His head is as the most fine gold, His locks are bushy, and black as a raven.—Song of Songs 5:11
Comparisons all fail to set forth the Lord Jesus, but the spouse uses the best within her reach. By the head of Jesus we may understand His deity, “for the head of Christ is God” and then the ingot of purest gold is the best conceivable metaphor, but all too poor to describe one so precious, so pure, so dear, so glorious. Jesus is not a grain of gold, but a vast globe of it, a priceless mass of treasure such as earth and heaven cannot excel. The creatures are mere iron and clay, they all shall perish like wood, hay, and stubble, but the everliving Head of the creation of God shall shine on for ever and ever. In Him is no mixture, nor smallest taint of alloy. He is for ever infinitely holy and altogether divine. The bushy locks depict His manly vigour. There is nothing effeminate in our Beloved. He is the manliest of men. Bold as a lion, laborious as an ox, swift as an eagle. Every conceivable and inconceivable beauty is to be found in Him, though once He was despised and rejected of men.
“His head the finest gold;
With secret sweet perfume,
His curled locks hang all as black
As any raven’s plume.”
The glory of His head is not shorn away, He is eternally crowned with peerless majesty. The black hair indicates youthful freshness, for Jesus has the dew of His youth upon Him. Others grow languid with age, but He is for ever a Priest as was Melchisedek; others come and go, but He abides as God upon His throne, world without end. We will behold Him to-night and adore Him. Angels are gazing upon Him-His redeemed must not turn away their eyes from Him. Where else is there such a Beloved? O for an hour’s fellowship with Him! Away, ye intruding cares! Jesus draws me, and I run after Him.
Even More on the Source of Faith
Jesus Christ, the faithful witness…the Faithful and True Witness…And He…was called Faithful and True. (Revelation 1:5; 3:14; and 19:11)
Faith comes into our lives through the work of Jesus Christ: “Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). Faith develops in our hearts when the name of the Lord is revealed to us (that is, an understanding of who Jesus is and what He is able to do). “And His name, through faith in His name, has made this man strong…Yes, the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect soundness” (Acts 3:16). We grasp to some degree how great He is, so we trust Him to do great things. Thereby, faith comes into our spiritual experience through Him. Our present verses are related to this development of faith, for they depict Jesus as faithful and true.
He is the reliable witness, who tells us the truth: “Jesus Christ, the faithful witness…the Faithful and True Witness…And He…was called Faithful and True.” As the ultimate witness, Jesus gives us testimony of the truths that are essential for every person. He tells us about the kingdom of heaven. “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). He warns us about the judgment of hell. “So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come forth, separate the wicked from among the just, and cast them into the furnace of fire. There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth” (Matthew 13:49-50).
He also tells us about the heavenly Father. “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:11). He warns us about the “father of lies.” “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44). He tells us what true living is all about. “And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent” (John 17:3). We have faith in Him and all that He bears witness to, because He is “the Faithful and True Witness.”
Godly sorrow worketh repentance.—2 Corinthians 7:10
Genuine, spiritual mourning for sin is the work of the Spirit of God. Repentance is too choice a flower to grow in nature’s garden. Pearls grow naturally in oysters, but penitence never shows itself in sinners except divine grace works it in them. If thou hast one particle of real hatred for sin, God must have given it thee, for human nature’s thorns never produced a single fig. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh.”
True repentance has a distinct reference to the Saviour. When we repent of sin, we must have one eye upon sin and another upon the cross, or it will be better still if we fix both our eyes upon Christ and see our transgressions only, in the light of His love.
True sorrow for sin is eminently practical. No man may say he hates sin, if he lives in it. Repentance makes us see the evil of sin, not merely as a theory, but experimentally-as a burnt child dreads fire. We shall be as much afraid of it, as a man who has lately been stopped and robbed is afraid of the thief upon the highway; and we shall shun it-shun it in everything-not in great things only, but in little things, as men shun little vipers as well as great snakes. True mourning for sin will make us very jealous over our tongue, lest it should say a wrong word; we shall be very watchful over our daily actions, lest in anything we offend, and each night we shall close the day with painful confessions of shortcoming, and each morning awaken with anxious prayers, that this day God would hold us up that we may not sin against Him.
Sincere repentance is continual. Believers repent until their dying day. This dropping well is not intermittent. Every other sorrow yields to time, but this dear sorrow grows with our growth, and it is so sweet a bitter, that we thank God we are permitted to enjoy and to suffer it until we enter our eternal rest.
