Wednesday, June 13, 2012

“The Grace of Loss” Part 2

    “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for My sake shall find it” (Matthew 10:39).

     When we lose our erroneous view of our lives by consecrating ourselves to the truth that Christ alone fills and fulfills our hearts, we find ourselves increasingly liberated to find life in its truest and most blessed form.  “To live is Christ” (Philippians 1:21).

     “God… giveth us richly all things to enjoy” (I Timothy 6:17).

     As long as we believe that things (including and especially people) are necessary to our heart’s contentment, enslavement rather than enjoyment characterizes our experience of them.  However, when the Giver becomes the source of joy in which we trust, His gifts find their rightful place as opportunities for true worship rather than idolatry.

     Born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ can lose everything, but if the Savior remains, we lose nothing that is required for the contentment and sanctity of our hearts.  This is a hard truth, and if upon first reading, you quickly and blithely respond, “Amen!,” may I suggest that you read the words again.  Indeed, everything in our flesh shudders at the notion that Christ alone can fill and fulfill us.  The truth is true, of course, but few realities more require solemn and prayerful consideration than the fact that only the Lord Jesus can rightly occupy the innermost temple of our hearts.  “He is thy life” (Deuteronomy 30:20).

     Upon realizing and responding to this great fact of our existence, we begin to find a form of enjoyment we’ve never before known.  People, for example, offer a new and sublime possibility of real and joyful relationship.  Since we no longer view them as the source of our contentment, we can love and be loved with a restful, genuinely unselfish heart.  Furthermore, we find our hands empty and free for experiencing the wonder of our Lord’s promise: “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).  We couldn’t know such blessing when our peace depended on others being what we wanted, or thought we needed them to be.  With a heart full of an all-fulfilling Christ, however, both friends and enemies become opportunities for His self-sacrificial love that finds its joy in giving rather than receiving.

     This truth applies to everything else in our lives as well.  Possessions, places, dreams, opportunities and “all things” find their proper place of subservience in our hearts when therein, the Lord Jesus finds his proper place of sufficiency.  As Frances says so simply, but so beautifully, “Having Him, we have all.” When our Savior reigns within us in such confidence, things no longer possess us.  We possess them as His stewards, and the Holy Spirit enables us to enjoy the gifts God so richly gives, or to let them go if He so chooses.  The Source remains in both cases, and we increasingly discover the blessed truth that our hearts were made for the One who promised, “I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20).

“But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
(Philippians 4:19)

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