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Monday, October 3, 2016

Love to Souls (and other devotions)

Love to Souls

"Know that he which converteth a sinner from the error of his way, shall save a soul from death" (James 5:20).

What a wonderful thought - that I may save a soul from everlasting death. How can this be? If I convert him from the error of his ways. This is the calling not only of the minister, but of every Christian - to work for the salvation of sinners.

When Christ and His love took possession of our hearts, He gave us this love that we might bring others to Him. In this way Christ's Kingdom was extended. Everyone who had the love of Christ in his heart was constrained to tell others. This was the case in the early Christian church. After the Day of Pentecost, people went out and told of the love of Christ, which they had themselves experienced. Heathen writers have told us that the rapid spread of Christianity in the first century was due to the fact that each convert, being filled with the love of Christ, tried to bring the good news to others.

What a change has come over the Church! Many Christians never try to win others to Christ. Their love is so weak and faint that they have no desire to help others. May the time soon come when Christians will feel constrained to tell of the love of Christ. In a revival in Korea a few years ago, the converts were filled with such a burning love to Christ that they felt bound to tell others of His love. It was even taken as a test of membership that each one should have brought another to the Lord before being admitted to the church.

Let the reader examine himself and pray that in fellowship with Christ, he may think not only of his own soul but, having received the gift of God's love, he may pass it on to others. He will then know true happiness, the joy of bringing souls to Christ.

Dear Father, we pray earnestly to be so filled with Thy love that we may wholeheartedly surrender ourselves to win others for Thee. Amen

~Andrew Murray~

The Spirit of Love

"The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts, by the Holy Spirit, which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5)

"The fruit of the Spirit is love" (Galatians 5:22)

The thought sometimes arises as we consider Christ's love to us, our love to Christ, our love to one another or to souls around us: the demand is too great, it is unattainable, it is impossible for a Christian to live this life of love and to show it to one another and to needy souls. And because we deem it impossible and because of our unbelief and lack of faith in God's promises, we make little progress in the spirit of love.

We need continually to remind ourselves that it is not in our own strength or even by serious thought that we can attain to the love of Christ. We must realize the truth that the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts and will daily afresh be poured out by the Spirit of God. It is only as we are wholly surrendered to the leading of the Spirit that we will be able to live according to God's will. When the inner life of love is renewed from day to day, we shall feel compelled to work for souls.

Here is a prayer that you can offer: "I bow my knees unto the Father, that He would grant you, to be strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith, that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge." You may be rooted and grounded in this love and know the love that passeth knowledge - but on one condition - you must be strengthened by the Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your heart. Then you will indeed be rooted and grounded in love.

Christian, take this message from God's Word and let it influence your life. Unless you wait upon God daily on your knees for His Spirit to be revealed in your heart, you cannot live in this love. A life of prayer will make a life in the love of Christ, in the love of one another, and in love to souls, a blessed reality in your experience.

Blessed Father, we put our confidence each day in secret in the Holy Spirit - the Spirit of love which God gives to those who ask in faith. Amen

~Andrew Murray~

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