Jul 7, 2011

daily walking, daily growing

Here is a beloved excerpt from one of the concluding chapters of a wonderful book I just finished reading, The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life by Hannah Whittal Smith. Published in 1875, it's lessons of surrender, faith, suffering, joy in obedience and union, certainly still ring true today. This chapter highlights practical ways of the life in Christ.

Now, dear friends, this is all exceedingly practical, and means, surely, a life very different from the lives of most Christians around us. It means that we do really and absolutely turn our backs on everything that is contrary to the will of God . . .
We shall no longer feel that our money is our own, but the Lord's, to be used for His service . . .
Our days will be spent not in serving ourselves, but in serving the Lord; and we shall find ourselves called upon to bear one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ . . .
Meekness and quietnes of spirit become in time the chararcteristics of a daily life. A submissive acceptance of the will of God to do or to suffer all the good pleasure of His will; sweetness under provocation; calmness in the midst of turmoil and bustle; a yielding to the wishes of others, and an insensibility to slights and affronts; absence of worry and anxiety; deliverence from care and fear, -- all these and many similar graces are invariably found to be the natural outward development of that inward life which is hid with Christ in God. 
Then as to the habits of life: we always see such Christians sooner or later laying aside thoughts of self, and becoming full of consideration for others; they dress and live in simple, healthful ways, and they renounce wordly habits, and surrendering all purely fleshly gratifications . . . 
God's glory, and the welfare of His creatures, becomes the absorbing delight of the soul.  The voice is dedicated to Him, to be used in singing His praises.  The purse is placed at His disposal. The pen is dedicated to write for Him, the lips to speak for Him, the hands and feet to do His bidding. Such Christians are seen to grow more unworldly, more heavenly-minded, more transformed, more like Christ, until even their very faces express so much of the beautiful inward divine life that all who look at them cannot but take knowledge of them that they live with Jesus, and are abiding in Him."
Oh, Lord Jesus, help us to be more like You!

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Elle Alice