Quality is measured by what it will do, give, and what it will
suffer. God so loved the world that he gave—gave his
only-begotten son, gave all, withheld nothing. That is the
measure of the divine love for us—it loves to the uttermost. If
you are Christ's, every energy of your mind, every affection of
your heart, every power of your soul, every fiber of your body,
every particle of your influence, every penny of your money, is
Christ's, and all of these are to be used to bless your
fellow-men and to make the world better and happier. If we love,
we will give, we will suffer, we will sacrifice. If we would be
like God, we must live to minister, giving our life, without
reserve, to service in Christ's name.
Before the Sun Goes Down
Estrangements between friends should not be permitted continue
over night. It is a scriptural counsel, that we should not let
the sun go down upon our anger. Why? Because there may not be
another day in which to get the wound healed, and the
estrangement removed. "But it was not my fault," you say. Noble
souls, inspired by the love of Christ, must not ask whose fault
it was, that the estrangement began, nor whose place it is first
to seek restoration. If it was not your fault, you are the
better one to begin the reconciliation. It is Christ-like for
the one who is not to blame to take the first step toward the
healing of the breach. That is the way he did—and always does
with us. Do not delay too long. What time is it? Is the sun
moving toward his setting? Hasten, and before the shadows of
evening come on, be reconciled with your friend. Do not let the
stars look down on two hearts sundered by anger or
Greatness in God's Sight
The greatest men are but fractions of men. No one is endowed
with all gifts. Everyone has his own particular excellence or
ability. No two have precisely the same gifts, and no two are
called to fill precisely the same place in life. The lowliest
and the humblest in endowments, is just as important in his
place as the most brilliantly gifted. The great life in God's
sight, is not the conspicuous one—but
the life that fills the place which it was made to fill, and
does the work which it was made to do. God does not ask for great things;
he asks only simple faithfulness, the quiet doing of what
There are other forms of untruthfulness besides the direct lie.
There are those who would not speak an untrue word, who yet color their
statements so as to make them really false in the impression they
leave; or they would not speak a lie—but they will act one.
Their lives are full of small deceits, concealments, pretenses,
insincerities, dissimulations, dishonesties. You know how many
of these there are in society. Oh, be true in your inmost
soul—true in every word, act, look, tone, and feeling. Never
deceive. There are no little
white lies in
There are duties that must be done at a particular moment—or
they cannot be done at all. It is today, that the sick neighbor
needs your visit, your help; tomorrow he may be well, or others
will have ministered to him—or he may be dead. It is today that
your friend needs your sympathy, your comfort; it will not be of
any use to him tomorrow. It is today that this tempted one needs
your help in his struggle; tomorrow he may be defeated, lying in
the dust of shame. It is today you must tell the story of the
love of Christ; tomorrow it may be too late. Learn well the
meaning of Now in
all life. Tomorrow is
a fatal word; thousands of lives and countless thousands of
hopes, have been wrecked on it. Today is
the word of divine blessing.
Trusting for Tomorrow
Should the uncertainty of all human affairs sadden our lives?
No! God does not want us to bring tomorrow's possible clouds, to
shadow our todays.
He does not want us to be unhappy while the sun shines because
by-and-by it will be dark. He wants us to live in today and
enjoy its blessings and do its work well, though tomorrow may
bring calamity. How can we? Only by calm, quiet, trustful faith
in God and obedience to him at every step. Then no troublous
tomorrow can ever
bring us harm. Those who do God's will each day—God will hide
under his wings when the storm breaks.
The Beauty Within
is beautiful. Mental vigor
is beautiful. But heart purity
is the glory of all loveliness. The heart makes the life. The
inner, fashions the outer. So, above all things, be
pure-hearted. That you may be pure-hearted let Christ more and
more into your life, that he may fill all your soul, and that
his Spirit may permeate all your being. That the beauty of the
Lord may be upon you, that the winning charm of God's loveliness
may shine in your features, you must first have the beauty of
Christ within you. The transfiguration must come from within.
Only a holy, beautiful heart—can make a holy, beautiful
Answers That Wait
The day may come to us, as life's meaning deepens, when we shall
cry to Christ—and he will not seem to hear. Whenever this
experience may come, let us remember that Christ's silence is
not refusal to
bless. There may be some hindrance in ourselves,
and a work of preparation is needed in us before the blessing
can come. Instead of doubting or blaming the Master, we should
look within ourselves and ask what it is, which keeps the answer
waiting. When we are down lower in the dust of humiliation, when
our weak faith has grown stronger, when our self-will is gone,
and we are ready to take the blessing in God's way and at his
time—the silence will be broken by love's most gracious answer.
