Jesus Loves Me

Romans 8:31-39

On cold days, our old dog moves around the yard, finding a sunny spot to stretch out on the grass to keep herself in the warmth of the sun.

This reminds me that we must “keep” ourselves in the love of God (Jude 1:21). That doesn’t mean we have to act in some special way to make God love us (although our desire is to please Him). Because we are His children we’re loved no matter what we do or fail to do. It means instead that we should think about His love and bask in its radiance and warmth all day long.

“[Nothing] shall be able to separate us from the love of God” (Rom. 8:39). He loved us before we were born, and He loves us now. This is our identity in Christ; it is who we are—God’s beloved children. That’s something to think about throughout the day.

Five times in John’s gospel he described himself as the disciple Jesus loved (13:23; 19:26; 20:2; 21:7,20). Jesus loved His other disciples too, but John reveled in the fact that Jesus loved him! We can adopt John’s theme—“I am the disciple Jesus loves!”—and repeat it to ourselves all day long. Or we can sing that familiar children’s song in our hearts, “Jesus loves me, this I know.” As we carry that truth with us throughout the day, we’ll bask in the warmth of His love! by David H. Roper

I am so glad that our Father in heaven
Tells of His love in the Book He has given;
Wonderful things in the Bible I see—
This is the dearest, that Jesus loves me. —Bliss

God loves us not because of who we are, but because of who He is.

He Kept the Faith

Continue to have faith and do what you know is right. Some people have rejected this, and their faith has been shipwrecked. 1 TIMOTHY 1:19

I sit a few feet from a man on death row. Jewish by birth. Tentmaker by trade. Apostle by calling. His days are marked. I’m curious about what bolsters this man as he nears his execution. So I ask some questions.

Do you have family, Paul? I have none.

What about your health? My body is beaten and tired.…

Any awards? Not on earth.

Then what do you have, Paul? No belongings. No family.… What do you have that matters?

I have my faith. It’s all I have. But it’s all I need. I have kept the faith.

Paul leans back against the wall of his cell and smiles.

When God Whispers Your Name

Savor of Life or Death

“For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?” (2 Corinthians 2:15-16)

It is remarkable how the very same testimony can have such dramatically opposite effects on its recipients. A lecture on the scientific evidences of creation, for example, or on the inspiration of the Bible will be received with great joy and understanding by some, provoke furious hostility in some, and generate utter indifference in others. This seems to be true of any message—written, or verbal, or simply demonstrated in behavior—which has any kind of biblically spiritual dimension to it. It is like the pillar of cloud in the wilderness, which “came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night” (Exodus 14:20). A Christian testimony draws and wins the one, repels and condemns the other. Some there are who “loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:17).

Thus the wonderful message of the gospel yields two diametrically opposite results. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36). Christ came to bring both unity and division. “Behold I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious. . . . Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient. . . . a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense, even to them which stumble at the word” (1 Peter 2:6-8).

But the wonderful thing is this: Whether a true testimony generates life or condemns to death, it is still “unto God a sweet savor of Christ.” HMM

They shall mount up with wings as eagles

“They shall mount up with wings as eagles.” (Isa. 40:31.)

THERE is a fable about the way the birds got their wings at the beginning. They were first made without wings. Then God made the wings and put them down before the wingless birds and said to them, “Come, take up these burdens and bear them.”

The birds had lovely plumage and sweet voices; they could sing, and their feathers gleamed in the sunshine, but they could not soar in the air. They hesitated at first when bidden to take up the burdens that lay at their feet, but soon they obeyed, and taking up the wings in their beaks, laid them on their shoulders to carry them.

For a little while the load seemed heavy and hard to bear, but presently, as they went on carrying the burdens, folding them over their hearts, the wings grew fast to their little bodies, and soon they discovered how to use them, and were lifted by them up into the air—the weights became wings.

It is a parable. We are the wingless birds, and our duties and tasks are the pinions God has made to lift us up and carry us heavenward. We look at our burdens and heavy loads, and shrink from them; but as we lift them and bind them about our hearts, they become wings, and on them we rise and soar toward God.

There is no burden which, if we lift it cheerfully and bear it with, love in our hearts, will not become a blessing to us. God means our tasks to be our helpers; to refuse to bend our shoulders to receive a load, is to decline a new opportunity for growth.—J. R. Miller.

Blessed is any weight, however overwhelming, which God has been so good as to fasten with His own hand upon our shoulders.—F. W. Faber.

Lead me in Thy truth and teach me

“Lead me in Thy truth, and teach me: for Thou art the God of my salvation; on Thee do I wait all the day.” Psalm 25:5

When the believer has begun with trembling feet to walk in the way of the Lord, he asks to be still led onward like a little child upheld by its parent’s helping hand, and he craves to be further instructed in the alphabet of truth. Experimental teaching is the burden of this prayer. David knew much, but he felt his ignorance, and desired to be still in the Lord’s school: four times over in two verses he applies for a scholarship in the college of grace.

It were well for many professors if instead of following their own devices, and cutting out new paths of thought for themselves, they would enquire for the good old ways of God’s own truth, and beseech the Holy Ghost to give them sanctified understandings and teachable spirits. “For thou art the God of my salvation.” The Three-One Jehovah is the Author and Perfecter of salvation to His people. Reader, is He the God of your salvation? Do you find in the Father’s election, in the Son’s atonement, and in the Spirit’s quickening, all the grounds of your eternal hopes?

If so, you may use this as an argument for obtaining further blessings; if the Lord has ordained to save you, surely He will not refuse to instruct you in His ways. It is a happy thing when we can address the Lord with the confidence which David here manifests, it gives us great power in prayer, and comfort in trial. “On Thee do I wait all the day.” Patience is the fair handmaid and daughter of faith; we cheerfully wait when we are certain that we shall not wait in vain. It is our duty and our privilege to wait upon the Lord in service, in worship, in expectancy, in trust all the days of our life.

Our faith will be tried faith, and if it be of the true kind, it will bear continued trial without yielding. We shall not grow weary of waiting upon God if we remember how long and how graciously He once waited for us.

Tell me I pray thee wherein thy great strength lieth

“Tell me I pray thee wherein thy great strength lieth.” Judges 16:6

Where lies the secret strength of faith? It lies in the food it feeds on; for faith studies what the promise is—an emanation of divine grace, an overflowing of the great heart of God; and faith says, “My God could not have given this promise, except from love and grace; therefore it is quite certain His Word will be fulfilled.”

Then faith thinketh, “Who gave this promise?” It considereth not so much its greatness, as, “Who is the author of it?” She remembers that it is God who cannot lie—God omnipotent, God immutable; and therefore concludeth that the promise must be fulfilled; and forward she advances in this firm conviction. She remembereth, why the promise was given,—namely, for God’s glory, and she feels perfectly sure that God’s glory is safe, that He will never stain His own escutcheon, nor mar the lustre of His own crown; and therefore the promise must and will stand.

Then faith also considereth the amazing work of Christ as being a clear proof of the Father’s intention to fulfil His word. “He that spared not His own Son, but freely delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” Moreover faith looks back upon the past, for her battles have strengthened her, and her victories have given her courage. She remembers that God never has failed her; nay, that He never did once fail any of His children. She recollecteth times of great peril, when deliverance came; hours of awful need, when as her day her strength was found, and she cries, “No, I never will be led to think that He can change and leave His servant now. Hitherto the Lord hath helped me, and He will help me still.”

Thus faith views each promise in its connection with the promise-giver, and, because she does so, can with assurance say, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life!”