LOVEST THOU ME?

Love of Christ the only right motive.” The central meaning is that love

of Himself is the only motive which gives to service a value in the eyes

of the Lord. Three times our Lord asks Peter if he loves Him, and in

answer to Peter’s confession that he does love Him, and that the Lord

knows that he loves Him, the Lord thrice commissions Peter for service.

Lovest thou me? Feed my lambs. John 21:15

We sometimes pray that we may have a love for souls; we even pray

that we may have “a great burden” for souls. I have known young people,

who are preparing for missionary work, to pray that they might have a great

love for the people in Africa, or whatever the chosen field might be. But

Peter is not asked if he loves the lambs and if he loves the sheep. You can

see how that motive would break down. The question is,

Lovest thou me? —John 21:16

Then feed “my lambs,” “my sheep.” Any any other motive in service is not,

with Christ, a sufficient motive.

How many of us…are serving out of mere denominational loyalty and zeal,

or out of our deep interest in some organization in which we are officers

or members? I believe there is great need for deep heart-searching just

at this point. Is the central motive of our service personal love for Him?

And is this the one test which we propose to ourselves every day in our

service?

(excerpt from “In Many Pulpits”….Dr. C.I. Scofield)

“JOY” C.I. Scofield (excerpts)

“That they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.” John 17:13

[M]any people in this world are content if they be merry….if they may put far
from them the burden and sorrow and care of this world, and forget its griefs
in passing jest, they are content. Happiness is an infinitely higher thing
than pleasure.

But our text holds something which is better even than happiness—and
that is joyousness. [It] might be defined as happiness overflowing…happiness
going out and beyond itself, too full to be used up in mere personal satisfaction,
an over abundance of happiness; happiness reaching out and desiring to
shine beyond the limits of one’s own soul.

[T]hree things stand over against sorrow or pain: pleasure, existing for and
ending upon self; happiness, a deeper, nobler thing; and joyousness, which
is the overflowing of happiness. If happiness might be compared to a tranquil
lake …joyousness would be like a mighty river flowing out.

“That they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.” John 17:13

We have here two simple ideas: Jesus Christ filled with joy —ourselves
privileged to partake of that joy until we are filled with it.

Now we do not habitually think of Jesus Christ as joyful. [The] prophet
Isaiah had said of Him that He would be:

“a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief:” Isaiah 53:3

But observe, “a man of sorrows,” not of melancholy. [not moping
through life; turning fretfully toward His burden; thinking of His wrongs, of
His throne denied Him, of His people rejecting Him, and of His poverty
and humiliation in a world which He had made.”].

Yet He was a “man of sorrows.”

“My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.” Matthew 26:38

But habitually He speaks of His joyfulness. This is the paradox of
Christ’s life; bearing those sorrows upon a flood-tide, as it were,
of a mighty joy. And the joy was more than the sorrow. An exultant
and joyful man of sorrows—let us try to understand this paradox.

Have you ever noticed that the nearer Jesus came to the cross, the
more He spoke of His joy? [As] Jesus went on, drawing ever nearer
to Calvary, as the burden of the shame and sin and sorrow of the
world began to gather in awful darkness over Him, observe how He
speaks more and more of His joyfulness; and in the closing
admonitions and instructions in the latter chapters of John’s Gospel,
there is a constant reference to the deep joy which filled Jesus. Just
when the sorrow is becoming deepest, the joyfulness seems to rise
above it and triumph over it.
[Isaiah’s explanation: “Surely he hath
borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows:” Isaiah 53:4]

Jesus found His supreme joy in bearing the sorrow of others. He
was not joyful in spite of having the privilege of getting underneath
the sorrow and burden of guilt of the world, but He was joyful
because of this privilege. It was the great fountain head of His joy,
the very source of it. He found His joy in the cross.

Jesus would rejoice with joy unspeakable…when looking down
on this world with its sin and misery and want and woe and
mountainous iniquity, there would be ever in His heart the exultant
joy of knowing that it was He who, in due time, should come down here
and get underneath all that unspeakable guilt, and bear it away from
man up to the cross.

