“Every earthly blessing has come to us because of the infinite price that has been paid in our behalf. If it has cost so great a price to redeem man, so that he should not perish, but have everlasting life, how we should rejoice that we are privileged to become co-workers with Christ.”
“The psalmist says, ‘The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.’ Heavenly intelligences are close by the side of every one who is seeking to open the word of God . . . or to those who are really desirous of becoming acquainted with the will of God. . . . Any trifling, jesting, or joking over the word of God is dishonoring to him, and leaves an influence that is anything but good upon the mind. But if we desire to enlarge a man’s mind, let us turn his attention to the Scriptures. In the Bible, we behold Him who is the way, the truth, and the life. Through understanding the word of God, efficiency is obtained for both the practical and the religious life. . . .
“The word of Christ is the bread of life that is furnished for every soul that liveth. To refuse to eat this bread is death. He that neglects to partake of the word of God shall not see life. Receiving the word is believing the word, and this is eating Christ’s flesh, drinking his blood. To dwell and abide in Christ, is to dwell and abide in his word; it is to bring heart and character into conformity to his commands. In the parable of the vine and the branches, Jesus shows the vital connection that must exist between himself and his followers. He says: ‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing.’
“The branches represent the believers in Jesus Christ. Those who truly believe, will do the same works that he did. They are united to Christ by the faith that works by love and purifies the soul. As the branch is nourished by the sap which flows from the parent stock, so the believer in Christ is sustained by the life of Christ. The branches represent the very youngest of the followers of Christ, as the branch includes all the tiny tendrils that belong to it. Jesus is our center. He is the parent stock that bears the branches. In him our eternal life is centered. The words that he has spoken unto us are spirit and life, and those who feed upon his word, and are doers of his word, represent him in character. His patience, meekness, humility, and love pervade their hearts. Jesus said, ‘Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.’ If we are indeed grafted into the True Vine, we shall bear fruit similar to that of the parent stock. . . .
“Every earthly blessing has come to us because of the infinite price that has been paid in our behalf. If it has cost so great a price to redeem man, so that he should not perish, but have everlasting life, how we should rejoice that we are privileged to become co-workers with Christ in saving those for whom he has given his precious life! The Lord Jesus loves those for whom he has made the greatest sacrifice. He gave his own most precious life to bring life and immortality to light to all those who should believe. ‘This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.’ Those who receive Christ are in co-partnership with him, and will not mistake their life work. They will heed the words spoken by Christ. They will be guided by the Holy Spirit, and become more and more intelligent in regard to the requirements of God, and will reveal the love and grace that were revealed in the life of Christ toward those with whom he came in contact.”1
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“In the estimation of the rabbis it was the sum of religion to be always in a bustle of activity. They depended upon some outward performance to show their superior piety. Thus they separated their souls from God, and built themselves up in self-sufficiency. The same dangers still exist. . . . While we are to labor earnestly for the salvation of the lost, we must also take time for meditation, for prayer, and for the study of the word of God. Only the work accomplished with much prayer, and sanctified by the merit of Christ, will in the end prove to have been efficient for good.
“No other life was ever so crowded with labor and responsibility as was that of Jesus; yet how often He was found in prayer! How constant was His communion with God! Again and again in the history of His earthly life are found records such as these: ‘Rising up a great while before day, He went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.’ ‘Great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities. And He withdrew Himself into the wilderness, and prayed.’ ‘And it came to pass in those days, that He went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.’ Mark 1:35; Luke 5:15, 16; 6:12.
“In a life wholly devoted to the good of others, the Saviour found it necessary to withdraw from the thoroughfares of travel and from the throng that followed Him day after day. He must turn aside from a life of ceaseless activity and contact with human needs, to seek retirement and unbroken communion with His Father. As one with us, a sharer in our needs and weaknesses, He was wholly dependent upon God, and in the secret place of prayer He sought divine strength, that He might go forth braced for duty and trial. In a world of sin Jesus endured struggles and torture of soul. In communion with God He could unburden the sorrows that were crushing Him. Here He found comfort and joy.
“In Christ the cry of humanity reached the Father of infinite pity. As a man He supplicated the throne of God till His humanity was charged with a heavenly current that should connect humanity with divinity. Through continual communion He received life from God, that He might impart life to the world. His experience is to be ours.
“ ‘Come ye yourselves apart,’ He bids us. If we would give heed to His word, we should be stronger and more useful. The disciples sought Jesus, and told Him all things; and He encouraged and instructed them. If today we would take time to go to Jesus and tell Him our needs, we should not be disappointed; He would be at our right hand to help us. We need more simplicity, more trust and confidence in our Saviour. He whose name is called ‘The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace;’ He of whom it is written, ‘The government shall be upon His shoulder,’ is the Wonderful Counselor. We are invited to ask wisdom of Him. He ‘giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not.’ Isaiah 9:6; James 1:5.
“In all who are under the training of God is to be revealed a life that is not in harmony with the world, its customs, or its practices; and everyone needs to have a personal experience in obtaining a knowledge of the will of God. We must individually hear Him speaking to the heart. When every other voice is hushed, and in quietness we wait before Him, the silence of the soul makes more distinct the voice of God. He bids us, ‘Be still, and know that I am God.’ Psalm 46:10. Here alone can true rest be found. And this is the effectual preparation for all who labor for God. Amid the hurrying throng, and the strain of life’s intense activities, the soul that is thus refreshed will be surrounded with an atmosphere of light and peace. The life will breathe out fragrance, and will reveal a divine power that will reach men’s hearts.”2