Monday, June 28, 2010

"He is not ashamed to call them brethren.....

"Are the ways of God with you a great deep? Is He enshrouding your path with mystery? Does He in His transactions make Himself strange? Are your expectations blighted, your plans crossed, your purposes baffled, and, on these broken waters, do the fragments of wrecked and disappointed hopes float around you? "Be still! and know that He is God!"

Let this one truth be engraven on your heart- Christ's full, personal, minute knowledge of you, and you have found the secret of all happiness in adversity, joy in sorrow, succor and support when heart and flesh fail you. Jesus knows His brethren. Let me first remind you that Christ's knowledge of His brethren is an eternal knowledge. It is not a knowledge arrived at in time, attained since they had a being. The knowledge of Christ is an eternal knowledge of His Church. He knew them when they were chosen in Him before the foundation of the world. He knew them when the Father gave them to Him to be His peculiar treasure. He knew them wen they were intrusted to His hands to be redeemed, ransomed, and saved. He knew them when He wrote their names in His book of life. He knew them in the everlasting counsels of eternity, when He loved them with an everlasting love.

"He remembers us in our low estate, for His mercy endures forever." "I am poor and needy, yet the Lord thinks upon me."
Oh, you have not a desire after Christ, faint though it is, your heart goes not out after Christ, longs for Christ, and rests in Christ, but Christ knows it, and rejoices in it with exceeding great joy. And is it not a delightful thought that Christ is cognizant of the work of His own Spirit in the soul? You may not at times be able to discern that work yourself; so concealed is it by infirmity, unbelief, and the mists that exhale from inbred sin and corruption; nevertheless, here is a truth worth untold gold- Jesus knows His own work, recognizes His own image, and calls us His brethren. The saints may not know it, your dearest friend may not know it, you may not know it yourself, enough that Jesus knows it; He sees the flickering spark which nothing can extinguish, traces the lineaments of His own image which nothing shall efface, and interprets as none other can, the language of our groans, tears, and desires.

It is also a blessed thought that, Jesus knows His brethren individually. Christ does not, as we too frequently ourselves do, lose sight of our individuality. We too imperfectly deal with Jesus personally. We too little bring our individual sorrows, needs, and circumstances to Christ. And yet what a comforting truth is this, and not comforting only, but deeply sanctifying- Christ knows me personally, has my name on His heart, has my position in His mind, has my circumstances in His eye, is acquainted with my individual state in society, with my trials, temptations, sorrows, and wants. Such is His individual and discriminating knowledge, He knows me as if I were the only brother He owns and acknowledges on earth. If you retire to your chamber to brood in solitude and silence over your lonely griefs, perhaps, with the sad thought, "no one knows me, no one sympathizes with me, no one is acquainted with my case, I am like a sparrow alone on the house-top, I pray, and sigh, and groan in lonely places, and no man cares for my soul," oh, beloved, there is One who knows you, knows your name, your position, your griefs, your temptations, your loneliness, who says, "I know their sorrows," it is Jesus, your Joseph, your brother."
~ Octavious Winslow

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"Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
Isaiah 55:6,8-1