"He is before all things, and by Him all things consist."
"For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps."
(1 Peter 2:21)
If you and I have taken the place of owning Christ as Lord, we shall be sure to have a little bit of suffering.
If He is Lord over me, I must do everything to please Him, and, I shall be sure to displease friends.
I must give up this thing and not do the other, cost what it may, if He is Master.
(Gleanings of G.V. Wigram)
N.J. Hiebert - 4447
"Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all."
(1 Timothy 4:15)
The material for meditation is the Word of God; for that is the only book that is distinctly and exclusively authoritative. It has been said, "people prefer to drink at any other source than the original." There - is a lesson for us! Devotional and expository volumes are of great value - of very great value; but while they are admirable helps, they are miserable substitutes for the Bible itself. The Bible is the one Book wherein, for thousands of years, the spirit of man has found light and nourishment, and a response to whatever was deepest in his heart.
Meditation is the digestive faculty of the soul, which converts the Word into real and proper nourishment, and produces the most happy results. "Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart" (Jeremiah 15:16). Note the process and results: "finding", which corresponds to the New Testament word "search"; "eating", or "appropriating", which answers to "meditation"; "rejoicing", the inevitable consequence of searching, and reflecting on what is found. (In Pastures Green)
N.J. Hiebert - 4448
"And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ. . . ."
(2 Corinthians 5:18)
Paul encouraged the Athenians by reminding them that God was not far from any one of them, that it was He in whom they lived and moved and had their being. Yet men think of Him as farther away than the farthest star. The truth is that He is nearer to us than we are to ourselves!
But how can the conscious sinner bridge the mighty gulf that separates him from God in living experience? The answer is that he cannot, but the glory of the Christian message is that Christ did! Through the blood of His cross He made peace that he might reconcile all things unto Himself: "And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight" (Colossians 1:21,22).
The new birth makes us partakers of the divine nature. There the work of undoing the dissimilarity between us and God begins. From there it progresses by the sanctifying operation of the Holy Spirit till God is satisfied.
That is the theology of it, but even the regenerated soul may sometimes suffer from the feeling that God is far from him. Put away the evil from you, believe, and the sense of nearness will be restored. God was never away in the first place! (A.W. Tozer)
N.J. Hiebert - 4449