“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom.” Colossians 3:16

The diligent and prayerful reading and studying of God’s holy word is His prime means of increasing and promoting spirituality of soul. Yet, this divine source of all grace and power, it seems, is no longer  an element in the Christianity of many. It has become a duty sadly and, to a great extent, totally neglected.

The tendency of the age is to substitute the writings and thoughts of men for the Book of God. Let them come but with the robe of religion gracefully thrown around them, and whether they assume the form of history, or story, or song, they are eagerly devoured by the professing multitude, who would deem their true spirituality unquestionable! But the Divine life of the soul is not to be fed and nourished by the profound discoveries of science,  the deep, recondite axioms of philosophy,  the brilliant flowers of genius, or the dreams of  poetical imagination. No, my friends, it ascends to a higher and a diviner source; it aspires towards the nourishments of its native climate, in the grand and glorious city of God.

The bread that comes down from heaven, and the water that flows, pure as crystal, from beneath the throne of God and the Lamb, alone can feed, and nourish, and refresh this new life He has planted within the soul. Jesus is its sustenance; and the gospel, as it unfolds Him in His glory and grace, is the spiritual granary from where all daily food is drawn. To this, the soul must  regularly flee, oftentimes pressed with hunger, or panting with thirst, weary and exhausted, drooping and faint, and it finds its doctrines and its precepts, its promises and its admonitions, its exhortations and revelations, a “a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees; of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined.”

And thus refreshed and satisfied, the grateful soul adoringly exclaims, “Your words were found, and I did eat them; and Your word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart.” Truly did Jesus testify, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, you have no life in you;” evidently and solemnly implying, that if there exists no appetite for spiritual food, there is lacking the great evidence of the life of God in the soul. A mere semblance of life, an informed judgment, a “fair show” of religion “in the flesh,” the kind of faith we see expressed in the churches of this world; will content itself with anything that seems spiritual, or of the spirit of community; no matter how abstruse, or insideous; and claim itself enlightened.

But the Divine life of a lamb of God, of a quickened soul, while it disdains no aids to its spiritual advance, can yet feed on nothing but Divine food. The “flesh and the blood of Immanuel can alone meet and satiate its hungering and thirsting. The Spirit of our faith is from heaven, my friends, and its nourishment and supply must be heavenly; it is from God, and its sustenance must also be Divine. Jesus, and Jesus alone, received into the heart, rested in, and lived upon,  is the food of a believing lamb. Nothing but the Living Word of God, and the risen Christ—”Christ all” in Himself, and Christ “in all,” means “in all” ordinances, “in all” channels, “in all” seasons, sustains a soul whose “life is hid with Him in God.”

Oh my friends, you must see the importance and know the solemnity of this truth? For it is creation’s greatest reality!  Except  we “eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of man, we have no life in us!” Nothing short of Christ—Christ’s righteousness, Christ’s atonement, Christ’s flesh and blood, Christ in us, Christ without us, Christ risen, Christ alive at the right hand of God, yes, “Christ all and in all”—can meet the deep, immortal necessities of our soul. We need all that our risen Lord is, in the matters of pardon,  justification,  sanctification,  wisdom, redemption, and life.

And all this, and so much more, do we find only in the diligent study; even the devouring of His Living Word.

I exhort you, then, my friends, to a deeper, more intimate acquaintance with God’s Word, for it is the reservoir of His power and His light to the progress of the soul in our search for a deeper love for, and knowledge of our risen Lord, Yeshua; Almighty God.. And if your time for reading is limited, limit it to one book, and let that one book be—the BIBLE. Let it be the companion of your hours of solitude; the solace in your seasons of sorrow; the store-house in all your necessities; and your counsel in all your doubts and perplexities. Then will your blessed experience resemble that of the psalmist himself, when he proclaimed: “Your word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against You. This is my comfort in my affliction: for Your word has quickened me. Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. I rejoice at Your word, as one that finds great wealth.”

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