(James Smith, “Keep Close to Christ” 1857)
A Christian minister was dying. He had a young sister whom he tenderly loved, and in whose welfare he felt the deepest interest. She came to pay the last visit, and receive from his lips the last words of advice. The words of a dying minister, realizing the value of the soul, and the solemnity of eternity, are important words. Taking her by the hand, and fixing his eyes upon her with a loving look, he said: “Keep close to Christ!”
What could he say of more import? Her life lesson was comprised of four words: “Keep close to Christ!” She had come to Jesus, she loved Jesus, she found happiness in Jesus; but the dying brother knew . . .
the deceitfulness of the human heart;
the power of the world’s fascinations,
and the craft and subtlety of Satan,
therefore he exhorts: “Keep close to Christ!”
May the Lord give us grace to get near to Him; and then give us more grace, to keep near to Him; for alas! how many of us, like Peter, follow Him afar off!
Therefore What must we do, to keep close to Jesus?
We must keep close to His Word. Here He . . .
reveals His mind,
displays His love, and
exhibits His beauty!
It is a revelation of His deepest, sweetest, kindest thoughts!
Because It is an exhibition of His infinite, eternal, deathless love!
It is a mirror in which we may see His unparalleled beauty and excellency!
No one can keep close to Jesus who does not daily, seriously, and prayerfully read His Word. That Word . . .
received into the heart by faith,
digested by meditation, and
reduced to practice in life,
will bring the soul and Christ together!
For the more we know of Christ, the more we shall love Him; the more we shall prize, pant for, and seek to enjoy His presence!
Blessed Spirit, help us so to read the Word, as always to find Christ in it; and by it endear Him more and more unto us, and bring us into closer fellowship with Him!
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