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Friday, October 23, 2015

Look At the King in His Beauty!


Look at the King in His beauty!
(David Harsha, "Wanderings of a Pilgrim")

"Your eyes will see the King in His beauty and
 view a land that stretches afar!" Isaiah 33:17
Contemplate your blessed Redeemer, seated on His great white throne, encircled with heavenly glory. It is the sight of a glorified Savior, that will make the Heaven of the believer.
Endeavor now, by the eye of faith, to behold the Lord Jesus in all His matchless beauty and excellence. Contemplate . . .
  His glorious character,
  His infinite mercy,
  His unparalleled condescension,
  and His boundless love!
There is enough in Jesus to employ the soul in rapturous meditation through a vast eternity! His excellence, His goodness, and His love can never be fathomed!
O keep your eye fixed on this adorable Savior, while you sojourn in this valley of tears; and in a little while you shall see Him as He is; face to face, and ascribe to Him unceasing praise! Look at the King in His beauty!
"Yes, He is altogether lovely. This is my Beloved, and this is my Friend!" Song of Songs 5:16

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How Can We Evaluate Our Spiritual Growth?

by Charles Stanley

When it comes to spiritual maturity, we can’t simply take for granted that we’re growing. To evaluate personal progress, I’ve compiled a brief inventory of spiritual benchmarks. Check the list for an idea of how you’re doing. But remember, these items are just a place to start; see the Bible for a complete growth chart!

We know we’re growing spiritually when we become increasingly aware of our sinfulness and weakness. As I read biographies of godly saints, it’s clear that they don’t “get better” with age and spiritual maturity. Instead, they become ever more sensitive to their dependence upon the Lord. Moreover, progress is apparent when we respond to sin with quick repentance. Failure to deal with sin is rebellion against God. Growing believers turn away from wrongdoing and embrace righteousness. As we live with the good results of dependence and repentance, our desire to obey intensifies, and the attraction of sin lessens.

Growth is also marked by an increase in two things—joy and struggle. Faith is often developed through hardship because living out the principles of trust and endurance help us “get it.” So we’ll see maturity in our relationship with God when we view trials and temptations as opportunities for growth.

Paul, David, and Daniel prove that adversity can help form spiritual giants. These men recognized sovereign God as the gatekeeper of their lives. We are maturing when we perceive whatever comes our way as being from Him, which also means that He’s working it for good (Romans 8:28).

~Dr. Charles F. Stanley~

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Blow upon my garden that the spices may flow out (S. of Sol. 4:16).

Some of the spices mentioned in this chapter are quite suggestive. The aloe was a bitter spice, and it tells of the sweetness of bitter things, the bitter-sweet, which has its own fine application that only those can understand who have felt it. The myrrh was used to embalm the dead, and it tells of death to something. It is the sweetness which comes to the heart after it has died to its self-will and pride and sin.

Oh, the inexpressible charm that hovers about some Christians simply because they bear upon the chastened countenance and mellow spirit the impress of the cross, the holy evidence of having died to something that was once proud and strong, but is now forever at the feet of Jesus. It is the heavenly charm of a broken spirit and a contrite heart, the music that springs from the minor key, the sweetness that comes from the touch of the frost upon the ripened fruit.
And then the frankincense was a fragrance that came from the touch of the fire. It was the burning powder that rose in clouds of sweetness from the bosom of the flames. It tells of the heart whose sweetness has been called forth, perhaps by the flames of affliction, until the holy place of the soul is filled with clouds of praise and prayer.

Beloved, are we giving out the spices, the perfumes, the sweet odors of the heart?

--The Love-Life of Our Lord

"A Persian fable says: One day
A wanderer found a lump of clay
So redolent of sweet perfume
Its odors scented all the room.
'What are thou? was his quick demand,
'Art thou some gem from Samarcand,
Or spikenard in this rude disguise,
Or other costly merchandise?'
'Nay: I am but a lump of clay.'
"'Then whence this wondrous perfume--say!'
'Friend, if the secret I disclose,
I have been dwelling with the rose.'
Sweet parable! and will not those
'Who love to dwell with Sharon's rose,
Distil sweet odors all around,
Though low and mean themselves are found?
Dear Lord, abide with us that we
May draw our perfume fresh from Thee." 


~L. B. Cowman~

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