will. May our
obedience open to us all spiritual knowledge. AMEN.
Do not be deceived, God is not
mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.
For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the
Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. (Gal_6:7-8)
We now revisit the category of "unpopular" promises. This set of promises concerns the
absolute certainties of the reaping and sowing process. "Whatever a man sows, that he
will also reap." In a world that often rejects accountability, these promises are very
Many people are deceived on this matter. They wrongly assume that they will not have
to face the consequences of the "daily seeds" they are planting. To hold such an
inaccurate perspective is actually a mockery against God, who established this
principle. "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked." The pattern of planting and
harvesting is clearly demonstrated in the case of physical seeds. Whenever a farmer
sows corn, he always reaps corn. He never reaps wheat. This pattern is just as certain
in the realm of spiritual seeds. Every person is sowing spiritual seeds every day of
their lives: either, seeds of "his flesh" or seeds of "the Spirit." The harvest for
each person is thereby determined: either, "corruption" or "everlasting life."
Throughout the world (and, sadly, in many instances within the church world) seeds of
flesh are sown day by day. In word, deed, attitude, or relationship, people are
planting seeds that are characterized by this fleshly list in Gal_5:19-21. "Now the
works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness,
licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of
wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness,
revelries, and the like." These seeds bring forth a harvest of destruction. "For he
who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption." Such seeds diminish and
destroy every life that engages in them. Such seeds bring multiplied condemnation and
judgment for unbelievers. When believers are caught in such carnal indulgences for a
season, these seeds bring forth spiritual dryness, fruitlessness, and lack of appetite
for communion with the Lord.
On the other hand, far different seeds are available for sowing, and they produce a
distinctly different crop. "He who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap
everlasting life." The seeds that are planted by dependence upon the Spirit of God
bring fruit as described in Gal_5:22-23. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy,
peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control."
Heavenly Father, I deeply regret the fleshly seeds that I
have sown. They always diminish my life and dishonor You. I desire to sow seeds of the
Spirit. They always enrich my life and bring glory to You. I long to please You, not
mock You, Amen.
“The mercy of God.”
Meditate a little on this mercy of the Lord. It is tender mercy. With gentle, loving
touch, he healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. He is as gracious
in the manner of his mercy as in the matter of it. It is great mercy. There is nothing
little in God; his mercy is like himself-it is infinite. You cannot measure it. His
mercy is so great that it forgives great sins to great sinners, after great lengths of
time, and then gives great favours and great privileges, and raises us up to great
enjoyments in the great heaven of the great God. It is undeserved mercy, as indeed all
true mercy must be, for deserved mercy is only a misnomer for justice. There was no
right on the sinner’s part to the kind consideration of the Most High; had the rebel
been doomed at once to eternal fire he would have richly merited the doom, and if
delivered from wrath, sovereign love alone has found a cause, for there was none in
the sinner himself. It is rich mercy. Some things are great, but have little efficacy
in them, but this mercy is a cordial to your drooping spirits; a golden ointment to
your bleeding wounds; a heavenly bandage to your broken bones; a royal chariot for
your weary feet; a bosom of love for your trembling heart. It is manifold mercy. As
Bunyan says, “All the flowers in God’s garden are double.” There is no single mercy.
You may think you have but one mercy, but you shall find it to be a whole cluster of
mercies. It is abounding mercy. Millions have received it, yet far from its being
exhausted; it is as fresh, as full, and as free as ever. It is unfailing mercy. It
will never leave thee. If mercy be thy friend, mercy will be with thee in temptation
to keep thee from yielding; with thee in trouble to prevent thee from sinking; with
thee living to be the light and life of thy countenance; and with thee dying to be the
joy of thy soul when earthly comfort is ebbing fast.
We are ambassadors for Christ
"For the love of Christ constraineth us....We are ambassadors for Christ, as though
God did beseech you by us."-- 2Co_5:14-20.
AN AMBASSADOR may live in a foreign country, but he does not belong to it. He is there
to represent his own country, and no opportunity of helping forward her interests is
allowed to pass. We have to represent Christ to the world. The word "constrain"
suggests a constant pressure, an urge, as when water is forced down a certain channel.
St. Paul says: "I act as I do because I am under the spell of a mighty constraint; I
can do no other; I am not master of myself. Do not wonder at what may seem to be
unusual and extravagant. Attribute my eccentricity to Christ--His love actuates me,
and bears me along."
What is meant by "the love of Christ?" Is it His to us, or ours to Him? It is
impossible to divide them thus, for they are one. As the sunlight strikes the moon,
and is reflected from her to the earth, so the love we have to Christ, or to man, is
the reflection of His love to us. All love in our cold and loveless hearts is the
emanation and reflection of the Love which began in Him, was mediated to us in
Calvary, and is reflected from us, as sunlight from a mirror.
The love of Christ does not constrain all Christian people, because they do not
understand the profound significance of the Cross; but when the soul once appreciates
that, and passes through the gate of death into the life of God, then it begins to
feel the constraining love of Christ. The pivot of our life must be the Risen Christ:
"We no longer live unto ourselves, but unto Him who rose again." We sometimes hear
people described as eccentric---out of the centre. A man is ex-centric to the world
when he is concentric with Christ. It is thus that we become a new creation. When by
faith we are united to Jesus Christ in His Cross and Grave, the transition is made. We
pass over into the Easter life. He has reconciled us unto Himself, and has given to us
the ministry of reconciliation--therefore we are ambassadors. We have to proclaim
forgiveness to the sinful, the loosening of their chains to those who sit in
prison-houses, and the near approach of salvation to all (Isa_52:7-10).
This empty cup for Thee to fill;
This trembling heart for Thee to still;
This yielded life to do Thy will,
O Lord of Love, I bring Thee. AMEN.
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