God is a good paymaster; He pays His servants while at work as well as when they've done it; and one of His payments is this: an easy conscience. If you've spoken faithfully of Jesus to one person, when you go to bed at night you feel happy in thinking, "I've this day, discharged my conscience of that man's blood." There's great comfort in doing something for Jesus. Oh, what a happiness to place jewels in His crown, and give Him to see of the travail of His soul! There's also great reward in watching the first buddings of conviction in a soul! To say of "that girl in the class", "She's tender of heart, I do trust there is the Lord's work within." To go home and pray over a boy, who said something in the afternoon, which made you think he must know more of divine truth than you had realized! Oh, the joy of hope! But as for the joy of success! it's unspeakable. This joy, overwhelming as it is, is a hungry thing---you desire more of it.
To be a soul-winner is the happiest thing in the world. With every soul we bring to Christ, we get "a new heaven" upon earth. But who can conceive the bliss which awaits us above! Oh, how sweet is that sentence, "Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord!" Do you know what the joy of Christ is over a saved sinner? This is the very joy which we're to possess in heaven. Yes, when the heavens ring with "Well done, well done," we shall partake in the reward; we've toiled with Him, we've suffered with Him, we shall reign with Him; we've sown with Him, we shall reap with Him; our face was covered with sweat like His, and our soul was grieved for the sins of men as His soul was, now shall our face be bright with heaven's splendour as is His countenance, and now shall our soul be filled with beatific joys even as His soul is.
Make It Known Abroad!
Luke 2 16 - 17 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
When the shepherds had come and seen the Christ Child in His Manger, the word says that they made known abroad the things they had been told concerning the child.
Look at how very brief their message was: The angels had announced the birth of the Savior, Christ the Lord. The sign had been verified. The had found Him wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. And finally they had heard the angels singing-Glory to God and on earth peace and good will.
What a very brief message compared to the fullness of the Gospel we have today. They had only the promise. We have the fulfillment. They heard the angel speak of Peace. We can have it filling our hearts. They saw the glory of the angels. We can experience for ourselves the glory of sins forgiven and a life made new! We need not bask in the reflected Glory of a heavenly being. They saw a helpless babe in a manger. We can have the fullness of the Man, the 'Word made Flesh," "Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."
They left the feet of the Babe with only the promise of Salvation. We have experienced it in its fullness. They took that very brief message and made it known "abroad" everywhere. How then can we be silent when we have so much much more to make known? We have Slavation. We have the Word written in our Hearts. We have the Holy Spirt, the Comforter to lead us and guide us! We have a sure knowledge of our position before God! That babe has promised, "I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." We have a sure knowledge of an eternal dwelling place.
What a greater responsibility! If "all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds" how much more should men wonder when they hear our testimony and witness the new life we have in Christ Jesus.
May we speak with the same excitement and compulsion and joy! That men may speak of us as they did the disciples: These . . have turned the world upside down !
Not A Feeling
One thing faith is not...is a religious feeling, emotion, or experience. Many people equate faith with a certain kind of feeling. This is why in many places religious services amount to little more than spiritual "pep rallies" designed to get the people excited. However, religious enthusiasm is not faith and has never saved anyone. Yet that's all many people have and their spiritual life consists of striving to seek out, work up, and maintain that special feeling that gives them a temporary sense of confidence towards God, however false that confidence may be. Even where true faith is present, it seldom corresponds to our emotional state. In fact, the greatest expressions of faith happen when the emotions are most contrary. It wasn't emotion that carried Abraham through 25 long years between God's promise and the birth of Isaac.
Not a Human Ability
Faith is not a human ability at all---not saving faith. None of us is born with it. So many struggle, looking down inside themselves, trying to find or "work up" faith---whatever that is. We'll never find it there. Faith is, in fact, a gift of God. Ephesians 2:8. We'll never have faith unless God gives it to us. To imagine otherwise is to violate the truth of man's "helpless sinful state"/"lack of divine strength" before God.