“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1:21),
“And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that
please him. As he spake these words, many believed on him. Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on
him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall
make you free.” (John 8:29-32)
Do you think that you could live with Jesus Christ, and not be influenced and mastered by Him? “Oh,
sure,” you say, but are you living with Him now; there’s the point…now, are you? What place has Jesus really
in your life? Do you, for example, ever pray? And when? And how long? And how often? Or, do you ever read
the Gospels, soaking your mind in our Lord’s words and point of view, as the older generation used to do? At
the crossroads of life, have you a little memory-jogger there, where before turning left or right, you consult
Jesus Christ? Is His will the determining factor in all your plans, the thing that matters and that must be learned,
and once learned, must be followed?
I know that it used to be so. We all have moods when we are won for Him, and in youth, we had great
dreams. You also started out in life with big and valorous plans. There were to be no half-measures for you, but
you were going to follow heroically in Christ’s very footsteps. And have the pressures of peers parted you from
Him? Has the current mind-set mastered you? Do you laugh now at your old ‘deep convictions”? Ah! Don’t do
that! That is the last sign of farewell, that you, with such a beautiful determination would now blush and sneer
at what you once were―and still more, at all you might have been!
Isn’t what has gone wrong simply that the storms of life have detached you from the vine so that you are
hanging limply from it by a thread, and the sap cannot reach you in a steady flow, and so there is no fruit, and
the very leaves are yellowing, and your soul is growing dry? My child, get nearer to Christ; that is the only
remedy. Catch sight of Him again, and it will still work in your soul.
Don’t you remember Peter–poor, foolish, blundering, frightened Peter–cursing and swearing, and hotly
denying all that was dearest to him; do you remember how the crowd happened to open out somewhat, and he
saw Christ, and in an instant had come to himself? And can’t you see Him, not near to you as He used to be, but
far off now; but it is still Him? Look, man! Surely you do! Look there, before your very eyes! Don’t you go out
into the night to weep! What is the use of that? No, push your way to Him; thrust through the throng; refuse to
be intimidated by others; tell them what’s happening inside of you; they will let you pass. Go to the Lord; put
your back against the Master’s back, and cry, “Here I am―His, and I don’t care who knows it. I am ready to
live for Him, suffer for Him, die for Him, but not to lose sight of Him ever again, cost what it may.”
And it may cost! For life may thrust you into some share in His agony. Never mind; keep Christ in sight.
It may cause men to lay violent hands on you, spit in your face, and force a cross on your shoulder. Still, if
Christ takes the road to Calvary, go staggering after Him. For it is tragic to lose sight of Him. It may nail you
down to some hard fate. If He is there, and if your eyes are on His face, He will quite surely bring you through.
And you will learn to see Him clearer, to know Him better, to love Him more than you have ever done.