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  • Prize Occupation


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    • devotionals

    When Saul, in his zeal persecuting he Church, was on his way to Damascus, the Lord in glory met him—that same Lord Jesus, Whom Saul had with his nation rejected and cast out, but now risen from the dead and glorified, appeared to him. It was then Saul discovered the true values of his precious things in the light of glory which shone round about him—saw their utter worthlessness, and hence by grace was able to say, “What things were gain to men those I counted loss for Christ. Yes, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for (because of) the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but refuse, that I may win Christ” (Phil 3:7, 8).

     

    Now he had discovered the fine gold, and by the side of it he could see what he had been priding himself upon was but wretched tinsel, and estimating is at its proper value, he now desired only to win Christ—i.e., to have Him as his gain. Everything which had been precious in his eyes disappeared, and the Lord Jesus only, remained; and it was Christ only that he now desired to possess, not only as his ground of confidence before God, but also his everlasting possession. For the Lord Jesus had won his heart, and the heart can never rest until it has gained the object of its affections.

     

    But inasmuch as it was the Lord Jesus in glory Whom he has thus seen and desired, it was only in the glory that He could be possessed. Hence the whole future course of the Apostle was governed by this fact. With heart and eyes fixed upon his Object, he says, “I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended (if I may get possession of that for which also I have been taken possession) of Christ Jesus.” And in the energy of his soul—being all aglow with fervent desire—he adds, “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things that are behind, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

     

    This was the prize on which his heart was now set, and like a racer, he bent his rapid steps toward the goal, and the varied objects of the surrounding scene passed by him unheeded, or were seen but dimly as he hasted onward, for his eyes were on the glorified Lord Jesus Christ, and he could see naught else “for the glory of that light” (i.e. as if we can see only Him through this present wilderness - Act 22:11—NC).

     

    Such also is the object set for every believer. Well might we examine ourselves by the light of this Scripture—by the light of the energy, the ardent desire, the concentrated affection of the Apostle. Does the Lord Jesus (let us ask ourselves in the presence of the Father) so possess our hearts that we desire no other object (i.e. is He alone our sufficiency or is there still also something else we use to suffice us—NC)? Do we, like Paul, count all that the natural man esteems but loss on account of the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord? The prayer is at times heard, and it may be presented by ourselves, that our hearts may be set upon the Christ. But He Himself said, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Mat 6:21).

     

    If our hearts, therefore, are not upon and occupied with Him, it is because He is not sufficiently our treasure. If, then, we would have our hearts detached from this scene and its objects, we must begin with Christ; we must trace out His manifold perfections, His varied beauties, His ineffable grace and unchanging love, and then our hearts will be drawn out towards Him, and He will absorb our affections, and attract us wholly to Himself.

     

    —Edward Dennett (1831 – 1914)

     

     

    “None but the Hungry Heart” devotional excerpt by MJS:

     

    “What is our link with God? It is this—the Lord Jesus Christ, as the answer to God and to Satan for us. It will never be what we are in ourselves. If you are expecting a day to come when in virtue of what you are in yourself you can satisfy God, you are destined to an awful disillusionment. The day will never come when we can satisfy God in ourselves, not even more or less.”

     

    “How could there be any doubt about the believer’s perfect security if his position in the Lord Jesus were realized? It would be impossible. Can He change? Or will God say to Him, I cannot any longer accept You as standing for this people? Or, once again if standing for them, is He on probation? Is His work completely done, or still to do?” - Frederick William Grant (1834 – 1902)

    http://www.abideabove.com/hungry-heart/



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