by D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (selected by Frank Cumbers)
These things help the soul to grow
... reading the Bible. Here is the great textbook on this matter.... I wonder whether we spend as much time with this Book as we do with the newspaper or with the novels or with the films and all other entertainments—wireless, television and all these things. I am not condemning these things as such.... My argument is that the man who is hungering and thirsting after righteousness and has time for such things should have more time for this.... Study and read this Book. Try to understand it; read books about it.
And then, prayer.... How much time do we spend in His presence? [If you read the biographies of the men of God] you will feel ashamed of yourself. You will find that these saints spent four or five hours daily in prayer, not just saying their prayers at night when they were almost too weary to do so. They gave the best time of their day to God....
And then there is the need for reading the biographies of the ... saints.... The people who hunger and thirst after righteousness ... are frantic ... They are like Bartimaeus or like the importunate widow.... They come back to the same person until they get it. They are like Jacob struggling with the angel. They are like Luther, fasting, swearing, praying, not finding; but going on increasingly in his helplessness until God gave it to him. The same is true of all the saints of all ages and countries.... It seems to work out like this: it is only as you seek this righteousness with the whole of your being that you can truly discover it. You can never find it yourself. Yet the people who sit back and do nothing never seem to get it. That is God’s method. God, as it were, leads us on. We have done everything, and having done all we are still miserable sinners: and then we see that, as little children, we are to receive it as the free gift of God.... Can I say quite honestly and truly that I desire above everything else in this world truly to know God and to be like the Lord Jesus Christ, to be rid of self... and to live only, always and entirely, to His glory and to His honour?
Studies in the Sermon on the Mount, i, pp. 91–3