I was glad when they said to me, ‚ÄúLet us go to the house of the Lord.‚Äù
A Neophyte‚Äôs Devotion
Glorious and holy God,
Provocations against thy divine majesty have
filled my whole life.
My offenses have been countless and aggravated.
Conscience has rebuked me,
friends have admonished me,
the examples of others have reproached me,
thy rod has chastised me,
thy kindness allured me.
Thou hast seen and abhorred all my sins and
couldst easily and justly have punished me,
yet thou hast spared me,
been gracious unto me,
given me thy help,
invited me to thy table.
Lord, I thankfully obey thy call,
accept of thy goodness,
acquiesce in thy gospel appointments.
I believe that Jesus thy Son has plenteous
I apply to him for his benefits,
give up my mind implicitly to his instructions,
trust and glory in his sacrifices,
revere and love his authority,
pray that his grace may reign in my life.
I will not love a world that crucified him,
neither cherish nor endure the sin,
that put him to grief,
nor suffer him to be wounded by others.
At the cross that relieves my conscience
let me learn lessons of self-denial, forgiveness
feel motives to obedience,
find resources for all needs of the divine life.
then let me be what I profess,
do as well as teach,
live as well as well as hear religion.
‚ÄîThe Valley of Vision, Arthur Bennett, editor (Banner of Truth Trust, 2002).
Jesus said to them, ‚ÄúI am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.‚Äù
Three of our Lord Jesus Christ‚Äôs great sayings are strung together, like pearls, in this passage. Each of them ought to be precious to every true Christian. All taken together, they form a mine of truth, into which he that searches need never search in vain.
We have, first, in these verses, a saying of Christ about Himself. We read that Jesus said,‚Äî‚ÄúI am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.‚Äù
Our Lord would have us know that He himself is the appointed food of man‚Äôs soul. The soul of every man is naturally starving and famishing through sin. Christ is given by God the Father, to be the Satisfier, the Reliever, and the Physician of man‚Äôs spiritual need. In Him and His mediatorial office,‚Äîin Him and His atoning death,‚Äîin Him and His priesthood,‚Äîin Him and His grace, love, and power,‚Äîin Him alone will empty souls find their needs supplied. In Him there is life. He is ‚Äúthe bread of life.‚Äù
With what divine and perfect wisdom this name is chosen! Bread is necessary food. We can manage tolerably well without many things on our table, but not without bread. So is it with Christ. We must have Christ, or die in our own sins. Bread is food that suits all. Some cannot eat meat, and some cannot eat vegetables. But all like bread. It is food both for the Queen and the pauper. So is it with Christ. He is just the Saviour that meets the needs of every class. Bread is food that we need daily. Other kinds of food we take, perhaps, only occasionally. But we need bread every morning and evening in our lives. So is it with Christ. There is no day in our lives but we need His blood, His righteousness, His intercession, and His grace. Well may He be called, ‚ÄúThe bread of life!‚Äù
Do we know anything of spiritual hunger? Do we feel anything of craving and emptiness in conscience, heart, and affections? Let us distinctly understand that Christ alone can relieve and supply us, and that it is His office to relieve. We must come to Him by faith. We must believe on Him, and commit our souls into His hands. So coming, He pledges His royal word we shall find lasting satisfaction both for time and eternity. It is written,‚Äî‚ÄúHe that cometh unto me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.‚Äù
We have, secondly, in these verses, a saying of Christ about those who come to Him. We read that Jesus said,‚Äî‚ÄúHim that cometh to me I will in nowise cast out.‚Äù
What does ‚Äúcoming‚Äù mean? It means that movement of the soul which takes place when a man, feeling his sins, and finding out that he cannot save himself, hears of Christ, applies to Christ, trusts in Christ, lays hold on Christ, and leans all his weight on Christ for salvation. When this happens, a man is said, in Scripture language, to ‚Äúcome‚Äù to Christ.
What did our Lord mean by saying,‚Äî‚ÄúI will in nowise cast him out‚Äù? He meant that He will not refuse to save any one who comes to Him, no matter what he may have been. His past sins may have been very great. His present weakness and infirmity may be very great. But does he come to Christ by faith? Then Christ will receive him graciously, pardon him freely, place him in the number of His dear children, and give him everlasting life.
These are golden words indeed! They have smoothed down many a dying pillow, and calmed many a troubled conscience. Let them sink down deeply into our memories, and abide there continually. A day will come when flesh and heart shall fail, and the world can help us no more. Happy shall we be in that day, if the Spirit witnesses with our spirit that we have really come to Christ!
We have, lastly, in these verses, a saying of Christ about the will of His Father. Twice over come the solemn words,‚Äî‚ÄúThis is the will of him that sent me.‚Äù Once we are told it is His will, ‚Äúthat every one that seeth the Son may have everlasting life.‚Äù Once we are told it is His will that, ‚Äúof all which he has given to Christ he shall lose nothing.‚Äù
We are taught by these words that Christ has brought into the world a salvation open and free to everyone. Our Lord draws a picture of it, from the story of the bronze serpent, by which bitten Israelites in the wilderness were healed. Every one that chose to ‚Äúlook‚Äù at the bronze serpent might live. Just in the same way, every one who desires eternal life may ‚Äúlook‚Äù at Christ by faith, and have it freely. There is no barrier, no limit, no restriction. The terms of the Gospel are wide and simple. Every one may ‚Äúlook and live.‚Äù
We are taught, furthermore, that Christ will never allow any soul that is committed to Him to be lost and cast away. He will keep it safe, from grace to glory, in spite of the world, the flesh, and the devil. Not one bone of His mystical body shall ever be broken. Not one lamb of His flock shall ever be left behind in the wilderness. He will raise to glory, in the last day, the whole flock entrusted to His charge, and not one shall be found missing.
Let the true Christian feed on the truths contained in this passage, and thank God for them. Christ the Bread of life,‚ÄîChrist the Receiver of all who come to Him,‚ÄîChrist the Preserver of all believers,‚ÄîChrist is for every man who is willing to believe on Him, and Christ is the eternal possession of all who so believe. Surely this is glad tidings and good news!
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.