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Because John says that of His fulness we have all received, and Paul says that they which receive abundance of life shall reign. RECEIVE.
Do you know how to receive? You say:
"Sir, I suppose you mean, I need to pray."
No, sir, I do not mean that. You have been praying long enough. I want you to leave off praying in a sense, and to begin taking. There is all the difference in the world between praying for Christ, and taking Christ. I will explain. Years ago, I was staying with Canon Wilberforce at Southampton--it was in the first flush of my new surrender. One autumn night he said:
"We will sit around the fire and give our experiences."
Lord Radstock sat next to me, and he commenced. I followed, and talked as a young convert to this great teaching will talk--a good deal about my surrender to Christ. An old clergyman who sat on the other side of the circle, arose and said:
"I am very startled that Mr. Meyer has nothing better than that. To hear him talk you would suppose that we had only got to give up. Now my religion is taking in, taking in first, and dropping and giving up afterwards."
When you get gold you part with dross, and when you get real diamonds you part with paste. Get Christ, and the world attracts you no more. Give me sunlight, and I will dispense with electric light. Give me the light of day, I need no artificial luminary.
He continued: "I used once to be overcome by temper. I fought against temper. I came to the end of myself one afternoon when a number of children refused to listen to my teaching. I was on the point of losing my temper, when I turned to Christ, and said: ' Christ, be my sweet temper.' "
Instead of fighting against bad temper, he took Christ to be his patience, his humility, his meekness, his self-control. I saw in a moment that it was a better experience. I remember next morning when Canon Wilberforce came down stairs, as we stood together he said:
"What did you think of that last night?"
I replied: "I think it will mark an era in my life."
He said: "It will do the same in mine."
From that minute I have tried to live that way, and whatever I have needed, I have said: "Christ, be this in me." That is the good fruit of the land.
Will you take this? Jesus does love you. Jesus is always near you. I do not talk about the cross so much as about Jesus who was crucified. I do not talk about the grave, but about Jesus who rose. I do not talk about the ascension, but about Jesus who ascended. He is with you and me always. It is not holiness, but it is Jesus the holy one. It is not meekness, it is Jesus the meek one. It is not purity, it is Jesus the pure one. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus! not it, not an experience, not emotion, not faith, but JESUS.
You have been worrying about your faith. Give it up! Do not think about your faith; think about Jesus, and you will have faith without knowing it. You have been worrying about your feeling. It does not matter, it goes up and down with the barometer. Have done with it, and live in the presence of Jesus.
Soul, thou and Jesus are standing face to face. Give thy whole self to Him and He gives His whole self to thee. Go to your bare garret, go to your dying child, go to scenes of trouble and sorrow and pain, He goes too. You have got the fountain beside you. You do not need to take your pitcher and go to draw in some external well. You have Jesus in your heart, a fountain springing up to everlasting life.
O soul, how rich thou art, who, passing through Jordan, hast come into the good land of rest!