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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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The Fellowship Walk

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Of all the marvels of the Father’s grace, none is more marvelous than the fact of His bringing believers into fellowship with Himself. That the Father should interest Himself in the concerns of our daily lives, and number the very hairs of our heads, is wonderful indeed; that He should give us glory in heaven above the angels is a wonder deeper still; but that He should call us to like thoughts, feelings and to common objects with Himself is beyond all conception. Yet such is the case, and the reality of this fellowship is for every child of His. For it is not just the portion of the great and mighty of His family merely, but the blessedness of all His children.

 

Before the new life was communicated to us we were in the flesh, and could not enter into God’s mind (couldn’t know Him—NC); we are now in the Spirit (“not in the flesh” – Rom 8:9—NC), but “the old man” is to us what it always was. The flesh sins (we in our sinful nature: Rom 7:17, 20—NC); the new life (we in our nature after Christ: Col 3:10—NC) sins not, “it cannot sin” (1Jhn 3:9—NC). So long as the old man in us is kept in its place of death, the believer is not sinning. Sin is in him, but he is not committing sin; moral activity of his old man is suspended.

 

As a practical fact, it is alas, the case, that we swiftly become restored to fleshly activity by the influences of the world, and too little reckoning ourselves to be “dead indeed unto sin” (Christ’s Blood renders us so: Rom 6:2, 11 – thus our reckoning doesn’t effect this “death” but rather allows us to appropriate it in our conscience and hence, in our walk—NC). When this is the case the activity of the Spirit’s work within, in leading us to joy in our Father, is hindered, and instead, the Spirit is making us to feel how sorrowful a thing it is for the child of God to live unto himself (2Cor 5:15).

 

We do not read that the Father and the Son have fellowship with us, as if God walked with us according to our poor, mean thoughts or attainments, but He leads us in spirit to His own thoughts of love. Having the new life which He has communicated, His children have, by His Spirit’s indwelling, the capacity of enjoying common thoughts and companionship with the Father and the Son.

 

In the full blaze of what the Father is, as revealed by His Son, and made known to us through the Scriptures, fellowship with Him is entered into. Here it is that the believer walks—“If we walk in the light as He is in the light.” How he walks is a question to be settled after it is determined where he walks. When walking in the light, fellowship follows, not as an attainment, but as a consequence.

 

The truth of what light is, is unalterable. It must not be weakened in the soul to suit the sense we may have of our individual practical condition (even though God shows us our sin we must know we are still in the light, which cannot be broken—NC) . God is God. He is what He is, and ever will be what He is; and His children have fellowship with Him. He leads us up, by His Spirit, to His presence and His thoughts. He has compassion on us in our feebleness, not fellowship with it (if by “feebleness” here is meant sin-affected, He is never feeble, though Jesus was “touched with the feeling of our infirmities”—NC). Our condition often hinders practical communion with the Father (if by “practical communion” is meant our walk in oneness with Him, the author could mean when we see any sinning in our lives we may think it disrupts our communion with Him, but we can be assured that our actual communion with God is unbroken: 1Co 10:16; 2Co 13:14—NC), but He has brought us to Himself in His sovereign grace and He changes not (retains our communion despite the sin nature—NC), His nature is ever light and love. He has made us His children and brought us into intimate fellowship with Himself, and this is our absolute and eternal position.

 

The truth goes with the light—it issues from the light. The Word of God has opened up His truth to us, and any thought that rejects the Word, or denies the truth, is darkness. It is unbelief to seek to modify this revelation (unbreakable communion—NC) of what our Father is, because of what we find in us. Divine truth is absolute, and brooks no denial, no tampering with and no toning down. Our Father is what He is—light; and He has given to His children eternal life, and brought them into the light even as He is in the light.

 

- H F Witherby

 

 

 

 

Excerpt from MJS devotional for Jan. 24:

 

“The quality of the fruit of the branch depends upon the quality of the life of the vine. Neither quality nor quantity is the product of the branch, for the branch merely receives what is produced by the vine.” – MJS

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

 

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