Much Fruit # 4
So too should every other power become fruitful in the Lord's Service. There is none who need be idle. There is not a gift you possess, but may in some way be utilized in Christ's cause.
We need, too, more and more careful efforts to train the young of all classes in Divine truth. One of the most appalling calamities of the last few years was the trampling down of about two hundred little children in a public building at Sunderland. But to my mind there is something far worse even than this. It is the multitudes of little children in our land, who are in danger of being trampled down beneath the hoof of a cruel unbelief which will rob them of all the hope of a happy, holy, and useful life.
In our churches and in our mission rooms, in tents and in the open air, in workshops and by the wayside, by printed messages and by the spoken word, let us carry everywhere the Master's message, and while the door stands open, do our best to save the souls of our fellow-men.
Hence will arise fruit, the fruit of gathered sheaves, that we shall be able to bring to our Lord in the day of His appearing.
"Herein is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit." But how has it been with you?
What fruit has there been in the years that have passed?
What victories over old sins and temptations?
What breathings of true prayer?
What growth in the Divine life?
What increase of faith, hope, and charity?
What gifts laid upon the Lord's altar, which have cost you some actual sacrifice?
What earnest intercessions on behalf of friends or neighbors?
What deeds of kindness and tramplings upon self-will and self-indulgence in your own home?
What acts of thoughtful benevolence done for the sick or sorrowful?
What habits of evil broken off?
What new habits of good by grace formed?
What resolutions made and fulfilled?
What souls brought back to the fold of the good Shepherd?
Then what about the future? If this present year is your last for fruit-bearing on earth - will it bring its testimony on your behalf? Shall it be the best and holiest your have ever spent, because begun and continued in lowly dependence on the great Helper?
When the book of your life is closed, never to be reopened until the great white throne is set - what will be its witness as to your profession of being a follower of Christ?
Among all the pictures in the Royal Academy of 1883 there was one home-scene that spoke most to my heart. It was called "The Last Look." A widow with her five children were gathered around an open coffin. For the last time they were looking upon the face of the one so dear to them all. No more will that sorrowing widow look on her husband's face, no more will those little ones look upon a father's countenance - until that great day when the grave shall give up its dead.
But unless Christ comes soon, the same position will be yours and mine, before many months or years have come. And when it is, when those who have dearly loved you gather around your coffin to take their last look of you - what witness will your life have left behind? Among any who have spiritual discernment, will there be a blessed certainty that you had indeed truly followed the Master? Will the remembrance of your whole course, be fragrant with a thousand evidences of the reality of your faith and love? Shall you leave behind in many a heart, a life-long witness in the truths they have heard from your lips? Will the whole spirit of your daily walk, be remembered as an unmistakable proof that your life was hid with Christ in God?
Shall you still live on ...
in the good you have done,
the souls you have evangelized,
the prayers you have offered, and
the blessings you have scattered around you?
As in the sight of that open coffin in which lies your own flame when the pulse has ceased to beat, and "Finis!" is written upon all you have ever purposed or performed - be honest with yourself, and be honest with God. Am I ...
living for self - or for God,
fruitful - or unfruitful,
a champion in the Lord's army - or a lukewarm follower,
a diligent worker - or a drone in the hive,
a little spring of living water - or a spot of barren sand?
What are you?
What will you be?
Settle the question now, and walk worthy of your Christian name.
"Lord, let me live for Christ, and to His praise,
Spend and be spent for Him through all my days;
Oh, let each power of body and of mind
Some sweet employment, in His service find.
Oh, to be given wholly unto Him
Whose life-blood flowed the guilty to redeem!
Bought with so costly, with so rich a price,
My all should be His willing sacrifice."