Wednesday, September 21, 2011

that they may be with me where I am

"Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory" (John 17:24)

1. All the presence that Christ affords, and his people now enjoy here, is, in regard of this, but absence from the Lord: (2 Cor. 5:6,8). Perfect presence is, when all on both sides is present ; all of Christ, and all of the Christian. But now all of Christ is not with us ; and all of us is not with him...this presence is imperfect, and mixed with much distance and absence.

2. This being with Christ where he is, hath in it perfect and full fruition and enjoyment of Christ.

3. This presence, this enjoyment, is in the best state and place. It is where he is.

4. This is to be for ever. The greatest blessing hath the longest duration.
...Would you secure heaven to yourselves? Seek to get into Christ by faith; seek acquaintance with him, press after communion with him. Let all your thoughts of heaven, all your care to secure your possessing of it, and all your exercise in pressing towards it, let all centre in this one person, Jesus Christ ...You need no more to secure your right to eternal life, than to be possessed of Christ by faith; and you need no better eternal life, than to be with Christ where he is. He himself describes it by this that they may be with me where I am. And surely Christ best knows what heaven is ; since he bought it, prepared it, and possessed it, for his people. And he knows the way to it ; for he is both the way and the guide to it. Hear his voice, therefore, and follow and he will give you eternal life ; and ye shall never perish (John 10:27-29. Rom. 8:35-39).

Learn to pray moderately for the lives of Christ's people. There are some of the godly that are very useful by their gifts and grace; and, if spared, might be of great profit to the church of Christ. Such we should be loth to lose, and their lives we may pray for; yet it must be done moderately. Who can tell but Christ and we are praying counter to one another. He may be saying in heaven, "Father I will have such a one to be with me where I am;" and we saying on earth, " Lord we would have him to be with us where we are:" we saying, "We cannot spare him as yet;" and Christ saying, "I will be no longer without him." It is the force of this prayer of Christ, "I will have them to be with me where I am," that is the cause of the death of the godly. It is the force of this prayer that carries away so many of the saints in our day. Christ is saying in heaven, "I will have them where I am. They are despised in the world, and badly used on the earth: "Father, let us have them where we are." Should not we pray modestly for their lives, while we know not his secret will? and should not we believingly submit to his will, when he reveals it ? Say, "Let them go from us, since Christ calls them to be with him." It is his will, and their great advantage, (Phil. 1:23).

Robert Traill

"Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men". (Psalm 12:1)