Inspiration – Deportment and Influence

The religion of Christ is not what many think it is, nor what their lives represent it to be. The love of God in the soul will have a direct influence upon the life, and will call the intellect and the affections into active, healthful exercise. The child of God will not rest satisfied until he is clothed with the righteousness of Christ, and sustained by His life-giving power. When he sees a weakness in his character, it is not enough to confess it again and again; he must go to work with determination and energy to overcome his defects by building up opposite traits of character. He will not shun this work because it is difficult. Untiring energy is required of the Christian; but he is not obliged to work in his own strength; divine power awaits his demand. Everyone who is sincerely striving for the victory over self, will appropriate the promise, “My grace is sufficient for thee.” 2 Corinthians 12:9. [Emphasis author’s.]

Through personal effort, joined with the prayer of faith, the soul is trained. Day by day the character grows into the likeness of Christ, and finally, instead of being the sport of circumstances, instead of indulging selfishness, and being carried away by light and trifling conversation, the man is master of his thoughts and words. It may cost a severe conflict to overcome habits which have been long indulged, but we may triumph through the grace of Christ. He invites us to learn of Him. He would have us practice self-control, and be perfect in character, working that which is well-pleasing in His sight. “By their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:20), is His own standard of judging character.

If we are true to the promptings of the Spirit of God, we shall go from grace to grace, and from glory to glory, until we have received the finishing touch of immortality. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” 1 John 3:2, 3. Can any earthly promotion confer honor equal to this—to be sons of God, children of the heavenly King, members of the royal family? Man may be ambitious of the honor that his finite fellow man may bestow; but what will it avail?

The nobility of earth are but men; they die, and return to dust; and there is no lasting satisfaction in their praise and honor. But the honor that comes from God is lasting. To be heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, is to be entitled to unsearchable riches—treasures of such value that in comparison with them the gold and silver, the gems and precious stones of earth, sink into insignificance. Through Christ we are offered joy unspeakable, an eternal weight of glory. “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 2:9, 10

We are wanting in simple faith; we need to learn the art of trusting our very best Friend. Although we see Him not, Jesus is watching over us with tender compassion; and He is touched with the feeling of our infirmities. No one in his great need ever looked to Him in faith and was disappointed. Brethren, do not express doubt; do not let your lips utter one complaining, repining word. Begin now to fix your minds more firmly upon Jesus and heavenly things, remembering that by beholding we become changed into the same image. Morning Talks, 10–12