“But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened
till it be accomplished!” Luke 12:50

[J.N. Darby on this verse: “It was not till after (his death on the cross)
that His love would have full liberty to develop itself in power. Thus His
heart, which was love even according to the infinitude of the Godhead,
was straitened until the atonement gave free course to it, and to the
accomplishment of all the purposes of God, in which His power should
be manifested according to that love, to which this atonement was
absolutely necessary as the basis of the reconciliation of all things
in heaven and earth. The unbelief of man drove back divine love into
the heart of Christ…unable to flow forth and express itself; but its full
effect on the cross made it flow forth unhindered, in grace that reigns
through righteousness, to the vilest. J.N.D.].

Put over against this the introspective self pity, which keeps us forever
occupied with our own little round of common sorrows and infirmities,
such as belong to the life here….farther than the east is from the west or
the brightest sunlight from the darkness of midnight, is this Christ temper
of soul from the pettiness of a self-centered life. The joy of vicarious
suffering, the joy of getting underneath all that was bearing down the
heart of humanity and lifting it helpfully away—this was the joy of the Lord.

THE RESISTLESS WILL OF GOD

There was another source of the joy of the Lord. He rejoiced in the will
of God. Will you consider that for a moment? What a joyful thing it is
not to be left alone in this world! What a joyful thing to know that one is
not the sport of circumstances nor of accident; not in a world where things
are suffered to take their course; not orphaned amidst all these destructive
forces that move in upon us, as children of God in this world; to know
in short, that over all there is the resistless will of God. Things are not
happening to the children of God. We are moving upon an appointed
course, and the joys and sorrows of our life are all appointed and portioned
out, moulding and shaping us for better things. We have our rejoicing,
not in the pain, not in the deprivation, not in the disappointment, but
in the great overmastering will which has sent these things.

Then again, what a joy the Lord found in His mission of salvation.

“How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be
gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth in the
mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so he that
find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the
ninety and nine which went not astray.” Matthew 18:12, 13

The joy of being a Savior! Dear friends, how great a thing it is to have
one soul saved, to have hell closed and glory opened forever to one
more immortal soul! Jesus rejoicing over one sheep, and the angels
rejoicing with Him!

The joy of coming underneath human guilt as well as sorrow and pain and
burden, and bearing that guilt away vicariously, that is the supreme joy
of the Lord, – the joy suffering that others might not suffer. Paul was in the
very fellowship of this compensating joy when he wrote:

“Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind
of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church.”
Colossians 1:24

If He suffered the others were spared; there was joy in that.

“In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father,
Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise
and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.” Luke 10:21

Do you know what that meant? Jesus had sent out the seventy
to announce the kingdom as at hand….they had not made one convert!
The mission to Israel was an absolute failure— Jesus saw that. The
thing was hid from the rulers, was hid from the nation, and was revealed
to a few fishermen and tax-gatherers and converted harlots. In that hour
Jesus rejoiced in spirit! Why? Hear His own words:

“for so it seemed good in thy sight.” Luke 10:21

Another source of joy which sustained our Lord in the supreme agony of
the cross:

“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy
that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame.”
Hebrews 12:2

The joy of final consummation; the joy in anticipation of the fruition of
all His suffering, when He should see and eternally enjoy the results of it;
the joy of putting away the sins of men, of transforming them into His own
image, and of sharing with them the eternal [intense happiness].
Beyond question we do not live enough in the inspiration of the
compensations and balancing of heaven.

Now…the human side of joy:

“That they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.” John 17:13

How shall we have the joy of the Lord? [It] is a call to unselfish heights.
If we are to share the joy of the Lord, we must be willing to share that
out of which sprang His joy. We must rejoice if we can bear away some
sorrow from another heart, some burden from another life. We must
learn to rejoice, as we never yet have learned to rejoice, in the salvation
of the lost. We read that there:

“is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that
repenteth.” Luke 15:10

Then we must turn our thoughts more towards the future, towards
the heavenly rest, the heavenly activities and the eternal joys which
are there. I repeat it is a trumpet call. It costs something to have
the joy of the Lord. Salvation, with its joy, is a free gift, but the joy
of the Lord is to be had only by entering into fellowship with the Lord
in His path; to be, in the measure of our capacity, Christs in the world;
to get with Him into the joy of suffering; the joy of the great sweet will
of God; the expectation of the things to come.

