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)

THE WORLD……F.B. Hole

The world system is doomed. Let there be no hesitancy in our witness to this fact. Out of the impending catastrophe souls are being rescued by the abounding grace of our Lord. It is ours to seek them, bearing witness to our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us then not waste time in vain attempts to shore up the tottering fabric, but let us busy ourselves in that which is the great work which our Lord has allotted to us. To be thoroughly for Him and His interests, is to be thoroughly outside the world system and its hopes.

We look, not for a perfected system of democracy, but for “the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body” (Phil. 3:2021), and as for this earth, we look for the setting up of the kingdom of Christ by the God of heaven, which shall never be destroyed but shall stand for ever.

F. B. Hole

 

“not unto us O Lord not unto us but unto Thy Name give glory for His mercy and for Thy truth’s sake” (Psalm 115:1). F.B. Hole lived and laboured in the certainty of the resurrection life, and in the promise of the vision of perfect blessedness because he believed in a living Redeemer. During the last conversation Mr.Blackburn had with him, Mr. Hole said “I have had at times to occupy myself with the subtleties of the Faith but now that I am very old I have come back to simple things.

He was a humble man. His contributions at fellowship meetings were usually brief but very worthwhile. His hymn in Spiritual Songs is no. 159, “O God of Grace whose saving power”. How true the fourth line, more evident now 33 years after his death: “The ranks of faith grow thinner”. The writer of these notes can remember Mr. Hole’s illustrating the difference between appropriation and assimilation by the following stories:

“Some boys were playing marbles when along came a bully who stole the marbles and put them in his pocket and ran off. The boys chased him and eventually overpowered him and made him restore their marbles to them. He had appropriated them but they did not become part of him. But a boy is about to eat an apple and another boy comes and steals it and runs off. The boy follows him and catches him but there was nothing left but the core. The apple was now assimilated into the thief’s system”.

Mr Hole was emphasising the need for formation by assimilating the Word of God into our spiritual lives.

THE SECRET OF TRUE FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD’S SERVANTS

THE VITAL IMPORTANCE OF GOD’S WORD

“The Christian is not to be governed by the thoughts of his fellow-man,
but simply and solely by the Word of God.  I must hold it directly from God,
Himself.  God may use a man to communicate His truth;  but unless I hold
it as from God, it has no divine power over my heart and conscience; it
does not bring me into living contact with God, but actually hinders that
contact by bringing in something between my soul and His holy authority.”
C.H.M.

Norman Maclean……Quote

“Each one of us here today will at one time in our lives look upon a loved one who is in need and ask the same question: We are willing to help, Lord, but what, if anything, is needed? For it is true we can seldom help those closest to us. Either we don’t know what part of ourselves to give or, more often than not, the part we have to give is not wanted. And so it is those we live with and should know who elude us. But we can still love them – we can love completely without complete understanding.”
Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It

PEACE AND JOY IN TIME OF TRIALS……E.C. Hadley

The Purpose of Trials

Trials teach us submission to the Lord and deliver us from our own ways. They are God’s way of developing patience in us. About the purpose of trials in our lives, James wrote: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1: 2-4)

If everything went just the way we wanted, we would have nothing to be patient about. Patience requires setting aside our own will. Therefore trials show just how much we are willing to give up our own will to accept God’s will for us.

What God Allows

We must never forget that, whatever our circumstances, God has allowed them for our good. God’s choice for us sometimes seems very hard to bear. But this is because we are not fully surrendered to Him or because we lack confidence in His love and wisdom. God is either choosing the very best for us in what He allows in our lives, or else He deliberately chooses for us what He knows is not in our best interest. Would we dare charge God with the latter?  Never!

In His providential dealings with us He either orders or allows all that comes into our lives. He has the almighty power to prevent anything from happening, so if it happens, He has allowed it. Therefore, complaining is the same as saying that we know what is best for us better than God does, or else that God does not care enough to give us what is best. One is pure pride, the other is distrust of His motives.

Who’s in Charge?

We sometimes think, “Doesn’t the devil also have a hand in what happens to us?” That is very true, as we see in Job’s case. But we also see how the devil could not go beyond what God allowed (Job 1:12; Job 2:6) and what He allowed He used for even richer blessing in Job’s life than before.

The devil is powerless to do anything without God allowing it. He is only a creature, as are all his hosts of demons. God is above them, no matter how mighty they may be. So even if we see the devil’s hand in what happens, we must not forget to see God’s hand above the devil’s. God only allows him to go as far as it suits His sovereign purposes, to turn it into blessing for His people.

The Long View

 “All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Rom.8:28) and that includes even what the devil is allowed to do.  Do not forget that God is working with a view to our eternal good and not simply with regard to this present time.

We so often look at things from a “here and now” perspective while God works with eternal results in view. God may choose a hard road for us, not because He delights in our suffering hardship along the way, but because of the eternal blessing it will bring us.  

“Thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress” (Ps. 4:1). Distress is not sent from God for the sake of suffering but for the sake of enlargement. In times of distress, God sympathizes with His own. Paul referred to Him as “the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation” (2 Cor.1: 3-4). And Paul’s troubles were not light, for he says, “We were burdened beyond measure — so that we despaired even of life” (2 Cor. 4:8). However, with eternity in view, he refers to them as light afflictions “working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Cor. 4:17).

Five Necessary Things

Five things are necessary to have peace and joy in time of trial:

1. Keep your mind on the Lord: “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You” (Isa. 26:3).  

2. Keep in touch with God by prayer: “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7).  

3. Meditate upon the Word: “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Rom. 15:4).  

4. Yield your will to God: “Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness” (Heb. 12:11).  

5. Know that the Lord will sustain you: Last, but not least, let us not forget that even though our trials or circumstances may continue for a long time, the Lord says, “My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Cor. 12:9).   He will sustain the soul that submits to Him and leaves all in His hands.     

A Cause for Rejoicing

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love” (I Pet. 1:6-8)

E. C. Hadley.