A Life Of Devotion To The Lord
By Isaac Chanler
Would you with purpose of heart cleave unto the Lord? Then beware of resting in mere skin-deep convictions and a partial reformation or in a mere notional head-faith. See that you give up your hearts unto God as well as your names, solemnly remembering that it is the Redeemer’s righteous claim, "My son, give Me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe My ways" (Prov. 23:26). Oh, remember that it has been the dreadful mistake of far too many to take up with a bare external reformation and profession while they remained entire strangers to an inside work of renovation by the Spirit of the living God changing their hearts.
…Let us, in a deliberate manner, lay aside the sin that most easily besets us. Let us strongly guard against the cursed sin of unbelief. Through the Spirit, let us mortify the deeds of this body of death, that we may live. Let us keep our heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life (Prov. 4:23).
…Labor to live a life of faith in, of love unto, of desire after, and of constant dependence upon God. Labor to say with the blessed Apostle, "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me" (Gal. 2:20). And let it be your frequent and fervent request, "Lord, increase this my faith which purifieth the heart and worketh by love; faith that is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence (the demonstration) of things not seen" (Heb. 11:1). Let these be the devout breathings of your soul to the Lord: "Whom have I in heaven but Thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee" (Psa. 73:25); "As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after Thee, O God" (Psa. 42:1). Let us not distrust Him at any time but confidently trust in Him at all times, cheerfully casting all our cares upon Him who cares for us. "Be careful [anxious] for nothing: but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God," remembering that it is not said in vain, "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:6-7).
Let us be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Let us be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, ever pressing forward and looking upward. When we are made to groan under our manifold imperfections even after we have done our best, let this be our solace that we have in Christ Jesus a perfect righteousness to trust in for our acceptance with and justification in the sight of God. Yea, by however much the more we are made sensible of our own short-comings, let us by so much the more prize and value this righteousness of our dear Lord. Yes, whether we are in good frame or a poor dry one, in our drawings nigh unto God, let our souls cast anchor here.
…And then, be sure to back all with a holy life and conversation, visible unto all men. As God has shined into our hearts by His grace, so let this our light shine in such a bright manner before men that they seeing our good works may glorify our Father which is in heaven. "Only let your conversation be as it becometh the Gospel of Christ…that ye stand fast in one Spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the Gospel" (Phil. 1:27). Conscientiously perform all your relative duties one towards another, in all humility, peace and love. As we have received of the Lord Jesus, we ought to walk and please God, so let us abound more and more, remembering that herein is our heavenly Father glorified, that we bring forth much fruit; so shall we manifest ourselves to be the disciples of the holy Jesus (John 15:8). Let us then make it our daily study to "walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God" (Col. 1:10). Let us not rest on our present attainments of grace but labor diligently to grow therein and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
– Taken from Salvation In Full Color edited by Richard Owen Roberts. Copyright 1994 by Richard Owen Roberts, published by International Awakening Press. Used by permission.