“[Barnabas] exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord. For he was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost and of faith: and much people was added unto the Lord” (Acts 11:23,24).
This is what the Christian is to do: cleave unto the Lord—abide faithfully with Him—with purpose of heart! Depend on Him. There is power and sufficiency in Christ for all He would have you do or be. Some are allowed a long season of joy on first believing; but God knows our hearts and how soon we begin to depend on our joy instead of Christ. Forget not that Christ, and not our joy, is to be our object.
Sin no longer remains upon you—God has blotted out your sins; but the flesh is in you to the end, and to avoid reaping its bitter fruits we must learn to nip off the buds which the flesh will put forth. No good fruit can come out of the old nature; it is only the new nature that bears fruit unto God. But though the flesh is in you, do not be occupied with its presence; rather, think of Christ, and seek His grace to turn away from the flesh.
As you grow in the knowledge of Christ, a joy comes which is deeper than the first joy. I have known Christ for more than forty years and I can truly say I have a thousand times more joy in Him now than I had at first. It is a deeper, calmer joy. The water rushing down a hill is beautiful to look at and makes more noise, but you will find the water in the plain is deeper, calmer, and more fruitful.
Cleave to the Lord. A distracted or divided heart is the bane of Christians. When we are after something not according to Christ we are away from the source of strength. When the soul is filled with Christ, we have no heart or eye for the trash of this world. If we are living by faith, our guidance will not be: “What harm is there in this and in that?” But rather, “Am I doing this with the approval of my Lord? Can He go along with me in this?”
Do not let the world get into your heart and distract your thoughts. I speak especially to you young ones. They who are older have had more experience of what the world is and know better its true worth. But dear young ones, it all lies shining before you, endeavoring to attract you. Its smiles are deceitful—still it smiles. It makes promises which it cannot keep—still it makes them. Your hearts cannot be satisfied by the world; it cannot fill them. Yet they are too little for Christ; He fills heaven with joy and He will fill your heart to overflowing.
Cleave to the Lord with purpose of heart. He knows how treacherous the heart is and how soon it puts anything in His place. You will indeed have to learn what is in your own heart. But abide with God and you will learn it with Him, with the realization of His grace. If you do not, you will learn it—with bitter sorrow—through the devil’s successful temptation.
If you have been getting away from God and other things have come in and formed a crust over your heart, you will not get the joy back all at once. God will have you deal with this crust in true self-judgment as you return to Him. Remember that Christ bought you with His own blood so you are His, not the world’s.
Do not let Satan get between you and God’s grace. However careless you may have been in getting away from Him, count on His love in turning back to Him. It is His joy to see you back again. Look at the sin with horror, but never wrong Him by distrusting His love. Do not mistrust His grace; do not mistrust His love. He has loved you, loves you now, and will love you to the end.
Talk much with Jesus, your Saviour. Never be content without being able to walk and talk with Him as a dear friend. Be not satisfied with anything short of close communication of soul with Him who has loved you and washed you from your sins by His own blood. Think of what He has suffered—the judgment of sin upon the cross—to make you His own!
The above Gospel tract was written by MWTB Moments With the Book Ministries and can be purchased in a convenient pocket sized tract so that you can share it with others. Please visit them at their website for more information by clicking the link below!