by Charles Orr
INTRODUCTIONThe Christian is a new creation in Christ. He has a sense of Divine realities, which loosen him from the things of time — and woo him to heavenly life. He moves in an aura of joy and gladness. Every thought, word, and deed of his new-born life — fashions him more into the likeness of Jesus.
The Opened Eye
"Open my eyes." Psalm 119:18. Who among us does not need to pray this prayer? Who among us has an eye to see all that belongs to the Christian life? Are there not yet some glorious things lying out beyond the boundary of our vision? Oh, for the open eye to see the wondrous things God has prepared for them that love Him! Out beyond our spiritual horizon, there may be blessed realities awaiting us — if we would but seek God earnestly for the open eye to discover them.
This world has been called a valley of tears, a wilderness of woe, and man's way through it a way of trouble and sorrow — yet there is a way running through it, which is a way of pleasantness, and a path which is a pathway of peace. We need the open eye to find this heavenly way. If man would but rise to the fullness of life — he would find many glorious things awaiting him there. Up in the higher realms of close companionship with God — there is fullness of joy. If man would come into such intimacy with God as to read His mind and know the loving thoughts He has toward him — his joy would be complete. If man could but see all that lies in the fatherhood of God, he would never have a care. The task of this little book is to help you see more of the good things God has for you.
"When they looked up, they saw no one — except Jesus only." Matthew 17:8
What you see depends on which way you look. Looking around on life's circumstances, you will miss seeing the better things of life. Erect for your soul a spiritual observatory where you can look into the heavens and see some of its wonder. You do not need to wait until you get to Heaven — to behold some of its glories. Heaven will come down to you with many of its blessed realities.
Soul vision of God is necessary to soul likeness to God. The beauty of the Lord is inwrought into the soul as it gazes, with steadfast eye, upon Him. The soul attaches itself to and becomes like that upon which it gazes. Those who see most of God — are fullest of Him. There are some rare souls who see everything full of Him. Every bush is aflame with His presence. They see Him in every event in life. There are no happenings so small, as to disclose none of His beauty. They see His love, in all their provocations and interruptions. They welcome every annoyance, grievance, and trial — because they see His hand of love in everything. When the soul grasps the fact that nothing can come to us without His permission — then we have found Heaven on earth.
"Blessed are the pure in heart — for they shall see God." Matthew 5:8
It matters not, to those who have the open eye, where they are; they see Heaven anywhere. They do not live in that little world where they see the old cabin, the open cracks, the bare floors, the empty flour bin, the meatless larder, the scanty clothing, and the hard times — but they live out in a world where they see riches untold. They always have heaped about them, a great store of beautiful and wonderful things. They cannot see their poverty — because they are ever looking at their riches. They do not see their poor little cabin — because they are looking at their glorious mansion. They do not see their faded garments — because they are looking at their fine linen, so clean and white. They do not see their empty flour bin and meatless larder — because their eyes are ever on the promises of God.
The apostle John in Patmos was looking into Heaven — and not at the barren rocks. Paul was not confined to the dungeon and the stocks; he was up in the presence of God singing Him praise. It is what we see with that inner vision — which gives to life its blessed fullness and sweet contentment. O saints, do not live among the seen things. Go out and build a mansion for your soul, in the heavenly life.
Beyond doubt, the Lord has a few shut-ins. The line that bounds their view, is only a little way out. They live in a little world of self-interest, of petty cares, of wearying anxieties, of vexing circumstances. They view only the seen things. They live in a small enclosure, and we have grave fears that with some, the enclosure is growing smaller every day. A cataract of worldliness is growing over their eyes.
There is closeness of fellowship with God, intimacy of communion, blessedness of trust, freedom from care, worry, and fret — which have never discovered. They never get up into that upper region where life stretches out in holy contemplation of God and the glorious realities that the Lord has for Christian souls.
Listen at their talk. It is almost continually about the things of the little world of which they are acquainted. If they should be induced to say a word about the spiritual blessings in heavenly places — it is very vague, unreal and incomprehensive. They can talk fluently of the happenings in the neighborhood and of their own affairs — but have no interest in conversing about the beauty of God, of joys unspeakable, of the sweetness of meditation, and the glorious freedom of the soul.
Mary and Martha
"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." Luke 10:41, 42
It is the seeing which makes the great difference between one human life, and that of an other. Martha saw the seen things, Mary the unseen things, hence the difference in their lives. Martha loved the Lord Jesus — but her highest thought was that of ministering to His body's needs. Mary saw that her Lord had food to eat that Martha knew nothing of. Had Martha come and sat with Mary — she would not have seen what Mary saw. She would have seen the well-spread table in the dining room, and Mary saw a table spread in the heavenly kingdom.
Just so, there are those who assemble for worship in the same building — who see vastly different things. Some rise but a little way above the things of time and sense. They have so much of the seen things in their eyes — that they cannot see the glorious things of the spiritual life. It is their privilege to see the loving purpose of God in every line of human sorrow. They should see the hand of God in all the details of daily life, and have the little annoyances and cares, work a delicacy in their soul upon which the Holy Spirit can imprint the colors of the heavenly life, making them more heavenly.
