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Consider Your Ways – J.C.Ryle. Part 11

26/10/2011

Ryle continues his exhortation as he writes, reminding us to have some thought for others as we travel to our heavenly home together…

Lastly, let us believers take more pains to edify others! It is incredible and sad to see how Scripture speaks on this matter, and then to observe the conduct of many of Christ’s people. Paul tells the Corinthians, that the members of Christ “should have the same care one for another.” He says to the Thessalonians, “Edify one another, even as also you do.” He says to the Hebrews, “Exhort one another daily, lest any be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin;” and again, “Consider one another to provoke unto love and good works; exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the day approaching.” Brethren, I fear we fall very short of the New Testament Christians in this respect. We are sadly apt to lose sight of this edifying one another when we are in the company of believing friends. Prayer, and the Word, and godly conversation are not put in the foremost place, and so we separate, being nothing the better, but rather worse. Far too often there is so much coldness, and restraint, and reserve, and backwardness, that a man might imagine we were ashamed of Christ, and that we thought it proper to hold our tongues, and not make mention of the name of the Lord.

These things ought not so to be. We profess that we are all fighting the same fight- contending with the same enemies- plagued with the same evil hearts- trusting in the same Lord- led by the same Spirit- eating the same bread- journeying towards the same home. Then why should we not show it? Why should we not be always ready to commune with each other? Why should we not try to help each other forward- to profit by each others experience- to bear each others burdens- to strengthen each others hands- to quicken each others hearts- to speak with each other, like Moses and Jethro, of the things pertaining to our King. There is a fault among us here, and one that ought to be amended.

Let us bring out the Bible more when we get together. We none of us know it all yet; our brother may have found some pearl in it which has escaped our eyes, and we perhaps may show him something in return. It is the common map by which we all journey; let us not behave as if we had each a private map to be studied in a corner, and kept to ourselves. Oh! that the Word were like a burning fire shut up in our bones, so that we could not forbear speaking of it.

Let us speak oftener about the eternal home towards which we travel. Children, before their holidays, love to talk of home- their hearts are full, they cannot help it- why should not we? Surely it ill becomes the citizens of heaven to say nothing of heaven to those with whom they expect to dwell forever. Let us aim at closer communion with all true believers. This will go far to procure Christ’s presence with us on our journey. The two disciples who went to Emmaus were talking of holy things when they were joined by the Lord.

Let us speak often one to another, and the Lord will hearken, and remember it. This too will mightily promote the growth and comfort of our souls. The fire within us needs constant stirring, as well as feeding, to keep it bright. Many can testify that they find Christian fellowship a special means of grace. As iron sharpens iron, so does the countenance of a man his friend- and the weakest too may sharpen the strongest, even as the whetstone does the scythe.

He that tries to promote holiness in others shall reap a blessed reward in his own soul- he waters others, and he shall be watered himself.

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To be continued…

From → Encouragement

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