Whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected—1 John 2: 5.
The test is obedience. In proportion as we keep the Lord's Word, in like proportion the love of God is perfected in us; for if we have received the mind of Christ, the holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the effect will be to cause us both to will and do His good pleasure—to the extent of our ability. And this ability should be continually on the increase year by year. And although we may not hope to be perfected until we shall be raised and be granted our new resurrection bodies, nevertheless all the while we may keep so closely in touch with the Lord in the spirit of our minds that we may have continual fellowship with Him (1 John 1: 7).
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To keep God's Word is to hold by the new will the Word upon the affections until the affections respond to the Spirit of the Word. To continue in this process perseveringly amid all the circumstances of life will inevitably develop unto perfection in our hearts the Divine love, which consists in supreme love to the Father, a love next to supreme love to the Son, a love to the brethren more than to self, and a love equal to that for self to the world and to our enemies.
Parallel passages: John 14: 15, 16, 21, 23; Gen. 18: 19; Ex. 19: 5; 20: 6; 24: 7; Num. 9: 23; 14: 24; 1Kings 3: 14; Psa. 18: 44; 25: 10; 111: 10; 143: 10; Prov. 19: 16; Matt. 5: 19; 12: 50; 13: 23; Luke 6: 46-48; John 15: 10, 14, 16; Acts 4: 19; 5: 29; Rom. 6: 17; 1John 3: 22, 24; 2John 6, 9; Rev. 12: 17.
Questions: What have been this week's experiences in line with this text? How were they met? In what did they result?
A LIFE WELL SPENT
SOFTLY, oh softly, the years have swept by thee,
Touching thee gently with tenderest care;
Sorrow and death they have often brought nigh thee,
Yet have they left thee but beauty to wear;
Growing old gracefully, Gracefully fair.
Far from the storms that are lashing the ocean,
Nearer each day to the pleasant home-light;
Far from the waves that are big with commotion,
Under full sail and the harbor in sight;
Growing old cheerfully,
Cheerful and bright.
Past all the winds that were adverse and chilling,
Past all the islands that lured thee to rest;
Past all the currents that urged thee unwilling,
Far from thy course to the home of the blest;
Growing old peacefully,
Peaceful and blest.
Never a feeling of envy and sorrow
When the bright faces of children are seen;
Never a year from the young wouldst thou borrow—
Thou dost remember what lieth between;
Growing old willingly,
Rich in experience that angels might covet;
Rich in a faith that hath grown with thy years;
Rich in a love that grew from and above it,
Soothing thy sorrows and hushing thy fears;
Growing old wealthily,
Loving and dear.
Hearts at the sound of thy coming are lightened,
Ready and willing thy hand to relieve;
Many a face at thy kind word hath brightened—
"It is more blessed to give than receive."
Growing old happily,
Ceasing to grieve.
Eyes that grow dim to the earth and its glory
Have a sweet recompense youth cannot know;
Ears that grow dull to the world and its story
Drink in the songs that from Paradise flow;
Growing old graciously,
Purer than snow.
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