Grieve not the Holy Spirit. — Eph 4:30
All that the believer has, must come from Christ but it comes solely through the channel of the Spirit of grace. Moreover, as all blessings thus flow to you through the Holy Spirit, so also no good thing can come out of you in holy thought, devout worship, or gracious act—apart from the sanctifying operation of the same Spirit. Even if the good seed is sown in you—yet it will lie dormant—until He works in you to will and to do of His own good pleasure.
Do you desire to speak for Jesus? How can you—unless the Holy Spirit touches your tongue? Do you desire to pray? Alas! what dull work it is—unless the Spirit makes intercession for you! Do you desire to subdue sin? Would you be holy? Would you imitate your Master? Do you desire to rise to superlative heights of spirituality? Are you wanting to be made like the angels of God—full of zeal and ardor for the Master’s cause? You cannot do any of these things—without the Spirit!
“Without Me—you can do nothing.” O branch of the vine, you can have no fruit without the sap! O child of God, you have no life within you—apart from the life which God gives you through His Spirit! Then let us not grieve Him or provoke Him to anger by our sin. Let us not quench Him in one of His faintest motions in our soul. Let us foster His every leading, and be ready to obey His every prompting.
If the Holy Spirit is indeed so mighty—let us attempt nothing without Him! Let us begin no project, and carry on no enterprise, and conclude no transaction, without imploring His blessing. Let us do Him the due homage of feeling our entire weakness apart from Him; and then depend alone upon Him!
Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. — John 12:2
Lazarus is to be envied. It was well to be Martha and serve Jesus but better to be Lazarus and commune with Jesus. There are times for each purpose, and each is lovely in its season but none of the trees of the garden yield such clusters—as the vine of communion with Jesus. To sit with Jesus, to hear His words, to mark His acts, and receive His smiles—was such a favor as must have made Lazarus as happy as the angels!
When it has been our happy lot to feast with our Beloved in His banqueting-hall, we would not have given half a sigh for all the kingdoms of the world, if so much breath could have bought them!
Lazarus is to be imitated. It would have been a strange thing if he had not been at the table where Jesus was, for he had been dead and Jesus had raised him. For the risen one to be absent when the Lord who gave him life was at his house, would have been ungrateful indeed.
We too were once dead! Yes, and like Lazarus—we were stinking in the grave of sin! Jesus raised us and we live! Can we be content to live at a distance from Him? Do we omit to remember Him at His table, where He deigns to feast with His brethren? Oh, this is cruel! It behooves us to repent, and do as He has bidden us, for His least wish should be law to us.
To have lived without constant fellowship with one of whom the Jews said, “Behold how He loved him,” would have been disgraceful to Lazarus! Is it excusable in us—whom Jesus has loved with an everlasting love! To have been cold to Him who wept over his lifeless corpse, would have argued great brutishness in Lazarus. What does it argue in us—over whom the Savior has not only wept but bled!
Come, brethren, who read this portion—let us return unto our heavenly Bridegroom, and ask for His Spirit that we may be on terms of closer intimacy with Him, and henceforth sit at the table with Him!