I am glad for the privilege to be at this convention again and to have a little part in this meeting, not that it is something that the flesh would desire. But, it is a privilege to try to speak forth this Word of Truth to others. Then we can share with others in the blessing of God.
Since my thoughts have been turning to this meeting, there was a hymn coming to my mind, continually. It is the 57th hymn and it brought other meditations to my mind. All of this hymn has foundation in the Word of God.
Verse 1: “There is a way, a narrow way, That leads to life above – A way of peace and holiness, Of purity and love.” It is true that there are many ways in this world, whether it would be of natural things or a way to do certain things, or whether it would be in the way of serving God.
People have chosen various ways to go about fulfilling this. We would like to make very clear this evening that as far as God is concerned, there is but one true way on the earth that is acceptable to God. Although man has devised his own ways, there is only one Way that God accepts, and He planned it long before He ever made man on the earth. Unless we are willing to comply with the plan that God has made concerning salvation and worshipping Him, our efforts will all be in vain. I have enjoyed thinking about this one Way of Truth.
He determined that all who would seek Him and serve Him would have an experience for themselves, walking in this Way. When we think of taking a journey to a certain place, there may be many different ways to take to reach that destination in this world. Some roads may be longer than others.
This is not true in this matter of walking in this Way of God. We cannot go various ways and end up at the right destination. We must go in the Way that God has planned for us and we might be asking, “How do we know that right way, so that we might someday come to the desired end?”
This Bible could be like a map and show us the right way to take. When we are making a journey to a place where we have not been before, we often use a map to aid us. We trust that which is set down by others who have gone before. In the scriptures, we find this same type of thing. He has mapped the way for us. It may also be that in this journey that there are turns or choices to make, and in all of these, we need true direction and counsel and guidance.
One thing we can be sure of concerning the turns that we would be making in this journey for heaven, that all of our turning should be toward God. When we would be faced with the world before and things unlike God, we should want to turn away from them, and turn toward God.
Just today, several in our company have taken new steps in that direction. In all of these things, we find guidance and direction in the Word of God. “There is a way, a narrow way, That leads to life above – A way of peace and holiness, Of purity and love.”
Life is so short; only one life and it will soon pass away from us. We could also think of the span of our life being like a journey. In our day of life, it may not be the way that we would choose, but it is the way that God has planned for us. In Proverbs (15:24), one verse reads, “The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.” Humanly, we tend to look downward to the way that the multitudes would be journeying. We might think that the route that most are taking must be the right, and we would follow them. But, anything in this world that we would choose to be our guide will bring us not to life, but to death.
The second verse of Hymn 57 says, “To find this way, this living way, We must forgo our sin; God hath declared the pure in heart Alone can enter in.” This Way of God is a living way, but the many ways in this world that man has chosen and designed are dead ways. Those that walk in God’s Way are alive, giving evidence by a living faith. There must be evidence of this in those who are walking in God’s Way that there is life in them.
We must turn away from the sins of our past that would beset us by nature. Isaiah 55:7 gives a picture of true repentance. “Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.”
That is how we turn away from that which is wrong. God has declared that only the pure in heart shall enter in. It is something that takes a lifetime. God does require a perfectness or pureness in our heart, a singleness of purpose. We don’t just make a profession and have some ether motive at the same time.
The third verse of the hymn says: “There is a way, a humble way, A way of truth and grace; The highway of God’s righteousness Where self can have no place.” This is another thing that we need to learn. It is a humble way. There is nothing in the Way of God that would feed our pride. Our will must be submitted to God. Self must be put down and God exalted.
The last verse: “There is a way, a perfect way, His chosen walk therein And they who share His sufferings now Eternal glory win.” We are very thankful that when we speak to people about this Way of God, that we are not speaking to them about just a good way, or a better way, but about a perfect way. There is no other way that is acceptable to God. We do not claim to be perfect people, without fault and sin, but we are thankful that the Way in which we walk is without fault. It is perfect because it is of God. As we continue to take steps in this Way of God, this will bring about this perfection, also.
This work of God begins in the heart. On that day in which we make that our decision to turn away from the world and self, on that day, our hearts can be purified by God. As we continue to do His will, it will give us cleansing throughout our life. All through this convention, we have been conscious of this pure water flowing very freely.
The chorus of this hymn says, “My yearning soul desires to find this hidden path of bliss; Lord, hear my prayer, and lead me in The way of holiness.” And, as people listen to the word of the gospel, we hope they would have this desire.