Look For The Rainbow

“Thus you see that a rainbow is round about the throne of grace, and what this rainbow is. Look then, when you go to prayer, for the throne; and that you may not be deceived with a fancy, look for the rainbow too. The rainbow, that is, as I have said, the personal performances of Christ your Saviour for you. Look, I say, for that it is his righteousness; the token of the everlasting of the covenant of grace; the object of God’s delight, and must be the ground of the justification of thy person and performances before God. God looks at, look you at it, and at it only (Psalm 71:16). For in heaven or earth, if that be cast away, there is nothing to be found that can please God, or justify you. If it be said faith pleases God; I answer, faith is a relative grace; take then the relative away, which as to justification, is this spangling robe, this rainbow, this righteousness of Christ, and faith dies, and becomes, as to what we now treat of, extinct and quenched as tow.”

– John Bunyan, Prayer, p.82

Advertisements

His Infinite Fullness Fits Him For Us

“One great part of the work of the Holy Spirit in the heart is to . . .
empty us,
strip us of self,
lead us to feel our own weakness, and
bring us as poor sinners to look to Jesus alone, as our wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.
And just in proportion as we feel our need of Christ, and realize our absolute nothingness without Christ–shall we prize Him, enjoy Him, and exercise dependence upon Him.

O how little do many of us know our need of Christ, and therefore it is that we . . .
make so little use of Christ,
receive so little from Christ,
and do so little for Christ!

We come to Him at first–as poor, lost, helpless sinners–that we may be saved by His merit and mercy. And as believers, we must continually come to Him…
with all our burdens–that He may bear them;
with all our cares–that He may manage them;
with all our sorrows–that He may sanctify them;
with all our foes–that He may conquer them;
with all our sins–that He may cleanse them; and
with all our needs–that He may supply them.

All that we need is in Christ–and it is in Christ, for us. Our sense of our need of Christ, if it is deep and increasing–will lead us to daily come to Christ for all our supplies.

Our deep necessity fits us for Christ–and His infinite fullness fits Him for us!

Our trials, troubles, temptations, disappointments, and vexations are to teach us our need of Christ; and drive us continually to Him.

There is often much prayer–and yet little communion with Christ. We should realize that He is giving us His whole attention. He expects us to tell Him . . .
all that troubles us,
all that grieves us,
all that pleases us,
all that we need,
and all that we desire.
We should keep back nothing from Him–but speak to Him freely on every subject, and every circumstance. He is always with us, listening to us, and sympathetically entering into all our concerns!

We must be intimate with Christ.
We must walk with Him.
We must carry everything to Him.
We must seek all we need from Him.
We must be constantly . . .
going to Christ,
conversing with Christ,
and obtaining from Christ–
if we would receive the consoling influences of His love!

– James Smith, Abide with Me

The Problem with Images and Symbols

“The heart of the objection to pictures and images is that they inevitability conceal most, if not all, of the truth about the personal nature and character of the divine Being whom they represent.

To illustrate: Aaron made a golden calf (that is, a bull-image). It was meant as a visible symbol of Jehovah, the mighty God who had brought Israel out of Egypt. No doubt the images was thought to honor Him, as being a fitting symbol of His great strength. But it is not hard to see that such a symbol in fact insults Him: for what idea of His moral character, His righteousness, goodness, and patience, could one gather from looking at a statue of Him as a bull? Thus Aaron’s  image hid Jehovah’s glory. In a similar way, the pathos of the crucifix obscures the glory of Christ, for it hides the fact of His deity, His victory on the cross, and His present kingdom. It displays His human weakness, but it conceals His divine strength; it depicts the reality of His pain, but keeps out of our sight the reality of His joy and His power. In both these cases, the symbol is unworthy most of all because of what it fails to display. And so are all other visible representations of Deity.”

– J.I. Packer, Knowing God, p.40-41