Jesus Is First In All Things

We must know that all things are first in Christ, and then in us. God chose Him first, and then He chose us. God singled Him out to be the Saviour, the second Adam, and He calls us in Christ.

Christ, being our surety, took our sins upon Him. We are justified, because He, by His resurrection, quit Himself from the guilt of our sins, as having paid the debt.

Christ is the first fruits of them that rise again (1 Corinthians 15:20). We rise again because He is risen. Christ first ascended; we ascend in Christ. Christ is first loved; we are loved in the Beloved.

Christ is first blessed; we are blessed with all spiritual blessings in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:3). So, whatsoever is in us, we have it at the second hand. We have the Spirit in us, but He is first in Christ.

God hath put the Spirit in Christ, as the spring, as the second Adam, as a public person, that should receive the Spirit for us all. He is first in all things; Christ must have the preeminence.

He hath the preeminence in all, both before time, in time, and after time, in election, in whatsoever is done here in this world, and in glorification.

All is first in Christ, and then in us. He is the elder brother. We must understand this, to give Christ His due honour and respect, and to know whence we have all we have.

—Richard Sibbes
“A Description of Christ” in The Complete Works of Richard Sibbes, Volume 1

Via: Tolle Lege

The Long Goodnight

One of my favorite songs on the album Watch the Rising Day by Matthew Smith is “Goodnight.” It’s a song written from the standpoint of a christian on their deathbed who is giving hope and solace to their loved ones. The words come from an old German hymn of unknown authorship which was later translated by Jane Borthwick. It was printed in Hymns from the Land of Luther under the title “The Long Goodnight.”

My granmother’s funeral service is later this morning and when I said goodbye to her last Saturday I don’t know if she recognized me. However, I will never forget what she told me the last time I was talking with her. We’d spent the morning visiting and as I was getting ready to leave I told her that I loved her and she told me she loved me too. She said, “I’ve loved you for a long time. I loved you before I even knew you.” I know that it’s true. I know that she loved me and prayed for me before I ever took my first breath – and she never stopped. I can’t wait to see her again in glory.

I journey forth rejoicing
From this dark vale of tears
To heavenly joy and freedom
From earthly bonds and fears
Where Christ our Lord shall gather
All His redeemed again,
His kingdom to inherit
Goodnight, goodnight till then

Why thus so sadly weeping
Beloved ones of my heart?
The Lord is good and gracious
Though now He bids us part
Oft have we met in gladness
And we shall meet again
All sorrow left behind us
Goodnight, goodnight till then

I go to see His glory
Whom we have loved below
I go, the blessed angels
The holy saints to know.
Our lovely ones departed
I go to find again
And wait for you to join us
Goodnight, goodnight till then

I hear the Savior calling,
The joyful hour has come
The angel-guards are ready
To guide me to our home
Where Christ our Lord shall gather
All His redeemed again,
His kingdom to inherit
Goodnight, goodnight till then

—Matthew S. Smith
Based in part on a hymn text by an unknown
German writer, translated by Jane Borthwick

It is Not Death to Die

I’m going to bed tonight for the first time in my life without my grandmother on this earth. She is now with her King and her Lord, and she is more alive than ever before. I love you, Mom.

It is not death to die
To leave this weary road
And join the saints who dwell on high
Who’ve found their home with God
It is not death to close
The eyes long dimmed by tears
And wake in joy before Your throne
Delivered from our fears

O Jesus, conquering the grave
Your precious blood has power to save
Those who trust in You
Will in Your mercy find
That it is not death to die

It is not death to fling
Aside this earthly dust
And rise with strong and noble wing
To live among the just
It is not death to hear
The key unlock the door
That sets us free from mortal years
To praise You evermore

O Jesus, conquering the grave
Your precious blood has power to save
Those who trust in You
Will in Your mercy find
That it is not death to die

—Henri Malan and Bob Kauflin
© 2008 Sovereign Grace Praise

One Day I Will Be In Eternity With God

Please take a few minutes to watch this beautiful, heart-wrenching video and then give thanks for faithful brothers and sisters in Christ like Roger who endure more challenges than most of us can ever possibly imagine.

Worship is my life. God has created me to worship and Jesus paid the ultimate price; if I don’t totally worship Him its like I don’t appreciate Him dying for me, and that is so powerful. One day I will be in eternity with God.

—Roger Flournoy, Jr.

Via: Justin Taylor

Power Only In The Cross

One moment’s believing, close contact with the cross will do more to break the heart for sin, deepen the conviction of its exceeding sinfulness, and disenthrall the soul from all its bondage and its fears, bringing it into a sense of pardon and acceptance and assured hope, than a lifetime of the most rigid legal duties that ever riveted their iron chain upon the soul.

—Octavius Winslow
The Foot of the Cross

Via: Of First Importance