My Scar! My Testimony! By Lorieen D. Henry

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Lorieen Henry

I’m in the hospital recovering from hernia surgery and many thoughts run through my head. My number one concern this morning was how will my scar look after this wound heals. I told the nurse, “I’m shooting for a sexy scar.” The nurse said, “you will have the whole winter so it will be sexy by summer.” After she said that, I thought, “who cares? I am focused on the wrong thing.”

As I was pondering on what to share, it hit me, “For every scar I have, there is a testimony attached.” When scars are embraced, they are beautiful. The positive can be extracted from what may have been an uncomfortable situation.

Sure, I will have a scar on my stomach, but my testimony outshines the scar. I can testify of how God spared my life yet again. Anytime the doctors open you up or give you anesthesia, there are many risks involved. However, God covered me through dangers seen and unseen. Yes, I will have a scar, but in comparison to what could have happened…Praise God for just a scar.

Let me encourage you: Your scar may be physical or it may be emotional, but it signifies you overcame something. The good news is that you made it through. It could have been fatal, but you were given more time to glorify God through what He created you to do.

Through this ordeal, I was guided to Psalm 119:105, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”

For as long as I stand on God’s word and allow it to light my path, my scar will serve as my testimony and I can embrace it as a beautiful part of me.

It is my prayer that you never look at your scars the same. May you view them as an opportunity to glorify God.

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The Congregation of the Beloved To One Another Part One by Allison

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Allison Kohn
We, the Church of the living God – the congregation of the Beloved, are built on the Rock of our Salvation, Jesus Christ (Yeshua Ha Mashiach). He, the chief cornerstone, is a sure foundation for us to build our lives on. We are living stones in the Temple of our God, Yahweh.

We, the people our God has set apart to offer spiritual sacrifices – not an unreasonable expectation – are rooted and grounded in Christ and established in the faith. This means, no matter how young in the faith, how weak in the flesh we are, our foundation is strong and our root goes deep.

We are not simply part of a fraternity, we are necessary and intricut entities in the Body of Christ. That is a metaphor, as is stones in the building where Christ is the cornerstone, but it is a good one, Consider for a moment the body without the toes on one foot. I have two or three old brakes in the toes on my right foot. When the joints in the toes turn back on one of my bad days, I stumble and fall. My whole body needs those toes for the rest of it to function properly. My right foot toes aren’t pretty. They have calcium growths on the joints that make them deformed, but I need them to balance me.

The Body of Christ has deformed toes too, but the attractive members of the body need the toes to balance them. Sometimes we look at a member of the Body and see beauty and we are so glad that person is a part of our group; and sometimes we see only the deformities in another member and avoid them as much as possible; but God sees in the heart of both through the blood of his Son. The one another verses in the Bible tell us we can and should see each other through the eyes of our Savior and God.

Because we are stones in the Temple of our God – molecules in the Body of Christ – or atoms in the branches of the Grape vine, we are equipped to let the one another verses in the Bible guide us to care for our members – each other – as we care for our own physical bodies.

We can, as Philippians 2:2-4 says, be dead to ourselves and alive to the needs of others; as Romans 15:5 says, we can think with the mind of Christ – be like minded; and as Ephesians 5:21 tells us, we can constantly and earnestly urge each other to do the things that will result in a good healthy spiritual body.

We are equipped to be attentive to our brothers and sister’s spiritual dispositions so we can know how to move them to love and good works as the writer told the Hebrews in chapter 10. We need constant encouraging fellowship with each other more today than ever before. James 5:16 tells us we are obliged to confide in each other and should be able to expect godly counsel and prayer from our brothers and sisters.

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Gems from Pastor Jim by Jim Hughes for 9/16/2014

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Jim Hughes

Ps. 24:1-2 The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him. For he laid the earth’s foundation on the seas and built it on the ocean depths.

Lest we forget, the earth is the Lord’s. We do not own anything, we are but stewards of what God has loaned to us. God has entrusted us with that which He has loaned to use. We need to be careful how we treat God’s earth. When we squander and waste earth’s resources we are being disrespectful to God.

Not only is the earth the Lord’s, the people in it are His as well. Wait a minute; let us think about this for a minute. The Lord declares ownership of the people in the world. Therefore, we should take seriously how we treat people. God cares about all people, whether they care for Him or not. We need to consider how we treat people.

We usually have no problem treating well the people we like, but what about the people we don’t like or are having problems with? Do we avoid certain people? Do we look down on some people simply because they don’t fit into our comfort zone? Do we treat some people worse than we do others? Do we talk down on some people? Do we harbor bad feelings toward others instead of loving them? Do we use others for our advantage? Do we disrespect people by the way we treat them?

