“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
This thought [of appropriating Christ in sanctification] is also confirmed by experience. A little group of earnest men were gathered not long ago around a fire, eagerly discussing the methods of a holy life, and reciting their own experiences of the grace of God. A venerable clergyman [testified that] years before, when engaged in a gathering of unruly and noisy children, he had been suddenly driven to claim from the Saviour the gift of his own gentle patience, in the words, “Thy patience, Lord!” And instantly so divine a calm filled his spirit that he realized that he had made a great discovery. And from that moment he had retained the extremes of his brief petition, inserting between them the grace, the lack of which was hurrying him to sin. In moments of weakness, “Thy strength, Lord!” or in moments of conscious strength, “Thy humility, Lord!” When assailed by unholy suggestions, “Thy purity, Lord!” or when passing through deep waters of trial, ” Thy resignation and restfulness, Lord!” What is this but a living example of the appropriation of Christ?
This thought would light up the darkest, saddest life. We sadly chide ourselves for our failures; and yet we are oppressed by the weary consciousness that we are all too likely to repeat them. We catch glimpses of ideals in the lives of others, and in our own happier moments, that only mock us. We fail to adorn the Gospel of God our Saviour in all things, because we lack the materials for the beautiful garments of our array. And all this because we do not realize that all of Jesus is for us; only waiting for us to appropriate it with exceeding joy.
Jesus Christ is an Armory, in which hang armor for defence, and weapons for attack [Eph. 6:10-18]. Happy is he who has learned to enter the sacred arsenal, to gird on the breast-plate and helmet, and to lay his hand to spear and sword!
Christ is a Banqueting house, in which the tables groan beneath the weight of all that is needed for the supply of appetite and the gratification of taste. Happy is he who makes free of the rich provision, and comes to it whenever he needs!
Christ is a Surgery [medical store], stored with all manner of restoratives and blessed elixirs; nor lacks an ointment for every wound, a cordial for every faintness, a remedy for every disease. Happy is he who is well-skilled in heavenly pharmacy, and knoweth how to avail himself of his healing virtues.
Christ is the [secured] Jewel-room, in which the graces of the Christian are held in strong and safe keeping. Happy is he who knows which is the key to the massive doors, so that he can go in and out at his will, and array himself in “whatsoever things are lovely, and whatsoever things are of good report!” With burning words like these the saintly heart expatiates on the fulness of Christ. But, after all, how inadequate the words are to express all the rapture, the strength, the grace, which become the spending-money of the man who has learned to appropriate the Lord Jesus! He moves from the attic into comfortable apartments. He becomes a first-class traveller by the most luxurious route. He no longer laments his leanness; but cries with the ring of a new hope, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
It is difficult–nay, impossible–to employ words sufficiently emphatic, or forcible, to enforce this habit of Christ appropriation on Christian hearts. Suffice it to say that it would be as life from the dead for many who read these lines, and whose life has been a series of disappointments “Of Him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” (1 Cor. 1:30.)
(Part 2 of 2) This is an excerpt of Christian Living, chapter 1. F. B. Meyer (1847-1929), Baptist pastor and evangelist in England. Italics added.