Lord's Day Evening Meditations March
2 Corinthians 4:6-11
Nearness To Christ
It is important to keep in mind that the Lord loves
us as much now as when He died on the cross; that the One Who
hung there in those hours of darkness loves us just as much right
now as He did then. When He died, He not only put our sins away
as far as the East is from the West, He not only gave us a hope
of one day being with Him and like Him, but He also gave us a
new life, and what a privilege and a blessing it is to be walking
in the truth of that. Our old man was crucified at the cross,
and we should be walking in the new man, in newness of life, not
only for our own blessing, but also for the Lord's glory and honour.
The world has no thought of the Lord and no thought of eternity,
but what a blessing it is for us to have our minds occupied with
Christ. He desires that, and He deserves it.
Read 2 Cor. 4:6 - 11. We do not have to be afraid
that someone might come into this room tonight and kill us because
we love our Saviour; but, when one member suffers, the other members
suffer with it. There are people in other places in this world
who are being killed for the name of Christ. We should be in prayer
for them, but also realize that we are very blessed and privileged
in this country where we are not persecuted for enjoying our Saviour.
With the "treasure" that we have in our "earthen
vessels", and walking in newness of life, we might
be "troubled on every side, yet not distressed … perplexed,
but not in despair … that the life also of Jesus might be made
manifest in our body." The Lord is not here today,
but we are here as His people, and we are called "to
walk, even as He walked." We are to shine as lights
in this world for the Lord.
What does the world see when they look at us? Do
they see a joy and a hope in us, like Peter writes, "Ready
always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason
of the hope that is in you"? 1 Pet. 3:15. When others
can see that we have a hope so that they ask, "Why are you
so happy, what are you looking forward to; how can you be happy
with so much stress, and worry in this world?"- that is
Christ in us. It is a blessing when the Lord can use His own to
shine as a light, and to attract others to that light. Some people
who were preparing to go out as missionaries were asked, "What
motive do you have to go and tell others about Christ?"
One answer was, "The love of Christ constrains me."
What a blessing it is for us to have the constraining love of
Christ to give us a motive. The Lord's motive was love, and His
purpose was blessing. We see it in all His path, and in the cross.
What more do we need than the constraining love of Christ? We
are in a day of small things, in weakness, following a rejected
Lord; but, He will not leave us nor forsake us.
Read 2 Cor. 5:14 - 20. "Now then we are
ambassadors for Christ." A country in Africa might
have someone in Canada representing their country; we are here
representing our heavenly country. How do we shine as ambassadors?
Do others see what we have and desire to have it too? In this
day of small things we can get discouraged very quickly. I have
known assemblies that have disappeared when the last saints died.
What a blessing it is to know that the Lord loves us just as much
now as when He died. All His love, all His thoughts, center around
His Bride, His assembly. When we look around we can get very discouraged
at all the corruption in this world. We have to look up. I often
think of the story of Peter walking towards the Lord on the water.
When he was looking towards the Lord he was fine; when he looked
at the waves around him, he began to sink. If we look at all the
turmoil around us, we will lose sight of how much the Lord loves
us. We must keep our minds fixed on that blessed One.
So, in the new creation, "old things are
passed away." We are new creatures, and should be walking
in newness of life. There is so much that Satan has in this world
to attract the flesh. His purpose is to destroy, to hurt and harm;
the Lord's purpose is to bless. Serving Satan is like a slave
who has a very hard master who only wants to hurt and destroy.
But serving Christ is an honour to His name and a blessing for
Read Rom. 8:1 - 8. To "mind the things
of the flesh" (v. 5) is to feed the old man with the
food that Satan has to fill the void in the human heart. We are
down here for a very short time; the Lord could come tonight.
We can get so occupied with self, our own worst enemy, with conditions
in the world and in the assembly, and have so many worries and
concerns, that we lose the enjoyment that we can have in being
in communion with our blessed Lord Jesus, and with our Father
in heaven. The Lord wants us to have an intimacy with Him, not
only as a Saviour, but also as a Lover and Friend; to be able
to turn to Him in prayer at any time of the day, to be found at
any moment, in any kind of circumstance in prayer. Look at the
Lord in His walk down here; He was always in communion with the
Father. In that great test in the Garden of Gethsemane He prayed
three times; three times - that's supplication. It's a blessed
example for us that in this time down here we can have a blessed
intimacy with the Father.
We mustn't be too occupied with our failures, although
we should be conscious of them and confess our sins. That brings
us back into communion, for we have an Advocate with the Father,
One Who takes up our cause, "Jesus Christ the righteous."
It is a blessing to have such a One that we can go directly to.
In the camp they have their priests, but we have a great High
Priest, Who is the Lord Himself. He always has a listening ear,
and He will help us through in every detail of our lives, the
little things as well as the big things. To be able to leave everything
in the Lord's hands is a wonderful thing; to have One so close,
Who lives in us, a treasure in an earthen vessel. You don't have
to have known the Lord for many years to have this communion with
Him. He can fill the oldest saint, and He can fill the one who
is newly saved. Collectively also, in the assembly, the Holy Spirit
should have liberty to work in one and another. "My beloved
is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in
the gardens, and to gather lilies." S. of Sol. 6:2.
We can think of that garden as the assembly, and the Lord present
there, as the Head, desiring to receive that sweet incense, which
can only be produced by the guidance of the Holy Spirit. There
are the individual flowers also. What does Christ get from us,
in the assembly, and in our daily lives? If we are walking in
newness of life, in the Spirit and not in the flesh, the Lord
will receive a sweet incense from us, both individually and collectively.
We should desire that, and He deserves it, He Who has done so
much for us.
Think of what our Saviour did when He suffered
for our sins on the cross. The hymn says it well -
Oh what a load was Thine to bear
Alone in that dark hour;
Our sins in all their terror there,
God's wrath and Satan's power.
To get the thought of that, and to appreciate it
more, will draw us closer to that blessed One, and we will enjoy
His love in a fuller measure. In His Son and the work of the cross,
God sees us perfect, for we have been made "the righteousness
of God in Him." We can be found, in this scene, walking
for the Lord and enjoying His love. He can look down and see us,
though in much weakness, walking in newness of life, and that
will honour His precious name.
Turn to Zechariah 4:10. "For who hath
despised the day of small things?" We should not be
discouraged by fewness of numbers. We can still gather here and
have the Lord in our midst; we can still remember Him, we can
still purpose in our hearts to walk for the Lord and make His
love known. He has "given unto us all things that pertain
unto life and godliness," and "exceeding great
and precious promises." 2 Pet. 1:1 - 4. We should be
found thanking Him for His constraining, encircling love and for
all His provisions along the desert pathway. We are a privileged