The GOSPEL TRUTH
CHARLES G. FINNEY'S
V. PASTORAL HABITS OF DEVOTION.
1. Definition -- It is the offering of self and all to God.(1) This must be the condition of usefulness.
(2) It must be the habitual attitude of the soul.
2. Hints for devotion.(1) Like other habits, devotion should be cultivated and established, rendered second nature.
(2) I here speak of ordinary occasions, daily; extraordinary are exceptional, of course, seasons of prayer.
(3) Begin with prayer: Thanksgiving, confession, supplication, praise and adoration -- persist until conscious communion is secured.
(4) Then read the Bible, on your knees.
(5) If it opens to you, note the teachings, if new.
(6) Students' Bible, or a skeleton.
(7) If it does not open, pray and worship again.
(8) If still sealed, search, in confession, for the reason.
(9) If time fails, renew the exercise as soon as possible.
(10) Remember you have no power if communion is lost.
(11) This is your argument and strong reason.
(12) "Go, and make all men disciples, and lo, I am with you."
(13) Again, "Men do not go to war at their own charges."
(14) Keep your eye single, and the promise is sure.
(15) Communion must be maintained at any cost.
(16) Never rest short of this any day of your life.
(17) You have no strength, except as you hold on to this.
(18) Your comfort and usefulness depend on communion.
(19) No learning, no study avails without this.
(20) You must maintain a prevailing spirit of prayer.
(21) To do this, you must spend much time in direct communion with God. This is never lost time.
(22) You can accomplish available study ten times faster, if you maintain communion.
(23) But don't pray too exclusively for yourself, nor principally.
(24) By turning from self, you will find access.
(25) Commune with God, about your flock.
(26) Let consultation with Him about individuals occupy you.
(27) Beware of selfishness in your approaches to God.
(28) You will find comfort in preparation as you do not seek it. Lose and you will find.
(29) Let your request be for wisdom and strength to do your work.
(30) Your communion will be more unbroken as the habit becomes established -- like study.
(31) Your communion will be deeper as you progress.
3. Conditions of maintaining the spirit of devotion.(1) Watchfulness.
(5) The right use of time.
(7) Implicit faith.
(8) Also obedience.
(9) Control of appetites and passions.
(10) Often fasting and much detailed confession.
(11) Confession and restitution to the injured.
(12) A conscience void of offense.
(13) Whole hearted and entire consecration.
(14) Allow no unforgiving spirit.
(15) No uncharitableness.
(16) A bridled tongue.
(17) Avoid evil speaking.
(18) Also evil suspicions.
(19) Levity in conversation.
(20) The spirit of distrust.
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