"He who loses his life for my sake shall find it." Matthew 10:39
Not once for all — but the giving of life daily for Christ's sake — is the daily finding of life. By losing life — you find life. This is an unfailing law in both the lower and higher life. By expending muscle — you find muscle; by expending life — you find life. A selfish act — is a self-destroying act. A self-denying act — is a self-developing act. Every act done for Christ's sake — identifies you with Christ. You become a part of that for which you do an act — and it becomes a part of you. To do things for the world's sake — is to become a part of the world. The more love for Christ you put in what you do — the more closely it unites you with Him.
O Jesus, intensify our love for You! You can put a whole heart full of love in a very small deed — and then the deed has lost its smallness. You can put love for Christ in doing things for yourself — as well as in doing things for others. In fact, with a true, sincere Christian — there is no such thing as doing for yourself and doing for others. Every act, whether done for yourself or for others — is an act done for Christ. Those who love Jesus do not do one single thing in caring for themselves or others — which is not done solely for His sake. This is finding life.
Living by Christ
"Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father — so the one who feeds on me will live because of me." John 6:57
Are you able to grasp the meaning of these words? Read them over again slowly and prayerfully. We are to live by Christ — as Christ lived by the Father. This is life's standard. It is the standard which Jesus set up. The life Jesus lived was not His — but the life of the Father. The words He spoke were the Father's words, the deeds He did were the deeds of the Father. To look upon His life — was to look upon the life of the Father, for it was the Father who lived in Him. He lived by the Father, because He lived upon the Father. In those early morning and all night prayers, He was feeding on God the Father, and all through the day He lived by Him. That which He gathered from the Father in those heart-to-heart prayers — He carried out and gave it to the world. In those communings with the Father — He enveloped Himself with an heavenly atmosphere, and within this enclosure He kept Himself all the day. That holy awe, that sacred reverence, that spirit of worship, that heavenly unction — which He gathered to His soul in those prayers — He kept within Him all the day. He gathered fresh food every night and morning. Thus we are to live by Christ.
Feeding on Christ
"The one who feeds on Me — will live by Me." John 6:57
May God let the reader and the writer into the secret meaning of these words. We live by what we feed on. Herein lies the whole secret of holy living. To live by Christ — is to live like Christ. It is to live by His power, His love, His holiness, His life. To thus live — we must feed on Him. He is to be our daily food.
There are a few rare souls today, who are hungering for more and more of God — and yet they are coming a little short of the fullest satisfaction. There are those who have a craving that is not fully met — a thirst that is not wholly quenched. They come short of living as Godlike as they should. They try to live nearer Christ — but they fail. They need to feed more on Christ. He is the Life-Bread of the soul.
They live the most holy — who assimilate most of Him. We feed on Him — by bringing our soul into His presence and absorbing Him. In loving thoughts of Him, in meditating upon Him, in reading His Word and praying in the Spirit — we feed on Him. Every out-going of the heart in love toward Him — is supping on Him. Just so, open your soul to Jesus and let Him shine in.
The Soul's Craving
The soul's cravings will not all be fully met and satisfied while here in the body. It was created for greater freedom, for more perfect vision, for greater knowledge, and for a closer union with Christ. The veil of flesh hangs between the redeemed soul and heavenly realities, of which it has a consciousness and for which it longs. The soul in love with Christ finds great delight in thinking about the mansion Jesus has gone to prepare, and when it shall look into His face as it cannot here.
Redeemed man does not have much to do with earthly things, compared with his activities amid heavenly things. While in the body, he needs to at tend to some things here — but he lives mostly in eternity. There are no cravings of the soul for the things of the lower life; its cravings are all for things above. Be sure that you distinguish between the two. It is possible to mistake the cravings of the flesh, the intellect, the sentimental — for the craving of the spirit. The mind of man may hunger for an intellectual knowledge of God — while the soul has no hunger for God. The soul that longs after God — finds the hour of communion with God, to be the sweetest of all the life. It has no thirstings for earth's pleasures.
Holier in Life
You may be as pure in heart — as the crystal river of life can make you, and as holy of soul — as God's throne; yet there is no man living who cannot become holier in life. You can abound more and more in love; go from faith to greater faith; grow in knowledge and grace, and have the beauty of the Lord blooming out more and more — in all the words and deeds of life. Though your heart is cleansed from every stain of sin, you can have the sweet, heavenly unction of the Holy Spirit resting more weightily upon your soul. This will affect your outward life — making it deeper, more hallowed and holy.
The tree of the garden may be perfect and bear perfect fruit — but by rooting deeper, it grows and bears larger and more developed fruit. Just so, by letting the mind take hold upon God in holy thought — we root deeper into Him and conform more unto His likeness. Every time the mind fastens upon some truth of God — the spirit grows more into the image of God.
