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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Blessedness of the Unoffended # 3

Matthew 11:6

John 16:1

Is it to be wondered at that at last doubt overcomes faith, so that he sends the messengers to Christ in the hope that He will declare Himself plainly, and interpret such utterly inexplicable and contradictory experience to the one who had at immense cost to himself maintained a devoted loyalty to the Son of God? Christ's only answer to these messengers is an exhibition of His sovereign power over the forces of destruction and death, and an injunction that they should tell John what they had seen, and give to him this message which calls for a new triumphant trust on his part: "Blessed is he whosoever shall not be offended in Me." For it means that in the pathway of blessing the providence of testing will always be experienced. Its implication is that there is true peace only for that man who will trust Christ when he has no external aids to faith, who believes Him when he sees only the seeming denial of his confidence, and who holds to his loyalty without stumbling when His treatment tests his endurance to the uttermost.

The second of these words of Christ helps us to understand how His message to John applies to ourselves. "These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended." Spoken as they were on the eve of His departure, when the fierce tests of discipleship were about to be experienced by His followers, they imply that they will need to stay their souls on the things He has told them concerning His purpose and power, if they are to avoid the peril of stumbling and going back from Him. For they are bound to come into experiences of test and strain as they carry out their consecration vows; and "in those days", says Christ, "be true to your own best experience of Me. Rest on that which no man can take from you - the personal knowledge you have of My grace. Hold to those thing I have spoken and shown to you. Be loyal to Me. Trust Me entirely, despite every unexplained mystery and seemingly unnecessary tribulation. And you shall not be stumbled but strengthened by these very things which are all of My ordering."

~T. Austin-Sparks~

(continued with # 4)

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