Friday, June 26, 2015

"Jesus ever lives to make intercession for us."

But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; I AM here. Do not be afraid.”
Matthew 14:27

But I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail…”
Luke 22:32

Breast the wave, Christian,
When it is strongest;
Watch for day, Christian,
When the night is longest;
Onward and upward still
Be thine endeavour;
Seek the rest that remains
To thee forever.

Fight the fight, Christian,
Jesus is o'er thee;
Run the race, Christian,
Heaven is before thee:
He who hath promised it,
Faltereth never;
He who hath loved so well,
Loveth forever.

All the saints in glory, headed by Christ their Leader, came out of great tribulation. And if the Elder Brother- He, the sinless Savior, He, the blessed Son of the Father- was not exempt from tribulation, shall we ask, shall we desire it? 
  Diversified are the storms of God's people, deriving their character often from the peculiar position in which each believer is placed in life, just as the storms, which sweep the ocean, derive their intensity from the latitudes in which they occur. "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers out of them all." "Through much tribulation we are to enter the kingdom." But oh, how helpful in our heavenly course are these rude and fierce tempests! Many of the Lord's people will testify that their souls make little or no real progress in the divine life, but under the pressure of adversity. As we have remarked, light breezes and smooth seas help them on but little. The vessel is so slow sailing, and withal so heavily laden, that nothing but strong winds and tempestuous waves, and cross seas, speed it on in its heavenly way. To change the figure: just as the tempest impels the root more deeply and firmly into the earth, the tree thus acquiring vigor and growth by the very means that threatened to sweep it from the forest, so "God's trees of righteousness," trees of His own right-hand planting, are "rooted and grounded" in Christ and in faith and in love by those very trials, afflictions, and sorrows which seemed the most adverse to their well-being. Affliction is a sowing time, a growing time, a harvest time- the discipline not pleasant now, but afterwards yielding the peaceable fruits of righteousness to those who are exercised thereby. 
But for the storm how little should we know of His power who controls our tempest, and of His love who quells our fears. 
  And where was Jesus while the disciples were in the storm? He was alone in the mountain in prayer- in prayer for them! Why did He withdraw His presence well knowing that dangers and fears awaited them? That they might learn the great lesson of the Christian life, namely, that, "without Me you can do nothing." It is thus the Lord now deals with us. He will have us know our weakness, and dependence upon Him our strength. He will wean us from ourselves, and deaden us to the world, and teach us where our great supplies of grace and power and comfort are. 
  And all this time of our earthly storm and danger, where is Christ? He is “in heaven, now to appear in the presence of God for us." He is in glory praying for His Church. With a sleepless eye of love resting upon our storm-tossed souls, He is interceding for us with the Father, that our afflictions engulf us not, that our faith fail not, that our fears prevail not, but that we may be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation. 
  Oh how sweet a truth is the intercession of Christ! 
  Is there any thought more strengthening, animating, and promotive of our holiness, than that Christ is each moment praying for us in heaven? We ask the prayers of the Lord's people, and are strengthened thereby. How much more needed, precious, and prevalent the intercession of Christ!
"Jesus ever lives to make intercession for us." Exalted though He is in glory, the same heart beats within that breast that throbbed and sorrowed and bled on earth. 
  Encircled by myriads of glorified spirits, He is not neglectful of His saints below. He trod the path you now tread, and sanctified it. He passed through your temptation, and foiled it. He drank your bitter cup, and sweetened it. He traveled through your darkness, and illumined it. He bore your cross, and lightened it. He suffered your persecution, and disarmed it. He experienced your death, and plucked the sting from the last foe. He lay in the grave, and left an undying light and fragrance there. Look up to Him, then, as your Intercessor. Nothing that He asks the Father is refused Him. He never receives a denial. Your suit, blended with His own, prevails in the Chancery of heaven. And when through suffering, or languor, or sorrow you cannot pour out your needs yourself, Christ is praying for you, employing His interest in your behalf with God. And Him, the Father hears always.


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