Put idle thoughts and vain thoughts far away from you — and fix your mind on things above. Open the door of your heart heavenward, that the light of God may shine in, imprinting in its depth, the beautiful graces of Christ. Gaze into the face of Jesus — and grow to be more like Him!
Down in the secret depths of my heart, is a wonderful garden. When I open the gate and walk in, God meets me there. We converse together of things that can never be talked about outside this secret place. It is my holy of holies. It may be amid the bustling throng, the crowded street, the chattering of thoughtless friends, or in some solitary place; but when I open the gate and walk in, I find Christ waiting for me. He never disappoints me. His voice is sweetest music, and before the light of His beaming face — the shadows flee away.
The world with its frets and worries, its fears and anxieties, its sorrows and its cares — has no place in this wonderful garden. Here life takes on a fuller meaning. I see the things that are worthless — and the things worth while. Here I can see and hear things — which cannot be seen or heard anywhere outside this secret place. Here visible things are lost to view — and only invisible things are seen. Here the near things are far away — and the far away things are near. Here I gather golden grain from the fields of Heaven, which I am to carry out and scatter in the pathway of others. When I come out from this garden — the world is not like it was before. Things seem changed — and I am more like my blessed Lord.
Home of My Soul
The home I am building for my soul today — will be its home tomorrow and forever. My soul needs a little more spacious home today, than that which it occupied yesterday. It longs to soar up a little higher — to go down a little deeper. The home of yesterday, is too narrow for today. My soul seeks for a clearer vision of Heaven, it longs for greater nearness to God, it would feel a little more sensibly the impulse of His will, and come nearer the gates of glory, and hear more distinctly the sweet music of Heaven.
I must not cramp or stint this soul of mine. It must have the fullest and freest range. My soul must have perfect liberty to roam about amid the unseen heavenly things, regardless of the sacrifice of the house of clay. This house of flesh must not hold it in, or interrupt its flight upward. Its wings must be free to fly upward to the presence of God — to hold sweet communion with Him. There are yet many new discoveries for my soul to make in the spiritual life — and it must not be hindered by the desires of the flesh. The flesh with its affections and lusts, must be crucified — that my soul may have fullest liberty today. What I build for my soul today — will be its home throughout eternity. I must build a larger home for my soul each day.
"He who dwells in love dwells in God, and God in him." 1 John 4 :16
The fish is in its element, when dwelling in the sea. Man's proper element, is love. Man out of love — is out of his native element. Love is the greatest thing in life. The worth of a deed is estimated, not by the deed itself — but by the amount of love there is in it. Love associates the object loved with everything in life. Labor is the essential property of love. Love is the must of life.
The labor of love is expressed in giving or in putting forth effort to obtain something to give. Love lives to give. It must give — that it might live. Love is not in the word — but in the deed. "Let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth." 1 John 3:18. The tongue may talk of love — but the deed talks loudest. "God so loved the world — that He gave." You love an object, when you love it so that you give yourself for it. Less than this is not love. Love gives itself. We must cut the roses from the rose-bush on our lawn — or it will cease giving us roses. It must give its roses — that it may produce more roses. Love must give — that it may keep on loving.
Love to Christ
"Whom having not seen, you love." 1 Peter 1:8
"Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity." Ephesians 6:24
Sincere love is love wholly free from self-interest. Sincere love to Christ, is not to love Him for what He gives us — but for what He is in himself. A young lady may love a man because he saved her life — but she loves her husband because of what he is. Christ is the all lovely and the all lovable One. Christ, not the blessing — is to be loved. He is to be loved with or without blessings.
There is great need of more intense love to Christ in the hearts of His saints. Few, indeed, who love Jesus as they should. If they loved Christ as they should — it would make a great change in their life.
The secret of a hallowed life — is the hallowing of God in the heart. A hallowed life stands out in the world as a witness to things that belong to the heavenly life. Hold your body as a sacred thing dedicated to God for His indwelling. He will hallow His temple. Keep the body under control, so that in your eating and drinking or in whatever you do — all reflects honor and glory to God. A hallowed life speaks to men of things spiritual, divine, eternal. Beware, O beware, lest you profane things hallowed to God!
There is a vast difference between a cultivated dignity — and a life hallowed by the holy presence of God. A man's acquired dignity points men to himself, and they call him magnanimous. A hallowed life points men to God, and they magnify Him. The holy contemplation of God awes the soul — and this holy awe is the spring of a hallowed life. Deep thoughts of God beget a reverence, a veneration of God that hallows the words and deeds of a man's life, so that he speaks and acts not as other men. Go, dear child of God, often into that place of quiet communion with God — that you might take on a hallowedness of heart and life.
Familiarity with an object has a tendency to lessen interest and delight in the object. It requires but little effort to have interest in new things — but it does require effort to keep up the interest as the object grows older. It is possible to lose your love to God, when very busy about the work of God. It is easier to keep up the works, than it is to keep up the love. The saints at Ephesus lost love to God — yet maintained their works. You can become so familiar with preaching, that it becomes more of an occupation — than something done in intense love to Christ. You can keep on working for souls — long after you have lost heart burden for souls. It is not always those who work the hardest — who love God most.
