Getting There

Come to Me . . . —Matthew 11:28

Where sin and sorrow stops, and the song of the saint starts. Do I really want to get there? I can right now. The questions that truly matter in life are remarkably few, and they are all answered by these words— “Come to Me.” Our Lord’s words are not, “Do this, or don’t do that,” but— “Come to me.” If I will simply come to Jesus, my real life will be brought into harmony with my real desires. I will actually cease from sin, and will find the song of the Lord beginning in my life.

Have you ever come to Jesus? Look at the stubbornness of your heart. You would rather do anything than this one simple childlike thing— “Come to Me.” If you really want to experience ceasing from sin, you must come to Jesus.

Jesus Christ makes Himself the test to determine your genuineness. Look how He used the word come. At the most unexpected moments in your life there is this whisper of the Lord— “Come to Me,” and you are immediately drawn to Him. Personal contact with Jesus changes everything. Be “foolish” enough to come and commit yourself to what He says. The attitude necessary for you to come to Him is one where your will has made the determination to let go of everything and deliberately commit it all to Him.

“. . . and I will give you rest”— that is, “I will sustain you, causing you to stand firm.” He is not saying, “I will put you to bed, hold your hand, and sing you to sleep.” But, in essence, He is saying, “I will get you out of bed— out of your listlessness and exhaustion, and out of your condition of being half dead while you are still alive. I will penetrate you with the spirit of life, and you will be sustained by the perfection of vital activity.” Yet we become so weak and pitiful and talk about “suffering” the will of the Lord! Where is the majestic vitality and the power of the Son of God in that?

by Oswald Chambers

The Negative Power of Rejection

Ephesians 4:29-32

As a pastor, I’ve had many wounded children in my office. They might be adults, but the little boy or girl inside of them is still grieving over a parent’s lack of acceptance.

Parents have significant power to negatively shape a child’s life by making him or her feel rejected. Without the steady foundation of unconditional parental love, such kids become adults whose entire life experience is shaped by their earliest feelings. These walking wounded cannot trust in others’ care for them—they are waiting for the rejection that they believe is inevitable. Friendly advice is often heard as criticism, and even a forgotten birthday may be seen as a sign of dislike.

Many mothers and fathers are probably thinking, I love my kids; I accept them! Rejection, however, can be subtle. For example, parents may think they’re providing guidance by suggesting more conventional music selections, hair styles, or fashion choices. But this type of criticism is often received as an attack on the child’s personhood—an indication that he or she isn’t measuring up. The same sort of thing can happen at a Little League game. If Dad says, “You would have hit that pitch if you had watched the ball as I taught you,” his son’s delicate ego hears, “If you performed better, I’d be happy with you now instead of irritated.”

Unwise criticism can be interpreted as rejection, leaving a child feeling unloved or unworthy of love. On the other hand, discipline and instruction, which are necessary for children’s maturity, confront their actions and attitudes while communicating a parent’s acceptance.

The Fruit-Bearing Christian

“Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.” (Philippians 4:17)

The apostle Paul here was commending the Christians at Philippi as the only church that had sent an offering to help defray his expenses on his missionary trips. He calls such gifts “fruit” that would abound to their “account” (Greek logos, probably better rendered as “testimony”). Thus God considers gifts of money to scriptural ministries to be like life-giving fruits on a healthy vine.

There are other types of fruits which a Christian life can produce. Paul regarded those he had helped lead to Christ as fruits. He wrote to the Christians at Rome: “I purposed to come unto you . . . that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles” (Romans 1:13).

Genuine traits of godly character are also called fruits. “For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth” (Ephesians 5:9). The classic passage, outlining the nine-fold fruit produced by the Holy Spirit in the life of a willing Christian, is Galatians 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” It is significant that all these attributes constitute one fruit, not nine fruits.

The tremendous importance of fruit-bearing in the Christian life was especially brought out by Christ in His famous discourse on the vine and the branches in John 15:1-16. In these verses, the word “fruit” occurs eight times. First, there is the warning: “Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away” (John 15:2). If there is no fruit (or if the fruit is “corrupt fruit”) in the life, there is no assurance of any life at all.

“Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit” (John 15:8). To bring forth much fruit, we must abide (that is, “continue steadfastly”) in Christ (John 15:5). HMM

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, Thou wilt revive me

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, Thou wilt revive me.— Psalm 138:7.

IT is very helpful to make a habit of offering, morning by morning, the troubles of the day just beginning to our dear Lord, accepting His will in all things, especially in all little personal trials and vexations. Some persons have found
great benefit from making, when first they wake, the act taught! To Madame de Chantal by St. Francis de Sales, accepting “all things tolerable and intolerable” for love of Christ; then at midday, a moment’s inward search to see whether
there has been any voluntary slackening of submission, any deliberate opposition to God’s will, any hesitation in resisting the distaste or fretfulness, the impatience or discouragement we are tempted to feel when things go contrary to
our own will and likings, making a fresh resolution to go on heartily; and, at night, a quick review of the day’s failures for which to ask pardon, and strength to go on better anew. Some such habit as this is a great check to that terrible hindrance of the spiritual life which, terrible though it be, is so apt to steal upon many good and earnest souls,—a complaining, grumbling, self-pitying spirit. H.L. SIDNEY LEAR.

Behold, I make all things new

Behold, I make all things new. Revelation 21:5

Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. — If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. — Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump. — The new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name.

Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. — Seeing … that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness?

John 3:3. 2 Corinthians 5:17. Ezekiel 36:26. 1 Corinthians 5:7. Ephesians 4:24. Isaiah 62:2. Isaiah 65:17. 2 Peter 3:11.

He arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him

He arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. Luke 15:20

The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.

Ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God. — Ye who sometime were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. —Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God.

Psalm 103:8-13. Romans 8:15,16. Ephesians 2:13. Ephesians 2:19.