Golden Text.--"Lo, I am with you alway, even
unto the end of the world!"--Matt. 28:20.
REVIEWING the lessons of the quarter, showing the missionary labors of the Apostle, and introducing to us a number of his colaborers, our principal thoughts may well be that the same gospel is still being preached--Jesus and the resurrection; --that the privilege of being ministers of this gospel, and colaborers with our Lord, is still open to us; that the rewards of such ministry may still be won by us; indeed, it is well that we get the thought that every member of the Church glorified will have been an active member of the Church militant--warring against the Adversary and his works, and influence. Whether our warfare be of the more public kind or of the more private sort, there must be warfare, and more than this, there must be progress and victory, else we can never be accepted of the Lord as "overcomers."
Another thought should be borne in mind by us all; viz., that while we have gifts differing one from the other, and are, therefore, able to contribute to the Lord's cause relatively larger or smaller amounts of energy or service or wealth, the Lord in making his estimate will take knowledge of the spirit which actuated us, rather than of the results secured by our efforts; so that of some small talent it may be said, as it was said of the poor widow who cast in the two mites into the Lord's treasury,--that the smaller gift was more appreciated by the Lord than some of the larger ones. In view of this, let us see to it, not only that we do with our might what our hands find to do, but also that our every sacrifice and gift to the Lord and his cause is so full of love and devotion that the Lord will surely approve it; as done from love for him and his, and not from vainglory.
The Golden Text of this lesson contains a precious thought,--that the Lord has been with his representatives in all their labors of love and self-denial, throughout the entire age, noting their efforts, assisting, encouraging, sustaining them, and surely watering and refreshing all who are making his service their special object in life,--ministering his grace to others, watering and feeding them. And if this has been true in the past, all through the age, how specially true we may realize it to be now, in the end of the age, in the time of harvest, in the time of our Lord's second presence! How we may realize that he is with us, in sympathy, in cooperation, in assistance, in sustaining grace,-- able and willing to make all of our experiences profitable to us, and to use us abundantly in showing forth the praises of him who has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light!
Let these thoughts quicken us to fresh and greater energies, and to an appreciation of the fact that the things of this present time are but transitory (both its joys and its sorrows); and that the ambitions and hopes of the world are not worthy of comparison with these noble and laudable ambitions to serve and to please our Master, and to have his rewards--the chief of which will be fellowship with himself in glory, and the privilege of being colaborers with him in the blessing of the world,--the grand fulfilment of the heavenly Father's gracious plans for the world of mankind.