Now Playing: How devoted are we to our Saviour ?
Topic: Spiritual State
"I Love Thee Still"
F. C. Blount
That there is a growing tendency to looseness and laxity must be apparent to any who are taking account of things, and especially does this take the form of worldliness in amusements, dress, furnishing of our homes, our affiliations and companionships.
The cross, in which we once gloried, as crucified with Christ, seeing on the one side a dead world and on the other a dead self, we view as the transaction in which our sins were put away, and there we pause, disinclined to accept it as the end of ourselves for the world and the end of the world for us (Gal. 6:14). "God forbid that I should glory" has ceased to be our prayer. We do not want the world rendered an object of contempt and shame to us, nor do we want to be rendered this to the world; and yet, this is where the cross leaves us.
We have lost CHRIST, maybe not as the object of faith, but as the object of affection. All declension begins here. With many of us it would seem to be enough to know Him as a Saviour. We are quite willing to use His sorrows and sufferings to separate us from our sins, but we do not want these to separate us from ourselves and our surroundings. With the individual as with the Assembly, we are under the charge of "Thou has left thy first love," and solemnly called to "Remember therefore from whence thou has fallen." There may be much in us that He can commend, but if He has lost His place in our hearts, if affections are alienated, we are "fallen." Searching and solemn indictment! And what is His word to us? "Repent!"
It is not enough to be "on the ground," and to "have the truth." We but repeat the sin of the Pharisees when we become content and complacent with externals. The truth must give us a state that comports and agrees with the place we are in. If this is effected, we will not "walk in the manners" of that world from which His cross has separated us.
Has the blessed Spirit been so grieved that He can no longer make good to us what is true of us in Christ? Have we lost the sense of His preciousness in our souls? (1 Peter 2:7)? What disposition or desire can be satisfied apart from CHRIST in whom every beauty, every charm and every glory meet? All must be disappointing, ephemeral, and empty. The joy we are looking for, we are leaving behind in turning away from HIM. Once its passions and pleasures, its gold and its glory, we counted but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus your Lord. "Where is then the blessedness we speak of?" Iniquity abounds, and the love of many waxes cold.
But HE is the same, and our failure has not diminished His fullness; it is for us still. However chilled in heart or wayward in walk, I hear Him saying, "I love thee still." Is there not a message from the cross, where love's sweetest story was so fully told, where we became His at such awful cost, where He bought us so dearly?
"I gave it all for thee;
What has thou given for Me?"
How much we are missing by leaving Him out of our lives! And how much He is missing! The next thing to being with Him there is to have Him with us here, to have His conscious presence, and so have a part with Him. When everything was slipping, Paul wrote to Timothy, "The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit."
Do we catch this? It is the first movement toward being already in heaven. He was given for us. Glory to His name! But have we lost Him as the One who gave Himself for us? Oh, what a loss, since, "Christ is all." He the exalted One, far above all heavens," and we, not only the object of His consideration, but of His love!
Do we begin to grasp that height to which HE has been carried; "far above all heavens?" HE has the pre-eminence in all things; and "I am His, and His desire is towards me." What a secret to be in; a secret angels cannot know. Wait before HIM until He fills us with His own fullness. For one look at HIM there, Paul, "counted all things but loss." No wonder he passed into an ecstasy, and was "beside himself." Stephen, occupied with Him and His glory, wore an angel's face. Look long and lingeringly in that face that streams with the light of His glory, and it will cast a shade on all below.
And are we passing it all by? It is our loss now, and eternally. Once in the secret of what CHRIST is, earth's joys will become stale, and as HIS COMING casts the light of the nearing glory across this "little while," it will take the burden from our cross, and the sharpness from the thorns as we "haste to meet Him with a bridal hymn."