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The Greatest—Now and Forever

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It is when it is difficult that God is glorified the most in believers, when they, as much as lies within them at the time, patiently “endure hardness” by contemplating their eternal place in Christ until it passes over. Remember, the infirmities are but lessons of love the Father is managing for the sake of continuing to “be conformed into the image of His Son,” in our walk; and that, “from glory to glory” (Rom 8:29; 2Co 3:18).

Every trial, in any degree is an opportunity to exercise faith, which opportunity is swiftly waning, for then it will ever be “by sight.”
NC

The Greatest—Now and Forever

We often admire Mary of Bethany for taking the place of the disciple instead of the servant, by may we not waste admiration upon her that ought to be bestowed upon the Lord? He it was who drew her into that place of subjection and blessing; she did but respond to His drawing as the needle responds to the magnet. Happy woman!

He at whose feet Mary sat at rest and without fear was none other than Him before whom angels veiled their faces and cried, Holy, holy, holy Lord God of Hosts (Isa 6:2). But she knew Him in the revelation of His grace, as the One who had come into the world “not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many.” She had discovered that His heart found a peculiar and unspeakable joy in filling up the vacancies in human hearts with the knowledge of His Father and Himself; it was His “meat” (Jhn 4:34).

Mary realized that it pleased Him more to have her there listening to His word than any service she could have rendered to Him could have done. She knew that she could only serve Him intelligently and well as she sat as a learner at His feet. The Lord Jesus values our service and most surely will reward it, but He loves our company more, and we may neglect Him while we serve Him. He has more to say to us and do in us, than to say through us and do by us (I believe most of our worship involves serving one another within the love-debt - Rom 13:8, same “meat” as the Lord Jesus’—NC).

He should be more to us than all we can do for Him, and we show that we know this as we sit at His feet and hear His word. There and then He can “sanctify and cleanse us by the washing of water by His Word,” and can nourish and cherish us and fashion us according to His own “good pleasure” (Phl 2:13). “Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.”

The last we read of Mary of Bethany is in John 12, and it is fitting that her life’s record should close here. The pound of “spikenard very costly” would have distinguished her among her acquaintances. It was the sort of thing those eastern women reserved for the greatest day of their lives. She had not even poured it on her brother at his death, much as she loved him, but she poured it out upon the feet of the Lord Jesus, well knowing that He was going to death and burial.

What she did showed what the knowledge of His love could do. It had made the woman forget the beautifying of herself, and all that would distinguish her, and it had made her risk the criticism and scorn of her friends who did not understand. To her henceforth Mary was nothing and the Lord Jesus was everything. Mary wanted no place for herself in a world that did not want her Lord.

It was to this point that Paul was brought when he said, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Gal 6:14). To this point the Spirit of Christ would lead us all. Soon every ransomed saint of God will bow before the Lord Jesus in His glory above, and cast their crowns at those feet that once were pierced in death for us, and worship and adore Him there for He alone is worthy.

We shall cast our best at His feet in the day of His glory. Mary cast her best and herself also at His feet in the days of His rejection and sorrow. If He will be worthy then to fill our hearts and vision without a revival, He is worthy now, for “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.”

- J T M




Excerpt from MJS devotional for October 23:

“The inward exercise of Romans Seven and the testing of the wilderness serve the purpose of teaching us what sin in the flesh is, and what is in our hearts; while such special discipline of the Father as Paul’s thorn in the flesh is rather to protect us from the unalterable tendencies of the flesh. The latter is always needed, and goes on in one form or other to the end of our course here.

“We belong to another sphere altogether. We have died, and our life is hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:3). We are like a tree that has its roots in heaven, and its branches down here. No doubt our branches are fretted and ripped by the atmosphere here, but nothing can touch the roots up there. Planted inside, they flourish outside.” -J.B.S.

 
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Unworthy Servant
Staff Member
It is when it is difficult that God is glorified the most in believers, when they, as much as lies within them at the time, patiently “endure hardness” by contemplating their eternal place in Christ until it passes over. Remember, the infirmities are but lessons of love the Father is managing for the sake of continuing to “be conformed into the image of His Son,” in our walk; and that, “from glory to glory” (Rom 8:29; 2Co 3:18).
Yes, NC
and being reminded of the privilege we [ I ] have to "be conformed into the image of His Son" is not only very humbling but strengthening, too, knowing His love is steadfast and endures forever, that while the present seems so hard and brutal at times it is a necessity to allow us to conform and enter into that rest found only in and through His Son, Jesus Christ, and i would like to encourage and offer comfort for the reader that as we hearken to the Spirit, we hear the truth that this is true.. yea, we know.... and in knowing and being known, the vision we have is Christ and the Father, and no longer the trial we are in. A beautiful and blessed place to be!

