December 2, 2012 | 0 comments
"Now we believe, not because of thy saying; for we have heard Him ourselves." John 4: 42.
It is beyond question that the experience of others may help me. I may be deeply indebted to the saints of old who speak to me from their books. Or the living, who call to me tenderly by voice and example toward their beloved Savior. They tell me what they have found Christ to be; where He ministered to them, and how precious He now is to their hearts. My temptation is to lay hold of their words so firmly that, forever after, I look for their definitions and descriptions to be worked into the texture of my own experience. A Christian father, a Christian friend, a pilgrim who has walked the King's Highway for many years: each drawing me towards the compelling nature of what they have found in Christ. They can cause my conviction of sin to deepen, and my self abasement to become more profound. They can describe to me the modes in which the grace of God comes to the soul.
But after all this, it is I who must partake. It is misguided to think that I can exercise faith by proxy, or to have the experience of another. How can I delegate to some one else, the responsibility of making Christ and His forgiving peace my own? The thoughts and experience of another cannot be copied. No, they never can. Not even if he is a Paul or a John. Christ is precious because I have tasted Christ for myself; because my empty hands have received of His unsearchable fullness; because He is closer to me than breathing, and dearer to me than life. No report from another would persuade these Samaritans. Their own eyes had to see, their own souls must wonder and know.
I am thankful for all that has been written in praise of Christ. For all that my ears have heard of His matchlessness. But I must pass beyond the testimony of others into personal and intimate communion with Christ myself. Where I see Him directly, individually; where I taste of Him presently, and personally. No other's experience can be my own, in the pew, closet, or the table. May many say this day, "Now we believe, not because of thy saying; for we have heard Him ourselves."
Your servant in Christ,
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