‘He that withholdeth corn, the people shall curse him: but blessing shall be upon the head of him that selleth it.’ Proverbs 11:26
Suggested Further Reading: 2 Kings 7:3–9
Commend me to the Christian who says, ‘I bless God I am saved; now what can I do for others?’ The first thing in the morning he prays, ‘God help me to say a word to some soul this day.’ During the day, wherever he may be, he is watching his opportunity, and will do good if he can. He is concerned about his children: it sometimes breaks his heart to think that they are not saved. If he happens to have an ungodly wife, it is his daily burden, ‘O God, save my wife!’ When he goes to a place of worship he does not expect the minister to make sermons always on purpose for him, but he says, ‘I shall sit here and pray God to bless the word,’ and if he looks round the chapel and sees one that he loves, he prays for him, ‘God send the word home to him.’ When service is over, a man of this kind will waylay the unconverted, and try to get a personal word with them, and see if he cannot discover some beginnings of grace in their souls. This is how earnest Christians live; and let me tell you, as a rule, though they have the griefs of other men’s souls to carry, they do not have much grief about their own; they are watering others and they are watered themselves also. May this be your work and mine! But some of you say nothing for Christ at all. You are too timid you say, and others of you are too indifferent, too thoughtless about others. O the opportunities many of you have lost! O the many who have died to whom you might have spoken but you did not! O the people that are now in the darkness of ignorance who get no light from you! You have light, but you keep it. They are dying, and you have the healing medicine, but you will not tell them of it. May God deliver you from the curse of those who thus withhold the corn.
For meditation: The unconverted people who know you are spiritually hungry, thirsty, estranged, naked, sick and imprisoned. What would they have to say about your attitude to them? That you help them (Matthew 25:35–36) or that you ignore them (Matthew 25:42–43)?
Sermon no. 642
30 July (1865)