It seems to me that since God declares ownership of the earth and all its people that we ought to take seriously our responsibility as stewards of them. Let us see things as God sees them. Let us show our love for God by the way we conduct ourselves in the world. Let us be treat others with honor and respect as much as possible and be as good stewards as possible of the earth and her resources. We show our respect for God in the ways that we live.
C Through Marriage
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Lainey Sparks (Faith & Fame Series) by Laura J. Marshall

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Lainey Sparks

A Glimpse of Autumn as Fall approaches in an excerpt from Christian romance author Laura J. Marshall’s newest release, Lainey Sparks (Faith & Fame Series)

Back Blurb:

What do you do when all you’ve thought important seems like a charade?

Meet Lainey Sparks, worship leader turned Christian recording artist. People look to her to lead them to God but she doesn’t know her motives anymore. Then she’s introduced to Nick DeAngelo, a man with a secret. Could he ruin her reputation and ultimately her career? Or is he the only one she knows to lean on when tragedy strikes?

The first book in the Faith & Fame series. Novella Length Christian Romances.

Lainey Sparks – Lead Singer of Christian Band, Depth

Stormy Towne – Heiress to the Towne Fortune

Caroline Winters – Food TV Celebrity Chef


Agony of the sweetest kind. Her lips with words of praise lifted to God. If he was a lesser man he’d want to possess her, to hold her ransom for her kisses and her song. But instead he felt awed and humbled. She had a beautiful heart and it caused him pause. What would become of them?

“Where should we start?” He asked, pouring the hot tea into the mugs and handing one to Lainey. Normalcy. Reality. Him back to work on Monday and her, leading the life of a famous Christian singer in Seattle.

She reached for the mug and thanked him softly. Then she opened the Bible, turning the pages at random. “I like to flip around, pray while I do it and just start reading. Sound, okay?”
She squeezed deeper into his heart. “Yes, perfect.” He crossed his legs and took a sip of the green tea he’d chosen for their date.

Lainey began to read, “And when the ark of the covenant of the Lord came into the camp, all Israel shouted so loudly that the earth shook. Now when the Philistines heard the noise of the shout…”

The breeze carried her voice to his ear, mingling with the smell of fall and the sight of the colors of life all around. A treasured delight to his senses. The nearby trees hushed in softness as they paused in their dance to listen. She’d stop now and again, letting the echo of her words wash over them. He’d nod at her words, watching the branches stir and dip. Clouds rolled past, the laughter of nearby children adding to the melody, and still they sat.

Nick passed Lainey the brownies and while she was busy eating, he took the Bible. He prayed for wisdom, direction, and then flipped it open and began to read to her. The intimacy between them fell full force on him. He wanted to bow his head, cry out, and thank God for it. His Word. His plan in his life and Lainey’s. Instead he swallowed over the lump in his throat and read.

Lainey Sparks is available on Amazon here:
Other retailers, see Laura’s Website at:

Laura J Marshall

Laura J. Marshall is a full-time mom of five boys. When not on active duty, she is the best-selling author of Christian Romance. You can find Laura’s books on Amazon. Visit her on Facebook or Twitter or on her website at

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Excerpt from The Book of Zechariah: A Story of Dreams and Visions By Deborah H. Bateman

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Deborah H. Bateman

Zechariah’s Dream
Lesson 1
Zechariah 1:1-12

Zechariah was one of the Prophets of Israel, along with Haggai who prophesied in the book of Ezra chapter five. His prophesies go from the days of Ezra to the second coming of Christ and Christ’s reign as king of the earth.

Zechariah was number eleven of the twelve Minor Prophets in the Bible. He was the son of Berechiah and the grandson of Iddo, who was also a prophet. Zechariah was the author of the book of Zechariah. The meaning of the name Zechariah is “God Has Remembered.”

In the book of Zechariah, Zechariah has eight dreams or visions from the LORD. During this time the LORD sent messages through Zechariah and other prophets to His people. You will notice in this Scripture that the word LORD is in all capital letters, which refers to Yahweh, God the Father. When the word is not capitalized in the Bible it refers to Jesus, God’s son, as Lord and master.

It was the eighth month of the second year of King Darius’ reign, around 520 B.C. This was around the same time as Haggai’s prophesies. The LORD speaks to Zechariah saying He has been so displeased with his fathers, the people of Israel. He tells Zechariah to tell them to turn back to the LORD so He can turn back to them.

