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- How to Live a Holy Life - 4/22 -
be called the way of holiness." The Christian dwells in a heavenly place.
The writer to the saints at Ephesus says, "He hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places." To live in a heavenly place, we must live a heavenly life. Those who do not live a heavenly life on earth will never live in heaven. The heavenly life is the only life worth living. It is the only life that ends in heaven. The way of holiness is the way of happiness. Holy and happy is the true and right life of man. This one brief life of ours should be constant holiness and happiness. Without these, life is not as it should be. It is our privilege in Christ to walk the path of life in perfect peace and joy and in perfect holiness. Such a life will flow out into an eternity of joys unspeakable.
Wait thou on God, O soul of mine! Listen to know his will; Light will come from the golden throne If thou, O soul, be still.
If thou wouldst sail on tranquil sea, Wait thou on God, my soul. Speak, act, and think alone in him; Sweet rest shall be thy goal.
If thou wouldst have life's way to be Verdant as the growing sod, Take each step 'neath the guiding eye, Keep in close touch with God.
Sweet heavenly life! sweet happy life! Thy joys increase each day. O soul of mine, press up and on This high and holy way.
KEEPING THE COMMANDMENTS.
God's Word is pure. Heaven itself and the great white throne is no more pure than the Word of God. That life may be pure, it must be in sweet harmony with the blessed Bible. A life that is lived in obedience to the Bible is as pure as the Bible. Such a life is pure enough for heaven. The writer of Revelation, being in the Spirit, saw "a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb." This pure stream was the wonderful word of life. It was as pure as its source, which was the throne of God. The life through which this pure stream flows will be as pure as the throne.
One of the Psalm-writers said, "The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times." "Thy word is pure; therefore thy servant loveth it." The writer of Proverbs says, "Every word of God is pure." When the veil is drawn aside and our souls are brought face to face with the purity of the Bible, then we understand that a Bible life is the best, purest, noblest, and holiest life that can be lived upon the earth.
O soul of mine, unveil thine eye, Look upward to thy God, A wreath of purity to see Crowning his every word.
In the following words we have the sum of all true and right living: "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: fear God and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man." Eccl. 12:13. This text as rendered in the Septuagint version brings out clearer the true signification: "Hear the end of the matter, the sum. Fear God and keep his commandments: for this is the whole man." Man is not entire, he is not complete as originally intended, when not keeping all the commands of God. Something is lacking in the life that is not in full obedience to every word of God.
The Bible speaks of a beautiful city in that bright, celestial world. It is a city of pure gold, clear as glass. Its walls are of jasper; its twelve foundations are garnished with all manner of precious stones; its twelve gates are gates of pearl; its streets are pure gold. In that fair city there is no sin, no pain, no sickness; sorrow and trouble never come there; a tear shall never fall from any eye, for no tears are there. There is no death in that wonderful city so fair. In the midst of the street stands the tree of life. Oh, who does not desire to dwell forever and forever in that city of love and light when the pains and sorrows, the trials and tears, of this weary life are over?
Listen while I read to you in accents clear, distinct, and unmistakable-- "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." Rev. 22:14. O traveler to eternity, your entrance into the beautiful, glorious city of God depends upon your conduct respecting the commandments of God while you are making the journey across the turbulent sea of life. Keeping the commandments of God is man's whole duty. If he does his whole duty through life, he will come up out of the dark valley and shadow of death, and find the gates of pearl unfolding. Who will not cleave to the commandments of God? Who will not obey his voice and walk daily in his holy ways? The obedient will be rewarded by an unfading inheritance in that eternal city of gold. There is a beautiful mansion in the great house of God for every obedient soul. Oh, how blessed!
I am thinking of heaven tonight, Of the mansion prepared there for me, Where Jesus my Savior now dwells, And where I am longing to be.
