Larry Grant 9

THE SORCERER'S STONE!

 CHAPTER THIRTY-SEVEN: FINDING WAYS TO HELP OTHERS    

“Well,” said Larry, after the preliminaries of the next meeting were over, “tonight, let’s talk about something different.

“So far, we’ve been discussing how to come to Christ and how to stay with Him. But there’s also something else we should keep in mind.

“What we’ve been talking about here for weeks has been a great help to us personally. But, let me ask this, now that we’ve learned so much, do you think we should see what we can do to help others?” asked Larry. “Should we just be helping ourselves?”

“I’ve been thinking the same thing,” said a girl. “Tell us more.”

“The person who loves God wants to help others. This is because He is becoming like God, and God is a worker. He is always at work, ministering to the needs of the entire universe.

“Think about it a minute: It is only dedicated Christians that consistently, unselfishly help other people. The atheists never do. We learned earlier this school year that witches live only for themselves, and they want us to live that way also. But the children of God unselfishly try to help everyone they can.

“Wherever the life of God is in the hearts of men, it will flow out to others in love and blessing.

“Our Saviour’s joy was in helping people and saving them from sin. With this purpose in mind, He counted not His life dear to Himself, but endured the cross, despising the shame.

“When that kind of love—the love of Christ—is in our hearts, it flows outward. It cannot be hidden or repressed. Love to Jesus will be shown in a desire to work as He worked to help everyone around us. It will lead to love, tenderness, and sympathy toward all the creatures of our heavenly Father’s care.

“Those who are partaking of the grace of Christ will be ready to make any sacrifice, that others for whom He died may share the heavenly gift. They will do all they can to make the world better for their stay in it.”

“Well, actually,” said a student, “if we spend our time helping others, it will draw us closer to Jesus.”

“That’s right,” replied Larry. “The effort to bless others will always react in blessings upon ourselves. Those who spend their time trying to help others are brought nearest to their Creator. The spirit of unselfish labor for others gives depth, stability, and Christlike loveliness to the character, and brings peace and happiness to its possessor.

“Strength comes by exercise. The more we try to help others, the more skilled we become at doing it.”

  “I like that,” said a girl. “But what about those of us who spend a lot of time in the home. During the summer months, that’s where I am most of the time. And when I grow up and get married, I may be in the home a lot then too.”

“That’s a good question,” said Larry. “It is a mistake to think that we need to go to heathen lands or become public speakers in order to help others and work for souls.

“We can do it within the narrow circle of the home, if that is where our duty lies. We can work for Christ anywhere we are. With a loving spirit we may perform life’s humblest duties ‘unto the Lord’ [Colossians 3:23]. If the love of God is in the heart, it will be revealed in the life.”

“That really is encouraging,” said the same girl.

“You do not have to wait for great occasions,” said Larry, “or expect extraordinary abilities before you can work for God. The humblest and poorest of the disciples of Jesus can be a blessing to others.”

As Larry paused, everyone was thinking about the implications of what he had just said. “You know,” said Larry, “I think by now we need to start a missionary band!”

“What do you mean?” asked a student.

“We’ve received so much light and help ourselves from God, we need to start sharing it with others around us!”

“Who would we help?” asked a girl. “Everyone on campus is right here.”

“There are people living up and down this seacoast who have never received a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ,” said Larry. “We need to help them.”

“Where do we start and what do we do?”  asked a boy in back.

“I’ll tell you what,” Larry said. “I think this is something each of us should think about a little. Let it percolate in your minds this week; talk about it together. My ideas may not be complete, rounded, or balanced. In a multitude of counselors there is strength.

“Why don’t we pray together right now and then adjourn early tonight. Then, back in the dorms, get together with others and figure out some ways we can get started. It might be letter writing, it might be by visiting people off campus. But all this shouldn’t just be something I figured out.”