One of the most subtle and dangerous things in the Christian experience — is the deadening effect of familiarity. People can word a beautiful testimony for years, on a past experience. Men practice the art of talking beautifully about holy things — after they have lost the art of living holy. You can be very familiar with the way of truth — and yet having lost the way out of your soul. The only possible way to keep from being deadened by familiarity with spiritual things — is to keep gaining greater spiritual things.
The Holy Anointing
"But the anointing which you have received from Him, abides in you." 1 John 2:27
This anointing is the freshening of the soul with spiritual life. It is like the morning dew upon the rose. It awakens the heart into beauty and strength. It lifts the soul up in holy awe and reverence to God. It is that which separates you from the things of the lower life. You go among men — but this holy anointing keeps you above them. The fruits of the Spirit are growing luxuriously in your life. Your heart is the garden of the Lord. There He comes to gather lilies, to smell the sweet fragrances, and to eat His pleasant fruits.
This anointing is as real as anything in the physical life. The Holy Spirit anoints the soul with the life of Christ — which quickens it, and gives it a sweet assurance of the abiding presence of God. It enables man to live amid heavenly things. He is not confined to the things of this material world. He lives out among the realities of the spiritual life. He talks with Christ — as with a personal friend. He does all things in the thought of Him.
This anointing is the taking of the sweet heavenly essences, and distilling them upon the heart — until it is saturated through and through with heavenly life!
If you are failing to live godly — you need to feed on Christ more. Get more of His strength in your life. Draw more heavily at the Divine breasts. Drink deep and full, of the life of Christ.
Dead With Christ
"If we died with Him — we will also live with Him." 2 Timothy 2:11
Think deeply on these words. Dead with Him. What does it mean? There is no thought here, of death on the wooden cross — but death to living to fleshly lusts. To be dead with Him — is to be dead to all He was dead to. It cannot mean less. He lived after the Spirit, and not after the flesh. He lived humanly, but never fleshly. To live after the Spirit, is to do all things in the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is to be the energy in the speaking of every word, and doing of every deed. We are not to speak and act of ourselves — but in the Spirit.
We can live in the flesh, do things in the flesh — and not do them for the sake of the flesh. We can do everything for Jesus' sake. When we do things for the sake of the flesh — we are living to the flesh and this is not holy living. Do not be too hasty to conclude that you are not a Christian, because you do some things almost daily that are done to the flesh. You may speak too idly, or too sharply, eat too much, indulge in the flesh in too great an ease — and yet do it carelessly and thoughtlessly, and not altogether forfeit Divine life.
Living in the flesh
Many saints fail to walk in that blessed fellowship and intimate communion which their souls crave. They long to have Christ more real in their life. They yearn for a greater consciousness of His presence. They come short of their soul's cravings, because they live too much to the flesh. They live too much for earthly things. They have too great an admiration for earthly things — a fine home, fine furniture, a fine automobile.
Look closely into the life of Christ. Not once did He ever manifest an admiration of the fine things of the world. He admired God in nature — but never admired nature of itself. If He admired the works of man, it was not what man had done — but what God had helped him do. In all His sight seeing, He never lost sight of God. This is a precious secret in the Christian life. See God everywhere and in everything. Admire God, adore Him, and not the thing He has created. Alas, how many think more, admire more, talk more about, seek more after the thing created — than they do the Creator.
Dying With Christ
"Always bearing about in the body, the dying of the Lord Jesus." 2 Corinthians 4:10
Do not think of Christ being dead, to the extent that He had no temptation. He was tempted all through His life. Read Hebrews 4:15. His death was that of an everyday dying. He had temptation to resist and overcome. He had a human will which He kept in subjection to the Divine will — just as Christians have to do. The same power that enabled Him to do this — will enable the Christian to do likewise. This is holy living. Just as Jesus kept dead to every suggestion of the flesh, so are we to keep dead. This is bearing about in our body the dying of the Lord Jesus.
Dying with Jesus, means the refusing to do anything in life purely for fleshly gratification. This is holy living. This is where many a saint is coming short. They are too careless.
The Joys of Heaven
"Well done, good and faithful servant — enter into the joy of your Lord." Matthew 25:23
By this, Jesus means to tell us that if we are faithful servants of God — someday we shall be admitted into higher joys than we ever knew here. The little child that has been taught that Santa will bring it many pretty things on Christmas, will think a great deal about these nice things, and can scarcely wait until Christmas comes. Why should we not think much about the joys of Heaven? Maybe some of us do not keep that heavenly country enough in our thoughts. The more you contemplate the joys of Heaven — the lighter will be the sorrows of earth! The joy that Jesus looked forward unto, helped Him to endure the cross. We can bear a great deal today — if we have bright anticipations of tomorrow. What if there are a few tears here on earth — there will be none in Heaven, and this thought helps us to bear up a little longer. Thinking of the joys of Heaven will let the light through the darkest clouds that can hang over our heads. Earthly pleasures fail to charm us — as we think about the pleasures at God's right hand. Though there is no flour in the bin, nor meat in the larder — we grow happy and content, as we think of Heaven. "You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand!" Psalm 16:11
Tune Your Harp
David calls up his soul and tunes it to the great heart of God. Keeping in tune with Heaven — is the secret of holy living. We must catch daily messages from Heaven — that we might keep in harmony with the mind of God. We must hear the voice of God, we must feel His life playing on the tender cords of our soul, we need to be moved by the impulses of His loving heartbeats to live as holy as we should. Let there be no discordant notes in the music of your soul. You can keep tuned in with the sweet harmony of Heaven — in the very face of strife and sin in the world.