The LORD tells Zechariah not to be like his fathers, who told the people to turn from their evil ways and turn back to God, but they didn’t listen. The LORD reminds Zechariah that their fathers and the prophets are dead, but His words and statues are eternal. Whether the people heard the words of the LORD from their fathers or the prophets or read it from a book, it still stands and they are accountable to it. God encourages Zechariah to call His people to repentance. Blessings only come from God through our obedience to Him and His ways.

Remember, these are the children of God who came out of captivity from Babylon. They weren’t bad people, but they had turned away from God’s ways and His will for their lives. Because of their circumstances they felt distant from God and He reminds them through Zechariah that He is right there waiting for them to turn back to Him. James 4:8 tells us, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. “

In the eleventh month, that is Sebat on the Jewish calendar, on the twenty-fourth day, Zechariah had a dream of a man riding a red horse, which stood among myrtle trees. Myrtle trees are small evergreen shrubs or trees. The myrtle trees are thought to be a symbol of the children of Israel. The man was the angel of the LORD who stood among the myrtle trees which symbolized that the LORD was still among them. Behind Him were red horses with white speckles. Zechariah asked, “LORD what are these?” The angel of the LORD answered him and said that He would show him what they are.

The angel of the LORD tells Zechariah that these are the ones who the LORD has sent to walk about on the earth. The angel said they have been walking around the earth and it is still just sitting at rest. The angel of the LORD asked God, “How long will you have mercy on Jerusalem and the cities of Judah which you have been angry with for seventy years?” We’ll explore the answer in Lesson 2.

Daily Bible Reading: Zechariah 1:1-12

1 In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying,
2 The LORD hath been sore displeased with your fathers.
3 Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts.
4 Be ye not as your fathers, unto whom the former prophets have cried, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings: but they did not hear, nor hearken unto me, saith the LORD.
5 Your fathers, where are they? and the prophets, do they live for ever?
6 But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not take hold of your fathers? and they returned and said, Like as the LORD of hosts thought to do unto us, according to our ways, and according to our doings, so hath he dealt with us.
7 Upon the four and twentieth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Sebat, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying,
8 I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white.
9 Then said I, O my lord, what are these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will shew thee what these be.
10 And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These are they whom the LORD hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth.
11 And they answered the angel of the LORD that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest.
12 Then the angel of the LORD answered and said, O LORD of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years?

Things to think about:

  • How did God deliver the message to Zechariah?
  • Have you ever had a dream you thought was from God? If so, what was it about?
  • Have you ever strayed away from God? If so, how did you get back in fellowship with Him?
  • Who is the intercessor today between us and God?

Prayer of the Day:

Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You for this Scripture in the book of Zechariah where we see that You used Your prophet to speak to Your people. We see that You urged them to return to You. We see that You had patience with them and didn’t give up on them. Help us to turn from our sin and turn to You and study Your Word and do Your will. In Jesus’ name, we pray. We love You, LORD. Amen.

The Book of Zechariah

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Ah, Peace! by Lynn Mosher

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Lynn Mosher

“God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God.” Matt. 5:9 NLT

Ah, peace! Ha! Not right now. As I sit here typing this, the sound of the yardman’s blower grates on my ears and jars my soul. That is definitely not the sound of peace to me.

But what is peace? According to one definition, Thayer’s Greek Lexicon says, “According to a conception distinctly peculiar to Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is.” Amen!

Peace is…

…rest in the Lord
…contentment that the Lord with work on our behalf
…harmony with the Lord.

Peace is the calm rest in the Lord that brings harmony in the midst of a fiery trial or the depths of an agonizing heartache.

What does scripture tell us about peace?

*“…for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Rom. 14:17 NKJV)

*“Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.” (Rom. 14:19 NKJV)

*“God has called us to live in peace.” (1 Cor. 7:15b NIV)

*“…to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” (Rom, 8:6 NKJV)

*“I listen carefully to what God the Lord is saying, for He speaks peace to His faithful people.” (Ps. 85:8 NLT)

However, there is one more element to peace…and that is trust in the Lord. Total reliance on Him to carry us through the worst of life’s flames.

God said through Isaiah, “I will be your God through all your lifetime, yes, even when your hair is white with age. I made you and I will care for you. I will carry you along and be your Savior.” (Is. 46:4 TLB)

He also wrote of God’s promise, “He will keep in perfect peace all those who trust in him, whose thoughts turn often to the Lord!” (Is. 26:3 TLB)

Paul said, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank Him for his answers. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:6-7 TLB)

When chaos invades my world, do I still claim His peace and praise Him? Yes, indeedy! For “I will praise the Lord no matter what happens. I will constantly speak of His glories and grace.” (Ps. 34:1 TLB) Amen!

