Welcome to Meditation Moments, and we’re so glad that you’re with us.
I believe it will be profitable to you if you’ll truly meditate on these thoughts that we bring from our heart. God bless you indeed.
Thinking of our meditation for today, my mind traveled back to a day before the Second World War, when we were visiting in a home in the South. The son of the family was leaving the next day for the army. We had been invited in for the farewell.
“Would you like to see some of my pictures that I took on a recent trip through Canada?” the young man asked us. As he projected the pictures on the silver screen, I watched in amazement, for in every picture the scenery was obscured by his own image standing prominently in front of some very beautiful view. There was himself blotting out a scene in the Canadian Rockies, himself obscuring a rural scene in Quebec, himself so filling the picture that there was little else to be seen but self. Just filling all the pictures was himself, and it was hard to find any scenery.
And so it was in all his conversation: He sang a song of self; he talked a song of self. It was a sweet melody to his own ears, but it became very tiresome to others. The pictures told a story that “self” had gone on this wonderful journey, and “self” was all he’d brought back. The wonders of it were lost to him because he saw only himself, and felt only himself, and cared for himself.
But how different the story later on! After the war, we ran across this young life again as we visited the same territory. He had seen front-line battle a number of times, and he had been severely wounded. His buddies had died by his side, and the chaplain he had loved so much had given his life in one sacrificial act of great courage.
Out there one day in no-man’s-land, impaled on a barbed wire fence, “self” died and was buried forever. After a while we asked, “Did you bring back any pictures?” “Just a few,” he said. “Would you like to see them?”
In that handful of pictures there was not one picture of himself. Self indeed had been wiped from every scene. Now, although he was a sufferer, he was active in service for others, and “self” had lost itself completely in the great needs about him.
He was a sufferer indeed, and crippled severely, but never once in our visit in that home did he mention his own need, did he ever talk of his pain, or of himself. I thought of this verse of scripture in John 12:24, “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” You know, this is a strange paradox that life will come out of death. Except you die, you’ll never truly live, just as the paradox, except you give forth, you can’t take in truly.
“Give and it is given unto you.” But “If you withhold more than is meet, it tendeth to poverty” (Luke 6:38, Proverbs 11:24). These wonderful verses teach us this lesson. And so in the end of this verse from God’s Word, this last line: “It abideth alone.” This is the loneliness of the “self” life, that if you’re not willing to die, there is this loneliness. “Except a corn of wheat fall in the ground and die, it abides alone.” This is why the “self life” is so stunted and impoverished.
The one who lives so self-absorbed, and enwrapped and self-pitying, with the idea that the whole universe revolves around them, they live the loneliest of lives. They indeed abide alone, and so many times they feel the utter futility of life.
Someone has wisely said that the smallest package in all the world is a man wrapped up in himself, and that surely is true. But how different the life of a real Christian, a dedicated Christian, where self has died! They’ve been crucified with Christ and they’ve been born again as new creatures. Paul said, it’s no longer I that live, “but Christ that liveth in me” (Galatians 2:20). No more self-absorption, no more self-motives in life, but motivated by Christ within. He loses his life in larger interests, in the wealth of satisfaction from an outpoured life—an outpoured life instead of an ingrown life.
The promise is that if it die, it shall bring forth much fruit. This new life, the Christ-life that has taken over, will suffer for others, that’s true. It will expend itself; it will bleed for the suffering, but oh, what a harvest of fruitfulness there is. It indeed brings forth much fruit because it has germinated into communion with others; it has germinated into fellowship with God and into a self-forgetfulness that brings rest, joy, and riches eternal.
If you are suffering the loneliness of the egoist, the one whose whole world is “self,” the one who never gets away from himself, then take this verse from God’s wonderful Word and ask the Lord to take you out of yourself and into Him. Seek Him; yield to Christ. Yield all of self. Present your body to Him a living sacrifice, as that Word says: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, which is holy, acceptable unto God.” And he adds it’s a reasonable service (Romans 12:1).
A living sacrifice that He may come in and abide, living out His life through you until you can say with Paul, “Christ liveth in me.” Then that verse in Colossians will be fulfilled in you, “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3).
Oh, this is the happy life! This is the useful life, and the life that knows no real loneliness. Now with the death of self, there are heights of joy that you have never known! As the old song with that wonderful verse:
Lord, lift me up and let me stand,
By faith, on Heaven’s tableland;
A higher plane than I have found,
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.