I want to say a little about the safe place that can be found in Christ where He is, and where He might lead. Particularly in mind is that comment of David’s, “Abide with me, fear not; . . . for with me thou art in safe keeping.” I would like to begin with looking afresh at the place of safety that the soul can find when it flees to Christ.
In this Reading Meeting we will look at some aspects of what Scripture calls our “so great salvation” (Hebrews 2:3). It is a very extensive subject, all centred in a glorious Person – the Lord Jesus. It covers our past; it gives us a wonderful outlook for the future; but it also is something that we need to experience at the present. What a salvation, dear brethren! It is centred for us in the Person of Christ.
I want to say a further word about revival. Revival implies that there has been the evidence of life, but that something has happened, so that life has become dulled or stifled. We all know what it is to droop and to flag. The need is to know the secret of being revived. We have all seen the plant in the house; after many days of neglect the flowers begin to droop. Once it is attended to and given food and water, it springs to life again – it revives. That is so like you and me as believers in Christ. If we stray from the source of our sustenance, we begin to droop. How important it is to get back to that source and to be revived!
In these Scriptures I have read, we have the personal service of the Lord Jesus seen in reviving and restoring the soul. Reviving, like the feeding, like the leading, like the anointing in this psalm, is the continuous service of the Shepherd towards His own. As believers, during our whole life, we need times of reviving, and times of restoring. The Shepherd is the key to that revival each day of our lives.
In reading these passages, I had in mind the thought of revival. We live in days that Paul describes to Timothy as difficult days (2 Tim 3:1), and as you look at that section in Timothy, you see how difficult the days are. There has been such a turning away from the things of Jesus Christ. Therefore, from that background, it should be an exercise with us that there may be revival – first of all, in our own hearts, our own lives; then in our local meetings; and finally, revival of interest in the things of Christ in our nation, which largely has turned its back on the Christian faith.
Nothing is calculated to stir the heart of the lover of the Lord Jesus more than the consideration of His shed blood. The moment when His blood was poured out stands out in the history of time and eternity. What a moment!
The woman in Luke 7 had an alabaster box of myrrh. Myrrh generally speaks in Scripture of the suffering love of Christ. She took that myrrh and she anointed the feet of the Lord Jesus out of affection and appreciation for Him. I thought it would be good if, after our meeting today, each of us might be able, out of our appreciation of the suffering love of the Lord Jesus, just to take something out of our box of myrrh and anoint that blessed One.
There are many aspects to His sufferings – we cannot cover them all. We certainly cannot fathom them all.