Keep yourselves in the Love of God
In order to rebuke the extravagant pride and luxury in which the people of his time lived, Diogenes, the Cynic, lived in a tub. On one occasion Alexander the Great paid a visit to him, and standing at the mouth of his strange residence, which was turned towards the sun, offered to do anything for him that he might ask. “There is one thing you can do,” answered Diogenes: “remove yourself from the entrance of my tub; you are shutting out from me the light and warmth of the sun.”
We may learn a lesson—a useful and spiritual lesson—from the Cynic’s answer, for as Alexander stood between him and the sunlight, offering great and costly gifts, so the world would stand before us with its promises and pleasures; when it does so may we have grace to say, “Stand aside, you are shutting out from my heart the warm and genial rays of the sunshine of divine love.”
It is evident that the favours of the world and the Father’s love cannot be enjoyed at the same time, for “if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:5). Is that love more to us than the world, as the sunshine was more to Diogenes than all the gifts of the world’s conqueror?
But a very little of the world can shut out from our hearts the light and joy of divine love. A threepenny-piece held before the eye is sufficient to exclude from the sight a whole landscape, and a little bit of allowed worldliness will be sufficient to mar for months and perhaps years our full enjoyment of the Father’s love.
John Bunyan said, “It did not take the devil long to show all he had. He took the Lord Jesus to the top of an exceeding high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time”—but all in vain! None of these things were allowed to stand between the heart of the Lord and the love of His Father. “I dare say,” said Bunyan, “that the devil would need only to take us to our own doorstep to show us enough to bring us under the power of the world and its god.”
Fellow-believers, let us keep ourselves in the love of God, and jealously and promptly dismiss anything that would be calculated to get between our hearts and the bright sunlight of the Father’s love; and ever remember that “friendship with the world is enmity with God.”
Scripture Truth 1911