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Octavius Winslow
The Lord is My Portion

"The Lord is My BROTHER"

“Whoever does God’s will is My brother.” Mark 3:35

Precious portion this—Christ our BROTHER! If our religion bears this divine stamp of reality—the doing God’s will—then, not only are all the saints of God our brethren, but all are Christ’s brethren, He standing in the relation to all of the Elder Brother—”the FIRST-BORN among many brethren.”

The Elder Brother under the law was clothed with peculiar and great privileges. Not only to him belonged the birthright, but he was invested with great power, was entitled to a double share of the patrimony, and, what was of great importance, he was the priest of the family, discharging all the duties and offices of religion. Now all this, and much more, is Jesus our Elder Brother. To Him belongs every attraction that wins our admiration, every perfection that awakens our love, every quality that fits Him to discharge the high and peculiar duties and obligations of a brother. My soul, recall some of them, that you may possess a higher estimate of the worth and preciousness of this your Portion—the Lord your Brother; and learn to love Him more intensely, to trust Him more implicitly, and serve Him more faithfully.

As our Brother, Christ partakes of our human nature. He could not be our brother, nor feel a brother’s love, nor discharge a brother’s duties, were He not “bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh.” Thus we read, “Forasmuch as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same—therefore in all things it behooved Him to be made like unto His BRETHREN.” Sweet truth, O my soul! Jesus your Portion took into union with His divine your own veritable nature, and wears it still, that, from the highest throne in glory, a stream of human sympathy might continuously flow down, blending with every trial, temptation, need, and sorrow of the lowest disciple on earth.

This suggests another and a touching view of our Elder Brother. Jesus was educated in the school of suffering and sorrow. The personal experience of sorrow is essential to true sympathy. “If one member suffer, all the members suffer with it,” just because all belong to one suffering body, of which Christ, the “Man of sorrows,” is the one Head. My soul, make much of the sinless humanity of Jesus your Brother. He has sent your affliction that in it He, by sympathy, may be afflicted. He has unsealed your fount of tears that, in compassion, His might flow in the same channel with yours.

He wants you to know Him more intimately; and as there is not so strong and sure a test of real friendship and affection and relationship as adversity, so He sends the discipline of sorrow that we might prove His love, test His friendship, and know Him more experimentally and blessedly as our Brother born for adversity. O my soul! repair to Him as such. Is your earthly brother’s house closed against you? The door of this Brother is ever open night and day. Come when, come how, come with what you may, never forget Christ, your Brother, is an open door. Aim only, aim constantly, to do God’s will from the heart, for Jesus has said, “Whoever does the will of God is my brother.”

It is no little or dubious evidence that Christ is our Brother—if we love Christ’s brethren. If this is lacking we may justly question the reality of our fraternal relation to Christ. “By this we know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren.” Herein do we establish our relation by our likeness to the Elder Brother. Christ loves all His brethren alike. And if I love them—not because they are of my creed, or of my Church—but because they are Christ’s brethren, then do I evidence my relation to the one and true Christian Brotherhood.

Lord, You are gone before us,
Our mansions to prepare,
In sympathy a BROTHER,
A Father in Your care.

No power in You is lacking,
Nor lacking is Your will;
Whatever our vessels measure,
Your love will ever fill.

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