Lest We Lose Our First Love
By J. W. R.
WHEN a child is born into the home, it is a great time, especially if it is the first born. The mother and father are brought through severe trials. From far and near come friends and curious ones to present their compliments and to see. But after awhile, this so great event slips into the commonplace, and the child takes its place just as one of the family. So soon this soul-stirring and sanctifying experience is forgotten.
When a man passes through some desperate sickness, it is a strong test. He often sees and understands things he never even thought about before. “By these things men live,” spoke King Hezekiah, as he told of his recent affliction. But when a man is recovered, those most profitable lessons learned are weakened by time. And the high resolves and resolutions made when deep called unto deep, seem now so out of place and unreal. We are wont to under-estimate our earnest and serious moments and to forget our vows.
At the end of “A Tale of Two Cities,” we come across this passage: “One of the sufferers by the same axe—a woman—had asked at the foot of the same scaffold (on which Sydney Carton and the little Seamstress died), not long before, to be allowed to write down the thoughts that were inspiring her.” Some time in the past, possibly in some church service, the Spirit of God has inspired us. By far this is the greatest event in our life. This is the season when, in many towns and villages, there are continued meetings, and night after night the preacher speaks forth the best he knows the way of salvation for men.
Many churches use the autumn to gather together their spiritual resources. Under the influence of God’s Spirit, and the pleadings of those concerned about our seals’ good, we may have resolved henceforth to give the Lord our best, and to take up, this time in earnest, God’s Word; to learn of him and his way with us. Or better, we may have been saved once and for all from our sins, the deepest of sins. That so costly experience will be dimmed by the cares, the burdens, the pleasures, the temptations of life, unless it is ever before us. One of the favorite sayings of the late Dr. Alexander Whyte was, “The perseverance of the saints is made up of ever new beginnings.” Our most solemn vows, even those to God, will fade away, unless we continually renew, and remake them. Even though we are converted to the gospel of God’s Son, except we keep close to God, in his Word, prayer, and daily re-consecration, our glad new life will soon become a dead thing, a burden.
When God speaks, it is for a purpose, and he expects us to believe that he means what he says, and to consider his way. If we find the way of the cross of Jesus Christ, and a desire to walk in it, we have found the way home, we have found everything. If we miss it, we lose everything.