NOW LET ME BURN OUT FOR GOD.
“He was the lamp that burneth and shineth.” – John v. 35 (R.V.)
A lamp that burned and shone. To the Master’s high and glorious tribute my heart would aspire.
A lamp, Jesus says. And the lamp is fed with oil. With heaven’s oil, the mystical and effectual oil of God the Spirit residing in me, may my secret soul be nourished and upheld. If I yield myself daily to the Holy Ghost, to teach me, refine me, control me, His testimony through me will carry force and power. A radiance not my own will flash and beam from my character and conversation and life.
That burned, the Lord goes on. It is a word I must lay to heart. I want the lamp’s heat as well as the lamp’s lustre, its ruby-like glow as well as its diamond-like brilliance. A Christian who has light but lacks love is a very imperfect Christian indeed; let it be different altogether with me. If knowledge is good, consecration and affection are better. I would remember the more excellent way.
And shone, says the Saviour also. For this is the lamp’s use and end; it is only fulfilling its work when it shines. So there should be no uncertainty about my witness-bearing. Words, behaviour, influence, the very look on my face, the slight instinctive things I do without ever thinking of them—all of them should declare Whose I am, all of them should light other souls to Him.
For if I am a lamp, He is the very Sun; and my poor radiance pales alongside of His. And yet it has a noble purpose, it performs a blessed function, when through the midnight and the twilight it glows in His name, until He Himself arise on the hearts that have need of Him.
Dr. Alexander Smellie.