Peter slept like a child, with the noose only a few hours ahead; Paul kept the music of Heaven in his heart, while fast in the stocks; Daniel kept tuned in with the world of glory, at the entrance to the lions' den; the furnace cast no fear over the life of the three Hebrews; Habakkuk rejoiced in the God of his salvation — with empty fields, storehouses and stalls before him; Job kept the proper wave length in his soul, amid all his adversities.
Beware, oh beware, lest something of earth gets your harps out of tune! Why will mortal man allow the poor, weak things of earth disturb the music of his soul!
"For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." Galatians 3:26
Faith is that which brings the soul in contact with God in Christ, and then Christ is formed in man. Faith in Christ identifies man with God. Heart-faith works by love. By faith, we love the unseen Christ. Faith is the faculty of spiritual touch. Faith is that energy by which the soul is attached in a vital union with God. It is by faith, that the unseen world is realized. It is by faith, that the soul is brought in touch with the Infinite God. Faith brings virtue out of Christ, into our soul.
Faith is more than a chain that binds us to God; it unites God to us so that we are one. Faith fills the soul with God, and the soul filled with God, finds everything full of Him. Every event, every circumstance is a bush aflame with His glory. Faith associates God with every moment of time, and every event of life. Faith puts the world with its vanities and vexations under our feet! Faith regards every foe as conquered. Faith refuses to look on circumstances. Faith will not be drawn aside from looking into the face of God.
Living by Faith
"The just shall live by faith." Galatians 3:11
The lost sinner lives by sight; the saved sinner lives by faith. This puts them into two different spheres of life!
The sinner lives in the world of seen things — while faith lives in the world of unseen spiritual realities. One sees only the circumstances of every day life — while the other sees the hand of Providence in all circumstances. This makes a vast difference in the way people think and live.
By faith man lives above all earthly circumstances. He is not affected by "hard times." The most abject poverty has no influence over his life. If he has no place to lay his head — he has a place to lay his heart and he is perfectly contented. Mountains of gold have no more influence over his life — than the kingdoms of the world had over Jesus. He makes no more obeisance to the world at its offers of riches, honor, and pleasure — than Jesus made to the devil at his offers of all the glory of the kingdoms of earth.
Those who live by faith, do not set their hearts and minds on earthly things. (Colossians 3:1-2) They live amid eternal realities! They understand that they are to use everything that comes to them in this world — to help them on in the spiritual life. Those living by faith live under the influence of the unseen world — and not the seen.
Christ's incarnation is God coming into humanity — and the taking of humanity up into Himself. He stamps Himself with humanity — and stamps humanity with Himself.
Look at humanity in Christ — and you will see what humanity ought to be.
Look at Christ in humanity — and you will see what God is.
Look on the footprints which Christ made through this world — and you will see the pathway for the redeemed. Look on the pathway of the redeemed — and you will see the footprints of the Savior. The redeemed "walk even as He walked" (1 John 2:6). This is true holiness.
God's Eternal Purpose
"According to the eternal purpose which He purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord." Ephesians 3:11
From the dawn of eternity, God had a purpose in mind, and that purpose was to have a people whom He could love to the fullest capacity of His love, and with whom He could have perfect fellowship and most intimate communion forever. You, dear Christian reader, are that being. This purpose was wrought out through Christ. That God might have His purpose realized — He must bring man up to a perfect likeness of Himself. God loved man in his sins — but did not love him for what he then was — but for what he could become in Christ Jesus. The likeness of God was in Christ.
The great task of God is the bringing of man up to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. To do this, Christ Himself must be formed in man. Man becomes the likeness of God in Christ. God looks on the man in Christ — and sees the fullest realization of His purpose. Christ Jesus came to save man. This is what salvation is — fellowship, likeness, communion with God. Salvation is in being like God. This is accomplished by Christ coming into the life of man, and taking that life up into His own and making them one life. Christ and saved man are not two, they are one. This is the new creation.
"My eyes have seen Your salvation." Luke 2:30
Jesus is God's salvation for man — Jesus, and none other. Salvation is more than saving man from all that is unlike Christ; it is also imparting to him all that is like Christ. It is the transforming of man into the likeness of God. It is man attaining his true manhood. Salvation is true manhood regained. Look at Christ — and you will see what you ought to be and will be.
