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10 Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold.
"Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and run with patience the race set before us."
In the race for life eternal, there are many things lawful enough in the abstract; but that viewed in relation to the object to be attained, are highly inexpedient, and to be "laid aside," as Paul advises.
It is a simple, and a safe, and a reasonable, and a wise rule, and one that will give us much cause for joy at the last, to dispense with every habit or pleasure, or occupation, or friend that hinders our progress in the narrow way. This is but another way of saying what Christ said:
"If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out. It is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into the fire of Gehenna."
It is better to make our calling and election sure at the expense of worldly friends and engagements, and advantages, than to secure all these, in this present time, and find, at last, that we have cherished them at the expense of Christ's approbation, and have to pay for them with the loss of the kingdom of God.
These considerations may fall faintly now on the heart, pre-occupied with the affairs of this life; but in the day certain to come -- as certain as the final flight of the life that is every hour passing with us now -- they will be felt with a force and a grief that will cause
"weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth."
It is better to listen to wisdom now in the day of her call. She stands at the door and knocks...The Spirit tells us to hear: and the reason is beautiful:
"Length of days is in her right hand, and in her left hand, riches and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her, and happy is every one that retaineth her."
But if we turn away from her voice, a terrible retribution awaits:
"Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded. But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof. I will also laugh at your calamity. I will mock when your fear cometh. When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me. For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the Lord."
Bro Roberts - Strangers and sojourners
18 Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness.
Seek not wealth and pleasure and power. Pray fervently for the real treaures: the treasures of character and personality and realitionship to God -- for deeper, clearer, stronger faith and vision. Pray for compassion and love and patience and zeal. Pray for knowledge and understanding and wisdom: seek them constantly in the Word. Labour for the imperishable treasures that enrich the mind and the heart, the treasures that become part of yourself forever.
External relationships and circumstances are nothing, except as they help to relate us to God and to eternity. Build your character by constant study and self-discipline. Lay up the true riches. Every spiritual thought we think, every spiritual fact we learn, every spiritual deed we do -- adds to our true wealth and inner value.
We begin life as useless, valueless, empty shells. Most end life as useless, valueless, empty shells: a once-for-all eternal opportunity frittered away in stupid folly. They only are rich who fill themselves with God's freely offered riches of spiritual instruction and transformation. Let us be rich.
Brother Growcott - Search Me O God
34 Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.
Literally, in our day, this means the determined adoption of the plan of daily reading the Bible. We easily slip out of it. The only way is to give it an iron place in the day's programme. Some think they haven't the time to spare. I am sure this is a self-deception. I am certain there is not a man upon earth, however menial his position, but who could manage 20 minutes a day for talk with God in the quiet reading of the Bible.
The circumstances may not be favourable, but they can be arranged if the enlightened determination exists. They will be coerced by wise men. All men find place for that which is imperative. Bible reading is imperative. Man cannot live by bread alone. His mental well-being now-his material well-being ultimately-demands that he take in the knowledge of God so cunningly woven into the structure of all Bible writing. A man recognising this will find place for it. If he recognise not this, he is a foolish man, however much he may know of current life's affairs.
The information we get from the Bible as to the will of God concerning us, is so "wrapped up" (as a friend well expressed it the other day) that it cannot be got at except by loving, patient, and constant intimacy. It yields not its secrets to the flippant, or the careless, or the scorner. "The wise shall understand: none of the wicked shall understand:" this is true in all directions. It requires more than mere "intelligence" to penetrate the myriad significances concealed in the Divine word.
It requires the docile disposition of true and pure reason: expressed by Jesus as the humility of a little child. Even in science that other department of the truth of God-the same qualities are essential to successful achievement. Jesus says: "If any man will do His will-(that is, desires truly and intends to do his will), he shall know of the doctrine." This is the first condition of successful accomplishment in the things of the Spirit. Those who "stumble at the word" are the "disobedient," according to Peter's definition.
Now, in all parts of the Bible at the last, when we are in the right attitude, we get access to the mind of God as to "what manner of people we ought to be...