Meditation for Sunday, April 1.

He is not here; for he is risen, as he said: come, see the place where the Lord lay. Matt. 28:6.

Has Christ, and has his resurrection such a potent and comfortable influence into the resurrection of the saints? Then it is the duty, and will be the wisdom of the people of God, so to govern, dispose, and employ their bodies, as become men and women, that understand what glory is prepared for them at the resurrection of the just. Particularly,

First, Be not fondly tender of them, but employ and use them for God here. How many good duties are lost and spoiled by sinful indulgence to our bodies? Alas! we are generally more solicitous to live long, than to live usefully. How many saints have active, vigorous bodies, yet God has little service from them. If your bodies were animated by some other souls that love God more, and burn with holy zeal to his service, more work would be done for God by your bodies in a day, than is now done in a month. To have an able, healthy body, and not use it for God, for fear of hurting it, is as if one should give you a strong and stately horse, upon condition you must not work or ride him. Wherein is the mercy of having a body, except it be employed for God? Will not its reward at the resurrection be sufficient for all the pains you nor put it to in his service?

Secondly, See that you preserve the due honour of your bodies. “Possess them in sanctification and honour,” 1 Thess. 4:4. O, let not these eyes be now defiled with sin, by which you shall see God. Those ears be inlets to vanity, which shall hear the Hallelujahs of the blessed. God hath designed honour for your bodies, O, make them not either the instruments or objects of sin.

Thirdly, Withhold not, upon the pretence of the wants your own bodies may be in, that which God and conscience bid you to communicate for the refreshment of the saints, whose present necessities require your assistance. O, be not too indulgent to your own flesh, and cruel to others. Certainly, the consideration of that reward which shall be given you at the resurrection, for every act of Christian charity, is the greatest spur and incentive in the world to it. And to that end it is urged as a motive to charity, Luke 14:13. “When thou makes a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, and thou shalt be blessed”. It was the opinion of an eminent divines, that no man living, fully understands and believes that scripture. “In as much as you have done it to one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me.” How few saints would be exposed to daily wants and necessities, if that scripture were but fully understood and believed!

from The Fountain of Life Opened by John Flavel

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