Tuesday, May 12, 2015

“Precious Ointment"

    Born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ live our lives in the presence of God.  "I am with you always" (Matthew 28:20).  This is true in the personal sense as the Holy Spirit dwells with and within us.  However, a special dispensation of our Lord's nearness manifests itself when we fellowship with other believers.

   "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; as the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore" (Psalm 133:1-3).

    The Christian life, by definition, cannot be fully experienced apart from shared experience of Christ with our brothers and sisters.  Our Heavenly Father does not and will not dispense to any one person all understanding and experience of Himself and His truth.   

    For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.  For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?  And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling? But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him. And if they were all one member, where were the body?  But now are they many members, yet but one body. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you" (I Corinthians 12:13-21).

    We need each other.  Or rather, we need the Lord Jesus as manifested in and through the various members of His body.  Walking with God involves walking with brother and sisters who help us to see sights and sounds along the journey we would miss if we traveled alone.  We illuminate, encourage, and challenge one another.  Indeed, Christian fellowship serves as the third most important aspect of God's communication to us, after the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit.  Unless Providentially hindered, we must seek out the communion of the saints as a primary means of communion with our Heavenly Father.  Loving God and loving our fellow believers go hand in hand, heart in heart.  "If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?" (I John 4:20).

    This is written as a simple reminder of a most obvious Biblical truth.  As members of a spiritual family, we must seek out and avail ourselves of the love, light, and life of Christ administered by the Holy Spirit in and through each other.  The Psalmist referred to such shared experience of Christ as "precious ointment."  Precious indeed, and more necessary than words can express as we make our way in a fallen world with our Lord, and with each other.

"For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, 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 be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God."
(Ephesians 3:14-19)

Weekly Memory Verse
   The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
(Proverbs 1:7)

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