And so it was that, for the next several weeks, the students focused their attention in the weekly meetings on ways to help others. Small missionary bands were organized. In cars with faculty members, some went out and visited in the surrounding community. Others went to towns in the area. Still others drove south to Salem and found opportunities there to help people. They cleaned up houses or painted them. They gave Bible studies. They made loaves of bread at school and gave them to needy families. They prepared food baskets. They located sick families that needed help.

At their weekly meetings, they would report back; and each band would tell what they had been doing. Then they would pray together for the people they were helping. A rousing song service began and ended each meeting.

The whole thing was exciting; and, as one boy said, “Real Christian living sure beats the misery, deceit, and fear we were getting from the witches.”

This work continued on throughout the remainder of the school year.

 

CHAPTER THIRTY-EIGHT: MORE ON WAYS TO LEARN ABOUT GOD

 

“Well, we’re nearing the end of the school year,” said Larry one night at the weekly meeting. “We’ve sure had a great time together, haven’t we?”

“We sure have!” came the answer from the audience.

“Do you have any questions tonight?”

“Is there anything we do that God does not notice?” asked a girl.

“A great question,” exclaimed Larry. “No tears are shed that God does not notice. There is no smile that He does not mark. If we would but fully believe this, all our worries would be dismissed. Our lives would not be so filled with disappointment as now; for everything, whether great or small, would be left in the hands of God.”

A student rose to his feet. “You know, Larry, I’ve been thinking that another way we can draw closer to God is by walking out in nature. It seems that outside, especially in the country, that I seem to be among His created works.”

“That’s right,” replied Larry. “Many are the ways by which God is seeking to make Himself known to us and bring us into communion with Himself. If we will but listen, Nature speaks to our senses without ceasing. God’s created works will teach us precious lessons of obedience and trust.

“As you have opportunity, take time to walk and sit outside in nature. Look at the plants and animals and think how marvelously they are designed. Indeed, everything is perfectly designed, including our own bodies.”

“So then we can learn about God through the study of nature,” said a student near the front. “That’s encouraging. What are some other ways we can learn about Him?”

“We can learn about Him through nature, through providences, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and especially through the Word of God,” said Larry.

“Although God speaks to us through His providential works and through the influence of His Spirit upon the heart, He especially speaks to us in His Word. In the Bible, we have a clearer revelation of His character, of His dealings with men, and the great work of redemption.

“We want to daily fill our minds with these wonderful messages from our heavenly Father. The Bible contains living bread from heaven, sent down to feed our souls.”

“We need the Bible so much,” said a girl. “Should we read the Old Testament as well as the New Testament, or are both important?”

“That is an important question,” said Larry. “Some people say the Old Testament isn’t important any more, but it is. The whole Bible is the inspired Word of God.

“The central theme of the Bible is God’s plan to save us from sin. We should look for it all through the Bible. The theme of redemption is one into which the angels desire to look; it will be the science and the song of the redeemed throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity. In view of that, it’s surely worth our careful thought and study right now! As we do so, and as we meditate upon all that our Saviour has done for us—and is now doing,—there will be a hungering and thirsting of soul to become like Him whom we adore.

“The Bible was written for the common people. The great truths necessary for salvation are made as clear as noonday. There is nothing more calculated to strengthen the intellect than the study of the Scriptures.”

“Do you have any other suggestions for how to read the Bible?” another student asked.

“We need to take a little time to think and pray through what we read,” explained Larry. “We’re not helped as much when we hastily read in the Bible. One passage studied until its significance is clear to the mind and its relation to the plan of salvation is evident is of more value than a casual reading of many chapters with no definite purpose in view and no positive instruction gained.

“Keep your Bible with you. As you have opportunity, read it; fix the texts in your memory.

“We cannot obtain wisdom without earnest attention and prayerful study. Never should the Bible be studied without prayer. Before opening its pages, we should ask for the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, and it will be given. Angels from the world of light will be with those who in humility of heart seek for divine guidance. How must God esteem the human race, since He gave His Son to die for them and appoints His Holy Spirit to be man’s teacher and continual guide!

“Well, let’s continue our questions next week,” said Larry. “As you know, it will be the last meeting of our class this school year.” 

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