Today’s Evening Thought
But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. Galatians 6:4
“OH that I were quite sure that I was more than a mere professor!” But why be in doubt? Never was so momentous a matter more easily and speedily settled. “He that believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself.” Thus from yourself you need not travel in order to ascertain your true spiritual condition. No one can be a substitute in this great matter for yourself: It is a thing which has too close and personal a relation to you as an individual, to admit of a transfer of its obligations to another. You must feel for yourself—you must experience for yourself—and you must decide for yourself alone. Thus may you come to a right and safe decision in a question involving interests as solemn and as deathless as eternity. Seek the inward witness of the Spirit. Witnessing to what? that your heart has been convinced of sin—that you have renounced your own righteousness—that you have fled to the Lord Jesus Christ—and that your soul is breathing after personal holiness. Do not, I beseech you, rest short of this. Do not be concerned about others; let your first and chief concern be about yourself.
Give all diligence in the use of the means of grace, if you desire a flourishing state of soul. They are the Divinely appointed channels of conveyance from the Fountain. They are the tributary streams from the great Ocean. You cannot possibly maintain a healthy, vigorous state of the inner life without them. You cannot neglect with impunity private prayer, meditation, and self examination—or public ordinances—the ministry of the word, the services of the sanctuary, the assemblies of the saints. A slight thrown upon these must entail a severe loss to your soul. It is in the way of diligent, prayerful waiting upon the means, that the Christian “goes from strength to strength, until he appears before God.” Search, oh search, for this living grace. No man shall wait upon the Lord in vain. “Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.” They who plough deeply the fallow ground, and in its furrows sow the precious seed, shall not lack the Holy Spirit’s descending influence, in silent dew by night, and in copious showers by day, to quicken and to fructify it. Only honor the God of grace in all the means of grace, and God will honor you by imparting to you grace through the means. “The diligent soul shall be made fat.”
Reader, examine yourself, prove your own self, and ascertain truly if you have “Christ in you the hope of glory.” Satisfy not yourself with external ceremonies, with the observance of days, of matins and vespers, and frequent communions—with alms-giving and charities. Is Christ dwelling in your heart by his Spirit? This, this is the great and momentous question which, in the near prospect of death, and of the judgment that follows death, it behooves you to decide. “He that has the Son has life, and he that has not the Son of God has not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may believe on the name of the Son of God.”