"Dedicated to strengthening and encouraging the Body of Christ."

Christ Invites Us To Draw Near

  By Rich Carmicheal 

    One of the joys of working in the Herald office is the opportunity to see how the Lord provides themes and messages for each issue of Herald of His Coming.  While the staff is blessed throughout this process each month, a special blessing occurs as we proofread the whole issue and discover special points of emphasis the Lord has brought together.

    For example, we sensed the Lord leading us to focus this issue on the Person of Christ.  To that end, our hearts were drawn to include a message on Christ’s message to the Laodicean church, a message on the glory of Christ, a message on His birth in Bethlehem, an all-inclusive message dealing with the truth that “Christ is all,” a message about how Christ is our life, messages about devotion to Christ, as well as other messages.  But as we read through all of these collectively, we noticed a particular theme that seems to unfold throughout the messages, and that is, Christ’s invitation to us to draw near to Him to have our needs met and to receive abundant spiritual life.

    In the lead article, for instance, Charles Spurgeon teaches that if we are in a backslidden condition, the best remedy “is more communion with Christ.”  He then quotes Christ’s invitation:  “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock.”  Spurgeon goes on to urge us to seek fellowship with Christ and promises that “if we sup with Him, we shall be lukewarm no longer.”

    In the article about the glory of the Son, Andrew Murray shares that the more we know about the glory of Christ, the more we “can count upon Him to do a divine and supernatural work in us, and to lead us to an actual living fellowship with God as our Father.”

    The article “Oh, That We Might Love Him More!” includes this gem:  “Even a little turning of our love toward Him, and His heart responds to us and the warmth of His love sweeps over us like flaming billows.  Even a little turning of our faces toward Him with determination to go on into all He has bought for us, and He hastens to meet us.”

    There are other examples you will discover along the way, including the articles “In Christ Is All We Need” and “Consider...Jesus” – both of which are full of this special emphasis.  We believe they will be very helpful and encouraging. 

    While a couple of the articles may require extra effort to read, we believe the Lord is eager to meet you as you make your way through this issue.  He is inviting us and calling us to draw into closer fellowship with Him.  He wants us to know Him and trust Him all the more, and to be filled to overflowing with His life.  His interest is not a matter of head knowledge, but a matter of the heart.

    How grateful we are to Him for issuing such an invitation, and for the way He has already been working in our hearts through this issue.  Our prayer is that He will also, by His grace and power, work through these messages to touch your heart and deepen your fellowship with Him – and all to His glory! 

Blessings of Fellowship with Christ

    Of course, the blessings of fellowship with Him are incredible.  When we abide in Him and He in us, the potential of what can happen in us and through us is measured not by our fallen nature and puny resources, but by His glorious nature and infinite resources.  After all, we are talking about the Son of God in whom all of God’s fullness dwells (Col. 1:19).  He is full of creative and sustaining power (Col. 1:16-17; Heb. 1:3), full of life and light (John 1:4-5), full of grace and truth (John 1:14), and full of love and compassion (Eph. 3:19; Matt. 9:36).  He Himself is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (John 14:6).  He is the “Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last” (Rev. 22:13).  He is our Good Shepherd (John 10:11), our Savior (4:42), and the Author and Finisher of our faith (Heb. 12:2).

    Although such a description could go on and on, even these brief statements remind us that because of who our Lord Jesus Christ is, and because of what He is able to do, we can fully expect our fellowship with Him to impact our lives and ministries dramatically!  For example, consider the following needs and the truths embedded in the accompanying Scriptures:

    …Do you need joy?  “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11).

    …Do you need peace?  “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27); “…The Lord is at hand.  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:5-7); “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you” (1 Pet. 5:7).

    …Do you need strength?  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4:13).

    …Do you need deliverance and spiritual freedom?  “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed” (Luke 4:18).

    …Do you need healing? “And the whole multitude sought to touch Him, for power went out from Him and healed them all” (Luke 6:19); “...He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses” (Matt. 8:17); “…and by His stripes we are healed” (Isa. 53:5).

    …Do you need provision?  “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).

    …Do you need abundant life?  “…I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).

    …Do you need help overcoming temptation?  “For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted” (Heb. 2:18).

    …Do you need spiritual victory?  “...In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33); “And they overcame [the accuser of the brethren] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony...” (Rev. 12:11).

    …Do you need grace and mercy?  “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.  Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:15-16).

    …Do you need encouragement and comfort?  “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts…” (2 Thes. 2:16-17).

    …Do you need forgiveness?  “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

    …Do you need power for ministry?  “To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily” (Col. 1:29).

    …Do you need restoration?  “He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake” (Psa. 23:3).

    …Do you need rest for your soul?  “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matt. 11:28-30).

    …Do you need living water?  “…If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.  He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37-38).

    …Do you need spiritual sustenance?  “…I am the bread of life.  He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst” (John 6:35).

    …Do you need intercession?  “…He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7:25); “…It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us” (Rom. 8:34).

    …Do you need guidance?  “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27).

    …Do you need favor in prayer?  “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you” (John 15:7).

    As you fix your thoughts and heart on Christ and draw near to Him, may you experience greater blessings from Him than you can even anticipate!  And, as He blesses your life, may the lives of others in turn be drawn to Him as they see Christ in you.  And may it all be for the praise of His glory!