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Daily Devotional

January 2

A First Book of Daily Readings

by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)

Never lose sight of Jesus

You remember the famous story about William Wilberforce and the woman who went to him at the height of his campaign against slavery and said, "Mr Wilberforce, what about the soul?" And Mr Wilberforce turned to the woman and said, "Madam, I had almost forgotten that I had a soul." With all due respect to him, the woman was right. Of course, she may have been a busy-body; but there is no evidence that she was.

Probably the woman saw that here was a good and fine Christian man, doing a most excellent work. Yes, but she also saw and realized that the danger confronting such a man was that of being so absorbed in the question of anti-slavery that he might forget his own soul.

A man can be so busy preaching in pulpits that he forgets and neglects his own soul. After you have attended all your meetings, and denounced Communism until you can scarcely speak, after you have dealt with your apologetics, and displayed your wonderful knowledge of theology and your understanding of the times, and your complete map of the next fifty years, and after you have read all the translations of the Bible, and have shown your proficiency in a knowledge of its mechanics, I still ask you: "What about your relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ?"

You know a great deal more than you did a year ago; but do you know Him better? You denounce many wrong things; but do you love Him more? Your knowledge of the Bible and its translations has become quite astounding, and you are an expert in apologetics; but are you obeying the law of God and of Christ increasingly? Is the fruit of the Spirit more and more manifest and evident in your life? Those are the questions ... to "know Him," and to "be like" Him. If anything takes the place of that, we are on the wrong road. All these other things are means to bring us to a knowledge of Him, and if we stay with them they are robbing us of Him.

Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, ii, pp 292-3

“Text reproduced from ‘A First Book of Daily Readings’ by Martyn Lloyd-Jones, published by Epworth Press 1970 & 1977 © Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes. Used with permission.”

Comments on D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, A First Book of Daily Readings

"These gems of evangelical truth, biblically based, help the reader to understand this world in the light of the Word." —Church Herald

"Christ-honoring, thought-provoking discussions" —Presbyterian Journal

"Few daily devotional books offer as much substantial insight as this one." —Christian Bookseller

"...will help to either open or close your day." —Evangelize

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