And when the enemy swirls his darkness around me and attempts to discourage or frighten me, do I still trust Him? You betcha! I say as David said, “But when I am afraid, I will put my confidence in You. Yes, I will trust the promises of God. And since I am trusting Him, what can mere man do to me?” (Ps. 56:3-4 TLB)

Are you struggling to retain your heart’s peace? What did Jesus say about His peace? “I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27 TLB)

The old hymn It is Well With My Soul describes it so well…

“When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.”

If we aim for and pursue peace within ourselves, we shall be known as God’s children and be able to share His peace with those around us. “Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.” (Rom. 14:19 NKJV)

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Rom. 15:13 NLT)

May it be well with your soul!

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Gems from Pastor Jim by Jim Hughes for 9/9/2014

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Jim Hughes

Ps. 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd; I have everything I need.

In order to know the impact of this verse, we must know what a shepherd is and does. Much has been written and said about this verse, but it would do us well to pause and reflect on it again.

Scripture often refer to believers as sheep and the Lord as our shepherd. A shepherd is the caretaker, protector and provider of the sheep. He diligently watches over his sheep to ward off any potential danger to them from predators. A shepherd takes good care of his sheep because he cares for them; they become a part of him.

In the book of John, good shepherds are distinguished from bad shepherds. Bad shepherds are not attached to their sheep. They don’t mean anything to them. His role as a shepherd is nothing more than a job. He gives no thought about abandoning them at the first sign of trouble. Jesus is described as a good shepherd. He cares for His sheep and is even willing to lay down His life for them. Sheep know and trust the voice of a good shepherd and follow him because they know that he only has their good in mind.

Also in Scripture, pastors are often referred to as shepherds. You know you have a good pastor when you have someone who carries you on his heart. A good pastor watches over his sheep and ministers to their needs. He lovingly provides the guidance and nourishment they need in their spiritual walk. He diligently stands guard over his sheep so that no one can sneak in and steal them away. He diligently wards off untruth so they won’t be deceived and led astray. He won’t let them out of his sight so that when they do begin to wander off he can quickly rescue them. He is a good inspector of the Word so that what he feeds his sheep is good food that will help them.

When we let the Lord be our shepherd, we have everything we need for life and death. We learn to be content in Him and not crave for things He does not provide. We trust in His love and goodness at all times. We stay close to Him because we know that when we do we are safe. When Jesus is our shepherd, we determine in our hearts that He is sufficient for all our needs. We don’t look elsewhere; He is all we need.
C Through Marriage
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Everybody’s Got Baggage by Sherry Chamblee

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Sherry Chamblee

My family is on a six week trip around the country – showing the kids major spots like the Grand Canyon, and Washington DC. However, three weeks in a Tahoe with six kids will teach ya a few things. You can follow us on my blog… We are also using the hashtag #Gr8USrdTrp on Facebook and

Laundry has been a thing we’ve dealt with extensively so far. It’s rained everywhere we’ve gone, so there have been lots of messy days. Having to go to the camp laundry room means sitting there and waiting, so I’ve had some time to think recently.

First, we all have our own baggage. We carry around with us the things we think we HAVE to have to get through…or those things we feel obligated to carry with us. Sometimes we’re right. Other times, not so much. We put extras in our bag that we really won’t need. Thing is, it doesn’t just go away, that extra stuff. It has to be purposely left behind, or thrown out. Sometimes we don’t know it isn’t needed until we get out on the road and see for ourselves. Unnecessary burdens can be guilt we’ve piled on ourselves…maybe for things that weren’t really our fault, or things God doesn’t spell out as sin, or something to avoid. We can’t always just take it out of our bag and set it down. We have to purposely take those unnecessary burdens, put them in a trash bag, and leave them behind in a garbage can.

Second, we often grab someone else’s ‘stuff’ and carry it around with us for them. They might not even know we have it, but it’s weighing us down, wearing us out, taking up room meant for our own stuff. This happens when we grab someone else’s offense and decide it should be ours, too. Or when someone else was the one doing wrong, but we pick up the guilt and carry it around. It’s ok to help pick up someone else’s things, shake it out, fold it up neat…but when you’re done, put it back in their bag, not yours.

Third, we all have dirty laundry. Sometimes we want to pretend our dirt don’t stink…we give the notion that we never have issues, never get dirt stains or spills, never need a ‘laundry day.’ That attitude in us discourages others around us. I don’t mean to air your dirty laundry on other people’s front yards…no. Just don’t try to hide the fact that you have to clean your laundry, too.

