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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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NetChaplain

Love-training

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“For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh (2Co 4:11).

 

We must know what it is to be delivered unto death in some way or another; the sense of the daily perishing of the old man must be deepened in us. Whenever the roots may extend, and where natural energy would most work, there death must come in the more. Every trial is, I believe, to correct a budding of the crab tree—the old man.

 

Nothing shows or testifies so much of the Father’s interest about us as the way He uses circumstances to detach us from things which He in His holiness would have us apart from. Hence, wherever there is a root or a tendency going out into the world, or nature which is the world in miniature, He allows someone or something to vex and hurt us in that rootlet in order to teach us how to draw in, and that there was danger there.

 

There was a growth there, and its source should have been mortified; and if we have not done so, we suffer through the very things we had not suppressed (or “put off” - Eph 4:22; Col 3:8, 9—NC), and we are made aware that there was a growth where we had not perceived it ourselves. How many things try and annoy us every day which are not really for His sake!

 

All these when carried to the Father are solved by the simple fact that they were necessary, as intimating to us that there was some proud flesh which required the caustic of the Cross; and not only this, but while personally painful to us, the very trial corroborates in our hearts the depth and constancy of our Father’s care and love for us.

 

It is a blessed thing to walk consciously in the assurance of being so fully watched over. Many look for favors from God in their circumstances, who do not observe the way He takes to wean them from things here. They like to interpret His providences as if they were thereby given leave to bind their hearts to His mercies here; but the more closely and spiritually you follow the Lord’s ways with you, the more you will find that it is to Himself He would bind you. His ordering for you here is either to sever you from attachments in this scene, or to set you free from distractions, in order that there should be no interruption to your enjoyment of Himself.

 

The more I know the love of my Father’s heart, in associating me with His Son now, according to His desire in the scene of eternal brightness, the more am I prepared and expecting that He will remove every hindrance to my practical enjoyment of it; and if I am enjoying it, I shall soon be able to solve satisfactorily to myself His ways and arrangements for me here as a citizen of heaven. Whereas if I am trying to see how He considers for me here as a citizen of this world, I shall be continually disappointed and confused.

 

What a different thing it is to walk as one kept dressed and fit for heaven, and only as one receiving sunshine and rain here! The Lord give us to be so assured in heart of His desire to have us in His company with Himself, that we may view and measure everything as it tends to promote the end and aim of His eternal love.

 

- J B Stoney

 

 

Excerpt from MJS devotional for Jan. 18:

 

“Though we receive our faith from Him, it must be developed in us by Him. Undeveloped faith never progresses beyond the babe-in-Christ, milk-of-the-Word stage.” – Miles J Stanford

http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/

 

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