Close Contact with the Word of God—Word and Work—The Christians Weapon—Young Converts and Bible Study—Up to Date—Every Case Met—"Great Peace"—Starving the Soul—The Guide-Book to Heaven.
A QUICKENING that will last must come through the Word of God. A man stood up in one of our meetings and said he hoped for enough out of the series of meetings to last him all his life. I told him he might as well try to eat enough breakfast at one time to last him his lifetime. That is a mistake that people are making; they are running to religious meetings and they think the meetings are going to do the work. But if these don't bring you into closer contact with the Word of God, the whole impression will be gone in three months. The more you love the Scriptures, the firmer will be your faith. There is little backsliding when people love the Scriptures. If you come into closer contact with the Word, you will gain something that will last, because the Word of God is going to endure. In the one hundred and nineteenth psalm David prayed nine times that God would quicken him—according to His word, His law, His judgment, His precepts, etc.
If I could say something that would induce Christians to have a deeper love for the Word of God, I should feel this to be the most important service that could be rendered to them. Do you ask: How can I get in love with the Bible? Well, if you will only arouse yourself to the study of it, and ask God's assistance, He will assuredly help you.
WORD AND WORK.
Word and Work make healthy Christians. If it be all Word and no work, people will suffer from what I may call religious gout. On the other hand if it be all work and no Word, it will not be long before they will fall into all kinds of sin and error; so that they will do more harm than good. But if we first study the Word and then go to work, we shall be healthy, useful Christians. I never saw a fruit-bearing Christian who was not a student of the Bible. If a man neglects his Bible, he may pray and ask God to use him in His work; but God cannot make use of Him, for there is not much for the Holy Ghost to work upon. We must have the Word itself, which is sharper than any two-edged sword.
We have a great many prayer meetings, but there is something just as important as prayer, and that is that we read our Bibles, that we have Bible study and Bible lectures and Bible classes, so that we may get hold of the Word of God. When I pray, I talk to God, but when I read the Bible, God is talking to me; and it is really more important that God should speak to me than that I should speak to Him. I believe we should know better how to pray if we knew our Bibles better. What is an army good for if they don't know how to use their weapons? What is a young man starting out in the Christian work good for if he does not know how to use his Bible? A man isn't worth much in battle if he has any doubt about his weapon, and I have never found a man who has doubts about the Bible who has amounted to much in Christian work. I have seen work after work wrecked because men lost confidence in the spirit of this Old Book.
If young converts want to be used of God, they must feed on His Word. Their experience may be^ very good and very profitable at the outset, and they may help others by telling it; but if they keep on doing nothing else but telling their experience, it will soon become stale and unprofitable, and people will weary of hearing the same thing over and over again. But when they have told how they have been converted, the next thing is to feed on the Word. We are not fountains ourselves; but the Word of God is the true fountain.
And if we feed on the Word, it will be so easy then to speak to others; and not only that, but we shall be growing in grace all the while, and others will take notice of our walk and conversation. So few grow, ' because so few study. I would advise all young converts to keep as much as they can in the company of more experienced Christians. I like to keep in the society of those who know more than I do; and I never lose a chance of getting all the good I can out of them. Study the Bible carefully and prayerfully; ask of others what this passage means and what that passage means, and when you have become practically acquainted with the great truths it contains, you will have less to fear from the world, the flesh, and the devil. You will not be disappointed in your Christian life.