WHAT DO YOU DESIRE ABOVE ALL THINGS
1 John 3 v 23. “This is his commandment that ye should believe on the name of his Son, Jesus Christ….”
There are two great and excellent gifts, which God, in the depth of His boundless love, has bestowed on His own people. Firstly: There is that infinite gift, and royal donation, His only beloved Son, Jesus Christ, who is called, The gift of God, John 4 v 10. And, Secondly, there is that excellent gift of the grace of faith, which God has also bestowed upon His own people, which is also called the gift of God, Ephesians 2 v 8. Faith is the gift of God. And is it not certain, that these two gracious gifts ought to engage our souls and hearts much upon Him? Infinite Majesty could give no gift greater than His Son, and infinite poverty could receive no other gift so suitable as Christ: it was the most noble gift that heaven could give, and it is the greatest advantage for earth to receive it.
And we could wish that the most part of the study and practice of men, (which is spent in pursuit of shallow and transient vanities), might be once taken up in that precious pursuit after Christ. We could wish that all the questions and debates of our time were turned over into that soul concerning question; ‘What shall we do to be saved?’ And that all the questions, controversies, and contentions of the time were turned over to that divine contention and heavenly debate; “Who should be most for Christ, who should be most for exalting of the noble and excellent King of renown.” Oh, that all your judging and searching of other men’s practices and estates might be turned over to that useful search; ‘To prove and examine ourselves whether we be in the faith or not.’ And so, I would ask you this question, what are your thoughts concerning the most precious Christ seeing that He is that noble object of faith?
Oh, that you might take the following things, by which Christ may be much commended to your hearts:
First; That there was never any man, who became an enemy of Christ after beholding, (with the eye of faith), the matchless beauty and transcendent worth of the crucified Saviour. There is soul-conquering virtue in the face of Christ, and there is a heart captivating, and overcoming power in the beauty of Jesus Christ. The first sight that the persecuting Saul got of Christ, brought him to an endless captivity of love.
Secondly; That there is this that we would say of our precious Christ, (which may engage our souls unto Him), that for all the wrongs believers do to Christ, yet He has never an evil word about them to say to His Father. He instead commends them: which is clear from that of John 17 v 6. where Christ commends the disciples to the Father for the grace of obedience, “They have kept thy word” and for the grace of faith, verse 8 “They have believed that thou didst send me.” And yet were not the disciples most defective in obedience to their master in both this that; (a) They did not take up their cross and follow Christ and also in that; (b) They did not follow after Him in the day that He was brought to Caiaphas’ hall? And were they not most defective in the grace of faith? As is clear from Matthew 17 v 17 and likewise from John 14 v 1. He is pressing them to believe in Him, and yet He commends them to the Father as most perfect in these things.
Thirdly; That there is this that we would lastly say of Him, who is that noble object of faith. Look to the eminent depths of Christ’s condescending so low, and then you will be provoked to love Him. Was it not infinite love that made Christ to lie three days in the grave, that we might be through all the ages of eternity with Him? Was it not His infinite lowering of self that made his precious head wear a crown of thorns, that we might eternally wear a crown of glory? Was it not infinite humility that made Christ wear a purple robe, that so we might wear that precious robe of the righteousness of the saints? And was it not His matchless condescending to our level, that Christ, who knew no sin, was made sin for us, and like unto us, that so we might become like Him, and be made the righteousness of God in Him? And so with this I would ask again; what are your thoughts concerning the most precious Saviour Jesus Christ seeing that He is that noble object of faith? Will you not seek His face dear friend? Will you not love the precious ‘Rose of Sharon, the majestic ‘Desire of All Nations’? Oh, that we all might ponder over these things today and in the days ahead. Amen!