‘Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant, whom I have chosen.’ Isaiah 43:10
Suggested Further Reading: 1 John 5:1–5
Some of you have not much to spare when the rent is paid and food is bought, yet with all that, you want no man’s pity, for you are rich to all the intents of bliss. When Mr Hone, who wrote the ‘Every-day Book,’ was travelling through Wales—he was an infidel—he stopped at a cottage to ask for a drink of water, when a little girl said, ‘Oh yes, sir, I have no doubt mother will give you some milk. Come in.’ He went in and sat down. The little girl was reading her Bible. Mr Hone said, ‘Well, my little girl, are you getting your task?’ ‘No, sir, I am not,’ she replied, ‘I am reading the Bible.’ ‘Yes,’ said he, ‘you are getting your task out of the Bible?’ ‘Oh, no,’ she replied, ‘It is no task to read the Bible; I love the Bible.’ ‘And why do you love the Bible?’ said he. Her simple, childlike answer was, ‘I thought everybody loved the Bible.’ She thought full sure it was the greatest treat in all the world, and fancied that everybody else was delighted to read God’s Word. Mr Hone was so touched with the sincerity of that expression, that he read the Bible himself, and instead of being an opponent to the things of God, came to be a friend of divine truth. Let us in the same way show to the people of the world who think our religion to be slavery, that it is a delight and a joy; that it is no more a burden to us to pray than it is for the fish to swim; that it is no more bondage for us to serve God than for a bird to fly. True godliness is our natural element now that we have a new nature given us by the Spirit of God. On that matter be witnesses for God.
For meditation: Do you obey God because you feel you have to or because you really want to? The motive and spirit of our acts of obedience are important to God (2 Corinthians 9:7). Church leaders have the responsibility of fostering the right attitude (1 Peter 5:2–3).
Sermon no. 644
13 August (1865)