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IN TOUCH WITH GOD    by Edward Heppenstall

Faithful to Christ OCTOBER 11


This one thing I do, . . . I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Phil. 3:13, 14.

The chisel strokes of the sculptor seem to mar the image on which he works. Yet in the end a glorious statue appears under his hand. So Christ our Supreme Artist perfects that which concerns us. The roughening ordeal is part of the polishing. We are humbled in what we consider our strong point, that our faults may be corrected. The trial of our temper, courage, patience, which seems to mar our characters, leads to a great sense of need that God's power may make its more triumphant. We find progress under seeming retrogression. We grow spiritually under seeming lapses. We discover lack of Christlikeness in the life in order to develop more of the beauty of Christ within us.

Under their first love, newlyweds express greater affection; vows of fidelity are more fervently affirmed. With the passing years there appear to be less passionate demonstrations, not because their love is less but because it is deeper. Thus it can be in our relation to God. Our love may not he so exciting and so ecstatic and joyful as at first. But it can be a love tested by sacrifice, prepared to suffer, ready to endure hardship and trial.

We love those to whom we pay ungrudging service. "If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments. ... Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you" (John 15:10-14). Does our love to God express itself in this way? Do we love the law and obey His will?

We may feel for various reasons that our faith does not seem as strong as it was at first. But what about our love for God? Does God have our confidence more now than ever? Are we prepared to say with Job, "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him" (Job 13:15)? What about the early days in our Christian experience? Our faith may have risen to greater emotional expressions, yet it was easily discouraged. Now our confidence and trust are firm. We must not misrepresent the facts because our feelings are not the same. The essential thing is our allegiance to Christ., come what may.

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