The Importance of Daily Living

Continuing daily....Acts 2:46


I am often surprised that Christians who have listened for years (apparently with interest and attention) to the ministry of the Word know so little of divine things. They seem to enjoy the ministry, their faces are bright in the meetings, and yet when you come to talk to them you find that very little of it has got into their souls. I believe the secret is that they listen to what is said, but value it so little that they do not take the trouble of going to the Scriptures to verify it for themselves. Ministry has its own blessed and important place, but I do not believe any ministry will be of permanent profit to our souls if it is not followed by searching of the Scriptures. They received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily (Acts 17:11).


Are we on the alert to improve our acquaintance with Christ? The great defect of modern Christianity is that there is so little affection for Christ. Many hear what is called a clear gospel, and trusting the Person and work of Christ they get the assurance of the Scriptures that they will never perish, and this seems to satisfy them and they settle down upon it and go to sleep. There is not the earnest longing after Himself, the watching daily at His gates. Did it ever occur to you that Christ values your affections? You belong to Him; you are the object of His love; you are His own. Your heart is Christ’s property. Is it His dwelling place? Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors (Prov. 8:34).


Christendom is full of solemn warnings as to the tendency of our hearts to drop into a routine of religious forms. It is a very great loss to the soul to get into the habit of repeating substantially the same words in prayer every day. It is not real prayer at all. Today is not like yesterday, and tomorrow will not be like today. If you are really with God you will be sensitive to the fresh needs of every day. God delights to have our confidence as to every need and care. Then let us cultivate a child’s confidence, and a child’s simplicity as we come to Him in prayer. Bring the trying circumstances of today, and the expected difficulties and perplexities of tomorrow. Be merciful unto me, O Lord; for I cry unto thee daily (Ps. 86:3).


What have you had from the Lord today? You may say that you have been reading a very good book, and part of one of the periodicals. I am glad to hear it, but did you get anything from the Lord? Again you may say that you have read one or two chapters in the Bible. I am very thankful for that, but still you might read many chapters without getting anything from the Lord to meet the present need of your soul. Food is that which satisfies a craving (a felt need) and unless we have an appetite there is not even the desire for it. The food of which I speak is the gracious supply to our souls of that which answers the exercises, and meets the need of which we become conscious in our experience day by day. I do not mean your external need, but the need of your heart and spirit, in the various experiences of your soul. May the Lord preserve us from becoming insensible to our daily need that His love delights to supply as our daily bread. Give us this day our daily bread (Matt. 6:11).


To bear the cross is to accept the reproach of being connected with that which is mean and despicable in the eyes of men. The daily cross is not bodily affection or the ordinary trials of life, as so many suppose, for these things are not peculiar to Christians, they are the common lot of mankind. The daily cross is the acceptance day by day of a path and a portion which, so far as this world goes, is one of dishonor and reproach. If we are true to Christ, it will involve the surrender of much that we naturally esteem - the praise of men, and the honors of life in this world. You may be sure that every bit of real testimony for Christ will cost you something. If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me (Lk. 9:23).


There is a constant tendency in our hearts to be discouraged because of the way. I am afraid that many souls backslide and drift away simply because we are not near enough to the Lord, and have not sufficient affection to give them a word of encouragement. You must keep your eye on that which is of God in the saints, and lay yourself out to encourage that. There is something which is of God in every saint; it may be very weak and small, but we must build on and encourage that. We must count on the work of God in the souls of His saints, and seek to help and encourage that which is of Himself in every way. Let none of us think that this is only for teachers and ministers of the Word. This applies to every one of us in our individual contact with each other. But exhort (encourage) one another daily (Heb. 3:13).