austin sparks, book ministry, christian ministry, daily devotional

November 16

16 NOV – The Marks of Our Likeness to Jesus

For you and for me there has got to be Christ-likeness as the mark of His ownership of our lives. How does Christ-likeness come about? Well, the marks of devotion in service come about by the measure in which we are prepared to suffer for Him, make sacrifices for Him. The marks of Christ-likeness come about by the measure in which we have communion with Him, so that the marks of Christ-likeness are the result of faithfulness in communion.

You see, the marks of ownership are the results of faithfulness in loyalty; the marks of devotion in service are the marks of faithfulness in suffering and sacrifice; the marks of Christ-likeness come out of faithfulness in communion with the Lord. How shall I be like Christ? How will you be like Christ? How will others see the marks of Jesus in us? Just in so far as we are faithful in our communion. You know that in everyday life. Start the day without your quiet time, without your prayer, and it will not be long before there are other marks in your life than the marks of Jesus. Neglect prayer, neglect communion with your Lord, and the traces of the Lord will soon disappear from view. On the other hand, look after the matter of communion, preserve that quiet time, those quiet times, look after your times of prayer, see to it that He has a place in your heart, a large place in your heart every day and you need not worry about being like the Lord Jesus. All the worry to be like the Lord Jesus will not make any difference. People who walk closely with Him, keep in touch with Him, look after the prayer life, do carry those marks of His restfulness, His peacefulness, His patience, His gentleness, His kindness, His love; the marks of Jesus. That is how it comes about.

I do not tell you to strive and I do not tell you to strive and struggle to be like Jesus. I say, keep in touch with Jesus. Do believe me, for I have gone this way. I know, oh! I know, on the one hand the blessedness, and on the other hand the bitterness of suffering bound up with this very thing. The blessedness of looking after the quiet times, the prayer times, the communion life with the Lord! Oh yes! In business, in the world, what a difference it makes! On the other hand, things breaking in, adverse things that interfere with the life of communion with the Lord, and the result—! Oh, the miserable, wretched result! May I urge upon you to see to faithfulness in communion with your Lord, and, perhaps without knowing it (and it will be better so), you will be bearing the marks of the Lord Jesus, His likeness. I do not want you to be able to go about showing people how like Christ you are. We want it to be there and yet not to know it. It will be there if you look after the life of communion. So be faithful in this. And then? Well, what matters? “Henceforth let no man trouble me, I bear branded on my body the marks of Jesus”. May it be like that with all of us! “His forever, only His, Who the Lord and me shall part?”

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