Monday, November 24, 2014

Rejoice And Be Exceedingly Glad!

He died a real death, but now he lives a real life, he did lie in the tomb, and it was no fiction that the breath had departed from him: it is equally no fiction that our Redeemer liveth. The Lord is risen indeed. He hath survived the death struggle and the agony, and he lives unhurt: he has come out of the furnace without so much as the smell of fire upon him. He is not injured in any faculty; whether human or divine. He is not robbed of any glory, but his name is now surrounded with brighter lustre than ever. He has lost no dominion, he claims superior rights and rules over a new empire. He is a gainer by his losses, he has risen by his descent. All along the line he is victorious at every point.

Never yet was there a victory won but what it was in some respects a loss as well as a gain, but our Lord’s triumph is unmingled glory – to himself a gain as well as to us who share in it. Shall we not then rejoice? What, would ye sit and weep by a mother as she exultingly shows her new-born child? Would you call together a company of mourners to lament and to bewail when the heir is born into the household? This were to mock the mother’s gladness. And so to-day shall we use dreary music and sing dolorous hymns when the Lord is risen, and is not only unhurt, unharmed, and unconquered, but is far more glorified and exalted than before his death?

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Sorrow At The Cross Turned Into Joy," delivered November 3, 1878. Image by StephaniePetraPhoto on Flickr under Creative Commons License, without alteration.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

A Word About Godly Ambition

“I did know thee in the wilderness, in the land of great drought. According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten me. Therefore I will be unto them as a lion: as a leopard by the way will I observe them: I will meet them as a bear that is bereaved of her whelps, and will rend the caul of their heart, and there will I devour them like a lion: the wild beast shall tear them.” - Hosea 13:5-8.

There may also be some... who are eagerly aspiring after great things, and these may learn a lesson of sobriety. A desire to rise is laudable, but the winged horse needs to be well bitted and reined lest it fly away with its rider. Some spirits are dissatisfied with moderate success; they pine to reach the front ranks, and to climb to the high places of the earth. Ambition has become the star of their life, perhaps, I had better say-the will-o’-the-wisp of their folly.

Let them learn from this morning’s word [in Hosea above] that all is not gold that glitters, that outward prosperity doth not make men truly prosper, and that there is a way of growing rich without being rich towards God. I would lay a cool hand upon a fevered brow, and remind the ardent youth that a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Prosperous Man's Reminder," delivered October 27, 1878. Image by Kamal Hamid on Flickr under Creative Commons License, without alteration.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The God Who Acknowledged You

Oh, wondrous grace of God, that he owns* his son when that son is still an Egyptian slave. Moreover, God owned his people when they did not own him, for his name “Jehovah” was scarcely known to them. Although Moses presented himself to them with evident credentials, they were ready enough to reject him. They had gone aside unto false gods, we are informed in other parts of the Scripture. During their sojourn in Egypt the Israelites fell into the prevailing superstition of the country, and they forsook the Lord. Some little light still lingered among them. Some traditions were treasured and transmitted from sire to son in solemn trust. Doubtless there was a remnant of pious souls, faithful to the God of Abraham. The bones of Joseph, preserved in Goshen as a memorial of the oath that he took of their tribes, subsequently carried through all their devious wanderings in the wilderness, and ultimately buried in Shechem, as you read in the last chapter of the book of Joshua, vouch for a fidelity we cannot wantonly forget.

But the bulk of the people had fallen into the snares which surrounded them, and conformed to the fashions of those among whom their fortunes were cast, whose gods many and lords many were superstitiously served in secret. They were not a people who could have scraped together so much as a molehill of merit, if they had tried. They were a vain and vicious people, prone to supplant, yet utterly supplanted; specially sinful, because their marked proclivities which might have developed on the side of virtue were perverted into stains and stigmas on their reputation.

Yet Jehovah says, “Israel is my son, even my firstborn.”

* "Owns" in the old sense of acknowledging someone or admitting to something - Ed.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Great Emancipator." Image by Kamil PorembiƄski on Flickr under Creative Commons License, without alteration.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Bring Your Children Before Him In Prayer!

When our Lord blessed the little children he was making his last journey to Jerusalem. It was thus a farewell blessing which he gave to the little ones, and it reminds us of the fact that among his parting words to his disciples, before he was taken up, we find the tender charge, “Feed my lambs.” The ruling passion was strong upon the great Shepherd of Israel, “who gathereth the lambs with his arm, and carrieth them in his bosom”; and it was fitting that while he was making his farewell journey he should bestow his gracious benediction upon the children.

Beloved, our Lord Jesus Christ is not here among us in person; but we know where he is, and we know that he is clothed with all power in heaven and in earth wherewith to bless his people; let us then draw near to him this day. Let us seek his touch in the form of fellowship, and ask the aid of his intercession; let us include others in our prayers, and among these let us give our children, and, indeed, all children, a leading place. We know more of Jesus than the women of Palestine did; let us, therefore, be even more eager than they were to bring our children to him that he may bless them, and that they may be accepted in him, even as we ourselves are.

Jesus waits to bless. He is not changed in character, or impoverished in grace; as he still receiveth sinners, so doth he still bless children; and let none of us be content, whether we be parents or teachers, until he has received our children, and has so blessed them that we are sure that they have entered the kingdom of God.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Receiving The Kingdom Of God As A Little Child," delivered October 20, 1878. Image by ameriswede on Flickr under Creative Commons License, without alteration.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Let Us Walk Worthy Of Him

[T]he apostle prays “that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing.” Is it not fit that you who are to rise to Enoch’s heaven should walk as he did, and have this testimony that you please God? You are going to dwell at God’s right hand, where there are pleasures for evermore, would not you wish to do all you can to please your Lord before you see him? You are a son of a king: you have not put on your glittering array as yet; your crown is not yet on your head; but surely you wish to behave yourself as becometh one who is fore-ordained for so much honor and glory. If a son is in a distant country and is coming home, he begins to think “What can I take home? What can I do to please the beloved father whom I am soon to see?”

Begin, beloved, to see what you can do to please God, because you are so soon to enter into his pleasure, and dwell with those that wear white robes, “for they are worthy.”

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Hope Laid Up In Heaven," delivered October 13, 1878. Image by studiobeeldruis on Flickr under Creative Commons License, without alteration.