Evening Reading for February 19

John 4:31-38
Suggested further reading: Psalm 126

Work for the souls of men is undoubtedly attended by great discouragements. The heart of natural man is very hard and unbelieving. The blindness of most men to their own lost condition and peril of ruin is something past description. `The carnal mind is enmity against God' (Rom. 8:7). No one can have any just idea of the desperate hardness of men and women until he has tried to do good. No one can have any conception of the small number of those who repent and believe until he has personally endeavoured to `save some' (1 Cor. 9:22). To suppose that everybody who is told about Christ and entreated to believe will become a true Christian is mere childish ignorance. `Few there be that find the narrow way!' The labourer for Christ will find the majority of those among whom he labours unbelieving and impenitent, in spite of all that he can do. `The many' will not turn to Christ. These are discouraging facts. But they are facts, and facts that ought to be known.

The true antidote against despondency in God's work is an abiding recollection of such promises as that before us. There are `wages' laid up for faithful reapers. They shall receive a reward at the last day, far exceeding anything they have done for Christ — a reward proportioned not to their success, but to the quantity of their work. They are gathering `fruit' which shall endure when this world has passed away — fruit in some souls saved, if many will not believe, and fruit in evidences of their own faithfulness, to be brought out before assembled worlds. Do our hands ever hang down and our knees wax faint? Do we feel disposed to say, `My labour is in vain and my words without profit'? Let us lean back at such seasons on this glorious promise. There are `wages' yet to be paid. One single soul saved shall outlive and outweigh all the kingdoms of the world.

For meditation: Christ has promised to bring all his chosen sheep into the flock. He cannot fail. Therefore evangelism cannot be in vain (John 10:16).

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