Christ and His Righteousness
“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6.
All through this sermon on the mount is a line of advancement for Christian experience. The angels of darkness are to stand back, that the soul purchased by the infinite sacrifice of Christ may attain unto perfection of character. If the soul is not drawn to Christ, it is because the will is not on the side of God’s will, but on the side of the enemy. If man will but co-operate with God, God will work in him to will and to do of his good pleasure, and man will work out his own salvation with fear and trembling. The reason you do not realize the help of the Lord to a far greater degree, is that you are so self-centred; your will is not on the side of God’s will. The Lord would have you make it manifest that you are blessed, in your manners, in your dress, in your spirit. He would have you show that the line of demarkation between the world and the followers of Christ is a distinct line, so decided that the difference between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not, is always discernible. If the people of the world do not see that you are different from those that are around them, they will not be influenced by your profession of religion; for you will not be a savor of Christ, and you will win no soul to the service of God. But there will be no one in heaven with a starless crown. If you are saved, there will be some soul in the courts of glory that has found an entrance there through your instrumentality. Then why not entreat the Lord to put upon you his Spirit, that you may be able to awaken an interest in the truth in the minds of those around you? Think of your neighbors and friends and relatives who are out of Christ. How much do you care for their souls? You should be so filled with love for the lost that you cannot forbear working for their salvation. What you need is Jesus. He says, “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” If the rich blessing of Jesus is in your hearts, you will be able to refresh others.
How many have their names upon the church books, who know not what it means to have Christ abide in their hearts by faith. There are many who make a profession of Christianity who will have to be born again, or they cannot see the kingdom of heaven. They will have to become partakers of His love and grace before they can present to others the great salvation that has been provided for those who are dead in trespasses and sins. But the promise is given to all who feel their need, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.” God has promised the fulness of salvation; and yet while the world is full of those who are hungering and thirsting after the pleasures, the fashions, the applause, of the world, or that they may have their own way, how few are hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and directing their desires along the channel where the fulness of heaven shall be given. Why not determine that you will place your will on the side of God’s will, that you may become a laborer together with him? Jesus says, “Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto me.” Then is there any excuse for our weakness, for our coldness, for our lethargy? There are many who seem to think that when they have acknowledged that they are full of weakness, they have put a plaster over their sins. But we are not to talk of our inefficiency, but to find in Christ a full salvation. He says. “Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out.”
God takes men as they are, with the human element in their character, and trains them for his service if they will be disciplined and learn of him. As the heart becomes transformed by divine grace, an external change is seen in true kindness, sympathy, and courteousness. The more we look to Jesus, and become acquainted with his character, the more nearly shall we conform to his image, and the more anxious we shall be to labor diligently and perseveringly to save the souls of all who will listen to the invitation of the Spirit of God.
When our weakness becomes strength in Christ, we shall not be craving for amusement. Then holidays, that are considered so indispensable, will not be used simply for the gratification of self; but they will be turned into occasions in which you can bless and enlighten souls. When weary, Jesus sought for a place of rest in the desert; but the people had had a taste of the heavenly manna, and they came out to him in large companies. In all their human woe and suffering and distress, they sought his retreat, and there was no rest for the Son of God. His heart was moved with compassion; for they were as sheep without a shepherd, and his great heart of love was touched with the feeling of their infirmities, and he taught them concerning the kingdom of heaven. Jesus was never cold and unapproachable.
Our compassionate Saviour is not less mindful of his people now. He is more willing to give his Holy Spirit as a guide and instructor to them that ask him, than earthly parents are to give good gifts to their children. Do not be afraid to trust God; rely upon his sure promise, “Ask, and it shall be given you.” Jesus has presented to us truth full of spiritual light and vitality. But has this truth been brought into the inner sanctuary of the soul? Does Christ abide in your hearts by faith? If Christ is in you, you will make him manifest to others. We must have more of Jesus, and less, far less, of self. The aspiration of our hearts should be, “As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.” Jesus must abide in the heart; and where he is, the carnal desires will be subdued, and kept in subjection by the operation of the Spirit of God. “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
From Bible Echo, June 15, 1892
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