Monday, April 20, 2009

A Precious Christ

God has been after a lot in my heart as of late. It's been a hard but good process. One thing that I can say that has happened in my soul is that Christ has become more precious. I praise God for his grace in allowing this to be so. I've been re-reading one of my favorite Octavius Winslow books, The Precious Things of God, during some of my devotional times. This section, long as it may be, sums up in some way what I feel like the Lord has been teaching me:

"There is a supremacy in the feeling of Christ's preciousness to the believer, which is worthy of a remark. Chris has the preeminence in the affections of the regenerate! "Whom have I in heaven but you? and there in none upon earth that I desire beside you." Listen to His own words, asserting His claim to a single and supreme affection: "whoever loves father or mother, brother or sister, wife or children, more than ME, is not worthy of Me." There are natural ties of affection- the parental, the marital, the filial. There are ties, too, of human love and friendship, linking heart to heart; but not one word does He who inspired those affections, who formed those ties, breathe, denying their existence or forbidding their exercise.

No the religion He came to inculcate distinctly recognized these human relations, and seeks to strengthen and intensify by purifying, elevating and immortalizing them. But mark the emphatic word employed by Christ- "MORE than ME!" All these affections are to have full play and exercise, but ever to be maintained in profound subordination to Himself... In a word, Christ should become more supreme and precious to our hearts by all the sweet, sacred relations and affections of life.

Christ is our life; and our growth in spiritual life is Christ increasing within us. It is utterly impossible to cherish a holy desire, to conceive a heavenly thought, to perform a good action, to conquer a single infirmity, or to baffle a solitary temptation, apart from a direct communication with Christ; as for the lungs to expand without air, or light to exist without the Sun. Oh, yes! Christ is increasingly precious to the believer. The absence from His beatific presence- distance from His blest abode- the vicissitudes of life- the fluctuations of time- the advance of infirmities- the increase of anxieties and cares- and the formation of new friendships, do not render the Savior less precious to the believing soul.

Other objects often lose their attraction, their desire to interest, or their power to charm us, by the lapse of years; but JESUS is that glorious object who grows more precious to the heart in time, as His capacity unfolds of making us supremely happy; and in eternity will become increasingly the object of our love, and the theme of our song, and the source of our bliss, as growing ages unveil His loveliness, His glory and His grace!

Well if you were able to hang with all of that I hope you were encouraged! I am so blessed to have parents I love deeply and friendships that are strong in the Lord. I'm thankful to God for them and his gift to me in giving me them. I'm so thankful that he has immortalized our relationships. I told my dearest friend, who I was so close to being neighbors with but due to our move to Peoria will not be, that I'm hopeful God will have our houses close together in heaven. But as I pack everything up again for our big move to Peoria, what I am most thankful for is that Christ has become more precious to my soul. How I long to be nearer to Him, to give my life away to Him, to know Him in deeper ways through the study of His word and long for the day when I will be with Him face to face.

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