Like last week, we are posting another tract by a preacher named Paul Simon (date unknown, location unknown). Many times it helps us to consider topics in short “tract-sized” form. Often, preachers get overly wordy in trying to explain something when fewer words will do.
Principles In Christian Conduct
By PAUL SIMON, Minister
“Pray without ceasing” (1 Thes. 5:22).
God is not here commanding us to pray at every breath; to pray continuously, but is giving a principle: To pray always, in all things. We should continue to pray and never let the time come in our lives that we no longer pray to God, asking His blessings on us. Great men and women of history have been men and women who realized the need of prayer.
“Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance; it is laying hold of his highest willingness.” — Trench.
Abraham Lincoln said, “I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me, seemed insufficient for the day.”
“I know no blessing so small as to be reasonably expected without prayer, nor any so great but may be attained by it.”—South.
“I think I should have been swept away by the flood of French infidelity, if it had not been for one thing: the remembrance of times when my sainted mother used to make me kneel by her side, taking my little hands in hers, and caused me to repeat the Lord’s prayer.”—John Randolph.
Jeremy Taylor once said. “The body of our prayer is the sum of our duty; and as we must ask of God whatsoever we need, so we must watch and labor for all that we ask. Whatsoever we beg of God, let us also work for it.”
Although Jean Inglelow, English author, realized the need of prayer, she also realized the folly of her prayers, when she said, “I have lived to thank God that not all my prayers have been answered.”
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures…” (Matthew 6:19)
Matt. 6:19-34, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light: But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other: or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore, I say unto you. Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink: nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat and the body more than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap nor gather into barns: yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you, by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you. That even Solomon, in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore. if God so clothed the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore, take no thought, saying, What shall we eat, or What shall we drink, or Wherewithal shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the Gentiles seek: for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.”
Jesus is not, here, commanding us to refuse to save against old age, sickness, or accident: neither is He saying that it is wrong to plan to wear a certain dress, or suit of clothes Sunday, or to eat beans and corn bread for dinner tomorrow—because nothing is done without planning ahead. Jesus is laying down a principle: Put first things first: give spiritual matters first place in your life. Those who fail to abide by this principle of putting God first cannot be happy; neither here, nor hereafter.
“The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said. This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, drink and be merry. But God said unto him. Thou fool! this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall these things be which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasures for himself and is not rich toward God.” — Luke 12:16-21. See, also, Luke 16:19-31.