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Music For the Soul
LOST BY DOING NOTHING
The foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil. - Matthew 25:8
IT was not of set purpose that the foolish five took no oil with them. They merely neglected to do so, not having the wit to look ahead and provide against the contingency of a long time of waiting for the bridegroom. Their negligence was the result, not of deliberate wish to let their lights go out, but of their heedlessness; and because of that negligence they earned the name of "foolish." If we do not look forward, and prepare for possible drains upon our powers, we shall deserve the same adjective. If we do not lay in stores for future use, we may be sent to school to the harvesting ant and the bee. That lesson applies to all departments of life; but it is eminently applicable to spiritual life, which is sustained only by communications from the Spirit of God. For these communications will be imperceptibly lessened, and may be altogether intercepted, unless diligent attention is given to keep open the channels by which they enter the spirit. If the pipes are not looked to, they will be choked by masses of matted trifles, through which the " rivers of living water," which Christ took as a symbol of the Spirit’s influences, cannot force a way. The thing that makes shipwreck of the faith of most professing Christians that do come to grief is no positive wickedness, no conduct which would be branded as sin by the Christian conscience, or even by ordinary people, but simply torpor. If the water in a pond is never stirred, it is sure to stagnate, and green scum to spread over it, and a foul smell to rise from it. A Christian man has only to do what I am afraid a good many of us are in great danger of doing - that is, nothing - in order to ensure that his lamp shall go out. Do you try to keep yours alight? There is only one way to do it - that is, to go to Christ and get Him to pour His sweetness and His power into our open hearts.
The punishment for shirking work is to be denied work. Just as the converse is true, that in God’s administration of the world and of His Church, the reward for faithful work is to get more to do, and the filling a narrow sphere is the sure way to have a larger sphere to fill. So, if a man abandons plain duties, then he will get no work to do. And that is why so many Christian men and women are idle in this world, and stand in the market-place, with a certain degree of truth, saying, "No man hath hired us." No! because so often in the past tasks have been presented to you, forced upon you, almost pressed into your unwilling hands, that you have refused to take; and you are not going to get any more. You have been asked to work, - I speak now to professing Christians, - duties have been pressed upon you, fields of service have opened plainly before you, and you have not had the heart to go into them. And so you stand idle all the clay now, and the work goes to other people that can do it; and God honors them, and passes you by.
'Music For The Soul' daily readings for a year from the writings of the Rev. Alexander Maclaren, D.D., selected and arranged by the Rev. Geo. Coates, published by A.C. Armstrong and Son, 51 East Tenth Street, (1897). The original text is in the Public Domain and this electronic version is free for anyone without cost or obligation. This a year long daily devotional was written by the Rev. Alexander Maclaren over 100 years ago. This Scottish pastor had a heart to follow Jesus and a love for souls.