Will not heaven be well worth a life of obedience to the Word of God, though obedience calls us through storms of persecutions, furnaces of trials, oceans of tribulations, and years of toil and suffering? To Moses the reproaches of Christ were greater treasures than the riches of Egypt, "for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward." Sit quiet for a moment and by a strong eye of faith look away into heaven and see that bright mansion prepared for you. See those jasper walls, those pearly gates, and those golden walks. See the crown of life, the harp of God, and the light of the Lamb. Shall we not bear the trials of life a little longer in patience? Shall we not be watchful to walk in God's ways and obey him, that this rich inheritance may be ours forever? Methinks I can hear a reply coming from the depths of many a sincere, trusting heart-- "Yes, I will live in humble obedience to God on earth, that I may be with him forever in that celestial city of light." God bless you!
Beyond the shores of time and the kingdoms of this world is a kingdom called the kingdom of heaven. It is the place where God has his great white throne, around which the angels play upon their golden harps and shout, "Blessing and honor and glory and praise and might be unto God forever and ever." It is around this throne that those who have passed through the tribulations and the trying scenes of this lower world and burst through the gates of death are singing redemption's sweet song. Who does not desire to join that happy, heavenly throng and wave those palms and wear those white robes and sing those sweet songs over beyond the shadowy vale of death? I seem to hear many voices saying, "I hope to be among that blood-washed throng." Let me tell you in all tenderness and love, but very plainly, that the realization of your hope depends entirely upon how you live while here in this world. Oh, how much in that great and awful future is depending upon our manner of life in this time-world! Let us learn to live well, to be our best every day.
We may dream of a home in heaven; we may entertain hopes of seeing Jesus and of inheriting a mansion on the shores of eternal bliss; we may imagine ourselves walking through the blooming fields of paradise and sitting beneath the tree of life; but our dreams, our hopes, and our imaginations will never be realized unless we carefully keep the commandments of God. More than a profession is necessary; obedience is the only door into the kingdom of God. Jesus said, "Not every one that sayeth unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." Until our faith pierces through and beholds the beauties and the realities of God so we can say from the very depths of the soul, "I delight to do thy will, O God." and, "My meat and my drink is to do the will of Him that sent me," we have not fully entered the true and right pathway of life. Keeping the commands of God is the whole man and the whole of a perfect life.
"BE DOERS OF THE WORD."
I want to remind you again that the mission of this little volume is to teach you how to live. The life beyond depends on the life here. Let me emphasize what I have repeatedly said before: to live as we should, we must live by every word of God. To live by every word of God is not only to hear it but also to do it. We have learned that, in order to enter the city of God and eat of the tree of life, we must do his commandments, and also that it is not "every one that sayeth, Lord, Lord, that shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."
Now I will read you a text from the Epistle of James, "But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves." We are living in a careless age. The Word of God is being treated with neglect. Many are hearing it, but alas! how few are doing it! In this way people deceive themselves. They think they are on their way to heaven, when they are not. The only way to heaven is by doing the commandments. To illustrate this, I will refer you to a few texts. "If thine enemy hunger, feed him." Rom. 12:20. "Whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also." Matt. 5:39. "And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise." Luke 6:31. If it comes most natural for us to live according to these texts, we can begin to conclude that our hearts are right with God. However, we must have a heart that does not rebel against any text in the Bible.
We are exhorted earnestly by the apostle Peter to make our "calling and election sure." The only way to do so is to live to every word of God. Oh, my dear reader, those sweet hopes you have had of reaching heaven and of seeing Jesus and those dear loved ones who have gone before you to that other side will never be realized by you unless you be a diligent doer of the Word of God. I feel like warning you against all carelessness and neglect, and to keep yourself in the love of God. See that your heart and life reads each day as the Bible reads, and you will then have an unshaken foundation for your faith and hope. If you would know how to live and make the best of life, read the Bible much and conform your life to its teaching.
WHO ARE THE WISE?
Who is a foolish man? It is a man who hears the sayings of Jesus and fails to do them. He is likened to a man who was foolish enough to build his house upon the sand. This man would better not have built at all, for the cost of building was lost. He could have had the money for his use and
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