Is there not a perpetual crusade being preached from the blessed Word,
calling us up out of the petty things in which our lives are being
frittered away; a crusade which calls us to go out upon Christ’s own
great emprise of salvation into the uttermost parts of the earth?

“And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and
your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.” John 16:22

THE HEAVENLY PATTERN……C.I. Scofield

“See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern
shewed to thee in the mount.” Hebrews 8:5

“Moses was invited up into the presence of God and into the vision
of the heavenly things in order that he might reproduce in type
the things which he had seen….that Moses was commissioned to
build [the tabernacle] something on earth that should be exactly like something
in heaven.

In Him [Jesus Christ] there is nothing lacking, nothing in excess.
He could be supremely gentle, patient, and sympathetic. So
these lives of ours will be heavenly in proportion as cost has gone
into them…First the unspeakable, the holy, the immeasurable gift
and cost of our redemption. The costliest gift that heaven had
was given for us, and we shall never come to the acme of Christian
character and life without sacrifice–the best and costliest we
have to give. It costs the renunciation of the lesser that we may
have the greater, that we may grasp the choicest things and build
them into character.

The great temptation is to make religion a matter of externalities alone;
but to be rather than to do, is the central thought of God with regard to
the character of His people; to be beautiful within.

There is the danger of hypocrisy, the danger that we shall seem to be
more devoted, more consecrated, more engaged with the things of God
than we really are; and if I read aright the mind of Christ, there is nothing
for which He feels such an aversion as for hypocrisy. And the essence of
hypocrisy is trying to seem to be a little sweeter, a little better, a little more
devoted than we really are.

You and I are not very important individuals; we are called to build the
tabernacle of character in the lowly walks of life, –we are not filling
very exalted stations. We are likely to be called upon to build just
along some dusty highway, where the great mass of men must walk
and suffer and serve, than to build it upon some heaven-kissed peak
where the whole world shall see it.

What does it matter, after all, for a few brief years, where we are or
what work we are engaged in, if only it be we are like Christ as we move
among men.

“But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a
greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands.” Hebrews 9:11

The danger is that we shall build less of gold, and fine linen, and purple
and scarlet and blue…that we shall forget, in the little things, to make life
and character according to the pattern that was shown to us by Christ.”

(“The Heavenly Pattern”, sermon by C.I. Scofield)

HIGHLIGHT NOTES FROM DR. C.I. SCOFIELD

“Abba, Father,” says Dr. Scofield, “is the affectionate realization of
God’s fatherhood. And so one exclaims, in a flood of tenderness
and love, ‘Oh, Father!’ or, ‘Dear Father.’ This is said, of course, only
in the Spirit.

[He] points out, is what has been called “immediacy” —that is, that
nothing, not even prayer, is needed to bring the believer into the
presence of God. This is certainly the teaching of the New Testament
concerning the union with Christ which is true of all Christian believers.
Not nearness, but union. We are not with Christ, but in Christ; he is not
with us, but in us.

CONCERNING ANY WORK IN GOD’s WILL:

“The conscious purpose that Dr. Scofield had in doing this work comes
out in his characteristic statement: “If you’re going to do it, and do it for
God, there is only one way — not a smooth, easy way, but as unto the Lord.”

QUOTES FROM ‘IN MANY PULPITS’ [a paper by C.I. Scofield]

“He that saith he abideth in him, ought himself also so to walk, even as
he walked.” 1 John 2:6

“What is it “to abide” in Him. Many earnest souls have known much distress
just here. They have been told that “to abide” in Him means to be always
occupied with Him. Now I make bold to say, this is an unattainable
counsel of perfection.

We are in the world, and however sedulous [act of diligence & dedication]
we may be to keep the world out of us, we are charged with engrossing
duties calling for the utmost concentration of mind, heart and hand.
We cannot be in conscious constant occupation with Him. I do not so
understand that great word [“abiding”]..

