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Consider Your Ways – J.C.Ryle. Part 10.

24/10/2011

We continue to read J.C.Ryle’s letter to believers, as he encourages us to ‘Consider Your Ways…’

Let us be more active in endeavours to do good to the world. Surely we may all do far more for unconverted souls than we have ever done yet. Many of us, alas! take things so quietly, that a man might suppose every one about us was converted, and the kingdom of Christ fully set up. I pray you let us lay aside these lazy habits. Are all our friends and relations in Christ? Are all our neighbours and acquaintances inside the ark? Have all within our reach received the truth in the love of it? Have we asked them all to come in? Have we told them all the way of salvation, and our own experience that the way is good? Have we done all that we can? Have we tried every means? Is there no one left to whom we can show Christian kindness, and offer the Gospel? Can we lift up our hands to God, as one by one, souls around us are taken away, and say, “Our eyes, O Lord, have not seen this blood, and its loss cannot in any wise be laid at our door!”

Surely, my Brethren, grace ought to be as active a principle in trying to spread godliness, as sin is in trying to spread evil. Surely, if we had a tenth part of the zeal which Satan shows to enlarge his kingdom, we should be far more full of care for other men’s souls. Where is our mercy and compassion, if we can see disease of soul about us, and not desire to make it less? Let us awake to a right understanding of our responsibility in this matter. We complain of the world being full of wickedness. It is so. But do we each do our own part in trying to make it better? Do we act upon the old saying, “The city is soon clean when every man sweeps before his own door?” Let us try more to do good to all. Let us reckon it a painful thing to go to heaven alone- let us endeavour, as far as we can, to take companions with us. Let us no longer be silent witnesses, and muffled bells. Let us warn, and beseech, and invite, and rebuke, and advise, and testify of Christ, on the right hand and on the left, according as we have opportunity, saying to men, “Come with us, and we will do you good- the light is sweet, come and walk in the light of the Lord.” Let us not suppose no good is done in this way, because our eyes do not see it- we must walk by faith, and not by sight. Let us not be weary in well doing, because we appear to labor in vain; we may rest assured we are in the hands of a good Master- in due time we shall reap if we faint not.

Activity in doing good is one receipt for being cheerful Christians- it is like exercise to the body, it keeps the soul in health. It is one great proof of love towards the Lord Jesus, and a proof that can only be given while we are alive. Now is the time for doing good to others, and not hereafter. In heaven there will be no missionary societies, no Bible societies, no visiting societies, no careless to warn, no ignorant to instruct, no sick to minister to, no mourners to comfort, no fainting saints to cheer. In heaven there will be love, joy, peace, thankfulness- but in heaven there will be no place for faith, zeal, courage, labor, patience- their occupation will be over- if ever we mean to show these graces it must be now. Oh! let us make haste, for the time is short. Let us be like Christian, in Pilgrim’s Progress, when his burden fell off at the sepulchre, his first act was to try to awaken sleeping souls.

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To be continued

From → Encouragement

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