There is a Negro "spiritual" that is sung very beautifully by that fine Christian Negro radio chorus, "Wings Over Jordan," on Sunday morning, and a line that is repeated in it over and over again is this: "I mus' keep a'movering along." Truly this is God's "must" for all His children. The challenging invitation and command of His Word is, "Let us go on unto perfection."—Sunday School Times.
Rowland Hill once visited a home and saw a child riding a rocking-horse. After watching the little boy for some time, he wittily remarked, "He reminds me of some Christians. There is plenty of motion but no progress."—Gospel Herald.
It is astonishing how many people there are in the churches who have to be nursed. Instead of being spiritually strong men and women, they are mere babes and have to be cared for. Through their infirmity the church, instead of being a workshop, becomes a nursery—a hospital. Paul said, "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I thought as a child, I understood as a child; but when I became a man I put away childish things." But many who profess to be matured believers are still playing with spiritual doll-rags.
Spiritual babes, instead of doing work, make work for others. The difference between a child and a man is that the man works and the child makes work for others. Most churches of today are full of babies. They do not help; they hinder. Many have not learned to walk, but they have learned to talk. Some of these church 'rabies are a whining set, and the church finds itself under constraint of running a nursery for many of them. The preacher must spend much of his time cradle-rocking to keep them from whining.
Some of these babies are thirty, forty and fifty years old. Did you ever see a gray-headed baby? I have. Many of them. They never get out of spiritual babyhood. They have never cut their teeth. Permanently dwarfed in spiritual infancy! What a pity! Instead of eating meat, they must in mid-life and beyond be nursed from the bottle.
The reason why so many are not strong men and women in Christ Jesus is because they do not eat the proper food. We are to grow in grace and in knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. We cannot grow in grace by feasting on sinful pleasures. We must have God's Word. Many are drinking milk who ought to be eating meat.
It is no disgrace to be a baby. But we must not remain babies. Religion is a growing in holiness; a development into the image of Christ Jesus. Therefore, I say, "Quit you like men, be strong."—E. H. Henderson, in Western Recorder.
Every member of a family was puzzled over the mystery of a fern that would not grow. Sulking, seemingly, the plant refused to put out new stems. That there might be no injury from transplanting, it had been taken up carefully, and sheltered until it should have been well rooted. Everything in the way of plant food had been provided, but there it stood, no larger than when brought to the house, an awkward, ugly thing, in a mockingly large flowerpot. Then arrived a guest who was a horticulturist. He forced a wire down into the earth about the fern's roots, and diagnosed the trouble at once. The plant had been set in stiff clay, and this had become packed hard. Reset in loose soil, the fern grew luxuriously. Even the flower of God's own planting cannot find root in a heart chocked by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life.—Methodist Times.
We are building every day,
In a good or evil way,
And the structure as it grows,
Will our inmost self disclose.
Till in every arch and line,
All our faults and failings shine;
It may grow a castle grand,
Or a wreck upon the sand.
Do you ask what building this,
That can show both pain and bliss,
That can be both dark and fair?
Lo! its name is character.
Build it well whate'er you do,
Build it straight and strong and
Build it clean and high and broad,
Build it for the eye of God.—Selected.
I was once urging upon a company of Christians the duty and privilege of an immediate and definite step into the "land of promise," when a lady of great intelligence interrupted me with what she evidently felt to be complete rebuttal of all I had been saying, by exclaiming, "Ah! but, Mrs. Smith, I believe in growing in grace." "How long have you been growing?" I asked. "About twenty-five years," was her answer. "And how much more unworldly and devoted to the Lord are you now than when your Christian life began?" I continued. "Alas!" was her reply. "I fear I am not nearly so much so." With this answer, her eyes were opened to see that, at all events, her way of growing, had not been successful, but quite the reverse. The trouble with her was simply this: she was trying to grow into grace, instead of in it.—Sunday School Times.
Ten thousand saints are ready to testify that their periods of most rapid and unmistakable spiritual growth have been their periods of trouble. The winter accomplishes more than the summer for the soul's development and advance. The valley of weeping is a well of living waters, and the barren heights a dewy and pleasant field. And grace prepares trial — the grace of our Saviour, our Leader, our Lover. He has been in the cold and frost before us, and He will take care that our winter is not nearly so keen as His. His made His heart bleed; it slew Him outright; ours, through His wise and tender tuition, will instruct us, brace us, ripen us into His own likeness.—Alexander Smellie.
There is progress in a Christian's life when he may not seem to be going ahead—like a canal boat in a lock, when it stands still but is rising all the time.—D. L. Moody, in Windows.