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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Husbands are not Christ

Passion of Jesus ChristJohn Piper:

“Husbands are not Christ. But they are called to be like him. And the specific point of likeness is the husband’s readiness to suffer for his wife’s good without threatening or abusing her. This includes suffering to protect her from any outside forces that would harm her, as well as suffering disappointments of abuses even from her. This kind of love is possible because Christ died for both husband and wife. Their sins are forgiven. Neither needs to make the other suffer for sins. Christ has borne that suffering. Now as two sinful and forgiven people we can return good for evil.” (Passion of Jesus Christ)

Faith

Charles H. Spurgeon by Ron AdairCharles H. Spurgeon:

“Faith is the silver thread upon which the pearls of the graces are to be hung. Break that, and you have broken the string — the pearls lie scattered on the ground.”

Loving Others

Andrew MurrayThe modern church may have many faults, but there is one thing that I think grieves God most, and that is the lack of love. Andrew Murray writes:

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love …” (Galatians 5:22 ESV)

It is in our daily life and conduct that the fruit of the Spirit is love. From that comes all the graces and virtues in which love is manifested – joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness – no sharpness or hardness in your tone, no unkindness or selfishness, [but] meekness before God and man. You see that all these are the gentler virtues. I have often thought as I read those words in Colossians, “Put on therefore as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long-suffering” (Colossians 3:12), that if we had written this, we should have put in the foreground the strong virtues, such as zeal, courage, and diligence. But we need to see how the gentler, the most tender virtues are especially connected with dependence on the Holy Spirit. These are indeed heavenly graces. They never were found in the heathen world. Christ was needed to come from heaven to teach us. Your blessedness is long-suffering, meekness, kindness; your glory is humility before God.

You know what John says: “No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another; God dwelleth in us” (I John 4:12). That is, I cannot see God, but as a compensation. I can see my brother, and if I love him, God dwells in me. Is that really true? That I cannot see God, but I must love my brother, and God will dwell in me? Loving my brother is the way to real fellowship with God. You know what John further says in that most solemn test, “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar; for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” (I John 4:20). There is a brother, a most unlovable man. He worries you every time you meet him. He is of the very opposite disposition to yours. You are a careful businessman, and you have to associate with him in your business. He is most untidy, unbusiness-like. You say:

“I cannot love him.”

Oh, friend, you have not learned the lesson that Christ wanted to teach above everything. Let a man be what he will, you are to love him. Love is to be the fruit of the Spirit all the day and every day. Yes, listen! If you don’t love that unlovable man whom you have seen, how can you love God whom you have not seen? You can deceive yourself with beautiful thoughts about loving God. You must prove your love to God by your love to your brother; that is the one standard by which God will judge your love to Him. If the love of God is in your heart, you will love your brother. The fruit of the Spirit is love. (“The Fruit of the Spirit is Love”)

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