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Being Part of His Church

Greetings All,

This weeks 'thought' comes from Frederick Faber (1814-1863). A. W. Tozer quotes him in his classic work, "The Pursuit of God," but gives no reference as to what book, paper or sermon he takes it from. Sorry about that!

Faber's words speak of Christ and the place He should hold both in our lives and in His Church. Enjoy.

"Wherever we turn in the church of God, there is Jesus. He is the beginning, middle and end of everything to us... There is nothing good, nothing holy, nothing beautiful, nothing joyous which He is not to His servants. No one need be poor, because, if he chooses, he can have Jesus for his own property and possession. No one need be downcast, for Jesus is the joy of heaven, and it is His joy to enter into sorrowful hearts. We can exaggerate about many things; but we can never exaggerate our obligation to Jesus, or the compassionate abundance of the love of Jesus to us. All our lives long we might talk of Jesus, and yet we should never come to an end of the sweet things that might be said of Him. Eternity will not be long enough to learn all He is, or to praise Him for all He has done, but then, that matters not, for we shall always be with Him, and we desire nothing more."

His words bring to mind those spoken by another man at a conference on Jonathan Edwards which I attended in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. The man's name was Dr. John Hannah and the words he spoke have always stuck with me: "The day you find anything more beautiful than Jesus," he said, "is the day you can know you never knew Jesus."

When people add a little Jesus into their lives during the week or on Sunday morning, as nothing more than an attempt to attain wholeness (a religious element added into the mix to balance off their life), they have missed the whole point. Jesus doesn't offer Himself to us as one among many lovers. He offers Himself to us as the second person of the Godhead whom we are to love with "all our heart, and all our mind, and all our soul, and all our strength." (Mark 12:30).

The love of God is meant to consume us. It is meant to capture our hearts and captivate our supreme affections. Scripture intends that Jesus Himself be the object of our utmost devotion. He is to reign in our hearts with no competitiors, no co-regents and no equivalent rivals - no one and no thing that even comes close to His place or position. He is to be the one all-consuming passion of our lives, under which, or behind which, everything else falls.

As the Apostle Paul said, not expressing the view of a fanatical extremist, but the norm of every Christian's experience: "But whatever was to my profit, I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him..." (Philippians 3:7-8) He is to have the preeminence or supremacy in the church (Col. 1:18), and if you are part of His church, that is the place He is to have in your life as well.

May it be so. Pastor Jeff