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Gifts To The Giver
Nothing can be more edifying than to repose in the love of the Lord Jesus when it is known, and the heart set free to rest in it. The soul may have a long journey to reach it experientially; there may be needs and exercises to be met and removed on the way; the old man and the world may have to be learned; but the great end of all our exercises—and, I may add, of all our deliverances is that we rest in the thoughts of divine love, and that love becomes a very real way the portion of our hearts. If our hearts are not in the circle of divine love they have nothing, for as Christians we have no portion on earth or in the world (majority of mankind—NC); our portion is in divine love. Thank God!—it is a satisfying portion (Christ is our “inheritance” and we are His inheritance – Eph 1:11, 18—NC).
For some years I thought that John 10 was written to make the believer sure that eternal blessing was secured to him. I rejoice to know that it does this, but there is far more to it than this. The Good Shepherd laid down His life for the sheep that He might have the joy of securing them for Himself and for His Father. The Father and the Son wanted the sheep for Themselves, and the death of Christ is the righteous title of divine love to take possession, and to keep possession of them (inherit—NC). They wanted a company whom They might introduce into the circle of divine love, with a nature suitable to the circle, and capable of appreciating and responding to it (Col 3:10; 2Pe 1:4 – man only is in God’s image and in whom only His nature dwells—NC).
Much may have to be done for us. We shall need support, preservation, discipline. If we are left here a little longer we shall need grace, mercy and forbearance of God in a thousand ways, but all which will be needed in the future to keep us for the Father and the Son is small compared with the stupendous cost at which loved secured us. “Hereby perceive we love, because He laid down His life for us.”
The Lord Jesus came from God alone, but He has gone to God as the Head of a new and blessed race (not even angels are in His image and nature—NC), and as the One who has secured everything for God. He is the perfect contrast to Adam the first, who came from God, secured everything for God, and went to the dust. The last Adam came from God, secured everything for God, and has gone to God as the glorified Head of a new race (only One presently in heaven with a redeemed Body—NC) brought into divine love in association with Himself, the Head of a new creation in which all the thoughts of that love will be effected and displayed forever.
The Father has “given all things into His hands” (Mat 11:27; 28:18; Jhn 3:35; 13:3; 1Co 15:27; Eph 1:21, 22; Phl 2:9; Heb 1:2). Think of the greatness of it. The Lord Jesus stepped into the midst of all the ruin and moral chaos which sin had caused, and so secured everything for God that the Father has given in His hands. He has acquired the right the be Head of the new creation—to be the Center and Sun of that universe of bliss which He has secured for the Father, and which He will fill with divine glory. Those far-reaching realms of light and glory are fitly inherited by Him who has put them all in suitability to divine love. In such a circle our souls are lost, dazzled and bewildered. The expanse of divine gory is too great for us. We cannot yet comprehend divine greatness, thank God; the portion of our hearts is divine love.
The saints are His own by the Father’s gift. “Thine they were,” says the Son, “and Thou gavest them Me” (Jn 17:6 – which was to show that of all Christ received was from His Father (v 7), to manifest love to us was first from His Father—NC). Before time began the Father took possession of us by making us the subjects of His gracious thoughts and counsel, and His purpose and object in thus taking possession of us was that He might give us His Son. (Conversely—NC) In the thoughts of divine love we are of such value as to be a suitable gift from the Father to the Son—a gift worthy of the Giver and the Receiver. We shall be forever the expression to the Son of the Father’s love for Him!
— C A Coates (1862-1945)
MJS, "None But the Hungry Heart" devotional excerpt for February 4:
“The believer can never overcome the ‘old man’ even by the power of the ‘new’ apart from the work of the Cross, and therefore the death of Christ is indispensable, and unless the Cross is made the basis upon which he overcomes the ‘old nature,’ he only drops into another form of morality; in other words, he is seeking by self-effort to overcome sin and self, and the struggle is a hopeless one.” -C.U.