Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. — Rev 22:17
Jesus says, “take freely.” He wants no payment or preparation. He seeks no recommendation from our virtuous emotions. If you have no holy feelings—if you be but willing, you are invited; therefore come! You have no belief and no repentance—come to Him, and He will give them to you. Come just as you are, and take “Freely,” without money and without price. He gives Himself to needy ones.
The drinking fountains at the corners of our streets are valuable institutions; and we can hardly imagine anyone so foolish as to feel for his purse, when he stands before one of them, and to cry, “I cannot drink because I have not five cents in my pocket.” However poor the man is, there is the fountain and just as he is, he may drink of it. Thirsty people, as they walk by, whether they are dressed in scarlet or in broadcloth, do not look for any warrant for drinking; its being there is their warrant for taking its water freely. The liberality of some good friends has put the refreshing crystal there and we take it, and ask no questions. Perhaps the only people who need go thirsty through the street where there is a drinking fountain, are the fine ladies and gentlemen who are in their carriages. They are very thirsty but cannot think of being so vulgar as to get out to drink. It would demean them, they think, to drink at a common drinking fountain—so they ride by with parched lips.
Oh, how many there are who are rich in their own good works and cannot therefore come to Christ! “I will not be saved,” they say, “in the same way as the harlot or the drunkard.” What! go to heaven in the same way as a chimney sweep. Is there no pathway to glory but the path which led the thief there? I will not be saved that way. Such proud boasters must remain without the living water! But, “Whoever will—let him take the water of life freely!”
Remove far from me vanity and lies. — Prov 30:8
“O my God, do not be far from me.” Psalm 38:21
Here we have two great lessons—what to deprecate and what to supplicate. The happiest state of a Christian is the holiest state. As there is the most heat nearest to the sun—so there is the most happiness nearest to Christ. No Christian enjoys comfort when his eyes are fixed on vanity—he finds no satisfaction unless his soul is quickened in the ways of God. The world may win happiness elsewhere but the Christian cannot. I do not blame ungodly men for rushing to their pleasures. Why should I? Let them have their fill. That is all they have to enjoy. A converted wife who despaired of her husband was always very kind to him, for she said, “I fear that this is the only world in which he will be happy and therefore I have made up my mind to make him as happy as I can in it.”
Christians must seek their delights in a higher sphere—than the insipid frivolities or sinful enjoyments of the world. Vain amusements are dangerous to renewed souls. We have heard of a philosopher who, while he looked up to the stars, fell into a pit; but how deeply do they fall—who look down to the earth. Their fall is fatal. No Christian is safe when his soul is slothful, and his God is far from him. Every Christian is always safe as to the great matter of his standing in Christ but he is not safe as regards his experience in holiness, and communion with Jesus in this life. Satan does not often attack a Christian who is living near to God. It is when the Christian departs from his God, becomes spiritually starved, and endeavors to feed on vanities, that the devil discovers his vantage hour. He may sometimes stand foot to foot with the child of God who is active in his Master’s service but the battle is generally short. He who slips as he goes down into the Valley of Humiliation, every time he takes a false step invites Apollyon to assail him. O for grace to walk humbly with our God!