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How To Live A Holy Life by Charles Ebert Orr


There is so much to do that every one is needed to help in doing it. In this great, busy world of life there is something for every one to do. The command is, |Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.| Think over these words for a moment. Does not your heart feel that they imply great earnestness in life? They mean a life of labor -- a life of service. |Do with your might| implies putting your whole heart into your work. Do it in just such a manner as shows you expect to make a success of it.

God has a work for every one that comes into the world. This world is going to be made a little better by your having come into it, or it will be made worse. Which shall it be? No one can do the work of another, since every one is given all he can do. It is true we are told to bear one another's burdens. I am to help you bear your burdens; that is a part of my work. You are to help me. We need the help of each other. But I can not do what you ought to do; for I have all I can do. What you neglect to do will have to go undone. If some one stops to do what you ought to do, just as large a rent is made in his life's work as would have been made in yours, but the reflection is on you.

A father who had five sons left them a certain work to do. He gave to each his portion according to his ability. Upon his return he found that four of them had done their part and done it well, but one had only partially done his. Consequently, there was a neglected spot -- a dropped stitch -- which constantly showed itself. If we fail to do the work in life that God in his wisdom has assigned us, there will be in the Father's great plan a blank space, a neglected part, that will show through all eternity. Is your life or mine going to be the dropped stitch in the great web of human life? Down in our heart there is a No for an answer, is there not?

Let not the precious moments of your life flee away unimproved. Jesus is our example. He went about doing good. Everywhere he went, he left evidences that he had passed along that way. O pilgrim on life's journey, what are you leaving along the way to show in after-years that you have passed along? Is it flowers you are strewing? Is it sunshine to cheer and lighten the hearts of others? Sad indeed if there is none to say, |He did me good.|

It matters not how small may be the part of his great work the Father has assigned you, do that little and do it well and do it with all the earnestness of your heart. It is your part, and you should do it with as much earnestness and interest as those who are engaged in the greater works do their parts. If your part is not done well, there will not be completeness in the divine plan. A single stitch dropped shows a blemish in the garment. In the sight of God the most menial task is as sacred as that of the highest order, and when well done as greatly meets his approval.

That is a beautiful thought expressed by the Mohammed Bible. It tells of Gabriel's being sent to earth to do two things. One was to keep King Solomon from becoming so much engaged with the affairs of his kingdom as to neglect the hour of prayer. The other was to give assistance to a little ant that was trying to bear its load of food up a hillside. To Gabriel the one duty was as important as the other because both came in the plan of God. |Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.| Think these words over again. Let them have the full force of meaning to your heart. Take as much interest in helping the little child get the tangle out of the string as in building a church edifice.

Many are working, but alas! how few are doing their best! So much time and labor are being wasted; so many things are being done that had as well not be done. God wants not only our service but our best service. We are under obligation to do our best every day. If we let a day pass by without doing what we could and in the best way we could, our work is not perfectly done.

God pours his blessings out upon us, but the blessing is not to end with itself. Remember these words: |Freely ye have received, freely give.| Seek to be blessed of God, that you may pass the blessing on to others. Leave some footprints here upon the sands of time, so that in after-years they may guide some one to a noble deed and better way. When you reach the end of life, you can experience no greater consolation than to know you have done what you could. Improve the moments of time while you have them. They are passing swiftly. They will not wait for you. Some people are going to do, but behold, the opportunity passes before they are ready. Opportunities do not wait. Do good while you may. You are going to give the flower tomorrow, but tomorrow the flower may have faded. You intended to speak a kind word yesterday, but thought you would defer until another day. But the strain was so great the life went out, and your kind word came too late. Today is the day to save the lost. Tomorrow may be too late. How sad that a soul through all eternity will be crying out, |You were going to help me, but you came too late.| O God! help us to be up and doing while it is called today. What work you are going to do, do it now as the poet urges in the following beautiful lines:

|Let's not be living in the past,
On what we have been doing,
Nor building castles in the air
And after them pursuing.
'Work in my vineyard, go today':
The Master's time is narrow
For yesterday we'll see no more --
We may not see tomorrow.

|If for discouragements you look,
You certainly shall find them,
But they are not discouragements
Except to those who mind them.
The future for itself will care,
We'll not its trouble borrow;
Sufficient evil is today,
Then think not of the morrow.

|Let's cast our bread upon the flood,
In many days to gather,
But then at eve hold out the hand
For present blessings rather.
We hide the seed deep in the ground
And watch the closing furrow,
When, lo! the field's already white,
Not waiting for the morrow.

|The sower and the reaper both
May now rejoice together,
For what they sow and gather in
Is fruit that lives forever.
The saint rejoices evermore,
E'en in the midst of sorrow;
He knows the weeping's but a night,
Joy cometh on the morrow.|

Man was made to labor. He is so constituted that he can not find true rest and enjoyment in idleness. How much the Bible says about good works! We are |created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.| Jesus purifies unto |himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.| We are told by the scriptures to |be careful to maintain good works| to |be not weary in well-doing,| and to |do good unto all men.| Time is given us to spend in usefulness, not in idleness. Money lost may be regained, but a moment never.

As Christians we have the mind of Jesus. With such a mind we can not be contented unless we are doing the will of God and making the proper use of the moments he gives us. Mind is the same quality whether it be in Jesus, in angels, or in men, and it is governed by the same laws. It is true that after man's transgression he was told that in the sweat of his face he should eat bread, but this does not imply that the disposition to labor is a result of the fall. The disposition to labor that we find in man's constitution is not the fruit of corruption in his nature, but is a part of his original constitution. We find this disposition in the mind of angels. They are ministering spirits. They are doing the will of God. How often we read in the Book that tells of heaven how angels have visited this transitory world of ours on errands of help, mercy, and consolation. They have closed the mouths of lions, opened prison doors, stilled the waves, whispered comforting words, rolled away the stone, and ministered strength and help to the needy.

Man is not designed for prayer and praise only; he is designed for service as well. His mission is twofold: he is to adore and praise his Creator and to serve his fellow men. Some have symbolized the two functions of man's life by the ascending and descending of the angels on the ladder that Jacob saw in his dream. They ascended to God and descended to man. Life should be spent in praising God and in serving man for God's sake.

There is something to do. There is much to do. There is too much to do for us to idle away one moment of time. A full and well-spent life is one which is spent in doing good out of pure love to God and man. When we shall have come down to the end of life's journey, how sweet it will be to know that we have done all we could to help other pilgrims make their journey in safety! There is a reward for every generous act. Heaven is faithful and will repay. What we do here will find an eternity of reward. Let not, therefore, one day pass you by without your doing something purposely for God.

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