George Muller's Words, spoken at a New Year's Service, 1859
We have, through the goodness of the Lord, been permitted to enter upon another year, and the minds of many among us will no doubt be occupied with plans for the future, and the various fears of our work and service for the Lord. If our lives are spared, we shall be engaged in many things--the welfare of our families, the prosperity of our business, and our work and service for Christ, which may be considered the most important matters to be attended to.
But according to my judgement, the most important point to be attended to is this: above all things, see to it that your souls are happy in the Lord. Other things may press upon you, and the Lord's work may even have urgent claims upon your attention, but I deliberately repeat, it is of supreme and paramount importance that you should seek above all things to have your souls truly happy in God Himself! Day by day seek to make this the most important business of your life. This has been my firm and settled condition for the last thirty-five years. For the first four years after my conversion, I knew not its vast importance, but now after much experience, I especially commend this point to the notice of my younger brothers and sisters in Christ: the secret of all true effectual service is joy in God, and having experimental acquaintance and fellowship with God Himself.
But in what way shall we attain to this settled happiness of soul? How shall we learn to enjoy God? How shall we obtain such an all-sufficient soul-satisfying portion in Him, as shall enable us to let go the things of this world as vain and worthless in comparison? I answer, This happiness is to be obtained through the study of the Holy Scriptures. God has therein revealed Himself unto us in the face of Jesus Christ.
In the Scriptures, by the power of the Holy Ghost, He makes Himself known unto our souls. . . . Therefore the very earliest portion of the day we can command should be devoted to the meditation on Scriptures. Our souls should feed upon the Word. . . . This intimate experimental acquaintance with Him will make us truly happy. Nothing else will. In God our Father and the blessed Jesus, our souls have a rich, divine, imperishable, eternal treasure. Let us enter into practical possession of these true riches; yea, let the remaining days of our earthily pilgrimage be spent in an ever-increasing, devoted, earnest consecration of our souls to God.