For a moment think of that other phrase—“in Him.” What does that mean?
Ephesians explains it. “In Christ Jesus” is the sphere of the Christian life.
That is where grace has put him. We have not to concern ourselves about
getting that place: we are there. Now, what is “abiding in Him?” Why,
simply having nothing apart from Him, living in the sphere of the things which
interest Christ; bringing Him into the sphere of all our necessary occupations,
joys and innocent pleasures down here; having no business in which He is
not senior Partner; no wedding feast or other feast at which He is not chief
Guest, no failures which are not brought to Christ for forgiveness and cleansing.

What is John’s test of such a life? In degree, though not as perfectly, it
will be a walk even as He walked. It will lead along the same road; it will
encounter the same trials, enlist the same sympathies. “

“Knowing about God is one thing: knowing God is quite another. Job’s
confession illustrates this:
“I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear:” Job 42:5

and upon the hearing there had come to Job a true faith, a faith which
had withstood tremendous shocks. Well, we all begin there. Our saving
faith is based on testimony. But Job goes on:

“but now mine eye seeth thee.” Job 42:5

A very different matter. Are we then content to remain with a hearsay
knowledge of God? By no means. In the 17th chapter of John, our Lord
tells us that the ultimate end of the gift of eternal life is that we may know
Him. He is our Father, and can our hearts rest with anything short of that
personal knowledge of Him of which John speaks? At this point, John’s
test of spirituality is not to discourage a true knowledge of God, but to
expose a false assumption of such knowledge. What is the test?

“He that saith, I know him, and kept not his commandments, is a liar,”
1 John 2:4

It is not sinless obedience, but it is a heart set to live in the known will
of God. Such a one will have many a failure, but, though often stumbling,
he will keep on. The needle in the compass is often deflected by influences
about it— it trembles and is unquiet, but it resumes its steady alignment with
the object of its devotion. Now a life aligned to the will of God, is in the way
to know God. It is not an arbitrary requirement. In no other way, to
no other man, can God reveal Himself. Paul’s prayer for the Colossians
runs along that road:

“That ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and
spiritual understanding; ….increasing in the knowledge of God; “ Col. 1:9-10

WAITING ON THE LORD…..a sermon by C.I. Scofield (PART 2)

“They shall run, and not be weary.” Isaiah 40:31

“They shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

“What! must we come down and run and walk here on
this stupid, prosaic earth after these eagle flights?
Yes, precisely. We go up there that we may serve
down here, and we never can serve down here
according to God’s thought of service….until we….
come down from interviews with God…[and] can
touch human lives with the power of God.

Yes, we must run down here, and walk down here, but
only in the degree in which we know the inspiration
of the upper air can we either run without weariness,
or walk without fainting.

What is the “walk”? It is the everyday life. It is
the getting breakfast, dressing the children, getting
them off to school; it is going down and opening
the store; it is going out and feeding the herds;
it is going into the study and opening the Word of God.
It is whatever our appointed task may be. It is doing
this all day, in heat and cold, dull days and bright days–
the common life. It is this, the everyday walk, that tests and tries.

But we may
“walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40: 31

under the wear and petty vexations and frictions of everyday life,
only on condition that we have been “waiting upon God.” The
man who does that will be a reservoir of sweetness, quietness
and power.”
(“Waiting on God”, a sermon by C.I. Scofield)

WAITING ON THE LORD……a sermon by C.I. Scofield (part 1)

“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount
up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk,
and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

“Let us confess at once that these blessings are not usual in the lives of
Christians. As a matter of fact we run and are weary, we walk and do faint.
The wings of our soul do not habitually beat the upper air.

If there is one condition thus performed, the resultant blessings are sure…
What does the Scripture mean by “waiting on the Lord?” It is the sole
condition. First of all, waiting upon God is not praying. Praying is
petitioning God for something. Praying is:
“supplication with thanksgiving,” Philippians 4:6

It has its own great and unique place in the Christian life, but it is
not waiting upon the Lord.
“Truly my soul waiteth upon God.” Psalms 62:1
It is the soul, in utter hush and quietness, casting itself upon God.

