Lesson 1

Did you ever hear the story of the wise King, and the youth who came to ask him the secret of happiness and victory over sin? The King filled a cup with wine and handed it to the youth, bidding him carry it through the streets of the city and bring it back to the palace without spilling a single drop. “And if thou spillest any”, said the King, “the soldier who followeth thee with drawn sword shall remove thy head”. The youth, followed by the soldier, went forth bearing the cup most carefully. He carried it safely through the streets and brought it back at last unspilled. “Well”, said the King, “what didst thou see and hear by the way?” “Naught, O King,” replied the youth. “What!” exclaimed the King. “Sawest thou not the beggars by the wayside, nor the sellers in the market, not the players and the dancers in the booths, nor the roisterers in the taverns?” “Nay, sire,” said the youth, “I neither saw or heard any of these.” “So,” said the King, “learn thy lesson. Set thy heart on God and all thy mind to obey Him, as thou didst fix thy thought on the bearing of the cup, and thou shalt not hear the voices of temptation, nor be enticed by the vanities of this world.” This one thing I do, forgetting the things which are behind, and reaching forward to the things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.  Taken from At The Gate Called Beautiful by O.G. Whitfield

Lesson 2

Once upon a time there was a man who had worked hard in a great cause till he was very tired. And, as folks often do when they are tired, he was feeling rather discouraged. He wondered why people did not seem to care very much about the things for which he worked so hard. So wondering, he fell asleep, and as he slept he dreamed. In his dream he thought he was a horse, and he was harnessed to a heavy wagon which he had to drag up a long steep hill. Away he started, and when the climb began it did not seem half so heavy or so hard as he had thought it would. He wondered why, and, looking round, he saw that there was a little company of boys and girls and men and women, all pushing hard behind. That was what made the wagon run so well and turned the wheels so merrily. On they went, and all went well till they were nearly half way up. Then the wagon seemed to run less easily and grow more heavy, or else the hill was much more steep.  Again he looked round, to find that several of his helpers had got tired and had climbed on to the wagon for a ride. That was what made it seem so much heavier, and only a few were pushing now. Still on they struggled till they began to near the top, but now the wagon seemed heavier than ever and the road much steeper. He put out all his power and hauled for all he was worth, but, glancing round once more, he found that all his helpers now were riding on the wagon and he was left alone to drag it, and them too, up to the top himself. He toiled with all his might, but felt that he could never do it, and just as his strength was failing — he awoke!  It was nothing but a dream. Who was the man? I do not know. Perhaps he was a minister thinking how easy it was to work his Church when there were plenty of willing helpers, how hard when they all want to be passengers. Perhaps he was a statesman trying to win world-peace, and feeling how easy it would be if all people pushed, how hard when they wanted it all done without their help. Perhaps it was Jesus Christ toiling for His Kingdom, thinking how quickly it would come if all His followers put their shoulders to the wheel; how slowly and painfully they leave it to Him.  The question is not who he was, but what we are going to be – passengers?  Or those who push?  I know which I would rather be.  And I know this, too, that when the Journey’s end is reached, it will not be the passengers who hear that Voice which says, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”  No passenger will ever hear those words.  Taken from At The Gate Called Beautiful by O.G. Whitfield

Lesson 3

Mr Blackbird sits every morning on the top most bough and sings to Mrs Blackbird. He sings how he loves her; he sings how beautiful and clever she is; and that never was such a wonderful egg laid by any bird. Singing makes him hungry however and he had found a choice titbit! Mrs Blackbird came hopping up and put her head on one side and looked at him, just as if to say, “Give me a bit!” He pretended not to see and took no notice so she hopped nearer. But he turned round and gave her a vicious peck. After some family trouble Mr Blackbird was back on the tree-top singing to Mrs Blackbird. I’m sure she was thinking . . . “It’s all very fine for him to go and sing like that, but it is what he does that shows how much he really means it”. So it is. It is always what you do that tells. It is all very well to throw your arms round your mother’s neck and tell her what a dear sweet mother she is; but when she asks you to run upstairs to fetch something for her, what then? “Oh, it’s too far!” “My legs are so tired!” It is what you do that tells. And it is all very well to sing, as you often do, hymns about Jesus, and how good He is, and how much you love Him; but it is what you do for Him day by day that shows how much you mean it. “Why call ye me Lord, Lord” He says “and do not the things I say?” “He that hath My commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me”. Taken from At The Gate Called Beautiful by O.G. Whitfield