Scripture: "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ."—1 JOHN i. 3.
What a revelation of the calling of the preacher of the Gospel! His message is nothing less than to proclaim that Christ has opened the way for us simple men to have, day by day, living, loving fellowship with the holy God. He is to preach this as a witness to the life he himself lives in all its blessed experience. In the power of that testimony, he is to prove its reality, and to show how a sinful man upon earth can indeed live in fellowship with the Father and the Son.
The message suggests to us that the very first duty of the minister or the missionary every day of his life is to maintain such close communion with God that he can preach the truth in the fullness of joy, and with the consciousness that his life and conversation are the proof that his preaching is true, so that his words appeal with power to the heart: "These things write we unto you that your joy may be full."
In an article in the I. R. M. of October 1914, on the in¬fluence of the Keswick Convention on mission work, the substance of Keswick teaching is given in these words: "It points to a life of communion with God through Christ as a reality to be entered upon, and constantly maintained, by the unconditional and habitual surrender of the whole personality to Christ's control and government, in the assurance that the living Christ will take possession of the life thus yielded to Him." It is such teaching, revealing the infinite claim and power of Christ's love as maintained by the power of the Holy Spirit, that will encourage and compel men to make the measure of Christ's surrender for them the only measure of their surrender to Him and His service.
It is this intimate fellowship with Christ as the secret of daily service and testimony that has power to make Christ known as the deliverer from sin and the inspiration of a life of wholehearted devotion to His service.
It is this intimate and abiding fellowship with Christ that the promise, "I am with you alway," secures to us. This is what every missionary needs, what every missionary has a right to claim, and by which alone he maintains that spiritual efficiency that will influence the workers and the converts with whom he comes in contact.