(J.R. Miller, “The Glory of the Commonplace”)
“He said to them: Come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place” Mark 6:31
G. Campbell Morgan tells of a friend of his who had a little daughter that he dearly loved. They were great friends, the father, and daughter, and were always together. But there seemed to come an estrangement on the child’s part. The father could not get her company as formerly. She seemed to shun him. If he wanted her to walk with him, she always had something else to do. The father was grieved and could not understand what the trouble was.
His birthday came and in the morning his daughter came to his room, her face radiant with love, and handed him a present. Opening the parcel, he found a pair of exquisitely made slippers.
The father said, “My child, it was very good of you to buy me such lovely slippers.”
“O father,” she said, “I did not buy them–I made them for you!”
Looking at her he said, “I think I understand now, what long has been a mystery to me. Is this what you have been doing for the last three months?”
“Yes,” she said, “but how did you know how long I have been at work on them?”
He said, “Because for three months I have missed your company and your love. I have wanted you with me–but you have been too busy. These are beautiful slippers–but next time buy your present, and let me have you all the days. I would rather have my child herself, than anything she could make for me.”
Just so, we are in danger of being so busy in the Lord’s work that we cannot be enough with the Lord in love’s fellowship. He may say to us, “I like your works, your toils, your service–but I miss the love you gave Me at first.”
There is a real danger that we get so busy in striving to be active Christians, so absorbed in our tasks and duties, our efforts to bring others into the church–that Christ Himself shall be less loved, and shall miss our communing with Him.
Loyalty to Christ means first of all devotion. Has Christ the highest place in your heart? It is not your work that He wants most–it is you! It is beautiful to do things for Him, it is still more beautiful to make a home for Him in your heart.
A young man, at great cost, brought from many countries the most beautiful materials he could find and built an exquisite little chapel as a memorial to his dead wife. Only a few men could do anything so rare, so lovely. But the poorest of us can enthrone Jesus in our hearts–making a little sanctuary in our hearts for Him.
“Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love!” Revelation 2:4
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