That picture of the silent temple-builders on Mount Moriah, is
the picture of all the good work of the world. The builders are
ever at work on these characters of ours—but they work silently.
From a thousand sources come the little blocks which are laid
upon the walls. The lessons we get from others, the influences
which friends exert upon us, the truths which reading puts into
our minds, the impressions which life leaves upon us, the
inspirations from the divine spirit—in all these ways, the
silent work of building goes on. It never ceases. The builders
never rest. By day and by night the character-temple is rising.
Is it all beautiful? Are the stones all clean and white?
Strongest with the Weakest
We are not all alike temptable. There are some with sweet temper
and equable disposition, whom nothing disturbs. God seems to
have sheltered them by their very nature from the power of evil.
Then there are others whose natures seem to be open on all
sides, exposed to every danger. To live truly, costs them fierce
struggles every day. These easily-tempted ones, are they to whom
Christ's sympathy and helpfulness go out in most tender
interest. He singles out the one from every circle that is most
liable to fall, and makes special intercession for that one.
Even the Johns,
with their gentle loveliness, receive less of help from the
Master, than do the fiery Peters.
Weakness of Little Faith
It is because of our lack of faith, or of our small faith, that
there is so little outcome from our ceaseless rounds of doing.
If we had the power of Christ resting upon us as we might have
it, with one-tenth of the activity, there would be ten times the
result. Only think of the possibilities of our lives, the
plainest, commonest of them—if we had all of Christ that we
might have! He is ready to do through us greater things than he
himself did. We need faith to lay ourselves in Christ's hand—as
the chisel lays itself in the hand of the sculptor. Then every
touch of ours will produce beauty in some life. Then all the
power of Christ will work through us.
The Sanctity of Consecrated Life
The soul that has had a vision of the Christ, the person in whom
Christ is already formed as the "hope of glory," and who is also
himself destined to wear the divine image—must never drag his
honor in the dust of sin, must never degrade his holy powers in
any evil service. Every time we are tempted to commit some sin,
if we would stop and think, "I am now a child of God; shall a
child of God, destined to wear Christ's image—stoop to be untrue
or dishonest or impure, or to nourish wrath or bitterness?"
Would we not turn away from the temptation? Could we sin against
God—with the consciousness of our high calling in our heart?
The Law of Amusements
Amusements are proper, both as to kind and degree—just so far as
they make us better Christians. Whenever they become hindrances
to us in our Christian living or in our progress in
sanctification, they are harmful, however innocent they may be
in themselves. How do your amusements influence your
spiritual life? They may be very pleasing to you. They may
afford great gratification. But what is their effect on you as a
Christian? In one word, are they means of grace? Or are they
making you careless for Christ, and hindering your advancement
in spirituality? We ought to be honest enough with ourselves—to
answer these questions truthfully, and then act accordingly.
The Eloquence of Living
Tongues of angels, without love to inspire their silvery
strains, are but as tinkling cymbals. Life itself
is infinitely more potent than speech. Character far
surpasses elocution as
a force in this world. The talking standard
is a false one, in the estimating of the value and power of
Christian workers. Do what you have gifts to do—but be sure of
your heart-life. Make your personal character a sublime force in
the world. Then when the accents of silvery speech shall have
died away, your influence will still remain a living power in
the hearts of men, and an unfading light in the world.
What to do with injuries
What must we do with the wrongs and injustices and injuries
inflicted upon us by others—if we are not to avenge them? How
are these wrongs to be righted—and these injuries to be healed?
Do not fear the consequences of any wrong done to you. Simply
roll the matter into God's hands and leave it there, and he will
bring all out clear as the noonday. He will not allow us to be
permanently and really injured by any enmity. Our duty, then, is
to bear meekly and patiently the suffering which others may
cause us to endure; to bathe with love the hand which smites; to
forgive those who injure us; and to commit all the injustices
and inequities of our lives and all wrongs—into the hand of the
just and righteous God. The oyster's wounds become pearls;
and God can bring pearls
of spiritual beauty out
of the hurts made by human hands in our lives.
True religion is not believing alone; it is getting the virtues
and graces out of the pages of Scripture where we find them—and
into our own lives. Meekness as a beatitude is
very beautiful. Meekness in Moses we admire greatly. But how
much of it are we getting out of beatitude and biography into
our experience? In our daily fellowship with men—do we hold our
hearts quiet and still under all harshness, rudeness, criticism,
injustice? There are countless little irritations and
provocations which make friction every day. How do we endure
them? Do they polish and refine our natures? These are the
lessons of meekness.
