The Words of Christ!
What wonderful things are the words of Christ!
When a traveler comes home from some strange land, on which foot of traveler never trod before — how eagerly do men gather around him to listen to his story!
If one of our beloved dead, who has been a few months or years with God, were to come back to our home again — with what enrapt interest would we listen to every word he should speak about that heavenly land!
If an angel were to come down from Heaven into our streets, and speak in seraphic words of the wonderful things of God — what eager listeners would we be! How his words would enchain our thoughts, and linger in our minds and hearts!
But the words of Christ are more astonishing still. As we turn the gospel pages, and linger over the glorious truths which gleam and sparkle upon them, like diamonds in their settings of gold, or like stars in the midnight sky — we read, not the words of a returned traveler; not the words of one come back from the dead; not the words of an angel who had worshiped a thousand ages before God's throne — but the words of One who had dwelt from eternity in the Father's bosom — the living, spoken words of God himself!
There is a divine power in the words of Christ! Once one of them fell upon a stormy sea — and stilled it in a moment. One of them flew into the darkness of a sepulcher, where a dead man lay — it touched his heart and started it beating, and sent the frozen currents tingling, hot with new life, into every member of the dead body. One of them struck a barren tree — and caused it to wither to the roots. Another gently touched a leprous body — and healed it in a moment.
The words of Christ were not mere empty sounds — they were full of divine life and energy. They have not lost their power through the ages. If you lean upon a word of Christ — you shall find Christ's mighty arm under it. If you are sinking in the waves of trial, and reach out your hand of faith and grasp one of these blessed words — you shall find the hand of Christ gloved in it, and shall be held up.
If you are pursued by the fierce enemies of your soul, and flee for refuge behind a word of promise — you shall find yourself in the secret place of the Most High, under the shadow of the Almighty. If you are weary, or in trouble and sorrow, and pillow your head upon one of these precious words — you shall find that you are lying upon the bosom of your heavenly Father, and shall feel the warm beatings of his heart. If you are alone in darkness or trial, and grasp some sweet word of love — you shall find that you are leaning upon the arm of the Beloved. You may take these words into your heart — and you shall have Christ there too.
"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly!" Colossians 3:16
The human soul is like a house. It has many rooms. Some are in the basement where the lower passions and appetites lurk. Some are high up with an outlook on Heaven, where faith, hope, the affections and devotion dwell.
When a man buys a house, he wants the keys of every room. Christ has bought the soul-house, and his Word claims possession of every chamber, every room, every closet.
In old castles and other stately mansions, there would be a little room set apart for God — while the whole of the great building besides, was devoted to the uses of the owner of the mansion. And this little chapel door was seldom opened.
In the same way, there are many men who want to have merely a little chapel for Christ in one corner of their heart, while they lock every other door against Him. They are willing to let "the Word of Christ" regulate their praying and church-going, and whatever belongs to the specifically religious part of their life. But when they see it coming toward the door of their business-room, or safe, or workshop; or when it comes in to control their entertainments or their pleasures, or to regulate their general life — then they shut the door in its face, and turn the key quickly, protesting against such "unwarrantable interference." They do not believe in mixing up religion with the rest of life.
But the blessed word of Christ will not stay in any mere chapel in a man's heart. It will dwell only as master.
If it has not full possession of your soul, holding every key;
if it cannot go into every chamber, and be master everywhere;
if it cannot control your business, your pleasures, your tempers, your lips, your appetites, your whole life — then it will shake the dust off its feet, and, weeping over your deserted heart, will write "Ichabod!" upon the closed doors!
The Word of Christ will be no mere lodger. It must possess the soul, driving out every profane occupant — cleansing and beautifying every unhallowed chamber — living and ruling in every faculty, feeling, and affection.
No man can live two lives, have two chiefs in his heart, or serve two masters. The word of Christ is the voice of the living Christ, who sits nowhere — if not on the throne. Let this blessed Word dwell in you — ruling, guiding and transforming!
As one opens his windows and doors, on a sweet summer's morning, to let the fragrant air and pure sunshine flow into every corner of his dwelling — so open your hearts to the blessed, sweetening, enriching, and purifying Word of Christ. It will beautify your whole life. It will bring heavenly fragrance into your soul. It will cheer and gladden you. It will strengthen and help you. It will enlighten your darkness. It will comfort your sorrow. It will change you into the image of God!