(Alexander Smellie, “The Secret Place” 1907)
“Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me!” Malachi 3:8
Other things I withhold from God, besides the tithes and offerings that are His due.
Do I not rob Him of my thoughts? He is a theme of study and meditation that need never become monotonous or wearisome — He has so many wondrous aspects to His nature and works. His self-existence, His holiness, His saving grace, His sympathy and friendship — here are worlds to roam over, which I cannot exhaust!
But it is only at rare intervals that I turn to Him, and then I am content with the briefest interview. I do not practice His presence in earnest thought.
Do I not rob Him of my reverence? Our age has to a great degree lost the reverence that marked former generations — and I am too entirely the child of our age. I have forgotten the humble habit of walking softly before the Lord. He has ceased to be so sacred, so awe-inspiring, so glorious in majesty — as He used to be to me. I seldom feel myself in a holy shrine where I must tread quietly, and must shut my lips, and must lay myself in the dust before Him. I am merry where I should be serious — and flippant when I should tremble. I do not reverence God as I should.
Do I not rob Him of my love? It matters to Him if I refuse Him . . .
the love of gratitude,
the love of trust,
the love of adoration,
the love of obedience,
the love of delight.
Have I considered the wrong I inflict on Him, when I do not love Him as He deserves?
Do I not rob Him of my speech? It is astonishing that what is every man’s chief concern — should be no man’s conversation. Amidst the crowding words that are continually crossing the threshold of my lips — how rarely do I interpose a sentence on behalf of God, or in praise of Him whom I call my Savior and my Master, or in commendation of His great salvation! It is most sinful to be so tongue-tied.
And do I not rob Him of my life?
He requires the prayers of my life.
He requires the endeavors of my life.
He requires the totality of my life!
But how little of my life is undeniably His!
What can I do, but claim the mercy which Christ gave to the robber on the tree?
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