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The real good in any ministry is in the measure in which it feeds the heart with the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the sun to give to give light and warmth, and the greater the extent of surface presented to Him the more He confers. There is more capacity to receive, which is increased as the heart is occupied with Him.
The heart is first won, and this deepens as it learns His love “in His humiliation” (Act 8:33; Phl 2:8, 9). He “loved me and gave Himself for me” (Gal 2:20). Secondly, the heart is satisfied because united to Him, and in association with Him where He is in His glorification (Jhn 12:16). The heart captivated by and object could not be at rest until it was united to the One who had won it, and for satisfaction the heart must be where He is. Love really cannot think of anything until it is quite sure of its object; then when at rest about itself, it studies the mind and heart of that object.
The first desire of a true heart, as with the women in Luke 7:37-50, is to seek the presence of the Savior, to be in personal nearness to Him. With the bride in Canticles, whenever He is present, all is bright—but there is no satisfaction. There is true affection, and often deep delight, but there is no satisfaction until the heart is in assured union and association with its Object (knowing permanency in Christ allows for confident and persistent satisfaction, and nothing else will do—NC).
Thirdly, after satisfaction comes an entirely new occupation. All before related chiefly to oneself. The heart is won, and the heart is satisfied; now the occupation will be studying Him—seeking to be suitable to Him. One may try to be suitable to Him in order to satisfy one’s own heart, but then there is a legality about the effort, and it bears the mark of seeking to make oneself the object rather than Him (if first motive is pleasing Him, esp. with enduring difficulties, all aligns properly for growth—NC).
Now after my heart is satisfied, I sit down before the Lord and study Him, and from that study I grow (now, all is only a matter of growth in the “image of Christ” in our walk—NC). “Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory” (2Co 3:18). All the previous gains of the heart are increased by each new one; that is, I am more won by the Lord Jesus as I am satisfied by Him, and I am more won and satisfied as I fellowship with Him.
I continue in His sanctification and company. “For their sakes I sanctify Myself” (Jhn 17:19). As I am sanctified I am ornamented, and it is the adorned one that is properly qualified to be the serving one. “That they may adorn the doctrine of God, our Savior, in all things” (Titus 2:10). The serving one deepens in all the preceding gains. He is more won, more satisfied, more suitable as he is more serving.
I do not come to the Lord Jesus as to my fellow, attracting Him by something in me—I have nothing (from self—NC) to bring Him, and He won me when I was in the most unattractive state. Hence I must be well assured of the constancy of His heart for me, and of my association with Him, which far removed me from the depth of misery I was in, before I can think whether I could be anything or could to anything to please Him, for I have nothing of myself, and it is only in His company that I “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. To Him be glory both now and forever. Amen” (2Pe 3:18).
- J B Stoney
Excerpt from MJS devotional for September 10:
We receive life by reliance upon the Savior; we grow in that life by reliance upon the Spirit.
"Many think that because of faith they are cleared of everything before God through the Cross, and therefore by faith they are clear of everything in themselves. But that is the error of ‘holiness by faith.’ The objective (position) is that we are clear before the Father; the subjective (condition) is that we are cleared from ourselves by the growth ministry of the Holy Spirit."
"As you by faith in the positional facts realize that you are in the Father’s presence, you will not try to depend upon any sense of His presence. You know His presence because you know that your position in the Christian life is a life of faith in the facts—nothing else. That the Father forces you to live by faith so as to draw you into His presence—not you, by sense, trying to draw Him into yours."
- Miles J Stanford