So remember the next time you do laundry – carry only what you really need, only keep your own ‘stuff’ in your bag, and don’t hide the fact that you need to clean it sometimes, too.

We’ve all got baggage…and that’s ok.


I can be found on Facebook at Author Sherry Chamblee, and Twitter @SherryChamblee

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Streams in the Desert by L. G. Cowman for September 5

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I am posting a devotional from the popular Streams in the Desert. If you would like to have your own copy of Streams in the Desert click on the Link.

Streams in the Desert

Streams in the Desert by L. G. Cowman for September 5

Blessed are all they that wait for him (Isa 30:18).

We hear a great deal about waiting on God. There is, however, another side. When we wait on God, He is waiting till we are ready; when we wait for God, we are waiting till He is ready.

There are some people who say, and many more who believe, that as soon as we meet all the conditions, God will answer our prayers. They say that God lives in an eternal now; with Him there is no past nor future; and that if we could fulfill all that He requires in the way of obedience to His will, immediately our needs would be supplied, our desires fulfilled, our prayers answered.

There is much truth in this belief, and yet it expresses only one side of the truth. While God lives in an eternal now, yet He works out His purposes in time. A petition presented before God is like a seed dropped in the ground. Forces above and beyond our control must work upon it, till the true fruition of the answer is given.
–The Still Small Voice

I longed to walk along an easy road,
And leave behind the dull routine of home,
Thinking in other fields to serve my God;
But Jesus said, “My time has not yet come.”
I longed to sow the seed in other soil,
To be unfettered in the work, and free,
To join with other laborers in their toil;
But Jesus said, “‘Tis not My choice for thee.”
I longed to leave the desert, and be led
To work where souls were sunk in sin and shame,
That I might win them; but the Master said,
“I have not called thee, publish here My name.”
I longed to fight the battles of my King,
Lift high His standards in the thickest strife;
But my great Captain bade me wait and sing
Songs of His conquests in my quiet life.
I longed to leave the uncongenial sphere,
Where all alone I seemed to stand and wait,
To feel I had some human helper near,
But Jesus bade me guard one lonely gate.
I longed to leave the round of daily toil,
Where no one seemed to understand or care;
But Jesus said, “I choose for thee this soil,
That thou might’st raise for Me some blossoms rare.”
And now I have no longing but to do
At home, or else afar, His blessed will,
To work amid the many or the few;
Thus, “choosing not to choose,” my heart is still.


And Patience was willing to wait.
–Pilgrim’s Progress
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Words of Wisdom from Charles Haddon Spurgeon for September 4 Morning

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I am posting the Morning devotional for the current day from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotionals. If you would like to have your own copy of Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening Devotionals for your eBook reader click on the image:

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Spurgeon's Morning and Evening Devotionals

Words of Wisdom from Charles Haddon Spurgeon for September 4 Morning

“Thou whom my soul loveth.” – Song of Solomon 1:7

It is well to be able, without any “if” or “but,” to say of the Lord Jesus-“Thou whom my soul loveth.” Many can only say of Jesus that they hope they love him; they trust they love him; but only a poor and shallow experience will be content to stay here. No one ought to give any rest to his spirit till he feels quite sure about a matter of such vital importance. We ought not to be satisfied with a superficial hope that Jesus loves us, and with a bare trust that we love him. The old saints did not generally speak with “buts,” and “ifs,” and “hopes,” and “trusts,” but they spoke positively and plainly. “I know whom I have believed,” saith Paul. “I know that my Redeemer liveth,” saith Job. Get positive knowledge of your love of Jesus, and be not satisfied till you can speak of your interest in him as a reality, which you have made sure by having received the witness of the Holy Spirit, and his seal upon your soul by faith.

True love to Christ is in every case the Holy Spirit’s work, and must be wrought in the heart by him. He is the efficient cause of it; but the logical reason why we love Jesus lies in himself. Why do we love Jesus? Because he first loved us. Why do we love Jesus? Because he “gave himself for us.” We have life through his death; we have peace through his blood. Though he was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor. Why do we love Jesus? Because of the excellency of his person. We are filled with a sense of his beauty! an admiration of his charms! a consciousness of his infinite perfection! His greatness, goodness, and loveliness, in one resplendent ray, combine to enchant the soul till it is so ravished that it exclaims, “Yea, he is altogether lovely.” Blessed love this-a love which binds the heart with chains more soft than silk, and yet more firm than adamant!
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