2 Corinthians 5: 14-15
Luke 21: 1-4
The Lord would encourage us at a time like this, beloved brethren, in the filling out of the little time that remains to us. Our sister has filled out her place, her part, and as we have been reminded she has been an example for us. I was thinking particularly, as our brother spoke, of the long time she has been a widow, and the way she had been an example in that time. But the Lord would speak to us Himself. He would appeal to our affections in regard of Himself. He has been into death, beloved brethren; He has actually died. “He died for all”. How large His heart is that He should die for all. He died for me; He died for you, but He died for all. That the Lord Jesus Himself should actually be in death is a thing to contemplate. As we think of who He is in the glory and greatness of His Person, how wonderful that He should come into manhood, that He should come into a condition in which He could die; in which He did die. He came for that express purpose, to die. What a wonderful thing that is, and He has displayed His love. The apostle speaks of the love of the Christ constraining him. The life of the apostle after he met the Lord - or the Lord met him - on the Damascus road: his course was under the constraining love of Christ. He was influenced by that, his whole course was marked by that; he was constrained by the love of the Christ. “The love of the Christ constrains us”. His judgment of things, his judgment of persons, was under the constraining love of the Christ. He was influenced by that one thing before him, “the love of the Christ constrains us”. Is that so with me, beloved brethren? The love of Christ: it was the governing influence and power in the life of the apostle, and he says, “having judged this, that one died for all then all were dead”. It proved that all were in the state of death, nothing responsive to God. That was the state in which we were. So the Lord Jesus Himself has been into death, and has been raised, which is a glorious fact. Our brother has drawn attention to it, that He has been raised. He has been raised by the glory of the Father, because He was so pleasurable to the Father, the life of the Lord Jesus. Think of the life of the Lord Jesus, how full it was, how full it was to God. Yet there was a point, a time, when God was without Him; but He raised Him. And now He has Him in His presence forever. That blessed Man! But He is to be our object. He has been raised so that those of who live should no longer live to ourselves but to Him who has been into death and has been raised. We live to Him. What a blessed object we have, an object to fill and satisfy the heart, a glorious object in Him, beloved brethren.
Well, I just thought of this widow woman in Luke. She put in all the living that she had, all of it. Not part of it, but all of it. What an example she was. The Lord was taking account of the rich casting in much. She had no ambitions here. Her life was devoted to this one object, God’s interest; and she put into the treasury all the living that she had. Well, beloved brethren, it is a challenge is it not, to put in all our living into the treasury of God? How God valued it, how the Lord Jesus appreciated it! Well this woman, I would think, was too great for the temple system. She was too great for it. The temple here was going to come down. There was something greater that she would come into. She would come into the building that Christ was about to effect; she would come into the spiritual house. She would be a living stone. She would have her vital and living part in that. And we are to have our vital and living part in it, beloved brethren. That will be as we are motivated, and influenced, by the love of the Christ, and we put everything into it. The day calls for it, to put everything into it. Well, she could have held back part. She was dependent on God, a widow indeed. She was marked by that feature, she trusted in God, she depended upon Him; but she put in all the living that she had.
Well, may we be encouraged in this, beloved brethren. We have part in a vast living system; something far greater than what was in the temple here. We are brought into what is the living God’s temple, the habitation of God. What a thing it is to commit ourselves to Him, and have a vital and living part in it. May we be stimulated in this, in the Lord’s Name.
8th February 2008
(At the meeting for the burial of Mrs Helen Hawkins)