Silence which is Golden
It is easy for one to poison a person's mind concerning another.
There is measureless ruin wrought in this world by the
slanderer. Characters are blackened, friendships are
destroyed, jealousies are aroused, homes are torn up, hearts are
broken. Let us never take up an evil report—and give it wing on
breath of ours. Let us never whisper an evil thing of another.
We know not where it may end, to what it may grow, what ruin it
may work. Words once spoken, can never be gotten back again. We
had better learn to keep the door of our lips locked and never
say evil of any one. This is a silence we shall never regret.
Silence that is Golden
Is there a grief in your heart, which grows into a sore pain? Is
there a shadow of a coming sorrow, that you see drooping down
over you? Remember it is the shadow
of God's wing, and therefore it is a safe shadow. Creep
closer under it, closer yet. Earth has nothing human so gentle
as true mother-love; but God's wing that folds down over you, is
gentler than even mother-love; and you can never get out from
beneath it. It holds you close to the gentle heart of the divine
Father. You need never be afraid while resting there. In all the
universe, there is no harm which can come near you. From your
eternal shelter you can look out with confidence, as from a
window of heaven, on the fury of earth's storms, and be at
peace. The wildest of them cannot touch you in your pavilion!
The Beauty of True Religion
While Christian life is firm and unflinching in its integrity
and uprightness, it is yet beautiful in its amiability and
gentleness. The immutable principles of uprightness, like
mountain crags, are wreathed over with the tender vines and
covered with the sweet flowers of grace and love. True religion
is never meant to dry up the life and make it cold, hard, and
dead. It is meant to bring out ever-new beauties, to clothe the
soul in garments of loveliness. It insists on the development of
every power of body, mind, and soul to the farthest possibility.
It presents the strongest motives. It points to the finest
examples. Its ideal includes not only "whatever things are true,
whatever things are just,"
but also "whatever things are lovely."
They are highest in the ranks of men who serve—who live for
others, whose lives are given out in loving, unselfish ministry;
and they rank highest of all—who serve the most deeply and
unselfishly. It is only in serving that
we begin to be like the angels, and like God himself. It is when
the worker for Christ utterly forgets himself, sacrifices
himself in the fire of his love for Christ—that his labor for
souls yields the richest and best results. When we care only
that Christ may be magnified, whether by honor or dishonor, by
life or death, in us—then will he honor us by using us to win
souls for his kingdom.
Saying "Yes" to Christ
To believe on Christ as a disciple, is to say "Yes" to him
always, with the whole heart, with the whole being. It is giving
up the sins that grieve him. It is cutting loose from whatever
displeases him. It is renouncing every other master, and taking
orders from him only. It is going with him, following him
wherever he leads—without question, without condition, without
reserve, not counting the cost. It is saying "Yes" to Christ
whatever he may ask us to do, or to give up, or to sacrifice, or
to suffer. That was the way his first disciples followed him.
That is the way his disciples must follow him now. Absolute
obedience to him is the condition of following.
Unto the End
The most wonderful thing in the universe, is our Savior's love
for his own people. Christ bears with all our infirmities. He
never tires of our inconsistencies and unfaithfulnesses. He goes
on forever forgiving and forgetting. He follows us when we go
astray. He does not forget us—when we forget him. Through all
our stumbling and sinning, through all our provocation and
disobedience, through all our waywardnesses and stubbornnesses,
through all our doubting and unfaithfulness, he clings to us
still, and never lets us go. Having loved his own, he loves unto
In the divine providence, nothing comes a moment too soon or too
late—but everything comes in its own true time. God's
clock is never too slow. Every
link of the chain of God's providence fits into its own place.
We do not see the providence at the time. Not until afterward,
will you see that your disappointments, hardships, trials, and
the wrongs inflicted on you by others, are parts of God's good
providence toward you, full of blessing. Not until afterward
will you see it—but the "afterward" is sure, if you firmly and
faithfully follow Christ and cleave to him. The "afterward" of
every disappointment or sorrow is blessing and good. We need
only to learn to wait in patience.
Victory by Yielding
Jacob got the victory and the blessing, not by wrestling—but
His limb was out of joint, and he could struggle no longer—but
he would not let go. Unable to wrestle, he wound his arms around
the neck of his mysterious antagonist, and hung all his helpless
weight upon him, until at last he conquered. We will not get
victory in prayer until we too cease our struggling, give up our
own will and throw our arms about our Father's neck in clinging
faith. What can puny human strength take by force, out of the
hand of omnipotence? Can we wrest blessings by force from God?