Jesus became the Savior of men — by giving Himself for men. Men are saved — by giving themselves to the Savior. A saved man is one to whom the Savior has been given — and one who has given himself to the Savior. They are of like nature. They have fellowship, blessed communion, and share everything in common. Each has, what the other has. That which the man has belongs to Christ, and that which Christ has — belongs to the man. Christ sups with the man and the man with Christ. Wherever you find the saved man — you will also find Jesus there. They think, they speak they act together. They are one life. Christ is the life of the man — and the man's life is lived in by Christ. This is holy living — this is salvation.
"The dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works!" Revelation 20:12
Every person has their book. You have yours — and I have mine. In our text, we are told that we are going to be judged out of the books, according to our works. We are all writing a book! We are writing in our own book. I cannot write in yours — nor you in mine.
You are responsible for what is in your book. You are writing out your own record every moment. What you think, what you say, and what you do — are all being recorded. There will be no false entries in your book. The record is self recording. Every deed records itself. Every idle moment records itself. If you do not want an idle moment or an idle word recorded against you — do not spend it, do not speak it. "You must give an account on judgment day, for every idle word you speak!" Matthew 12:36
Our record is also being written in our own hearts. What we think, say, and do become a part of us. All is being registered indelibly in our character. Every thought, word, and deed makes us better or worse. You are what you are — because of what you have been thinking, saying, and doing. Each one is a child of his own doings.
"Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity!" 1 Timothy 4:12
The book of our life is not the making of our own character and destiny only — but it is also helping to make that of another. It is a serious thing to live!
There is a wondrous power in personal influence. Your life is helping to mold some other life — and often the one that is dearest to you. What we are — goes to help make another what they are. What we are — engraves itself upon the life of our friend or family. The conduct of the parents — is being written in the lives of the children!
We are either contributing to the world's good — or bad. A bad man is a dangerous man — for he influences others.
We have no right to live as we please. Our children, our friend, our neighbor — has a right to demand a good life of us — for their own sake.
The child has a right to say, "Father, for my sake I demand you to live a pure life." It is a wicked thing to start a child wrong in life — by our unholy conduct!
It is not an easy thing to heal the wound which our wrong conduct has made in the life of another. We may, by repentance and begging forgiveness, heal the wound — but it will be hard to remove the scar!
By God's grace — you can make your future record clean and pure. Will you do it? "And you yourself must be an example to them — by doing good works of every kind." Titus 2:7
The Cup of Cold Water
"And if you give even a cup of cold water to one of the least of My followers — you will surely be rewarded!" Matthew 10:42
Nothing is too small to do — out of pure fervent love for Christ. Love is keen-eyed and will find many little things to do for Jesus, in the busiest days of life.
The least act done in love — will be rewarded. Even saints, many of them, do not realize this fact as they should. They do not stop to think that their acts, one by one, day after day — are making an eternal destiny for them. Every act goes toward building that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
Dear saint, you are going to inhabit forever — the home you are building out of the little acts of everyday life. The more love we put into the small deed — the greater will be the reward.
We must be sure, however, not to do these deeds for reward's sake — but for love's sake. Little sacrifices of love for Christ's sake — makes the act beautiful in His sight. Doing things for humanity's sake is commendable — but doing them for Christ's sake is infinitely more so!
"I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in My name because you belong to Christ — will certainly not lose his reward!" Mark 9:41
Many of us need greater love for Christ; love that will move us to please the Lord in all that we think and say and do throughout the whole of the day; love that will cause us to eat and drink to His glory.
The Value of Truth
"Buy the truth, and do not sell it!" Proverbs 23:23
It costs something to gain possession of truth — but it is well worth all it costs. Truth is the most valuable treasure of which man can gain possession.
What is truth? It is the way to true happiness — the way to Christ and Heaven.
What does it cost? It costs all that a man has. It costs him the world, all earthly possessions, earthly ties, and his own life. When truth is gained — it brings to us, all that was given for it. It gives a new world; it gives earthly ties, purified and made dearer; it gives earthly possessions sanctified; and life now and forever.
"Do not sell it!" Truth is a precious treasure, and where treasures are — thieves will come. These thieves will come in their most deceptive and cunning disguises. They will come as an angel of light. They will come as if sent from Heaven. Many a man has bartered truth away for a trifle! For a bit of worldliness, for some fleshly gratification — truth has been lost in a few moments of time. It has often been sacrificed for the wedge of gold!
He lives holiest — who can say, "My Father!" with the deepest heart realization. It is impossible to live wholly free from care, anxiety, fret, trouble, and fear — without a conception of God's Fatherhood, and soul- consciousness that He is your Father.
Unless the Spirit is lisping in your heart, "Abba Father!" you will not live as a child of God should. Listen now. You cannot feel in your heart the great, loving, fatherly care of God — and have Him real as life to your soul — without deep and holy contemplation of Him.
