Friday, June 9, 2017

"Thou, Thee, and Thine"

"Thou, Thee, and Thine"    
   Our native tendency to please ourselves stands in direct contrast to the character, nature, and way of the Lord Jesus Christ.

   "And He that sent Me is with Me.  The Father hath not left Me alone, for I do always those things that please Him" (John 8:29).
   "The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and give His life a ransom for many" (Matthew 20:28).

    The Lord Jesus finds His pleasure in the pleasure of His Father and the meeting of our needs.  He reflects His Father's character in so doing, as well as the Holy Spirit of whom the Savior declared, "He shall not speak of Himself… He shall glorify Me" (John 16:13; 14).  Thus, in Christ we see the sublime disposition that flows from the love wherein the triune God exists in unselfish devotion to others.  Or, as the Apostle John declared of this holy Divine essence, "God is love" (I John 4:8; 16).

    Stark is the contrast when humanity, in and of ourselves, stands in the light of God.  Were it not for the influence of the Holy Spirit in the world, the tooth and the claw would govern all human thought, attitude, behavior, and relationship.  The sin of Adam plunged humanity into being governed by self-centeredness rather than self sacrifice.  Thus, God works in all things to reveal the contrasting spiritual and moral truth of His character.  The truth, goodness, and beauty that even many unbelievers recognize as the best way to experience life shines forth from the heart of our Creator and Sustainer: "In Thy light shall we see light" (Psalm 36:9).  Most people are unaware that this light serves as the basis for every human conception of loving unselfishness.  Nevertheless, only the influence of God in the world keeps us from destroying each other, and thereby ourselves.  

   The incarnation of Christ brought forth the greatest revelation of the difference between God and ourselves.  Our Lord's redeeming work on our behalf also made possible the entrance of the permanently indwelling Holy Spirit into the hearts of believers.  Thereby He transforms us from narcissism to altruism.  "The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5).  Every aspect of the Christian life involves this reorientation from "I, Me, and My" to "Thou, Thee, and Thine."   As we walk with our Lord, His desire to please His Heavenly Father and bless others increasingly becomes our desire.  We realize that life is about God and others.  Thereby we find our own hearts fulfilled as the supernatural fruit of the truth, goodness, and beauty that comprises the essence of God.  Christ's native tendency becomes our native tendency by the Holy Spirit's moving in our hearts "to will and to do of His good pleasure" (Philippians 2:13).  He will work accordingly in this day, and let us expect that many opportunities to please God and bless others will lie before us that reveal in our hearts the beauty of our Lord's devotion to "Thou, Thee, and Thine."

"Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more."
(I Thessalonians 4:1)
"We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not Himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on Me."
(Romans 15:1-3)

Weekly Memory Verse 
   Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
(John 5:24)

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