The fundamental building blocks of the kingdom are relationships. Not programs, systems or productivity; but time consuming, inconvenient, intrusive relationships. The kingdom is built on personal involvement that disrupts schedules and drains energy. When I enter into redemptive relationships with man, part of me dies. Is this perhaps what our Lord meant when he said we should lay down our lives for each other?
Show us that joy comes when we are caught up in works of mercy and find ourselves unable to distinguish between our blessings and those of our brothers and sisters.
Now, dear Christians, some of you pray night and day to be branches of the true Vine; you pray to be made all over in the image of Christ. If so, you must be like him in giving. A branch bears the same kind of fruit as the tree… An old divine says well: ‘What would have become of us if Christ had been as saving of His blood as some men are of their money?’
Objection 1: ‘My money is my own.’ Answer: Christ might have said, ‘My blood is my own, my life is my own’ …then where should we have been?
Objection 2: ‘The poor are undeserving.’ Answer: Christ might have said the same thing. ‘They are wicked rebels against my Father’s law: shall I lay down my life for these? I will give to the good angels.’ But no, He left the ninety-nine and came after the lost. He gave His blood for the undeserving.
Objection 3: ‘The poor may abuse it.’ Answer: Christ might have said the same; yea, with far greater truth. Christ knew that thousands would trample His blood under their feet; that most would despise it…yet He gave His own blood.
Oh, my dear Christians! If you would be like Christ, give much, give often, give freely, to the vile and the poor, the thankless and the undeserving. Christ is glorious and happy, and so will you be. It is not your money I want, but your happiness. Remember His own word: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’
Robert Murray McCheyne (1813-1843)
With its direct appeal to the senses, beauty stops us, transfixes us, fills us with a surfeit of aliveness. In so doing, it takes the individual away from the center of his or her self-preoccupation and thus prompts a distribution of attention outward toward others.
Christ is the very essence of all delights and pleasures, the very soul and substance of them. As all the rivers are gathered into the ocean, which is the congregation or meeting-place of all waters in the world: so Christ is that ocean in which all true delights and pleasures meet.
Why do ye lavish away your precious affections upon vanity: None but Christ is worthy of them: when you spend your precious affections upon other objects, what is it but to dig for dross with golden mattocks? The Lord direct our hearts into the love Of Christ.