Saturday, September 13, 2008

Our trials--Death, Near Death, and His Death

I just love this devotion. The whole thing hit me, but especially these musings, "There should be no one with whom we converse so much as with Jesus." and "many of the trials which he sends us are for the purpose of weaning our hearts from the creature, and fixing them more closely upon himself." How true! Every time that life brings those difficult times of--perhaps--loved one dieing or coming close to death, and other such horrors; it is merely a trial and that trial is for our good to become closer to our Savior. In my life as I have went through the trials with my wife when she lost her mother or my aunt nearly dieing from a heart attack or something as small as my dog dieing, I feel my contingence! I see my mortaliy and my absolute DEPENDENCE on my savior. It reminds me of one of my favorite hymns,

"Oh, to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be! Let thy goodness like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee: prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, prone to leave the God I Love; here's my heart, O take and seal it; seal it for thy courts above."

I am a man like that. We all are. But sometime I forget... and I think I can stay good or righteous on my own or that I can breathe on my own or raise my children on my own or provide food for my family on my own AND I AM WRONG! Dead wrong! And I find that the more I realize this and rely on God for everything, even the welfare of my children, their spiritual development, their physical development, the more that I see God's grace reigning upon my day, my life, and I can do nothing but cry in thanksgiveness and glory in His Grace. And then, I see that these trials of death and near death are already conquered by my Sovereign God when His Son died AND then was risen again. Life swallowed up death in victory and now we all have access to this victory by the work of Christ Jesus who triumphed over this death and distributes it to all his people from this generation to a thousand generations. Let Glory be to him, through him, and in him forevermore. Amen.


__________________________

“God is jealous.”
— Nahum 1:2

Your Lord is very jealous of your love, O believer. Did he choose you? He cannot bear that you should choose another. Did he buy you with his own blood? He cannot endure that you should think that you are your own, or that you belong to this world. He loved you with such a love that he would not stop in heaven without you; he would sooner die than you should perish, and he cannot endure that anything should stand between your heart’s love and himself. He is very jealous of your trust. He will not permit you to trust in an arm of flesh. He cannot bear that you should hew out broken cisterns, when the overflowing fountain is always free to you. When we lean upon him, he is glad, but when we transfer our dependence to another, when we rely upon our own wisdom, or the wisdom of a friend—worst of all, when we trust in any works of our own, he is displeased, and will chasten us that he may bring us to himself. He is also very jealous of our company. There should be no one with whom we converse so much as with Jesus. To abide in him only, this is true love; but to commune with the world, to find sufficient solace in our carnal comforts, to prefer even the society of our fellow Christians to secret intercourse with him, this is grievous to our jealous Lord. He would fain have us abide in him, and enjoy constant fellowship with himself; and many of the trials which he sends us are for the purpose of weaning our hearts from the creature, and fixing them more closely upon himself. Let this jealousy which would keep us near to Christ be also a comfort to us, for if he loves us so much as to care thus about our love we may be sure that he will suffer nothing to harm us, and will protect us from all our enemies. Oh that we may have grace this day to keep our hearts in sacred chastity for our Beloved alone, with sacred jealousy shutting our eyes to all the fascinations of the world!

Spurgeon, Charles H.

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