“May God be pleased to make Him [Jesus] increasingly precious to our hearts. Apart from Him Christianity becomes mere philosophy. Doctrine, unless presented in living connection with Him, is empty theology. Prophecy, unless taken up with Himself as its known and loved Center, is but an intellectual study. HE is the sum and substance of it all, the fulfillment of every promise, the goal of every hope. Time spent at His feet, learning of Him, is time well spent, and will bear fruit in the days of eternity to come.”
- From the concluding paragraph (page 111) of the book Christ in the Minor Prophets by Harold P. Barker, Loizeaux Brothers, 1928.
Below is another excerpt from the same book that offers a warning about making “holiness” your great goal. Some may not understand the concern here, but I was part of a denomination in the Wesleyan-Arminian tradition for a few years and observed the very weakness and problem that is highlighted. Of course, Christians should seek to grow in their faith, becoming more Christ-like, but this can veer off course and it ends up all about us rather than about Jesus. Here is that except:
“Holiness in itself is not an end or object. I say this because there are many Christians today who seem to make holiness their great goal. I believe they have a very defective notion of what real holiness according to God is. In the way that they pursue it they really make self, in a most subtle way, their object. How fearfully insidious a thing is self! What could seem more right than to aim at a holy life and an experience of continual joy? But how the ugly ‘I’ shows itself even in connection with a desire of this kind! How nice if ‘I’ could be holy and good, and if ‘I’ could have this beautiful experience! I do not want to be uncharitable, but I know of no persons more self-occupied and self-complacent that those who imagine that they have reached this state and enjoy this experience.” – page 27