This brings us to where we have been before. We tell you with the strongest emphasis, that without meditation — feeding on Christ and assimilating His power and life and love — you will fail again and again to live as your heart tells you that you should. You have tried to be more patient in your home — but you have failed again and again. You have tried to not speak so idly. Cease your trying — and go to meditating on the loving fatherhood of God — feed on His life, His love, His joy, assimilate His grace — and before you are aware, the impatient speech, the idle word has taken wing and flown away. The peace of God will keep your heart. It is not so much by trying — as by feeding.
"Owe no man anything — but to love one another." Romans 13:8
These words are simple, plain, and understandable. Why try to make them mean anything more or less than what they plainly say? These words do not forbid borrowing. Jesus encouraged borrowing. You do not owe a borrowed thing — until the date agreed upon for its return. Return it, if it be a penny, a book, or $1,000 — on or before the date agreed upon for its return. If you do not, you transgress God's Word.
One says, "I am unable to pay!" If the man borrowed from, will willingly extend the time — then you do not owe it until the date of the new agreement. If the man wants it now — you are to pay it. Your being unable — does not pay the bill. He is as unable to do without — as you are to unable pay it. It is not holy living.
Far better to do without — than to borrow and not be able to return. Thousands have mis-stepped, because they were not willing to do without. They were reaching out for a little more of some earthly trifle. Better be satisfied with the little cabin clear of debt — than a fine home under mortgage. It is more Christlike. It will be better for your soul. Oh, the souls that have been dwarfed — because the man was not contented with the scarcity of earthly things.
The Smile of God
"Who will show us any good?" Psalm 4:6
The world is asking this question of the saint. The saint finds the answer in the words of the remainder of the text. "Lord lift up the light of your countenance upon us!"
The smile of God is the chief good. Nothing in all this world is good — unless it has God's smile upon it. Let that alone, dear soul — upon which God will not smile. It is Heaven upon earth to stand continually in the smile of God. That is the essential good. Pluck no rose which does not have the radiance of light from the countenance of God upon it. It will prick you if you do! Nothing will take God's place in man's life.
Men have tried to manufacture artificial sunlight — but they have not yet succeeded in inventing something that will melt the snows of winter, paint the flowers with beautiful colors, mantle the fields with coverings of green, and infuse life through all nature. It is only God who can bring light, peace, and health to the soul. The pleasures and riches of the world will never do it. You may perhaps gain the applause of the world, its riches, and its pleasures — but let me stand in the light of God's countenance! God's smile will bring a bright spot into life's darkest hours!
The Troubled Heart
"Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in me." John 14:1
Faith is the remedy for heart trouble. "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27
By faith, the heart lives up in the mountain region — above the fear and trouble line. When faith is strong and feeds freely upon Christ — then the heart is full of life and vivacity. When faith is weak — the heart languishes for lack of nourishment. Faith that works by love to God — will wing the soul up beyond the reach of trouble, ever joyful in the Lord.
If you are having fears, troubles, anxieties, worries, and frettings — you need to mount up into a clearer and healthier atmosphere! Your faith is too slothful and languid! The heart desires are not good and strong. The breathing after Christ is not deep and full enough. The soul does not lean its full weight on Christ — that His strength may sustain it. There is not sufficient pressure of the heart, upon Christ.
Real, true heart-faith is no lazy something. It is ever up and ardent. True faith works — and it works with greatest diligence. Beware of indolence. Many times effort is required. As the new-born babe receives nourishment from the mother's breast, so the soul by faith receives nourishment from the fullness of Christ.
Poor, Yet Rich
"I know your works, and your tribulation, and poverty — but you are rich!" Revelation 2:9
Faith makes rich — in the midst of poverty. "Has not God chosen the poor of this world, to be rich in faith?" James 2:5. The Christian lives by faith — and not by sight. If he lived by sight — he would see his poverty; but since he lives by faith — he sees only his riches. Those who live by sight — look out upon circumstances and are troubled. Those living by faith — look up to God and are happy.
Their riches far exceed the riches of the world. What are their riches? They are those things which lie in the fatherhood of God. There is love, comfort, consolation, care, protection, supplying of all need for soul and body; all these and more, are in the fatherhood of God and constitute the Christian's riches.
He sees these things — and lives by them. Faith makes those riches so real to the saint — that he does not feel his poverty. He feels his riches. He does not go through this world dejected and crest-fallen under the feeling of poverty — but he goes through the world feeling his riches — and proves it by his free, joyous, contented, happy life! By faith, the Christian sees everything bringing good to him, and it is impossible to discourage him. "And we know that in all things — God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose!" Romans 8:28
Faith and Sin
"Whatever is not of faith — is sin!" Romans 14:23
This is one of Paul's hard sayings. While these words were spoken with reference to the eating of foods — it contains a principle which covers the whole of the Christian life. This is an excellent direction for holy living. It means that if you engage in anything in life which cannot be done with implicit faith and confidence in God — it is sin!
