Sunday, July 31, 2011

What Controls You?

There is a reoccurring theme that I can't seem to get away from.  Whenever I open the Word of God, there it is illuminating from the pages.  When I go to open a book to read, it's popping off the pages.  When I hear sermons on the radio it seems to be the message of the preacher as he speaks to me in my car as I am driving.  God has me focused on His love.  I don't think I've ever had a theme verse, but I would have to say that 2 Corinthians 5: 14 has me hooked.

"For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this, that one has died for all, there all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised."

The question that keeps going around and around in my thoughts and heart is, does the love of Christ control me? What does control me? What rules me? What motivates me? What brings a smile to my face? Is it the love of Christ? Christ's love drove him to the cross.  His love for me is why I may live.  If I am controlled by Christ's love than I no longer live for myself but for HIM.  When people meet me or speak with me do they experience the love of Christ?  Do my children experience the love of Christ because of me?

"The secret of the early Christians, the early Protestants, Puritans & Methodists
was that they were taught about the love of Christ, and they became filled with a knowledge of it.
Once a man has the love of Christ in his heart you need not train him to witness; he will do it.
He will know the power, the constraint, the motive; everything is already there.
It is plain lie to suggest that people who regard this knowledge of the love of Christ as the supreme thing are useless, unhealthy mystics.  
The servants of God who have most adorned the life and the history of the Christian Church have always been men who have realized that this is the most important thing of all,
and they have spent hours in prayer seeking His face and enjoying His love.
The man who knows the love of Christ in his heart can do more in one hour than the busy man
can do in a century.  God forbid that we should ever make of activity an end in itself.
Let us realize that the motive must come first, and that the motive ever be the love of Christ."

Martin Lloyd-Jones, The Unsearchable Riches of Christ, 253

I want to sit and bathe in the love of Christ.  I don't ever want to leave the foot of the cross that displays His love for me.  The wrath of God is no longer for me because I am washed by the blood & love of Christ.  Are you controlled by the love of Christ?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Letter From Mary Love - My Dear Heart

I first heard of Mary Love's letter to her husband when my family and I were at the Resolved Conference a few weeks back in late June.  Rick Holland read her letter within his sermon, The Believer's Right Response to Difficulty.   I don't think there was a dry eye in the audience, but that's not the reason for me posting her letter is to make you cry.  If I were to have a poster child for my blog, other than Jesus Christ, it would be Mary Love. Let me set the scene for you.  Mary Love is married to Christopher Love, a brilliant young Welsh preacher.  She is 8 months pregnant with their 5th child, two living and two deceased.  Her husband, Christopher Love is imprisoned for treason by the English government and as far as she knew to be executed the next morning.  These were the last words that she had for her husband. 

My Dear Heart
July 14, 1651

Before I write a word further, I beseech thee think not that it is thy wife but a friend now that writes  to thee.  I hope though hast freely given up thy wife and children to God, who hath said in Jeremiah 49:11, "Leave thy fatherless children, I will preserve them alive, and let thy widow trust in me."  Thy Maker will be my husband, and a Father to thy children.  O that the Lord would keep thee from having one troubled thought for thy relations.  I desire freely to give thee up into they Father's hands, and not only look upon it as a crown of glory for thee to die for Christ, but as an honor to me that I should have a husband to leave for Christ.
I dare not speak to thee, nor have a thought within my own heart of my unspeakable loss,but wholly keep my eye fixed upon they inexpressible and inconceivable gain.  Thou leavest but a sinful, mortal wife to be everlastingly married to the Lord of glory.  Thou leavest but children, brothers, and sisters to go to the Lord Jesus, they eldest Brother.  Thou leavest friends on earth to go to the enjoyment of saints and angels, and the spirits of just men made perfect in glory.  Thou does but leave earth for heaven and changest a prison for a palace.  And if natural affections should begin to arise, I hope that spirit of grace that is within thee will quell them, knowing that all thinks here below are but dung and dross in comparison of those things that are above.  I know thou keepest thine eye fixed on the hope of glory, which makes they feet trample on the loss of earth.
My dear, I know God hath not only prepared glory for thee, and thee for it, but I am persuaded that He will sweeten the way for thee to come to the enjoyment of it.  When thou are putting on they clothes that morning, O think, "I am putting on my wedding garments to go to
be everlastingly married to my Redeemer."
When the messenger of death comes to thee, let him not seem dreadful to thee, but look on him as a messenger that brings thee tidings of eternal life.  When thou goest up the scaffold, think (as thou saidst to me) that it is but thy fiery chariot to carry thee up to thy Father's house.
And when thou layest down they precious head to receive thy Father's stroke, remember what thou saidst to me: Though thy head was severed from thy body, yet in a moment thy soul should be united to they Head, the Lord Jesus, in heaven.  And though it may seem something bitter, that by hands of men we are parted a little sooner than otherwise we might have been, yet let us consider that it is the decree and will of our Father, and it will not be long ere we shall enjoy
one another in heaven again. 
Let us comfort one another with these sayings.  Be comforted, my dear heart.  It is but a little stroke and thou shalt be there where the weary shall be at rest and where the wicked shall cease from troubling.  Remember that thou mayest eat thy dinner with bitter herbs, yet thou shalt have a sweet supper with Christ that night.  My dear, by what I write unto thee, I do not hereby undertake to teach thee; for these comforts I have received from the Lord by thee.  I will write no more, nor trouble thee any further, but commit thee into the arms of God with whom ere long thee and I shall be.
Farewell, my dear, I shall never see thy face more till we both behold the face of the Lord Jesus at that great day.
Mary Love

Her letter reveals it all.  Christ is her Husband who is her All in All.  My prayer is that we may be women, like Mary Love, who don't allow our circumstances to shake up our faith but know that our lives our written out by His Sovereign hand, which results in us to stand on the solid ground of Jesus Christ.  At the end of the day,  He is our Groom.

"For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain." Philippians 1:21