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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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Mature Leadership

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The trials of the believer not only reveal the strength-level of faith but are simultaneously used to increase it! Regardless the cause of the hardness, God has decreed it to result in your favor (Rom 8:28)! - NC

 

Mature Leadership

 

It is worthy to note that no true leader of God’s people suffers less than the people whom He has called to lead. Secular and religious leaders may rise to command and position in many ways; but the leaders of God’s people can only rise in one way, that is, through suffering. The power to endure and encounter every liability and obstruction resting on the people is first proved and maintained by the shepherd; and then he can lead them in assured confidence in the Father, by whose enablement he has overcome.

 

We are not always morally prepared for the expression of our purposes, even though they be right ones. There must be growth and maturity before there can be ripened fruit-bearing. Hence, though the desire be a true one, there will be delay and discipline until one is morally equal to the task, according to the Father, which the purpose indicates and requires.

 

When Peter first proposed to follow the Lord (John 13), He warned him that he could not do so then; but on the contrary, that he would deny Him (verbally but not heartily—NC). But when Peter was finally restored (Luke 22:32), and had his soul strengthened in His love, He lets him know (John 21:18, 19) that he is to follow Him, and that the desire which he once so fearlessly and ignorantly avowed he should yet distinctly substantiate.

 

Thus it was too, with Moses. He had got the right idea and desire, but he had not learned from God the right way of substantiating and establishing it. He knew not the trials which beset his path, and consequently he had no provision to meet them when they occurred. His attempt only proved how insufficient were his resources for the work he had entered into (Acts 7—NC), and he had at last to abandon it (vs 29—NC), and to relinquish that on which his heart was set, the inevitable consequence of attempting to carry out a right purpose with his own resources.

 

Forty years in exile were appointed for him; but whether those forty long years should be one uninterrupted season of sorrow and gloom, or whether they should be mitigated by sources of solace and cheer, depends on the manner in which the disciplined one receives the discipline. Will he bow himself and accept the will of his Father? Will he prove himself in principle and heart a deliverer of the distressed, as well as to his own people? If he will, he accepts God’s discipline and therefore his lot may be less trying and oppressive. The moment there is subjection to discipline, it becomes effective and may be relaxed: It may not, perhaps be totally removed, but the scene may be brightened.

 

Until I am superior to trial, I must be under the power of it, and while under it, I cannot be free to serve with that whole-heartedness and cheerfulness of spirit which is always the mainspring of service. Nothing more proves our having a divine mission than the ease and readiness to render it in the most retired as much as in the most attractive and congenial sphere.

 

When we fully surrender ourselves to the position the Father has ordered for us, serving Him therein, He makes the desert land (place of discipline) to brighten up, and provides the rest and solace in that on which we entered in sorrow and desolation of heart.

 

- J B Stoney

 

 

Miles J Stanford devotional: http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/

 

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Well I must admit that I did find myself a little lost at some points in there, but on the whole, thank you for sharing and for putting it so eloquently. I can just tell that this took some time to compile and put the thoughts to paper (or screen) so I do appreciate that. Fully surrendering ourselves I think is something that you can talk day in and day out about and still not really understand what the Lord is looking for or asks of us. The more we self-explore, though, the more likely we can come into answers. Thanks again for sharing.

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Well I must admit that I did find myself a little lost at some points in there, but on the whole, thank you for sharing and for putting it so eloquently. I can just tell that this took some time to compile and put the thoughts to paper (or screen) so I do appreciate that. Fully surrendering ourselves I think is something that you can talk day in and day out about and still not really understand what the Lord is looking for or asks of us. The more we self-explore, though, the more likely we can come into answers. Thanks again for sharing.

 

Hi RZ and thanks for your reply! I also appreciate and am learning from this author's material!

 

Blessings!

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