In the building and furnishing of a home, the buying of any merchandise, the clothing and feeding of the body, the conversations, the recreations, amusements, entertainments, social gatherings — if there is not innocent, child-like, heart-felt faith in Christ — then you are trespassing on forbidden ground!
The will must be wholly surrendered to God. There is to be no wishing for this or that. There are to be no choosings of what we shall do, or what we shall have — nor any self-seeking, self-love, or self-desire.
"Whatever is not of faith — is sin!"
Marks of Slavery
"I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus." Galatians 6:17
Another translation reads, "I bear the marks of Jesus branded on my body."
Paul was Christ's slave. There are two theories as to what were these "marks." One is that they were the scars on his body left from the gashes made by the whippings and stonings. The other is that they were his living for Christ. We accept this latter view. Scars on the body are no certain evidence of belonging to Christ; while we as saints are to give unmistakable evidence in our life — that we are the slave of Jesus — His exclusive property. This means that we are to live solely in His interest. As we go about among men, it is to be plainly seen by all — that we belong to Christ. We are epistles of Christ — slaves of Christ. We take interest in ourselves, not for ourselves — but only as the Lord's possession. This is holy living.
When the Lord gives us something that is good for the body — which He is daily doing — we thank Him not just for our body's sake — but that we have the privilege of caring for this body, for His dear sake.
The bond that makes the saint the slave of Christ — is the bond of love. This is man's truest freedom. Christ makes us free — by making us His slave in love.
"I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus." Galatians 6:17
Another translation reads, "I bear the marks of Jesus branded on my body."
The word "marks" is from "stigmata," and means the brand which the slave bore on his body — which showed that he was the property of a certain slave owner. It was usually the initials of the owner's name, or his name in full. You read the name of the owner — on the body of the slave.
What lies in this metaphor is this, that the Christian as belonging to Christ, has the name of God written upon him. "I will write upon him the name of my God." Rev. 3:12. You can read "Christ" — in the life of a saint. The name he bears in this life is "Christ." That is his brand — his stigmata. The saint glories in bearing this stigmata. The very passion of his life — is to see that nothing obliterates this brand. He is thoroughly decided that neither the world, nor sin, nor the devil, nor the years of time — will be able to erase these marks. They must stand out clear and distinct — so that all may read. For him to live is Christ. Christ is to be seen in every word and deed. The intensity, the passion, the fixed resolution of the true saint — is to bear these marks in life and in death — so that Jesus shall be magnified in the body while living and when dying. Philippians 1:20.
Waiting on God
"My soul, wait only upon God." Psalm 62:5
There is no soul exercise so strengthening — as waiting upon God. It is what will develop wings. "Those who wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint!" Isaiah 40:31.
Waiting upon God enables the saint to live in the mountain heights. He lives in the upper realm where the sun shines. While the storm and tempest are raging below — the wings of his soul are beating the air where the sunlight gleams!
You may attempt to trouble such a one — but he is too high to be reached by man. Nothing you can do to him — will trouble him. He will love you and do you good — however much you may mistreat him. You cannot turn him aside from loyalty to God. He is up where he is in tune with the Infinite. He is up where no earthly thing intercepts the messages from Heaven to his soul.
No earthly circumstances or condition can break the harmony he has with God. He sails on an unruffled sea. Waves of glory roll around him, like a sea of light. While among men — he is above men. While in the furnace — he walks with God, and no obnoxious odor of the earthly circumstance gets on his garments. He is surrounded with a pure and heavenly atmosphere. The great secret of a holy and happy life while living in the world — is to live above it. "My soul, wait only upon God." Put the emphasis on "only."
We have come to say the parting word. Oh, Jesus, what shall it be! Will there be those who read this booklet, pronounce it good — yet will allow the trifling things of earth to hinder them from living to its teachings? After all that has been said, will they still be careless, indifferent, and live at too great a distance from God? Awake, awake; put on your strength, O saint! Put on your beautiful garments, O child of Heaven; that there is nothing dull, stupid, morose, morbid, slothful in your soul — but all be full of life and vigor from God and aflame with His glory.
We charge you in the sight of God and the Lord Jesus: allow nothing in your life that is thoughtless or indifferent toward heavenly things. Do not allow your prayers to be dull and lifeless. Call mightily on God to send an angel with a live coal from off the altar, and touch your soul — that you might flame up into the strength, holiness, and the beauty of the Lord. Pray, pray more, pray in the Spirit. Beware of listless prayers! We do not mean loud praying — but that prayer that presses the soul hard against God — and receives His imprint. Surround yourself with the presence of God — and allow nothing of the world to surprise you or woo you out of it. We commit you to God.
Do not think that the standard held up in this booklet too high. If you give as earnest attention and put forth as great an effort to live to this standard, as you do for things in the secular life — you will be successful.
Ought we need feel a deep sense of shame for taking more thought, time, and making greater effort to gain earthly things — than we do heavenly things; and then think to excuse ourselves by saying the standard is too high?
Take time, dear saint, we beseech you by the mercies of God, take time to feed your soul on heavenly food — the Lord Jesus Christ!