Mystical Union With Christ

grow-in-christ-silhouette-e1357680511405One of the most important elements in a wedding ceremony is the “charge to the congregation.”  It lets everyone present know that this is a worship event blessed by Christ Himself.  Here is a portion of the charge:  “Dearly Beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God and in the presence of these witnesses to join together this man and this woman in holy matrimony.. . .It is an honorable estate, instituted of God, and signifying until us the mystical union which exists between Christ and His Church.

I am doing some writing on this mystical union we have with Christ.  The focal points are: crucified with Christ, buried with Christ, raised with Christ, seated with Christ and reigning with Christ.  I found a classic poem by Francis Ridley Havergal that I would like to share with you.  I trust you will be blessed and reignite the union that is possible with Christ.

I could not do without Him!                                                                                                           Jesus is more to me
Than all the richest, fairest gifts
Of earth could ever be.
But the more I find Him precious–
And the more I find Him true–
The more I long for you to find
What He can be to you.

You need not do without Him,
For He is passing by,
He is waiting to be gracious,
Only waiting for your cry:
He is waiting to receive you–
To make you all His own!
Why will you do without Him,
And wander on alone?

Why will you do without Him?
Is He not kind indeed?
Did he not die to save you?
Is He not all you need?
Do you not want a Savior?
Do you not want a Friend?
One who will love you faithfully,
And love you to the end?

Why will you do without Him?
The Word of God is true!
The world is passing to its doom–
And you are passing too.
It may be no tomorrow
Shall dawn on you or me;
Why will you run the awful risk
Of all eternity?

What will you do without Him,
In the long and dreary day
Of trouble and perplexity,
When you do not know the way,
And no one else can help you,
And no one guides you right,
And hope comes not with morning,
And rest comes not with night?

You could not do without Him,
If once He made you see
The fetters that enchain you,
Till He hath set you free.
If once you saw the fearful load
Of sin upon your soul;
The hidden plague that ends in death,
Unless He makes you whole!

What will you do without Him,
When death is drawing near?
Without His love–the only love
That casts out every fear;
When the shadow-valley opens,
Unlighted and unknown,
And the terrors of its darkness
Must all be passed alone!

What will you do without Him,
When the great white throne is set,
And the Judge who never can mistake,
And never can forget,–
The Judge whom you have never here
As Friend and Savior sought,
Shall summon you to give account
Of deed and word and thought?

What will you do without Him,
When He hath shut the door,
And you are left outside, because
You would not come before?
When it is no use knocking,
No use to stand and wait;
For the word of doom tolls through your heart
That terrible ‘Too late!’

You cannot do without Him!
There is no other name
By which you ever can be saved,
No way, no hope, no claim!
Without Him–everlasting loss
Of love, and life, and light!
Without Him,–everlasting woe,
And everlasting night.

But with Him–oh!  with Jesus!
Are any words so blest?
With Jesus, everlasting joy
And everlasting rest!
With Jesus–all the empty heart
Filled with His perfect love;
With Jesus–perfect peace below,
And perfect bliss above.

Why should you do without Him?
It is not yet too late;
He has not shut the gate.
He calls you!  Hush!  He calls you!
He would not have you go
Another step without Him,
Because He loves you so.

He would not do without you!
He calls and calls again–
‘Come unto Me!  Come unto Me!’
Oh, shall He call in vain?
He wants to have you with Him;
Do you not want Him too?
You cannot do without Him,
And He wants–even you.

–Frances Ridley Havergal from THE POETICAL WORKS

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About Rich Stevenson

Rich is the Executive Director of The Malachi Network (www.malachinetwork.org), a ministry focused on making the name of the LORD great among the nations. This network serves young leaders in missions and church planting. Prior to his present ministry, Rich pastored in Southern New Jersey, planted a church in Wilmore, KY, established a network of churches, served as an adjunct professor at Asbury College and was a senior leader at The International House of Prayer in Kansas City, MO as well as The International House of Prayer in Atlanta, GA. Rich is the author of two books: Secrets of the Spiritual Life—10 Lessons from the One Thing Passages (Baker Books, 2003) A Voice from Home—The Words You Long to Hear from Your Father (WaterBrook Press, 2005) He graduated from Asbury College in 1984 with a BA degree in Philosophy of Religion and Asbury Theological Seminary in 1987 with a Master of Divinity degree. In 2010, Rich received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Union Biblical Seminary in Yangon, Myanmar. Rich has been married to Tania since 1982 and they have been blessed by amazing children: Zachary and his wife Meghan, Jacob and his wife Lena, Jessica and Corrie Emma.
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