‘Come and dine.’ John 21:12
Suggested Further Reading: Revelation 3:14–22
We must live by faith on the Son of God, and listen to his voice as he says, ‘Eat, O friends; drink, yea, drink abundantly, O beloved.’ If you want to be as Mr Feeblemind, I can give you the recipe. Take only a small modicum of spiritual food morning and night in your closets; neglect family prayer; never attend a prayer-meeting; on no account speak about religious matters during the week, go late to the house of God, and fall asleep when you get there; as soon as you leave the place of worship talk about the weather. Confine yourself to these rules for a few weeks, and you will very soon be reduced low enough to allow Satan to attack you with every chance of giving you a severe and dangerous fall. Doctors tell us that nowadays the classes of disease most prevalent are those which indicate a low condition of the vital forces; and I think that we are suffering in the church from the same sort of maladies. There was a time when the church had to censure her young converts because they courted persecution and invited martyrdom; now we need to stir up the church and to urge on our people to more self-sacrifice for the cause of Christ. You need never fear that anyone will kill himself with overwork; we must rather lament that there seems so little exuberance of spirit and vital force amongst Christians. None of us need to put ourselves on low diet; on the contrary, we ought to accumulate strength and urge every power to its full tension in the Master’s service. For this purpose, ‘Come and dine.’ All your strength depends upon union with Christ. Away from him you must wither as a branch severed from the vine. Feeding on him, you will be like the branch which is drinking up the sap from the parent stem.
For meditation: The Christian’s need of daily spiritual bread is Asked in a Prayer (Luke 11:3), Applied in a Parable (Luke 11:5–13) and Answered in a Person (John 6:34–35). Since Jesus is ‘the bread of life’, inadequate feeding upon him by faith is the route towards spiritual malnutrition and weakness.
Sermon no. 633
19 September (Undated Sermon)