And now the LORD says, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant…(for I shall be glorious in the eyes of the LORD, and My God shall be My strength)…Thus says the LORD: “In an acceptable time I have heard You, and in the day of salvation I have helped You; I will preserve You.” (Isaiah 49:5 and 8)
Numerous times throughout these hundreds of meditations, we have examined the relationship of “humility and faith” to “growing in grace.” Such repeated opportunities assist us in apprehending the means of living day by day by grace. “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble…we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand” (James 4:6 and Romans 5:2). For a number of days, we have been considering humility and grace. In a recent meditation, we saw that Jesus is the ultimate example of humility. Now, we begin to give considerable attention to faith and grace. Concerning faith, we begin where we left off with humility-with Jesus as our example. Again, we will see that Jesus is the ultimate example of faith.
Our present verses are a prophecy involving the Father and His Son, the Servant Messiah, who would go forth to provide God’s gift of salvation. “And now the LORD says, who formed Me from the womb to be His Servant.” An angel would eventually announce this prophecy as coming to fulfillment. “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:20-21). The confession of the Messiah is also given here prophetically. “My God shall be My strength.” When the Son would leave heaven for His incarnation, He would function by faith in the Father. The Father’s reassuring words affirm this trust in Him. “Thus says the LORD: ‘In an acceptable time I have heard You, and in the day of salvation I have helped You; I will preserve You.'”
The fact that Jesus lived by faith in His Father was a part of His own teaching ministry. “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner” (John 5:19). Herein, Jesus (who had laid aside the independent exercise of His deity) was exemplifying how man should live in humble dependence upon the faithfulness of God.
Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he [is] God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations; (Deuteronomy 7:9)God is faithful! He has been and always will be faithful! How wonderful that we can count upon His promises!
Social media is ubiquitous and companies have been taking advantage of this. From retail brands to media organizations, businesses large and small have been utilizing social media platforms to push their products.
There is one industry, according to David Francis at RBC Capital Markets, that is missing the opportunities that social media provides: healthcare.
“One of the new variables with which healthcare stakeholders are struggling is marketing to and communicating with their consumers using media, technologies and techniques that are largely foreign to their way of doing business,” wrote Francis in a note to clients Thursday.
Francis said that this opportunity could be snatched up by other actors, and healthcare firms are open to serious losses.
“Choosing not to engage the healthcare consumer where they regularly interact electronically is a tacit surrender to more forward thinking stakeholders,” wrote Francis.
The reason these companies need to use social media, said Francis, is that consumers have more power in healthcare decisions due to high deductible plans.
Since the consumer now has more power, healthcare providers have to change the way they do business to meet the lifestyle of the consumer better.
Part of this is getting news and information to patients and consumers. Francis, using a survey of 1,500 people through the Health Management Academy, found that half of consumers made purchasing decisions based in part on information they received on social media.
Only 35%, however, had used social media for health and wellness purposes. “It is clear that there is meaningful additional use of social media properties that can be driven in the health care arena if Consumer Health IT providers can develop the proper, attractive engagement tools to bring in health care Consumers to their properties,” wrote Francis.
Of those that did use social media for health purposes, many used it to learn about a health condition or connect with a community to learn more about healthcare.
Francis said that doctor’s offices, hospitals, pharmacies, and other providers can use the “broadcast” nature of the platforms to disseminate important information, monitor patient sentiment and advertise services.
Francis also found that while many people do not know about their providers online or social media presence, when they do, they utilize it.
“The data also shows the latent demand of Consumers in connecting with their Providers,” wrote Francis. “Though fewer than 50% of Providers are known by their Consumers to have a secure website available, over 75% of Consumers utilize their physician’s website while 2-in-3 use their hospital’s site.”
The issue these providers have to contend with, said Francis, is that they must convince consumers that the interactions are secure and helpful. Once that happens, he thinks there is a huge latent market waiting to be tapped, or squandered.
It just takes 15 minutes of brisk walking, cycling, or swimming to help older adults live longer according to a study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
People over 60 can cut their health risks by a little more than 20 percent from even a small amount of exercise.
Lead author Dr. David Hupin, with the Department of Clinical and Exercise Physiology at the University Hospital of Saint-Etienne, France, said scientific evidence is starting to show that replacing sitting around with even some light physical activity can bring health benefits, Reuters reported.
“Age is not an excuse to do no exercise,” Hupin said.