That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world. Philippians 2:15.
Let every one, for Christ’s sake and for his own soul’s sake, shun conformity to the world, to its customs, vanities, and fashions. Beware of human commandments that will obscure the holy commandments of God. The pleasure lover is ever unsatisfied, and continually desires to seek again the excitement of the ballroom, the theater, or the party of pleasure. The time God has granted us in which to prepare for eternity is spent by thousands in poring over fictitious stories. God-given intellect is perverted, the Word of God is neglected, the mind and soul are robbed of moral power needed for wrestling against faults and errors, habits and practices, that disqualify the soul for the enjoyment of Christ’s presence….
Let the question be asked seriously and with intense interest, “How is it with my soul? Am I by my habits and practices working against my Redeemer?” Inquire, “Do I bring glory to Christ? Do I show to a disobedient and crooked generation that I choose to suffer reproach for the sake of Jesus?” . . . Will the professed followers of Christ aim high, and reach the standard of holiness? Better be a worldling than a common, cheap, professed Christian. Dare to come out from the world and be separate. Dare to be singular because you love Jesus better than the world, and righteousness with persecution better than disobedience with worldly prosperity. Holy and entire obedience through dependence upon the Lord Jesus Christ will strengthen the soul to be steadfast in the faith and hope of the gospel.
Jesus says, “Without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5). Union with Christ is our only means for overcoming sin. Living in Christ, adhering to Christ, supported by Christ, drawing nourishment from Christ, we bear fruit after the similitude of Christ. We live and move in Him; we are one with Him and one with the Father. The name of Christ is glorified in the believing child of God. This is Bible religion.
That I May Know Him p. 318
When I was a little girl, my mother made a full-sized quilt with all the state birds of the (then) 48 states. She bought iron-on transfers for them, but as she worked, she did not like the way they looked, so she re-drew them to make them look more realistic. She spent many hours in the library researching each state bird. She examined picture after picture of a particular bird and then would duplicate it in embroidery. Many times she would be nearly finished, but as she looked at it, she would not be satisfied and would take out all the threads and start over.
Finally it was finished. She entered it into the fair and won the golden state award. She was very proud of that prize. All her hard work had paid off. She felt rewarded for all those many hours of research and sewing. What did she do with the quilt then. She folded it up, put it in a plastic bag, and put it in her closet. Now it is in my closet safely tucked away and rarely thought about.
How vital to our walk with God it is that we put as much energy into our Christianity as my mother did into that quilt. How important it is that we stay focused on Jesus so thoroughly that He has all our thoughts, all our energies, all our desires. How often should we search the Scriptures with as much interest as my mother had when she was researching those birds. God says, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Jer 29:13 David says, “Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.” “With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Ps 119:2,10,11
Jesus told a parable that shows this principle. “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.” Matt 13:44-46 To truly follow Jesus, we must put Him first in our lives. To truly serve Him we must persevere. “He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Matt 13:13
Once we decide to follow Jesus, we must follow immediately and not long for the times when we were following our own ways as did some so long ago. “And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head. And he said unto another, Follow me. But he said, Lord, suffer me first to go and bury my father. Jesus said unto him, Let the dead bury their dead: but go thou and preach the kingdom of God. And another also said, Lord, I will follow thee; but let me first go bid them farewell, which are at home at my house. And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” Luke 9:57-62
May our complete focus be on our loving Saviour Who gave His all for us. May we use all our energies in service to Him. May we always go where He leads and do His bidding is my prayer.