Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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I just finished listening to an old prayer meeting with Uncle Joe on fire for God! He was testifying of his healing from cancer and the anointing that came with it. It was absolutely wonderful! As Uncle Joe was still shouting the victory, your father said the following: (a few words were a little hard to understand-the saints were all praising the Lord!-but I sure got the point!)
"He's [Jesus] saying, 'Get behind me, and let me get in front of you.' We should get behind him [Jesus in the ship during the storm], and we get in front of him. That's a bad way to ride with the Lord. Don't put him in the backside. He didn't see the storm; they did. And when you see all these evil, bad things, it's because that Jesus is in the back. He had to come up to the front to say 'Peace!' [And when they got out of the way and let him come to the front], he said, 'Peace! Peace! Peace!' God wants to satisfy every soul in this room. He wants you to go home shouting the victory!"
And I bet they did that day!! What a gathering of the faithful!
Thanks for sending me that little message from Preacher Clark. I want to add to it this observation: When we see fault in one another instead of keeping our eyes on the fellowship toward which the Spirit is leading us, it is only because we "have Jesus in the stern of the ship, and we are out on the bow." Is there something you see in a brother or sister that you do not like? So what? I hardly know a person in Christ that I have not seen something about them I didn't like, but my excitement about seeing Jesus mold us into a perfectly joined body has always made it possible for me not to hang on to the fault but to look with great anticipation for the fellowship. And Jesus has done it for us over and over again as the years have passed. How sad it is to see anyone get "hung up" on the fault of a brother or sister and stop growing in grace!
You know, and we all do, that our heavenly Father certainly saw things about us from the beginning that He did not like. But if He had stopped there, where would we be today? He has loved us, patiently tolerated us, helped us, encouraged us, chastened us, but all for the same reason that Jesus endured the cross-in anticipation of fellowship with us in His light.
Thank God for His love! I love receiving it, and I love giving it. It is, as Jesus said, "more blessed to give than to receive", but it is impossible to be blessed that way, to give God's love, until we have first received it from God. It is true that we are able to love God only because He first loved us, and it is also true that it is only because God first loved us that we are able to love one another. Jesus loved us in hope of someday having fellowship with us in the light. Let us "forbear one another in love" for that same precious hope. Anybody can find fault; only those who have been loved by God can find the path that leads to harmony in spirit.