It is never the violence of willfulness which prevails with God.
It is the might of clinging
faith which gets
the blessings and the victories. It is not when we press and
urge our own will—but when humility and trust unite in saying,
"Not my will—but yours be done." We are strong with God only in
the degree that SELF is conquered and is dead. Not by
wrestling—but by clinging, can we get the blessing.
The Lessons of Peace
Where Christ places us—we are to remain; where he sends us—we
are to go. In the heat of life's conflicts, set upon on every
hand by a multitude of things which tend to distract our
peace—we are to maintain an unruffled calm, and
all the tenderness and simplicity of
the heart of a little child. That is the problem of life and of
living which Christ sets for us, and which he will help us to
solve, if we accept him as our teacher. As the tender grass and
even sweet flowers live and grow all through the winter under
the deep snows, and come forth in the spring-time in beauty—so
our hearts may remain loving, tender, and joyous through life's
sorest winter under the snows of trial and sorrow.
Someone asked an old minister, "What is repentance?" "The first
turn to the right," was his answer. If you want to grow into
Christ-likeness, rising at length into radiant purity and
holiness, you must begin with the first simple duty that comes
to your hand. Resist the first temptation. Do the first right
thing which offers. Paint on your soul the first vision of
divine loveliness you see. You cannot reach holiness at a bound;
you must conquer your way up, step by step.
"Heaven is not reached by a single bound,
But we build the ladder by which we rise,
From the lowly earth to the vaulted skies,
And we mount to its summit round by round"
Always our Best
All Christ wants from any of us—is what we have ability to do.
He asks no impossibilities. He accepts our humblest, poorest
gifts or services—if they are indeed our best—and if true love
to him consecrates and sanctifies them. We need to concern
ourselves only about two things—that we always do our best, and
that we do what we do, through love for Christ. If we are
faithful up to the measure of our ability and opportunity, and
if love sanctifies what we do—we are sure of our Lord's
approval. But we should never offer less than the best that we
can do; to do so is to be disloyal to our Lord and disloyal to
our own soul.
Thinks No Evil
Love thinks no evil. It does not suspect unkindness, in kindly
deeds. It does not imagine an enemy, in every friend. It does
not fear insincerity in sincere professions of esteem. It does
not impugn men's motives, nor discount their acts. On the other
hand, it overlooks foibles,
and hides the multitude
of faults which
belong to every human being, even those who are the holiest and
the best. It tries to think of others, always at their best, not
at their worst. It looks, too, at the possibilities which are in
men—what they may become through divine love and grace—and not
merely at what they now are. It is wonderful how seeing
through love's eyes changes
the whole face of earthly life, transfiguring it. If the heart
is filled with suspicion, distrust, and doubt of others—the
world grows very ugly. But love sees brightness, beauty, and
Need a Revealer of Love
Whatever makes us forget ourselves and think of others—lifts us
upward. This is one reason why God permits suffering. We would
never know the best and richest of human love—if there were no
pain, no distress, no appeal of grief or of need. The best and
holiest of mother-love would
never be brought out—if the child never suffered. The same is
true of God's love. God would have loved his children unfallen,
just as much as he loves them fallen—but the world would never
have known so much of God's love—had not man fallen. Our sore
need called out—all that was richest, holiest, and divinest in
our Father's heart. If no night came, we would never know that
there are stars. Darkness is a revealer.
Whatever your duty is, you cannot be faithful to God—unless you
do your work as well as you can. To slur it is to do God's work
badly. To neglect it is to rob God. The universe is not quite
complete without your little work, well
done. "Be faithful" is the word which rings from heaven in
every ear, in every smallest piece of work we are doing.
"Faithful" as a measure of requirement, is not a pillow for
indolence. It is not a letting down of obligation to a low
standard, to make life easy. Faithfulness is a lofty standard.
It means always giving your very best. Anything less is
unfaithfulness. Thus the universe suffers, for the smallest duty
not done or badly done, leaves a lack or a blemish on the whole
Blessed to be a blessing
God blesses you—that you may be a blessing to others. Then he
blesses you also a second time, in being a blessing to others.
It is the talent which is used,
which multiplies. Receiving, unless one gives in return, makes
one full and proud and selfish. Give out the best of your life
in the Master's name for the good of others. Lend a hand to
everyone who in need. Be ready to serve at
any cost, those who require your service. Seek to be a blessing
to everyone who comes for but a moment under your influence.
This is to be angel-like. It is to be Godlike. It is to be
Christlike. We are in this world to be useful. God wants to pass
his gifts and blessings through us, to others. When we fail as
his messengers, we fail of our mission.