“These wait all upon thee; that thou mayest give them their meat in
due season.” Psalms 104:27
[This] implies both dependence and expectation – a faith that silently
reaches out to take hold upon God, and which has its expectation from God.

“Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at
the posts of my doors.” Proverbs 8:34

The thought there is of a servant and his master. He has no service just at that
moment but he “waits” at the door…It is the attitude of readiness, of obedience.

To wait upon God is to be silent that He may speak, expecting all things from
Him, and girded for instant, unquestioning obedience to the slightest movement
of His will. It is not the waiting of an idler, it is not the waiting of a dreamer.
It is the quiet waiting of one…ready, one who looks upon life as a battle-field
and sphere for service…This is waiting upon God according to the Scriptures.

The four blessings of the text must follow, because God says they shall….

‘They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.’
The word “renew” rendered literally is “change”—they shall change their strength.
It is a word used to denote a change of garments. They shall lay aside their strength
and put on, as a garment, strength from God. This whole 40th chapter of Isaiah
is a series of contrasts between the frailty and feebleness of man and the strength
and greatness of God. The problem is to rid ourselves of self-strength (which breaks
down) that God may clothe us with His own strength; and this is the first blessing
promised to those who “wait upon the LORD.”

How does God effect this? I do not know, but I know that somehow when we are
waiting upon Him, our strength, which after all is perfect weakness, is laid aside,
and divine hands clothe us with the strength of God. We do change our strength.

“They shall mount up with wings as eagles.” Isaiah 40:31
What does that mean? Why as eagles? [The] eagle is the only bird that goes
so high ….he is the most solitary of birds. The eagle has to do with great things,
mountains and heights and depths. He can be quiet when it is time to be quiet.
No Christian ever comes into God’s best things who does not, upon the Godward
side of his life, learn to walk alone with God. Lot may dwell in Sodom and vex
his righteous soul ….but God will have Abraham up in Hebron upon the heights.
It is Abraham whom He visits and to whom He tells His secrets. Moses, learned
in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, must go forty years into the desert to
be alone with God. Paul, who knew the Greek learning, must go into Arabia and
learn the desert life with God.

Before God uses a man greatly, He isolates him. He gives him a separating
experience; and when it is over, those about him, who are no less loved
than before, are no longer depended upon. He realizes that he separated
unto God, that the wings of his soul have learned to beat the upper air,
and that God has shown him unspeakable things.
Christ will never be satisfied until He has each one of us separated unto Himself.
“If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above.” Colossians 3:1

How far above?

“Where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.” Colossians 3:1

IS LIFE WORTH LIVING?

“What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me?” Ps. 116:12

The answer: “I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name
of the Lord.” Ps. 116:13

It is all we can do. Gratitude should move every one of us to get right
with God. There can be no enduring happiness in a life which is out
of harmony with God. And we all want to be happy, do we not?

What must we do to get right with God? What must we —all out
of harmony in our selfishness, with His unselfishness, in our hatred,
with His love, in our sins, with His holiness –what must we do to
come into harmony with Him…He makes one simple, definite
proposition to us, and it is wrapped up, not in doctrine, but in a
person. His one proposition is Jesus Christ.

Right with God, we are right with humanity. Right with God, through
Jesus Christ, we are right for the next world as well as for this.

All the problems of life, the whole meaning of life, centers on that
one thing—what is Christ to me and what am I to Him? I can not
go back to the law –it only curses me, for I have broken it. I can not
begin today, if it were possible for me to do so, to live so that every
act of my life shall be pleasing to a holy God, for first of all I have no
power to do it, and secondly, there is my record up to today.

To do the thing He has commanded me—believe on Jesus Christ
whom he hath sent. Trust Him. Give myself away to Him. Put my
whole case into His hands. Let Him take this life, so full of evil,
and put the evil out of it. Let Him take this life so full of weakness
and fill it with strength. Let Him take this life so selfish and
self-centered, and let it flow out in all its breadth to humanity. Let
Him make it over. Let Him purify it. Let Him solve all its problems.
Let Jesus Christ fill it.”

(Is Life Worth Living? a Sermon by C.I.Scofield)