Perfectionism; Need of Watchfulness; Work and Its Fruits

Ephesians 4:8  •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 7
And now Dear—-, what are we doing, living near God, waiting for His Son from heaven. What else have we to do? What else would we have done when the end comes, when we see His face? We have to work with a force sometimes secret to us, follow His word, have His motives, depend on His strength, but wait for the result (though possibly partially manifested now, cheering and rejoicing us) when Jesus shall come; and then the work will be pure and its motive pure—not fall back on us as now, that is, self be mixed with it. The brethren rejoiced when they heard of the conversion of the Gentiles, 1.nd the apostle related to the church what God had wrought. (Acts 14:2727And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles. (Acts 14:27).) But for Paul's own soul it was at Christ's coming that he saw the fruit of his labors. And that is when we shall rejoice in them, the laborer's crown no doubt, but Christ's glory eternally, and their own blessedness: it is identified with divine love and His glory. In this our path is a path of faith, and this carries through the dark and difficult passes of ministry with a single eye, and makes Christ everything. We are satisfied with "I know thy works." But we have to be manifested to God, to walk as if we were before the judgment-seat as to ourselves, and in love to others, seeking what they need from Christ, not thinking of party or sect. An exercised soul is a great thing; "herein do I exercise myself" day and night—yet well imbued with love. There I feel myself weak. Care for the saints I do, but divine love I find too feeble in my soul. I have no object but Christ, but that is another thing See what ministry flows from. (Eph. 4) Christ has overcome Satan, and having received the promise of the Father for us as man, has made those delivered the vessels of His power and gifts for the warfare that has to be carried on. He has gone down into the lower parts of the earth, and thence far above all heavens, filling all things in the power of redemption, and so gives apostles, prophets, and the rest, for the perfecting of the saints, making them to grow up to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Who, we may well say, is sufficient for these things? But I must close. May grace be with you, and peace, and strengthen your hands, keeping you close to Him Kindest love to the brethren.... May the Lord keep all His saints, and hasten His coming.
Yours affectionately in Him.
Boston, February, 1875.