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18


Bless you ....><>
 
Active
Yes, NC
and being reminded of the privilege we [ I ] have to "be conformed into the image of His Son" is not only very humbling but strengthening, too, knowing His love is steadfast and endures forever, that while the present seems so hard and brutal at times it is a necessity to allow us to conform and enter into that rest found only in and through His Son, Jesus Christ, and i would like to encourage and offer comfort for the reader that as we hearken to the Spirit, we hear the truth that this is true.. yea, we know.... and in knowing and being known, the vision we have is Christ and the Father, and no longer the trial we are in. A beautiful and blessed place to be!

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18


Bless you ....><>
Hi! Good words, and thanks for the input. I've learned it's more encouraging enduring the trials (though all are sufficiently difficult purpose-wise) knowing though we will continue to go through trials, we are never again on trial, which equates to the truth that “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
 
Unworthy Servant
Staff Member
we are never again on trial
Greetings NC,

yes, good point that we all do well to remember and that should be so strengthening in itself to endure the present trials. Very comforting words, NC. Especially if we see that if that were an option, to be on trial for our sin, though we who believe are not, we would indeed opt for the present trials rather than have to face the trial of our sin. Or, in other words, we might (we do) face trials and we might moan or complain or get upset by them (as most do) but given that we actually deserve much worse than the free gift of life we now have assurance of through faith in Him Who took our place at Calvary, the Lord Jesus Christ, we can see that the present trials are nothing in comparison. Then if we dare to even consider the trial and crucifixion of our Lord in all honesty, considering the depth of the love of God for us in that, if we would but see the intensity of the suffering of the Lamb for our sin, we ought to be sufficiently disgraced or ashamed for complaining!
I might have it all wrong here and welcome any critical response for you or anyone.

Our light affliction..... yes, at times it does not seem so light, but again, if we would only allow the Spirit to show us the process of being conformed into the image of His dear Son..... we would count it all joy and as the Apostle wrote, to rejoice in such trials for we have our hope on Him Who endured the Cross and did so with the joy set before Him..... oh, such love and assurance and faith.

Thank you for sharing and for your feedback to me. Much appreciated, Brother


Bless you ....><>
 
Active
Greetings NC,

yes, good point that we all do well to remember and that should be so strengthening in itself to endure the present trials. Very comforting words, NC. Especially if we see that if that were an option, to be on trial for our sin, though we who believe are not, we would indeed opt for the present trials rather than have to face the trial of our sin. Or, in other words, we might (we do) face trials and we might moan or complain or get upset by them (as most do) but given that we actually deserve much worse than the free gift of life we now have assurance of through faith in Him Who took our place at Calvary, the Lord Jesus Christ, we can see that the present trials are nothing in comparison. Then if we dare to even consider the trial and crucifixion of our Lord in all honesty, considering the depth of the love of God for us in that, if we would but see the intensity of the suffering of the Lamb for our sin, we ought to be sufficiently disgraced or ashamed for complaining!
I might have it all wrong here and welcome any critical response for you or anyone.

Our light affliction..... yes, at times it does not seem so light, but again, if we would only allow the Spirit to show us the process of being conformed into the image of His dear Son..... we would count it all joy and as the Apostle wrote, to rejoice in such trials for we have our hope on Him Who endured the Cross and did so with the joy set before Him..... oh, such love and assurance and faith.

Thank you for sharing and for your feedback to me. Much appreciated, Brother


Bless you ....><>
Good words Brother, and God bless!
 
Moderator
Staff Member
Dear Brother, @NetChaplain
Thank-you for sharing these words. Your opening in particular touched me. These days it has been difficult for my wife and me. Putting what we go through in context of what our Lord went through and us being in Christ, draws us ever closer to our Father in Heaven, from Glory to Glory, we can find that ability to still rejoice in this knowledge, that no matter how much pain we are currently going through we are His and still have so much to look forward to.

Again thank-you brother.
God bless you and yours.
With the Love of Christ Jesus.
YBIC
Nick
<><
 
Active
Dear Brother, @NetChaplain
Thank-you for sharing these words. Your opening in particular touched me. These days it has been difficult for my wife and me. Putting what we go through in context of what our Lord went through and us being in Christ, draws us ever closer to our Father in Heaven, from Glory to Glory, we can find that ability to still rejoice in this knowledge, that no matter how much pain we are currently going through we are His and still have so much to look forward to.

Again thank-you brother.
God bless you and yours.
With the Love of Christ Jesus.
YBIC
Nick
<><
Truly words of experiencing God's way of teaching us how far He will go so we can "draw close to God" in order that "He draw close to us" (Jas 4:8 ).

Thanks much for sharing your comments!
 
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