Tuesday, July 31, 2007

In the secret place of the Most High

Photo by Eric Irish, some rights reserved

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High... (Psalm 91:1)

The blessings here promised are not for all believers, but for those who live in close fellowship with God. Every child of God looks towards the inner sanctuary and the mercy seat, yet all do not dwell in the most holy place; they run to it at times, and enjoy occasional approaches, but they do not habitually reside in the mysterious presence. Those who through rich grace obtain unusual and continuous communion with God, so as to abide in Christ and Christ in them, become possessors of rare and special benefits, which are missed by those who follow afar off, and grieve the Holy Spirit of God.

Into the secret place those only come who know the love of God in Christ Jesus, and those only dwell there to whom to live is Christ. To them the veil is rent, the mercyseat is revealed, the covering cherubs are manifest, and the awful glory of the Most High is apparent: these, like Simeon, have the Holy Ghost upon them, and like Anna they depart not from the temple; they are the courtiers of the Great King, the valiant men who keep watch around the bed of Solomon, the virgin souls who follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. Elect out of the elect, they have "attained unto the first three", and shall walk with their Lord in white, for they are worthy. Sitting down in the august presence chamber where shines the mystic light of the Sheckinah, they know what it is to be raised up together, and to be made to sit together with Christ in the heavenlies, and of them it is truly said that their conversation is in heaven. Special grace like theirs brings with it special immunity.

Outer court worshippers little know what belongs to the inner sanctuary, or surely they would press on until the place of nearness and divine familiarity became theirs. Those who are the Lord's constant guests shall find that he will never suffer any to be injured within his gates; he has eaten the covenant salt with them, and is pledged for their protection.

From "The Treasury of David," exposition of Psalm 91

Monday, July 30, 2007

God is always thinking about you!

O Christian, remember that by night and by day God is always thinking of you. From the beginning of the year even to the end of the year, the Lord’s eye is upon you, according to his precious word — “I, the Lord do keep it, I will water it every moment, lest any hurt it I will keep it night and day.”

Your remembrance of God is intermittent; you thought of him this morning when you rose from your beds; you are trying to think of him now, and this evening again your thoughts will go up to him; these are only times and seasons of remembrance, but God never ceases to recollect you. The finite mind of man cannot constantly be occupied, if it is to engage in other pursuits, with any one thought; but the gigantic mind of God can allow of a million trains of thought at once. He is not confined to thinking of one thing, or working out one problem at a time. He is the great many-handed, many-eyed God; he doeth all things, and meditateth upon all things, and worketh all things at the same time; therefore he never is called away by any urgent business so that he can forget you.

No second person ever comes in to become a rival in his affection towards you. You are fast united to your great Husband, Christ, and no other lover can steal his heart; but Jesus, having chosen you, doth never suffer a rival to come. You are his beloved, his spouse, the darling of his heart, and he has himself said, “Mine eye and my heart are toward thee continually.” Every moment of every day, every day of every month, and every month of every year, is the Lord continually thinking upon you, if you be one of his.

From a sermon entitled "A Precious Drop of Honey," delivered May 31, 1863.

Photo by Owen Benson; some rights reserved

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Be in awe of the Word of God

That man is blessed who trembles at God’s Word. This Book is not to be compared with other books; it is not of the same class and order. It is inspired in a sense in which they are not; it stands alone, and is not one among other books. As towers an Alp above the molehills of the meadow, so Holy Scripture rises above the purest, truest, and holiest literature of man’s composing. Even could all those other books be purged of error, and be corrected to the highest degree of human knowledge, yet would they no more reach to the degree of the Book of God than man can become God. It is supreme, and of another quality from all the rest of them. Other writings we feel free to criticize, but “My heart standeth in awe of thy Word.”

The man who loves God’s Word does not trifle with it; it is far too sacred to be toyed with. He does not cavil at it; for he believes it to be God’s Word. With a docility which comes of true sonship, it is enough for him that his Father says so. His one anxiety is, as far as possible, to know the meaning of his Father’s words; and, that known, all debate is out of question. “Thus saith the Lord,” is to every true child of God the end of the matter. I have often told you, my dear friends, that I view the difficulties of Holy Scriptures as so many prayer-stools upon which I kneel and worship the glorious Lord. What we cannot comprehend by our understandings we apprehend by our affections. Awe of God’s Word is a main element in that love of God’s law which brings great peace.

From a sermon entitled "The Lover of God's Law Filled With Peace," delivered January 22, 1888.

Photo by maciekSz, some rights reserved.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Are we truly useful to God?

If we do that which is pleasing in God’s sight the Lord will be with us in our work, but not else. Suppose a minister to have been living through the week a careless, prayerless life; he may preach his best, but as he is not a vessel fit for the Master’s use he may not reckon upon being used by the Lord. If the Sunday-school teacher goes to her class after indulging in light conversation or in an angry temper, there is no wonder that souls are not converted by her teaching. If the city missionary does not find souls blessed in his district, need he wonder, when upon looking within he sees a cold heart, and upon looking without he sees a negligent life? A mother wonders that her children are not saved, and yet it would be a far greater wonder if they were, when her general conduct and spirit are taken into consideration. A father has been astonished that his boys have not turned out Christians, while every one except himself can see that it would have been a thousand miracles if they had become religious, for their father’s religion is of that sour, melancholy, rigid, frigid, unlovely type, that you could not suppose anybody could like it unless they had a partiality for sour grapes and bitter aloes.

We must get rid of the things that displease God, if we are to be useful, and when that is done then shall we be able to say, “He that sent me is with me; the Father hath not left me alone.”

Now I close, and closing I ask you — is this too high a model for you? Would you prefer an example which would let you abide contented in a measure of sin? I hear many say, “I love Christ,” but their love does not make them imitate the Lord. I fear that they do not know him, and if they did they would not love him, but would think him a deal too precise and self-denying. There is such a thing as loving a Christ of our imagining, and not the Christ of the New Testament, whose character is absolute perfection. Do you love the holy Jesus? If you do, then I am sure you do not think his character too elevated, or his example too pure, nay, you say, “Lord, I love this holy living, I only wish I could in all things copy it. Oh, for more holiness! Grant it to me!”

From a sermon entitled "The Christian's Motto, delivered March 22, 1874.

Photo by Kyle Simourd.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

I wish we did believe in prayer

I wish we did believe in prayer, I am afraid most of us do not.

People will say “What a wonderful thing it is that God hears George Muller’s prayers !” But is it not a sad thing that we should think it wonderful for God to hear prayer? We are come to a pretty pass certainly when we think it wonderful that God is true!

Much better faith was that of a little boy in one of the schools at Edinburgh, who had attended the prayer-meetings, and at last said to his teacher who conducted the prayermeeting, “Teacher, I wish my sister could be got to read the Bible; she never reads it.” Why, Johnny, should your sister read the Bible?” “Because if she should once read it, I am sure it would do her good, and she would be converted and be saved.” “Do you think so, Johnny?” “Yes, I do, sir, and I wish the next time there’s a prayer-meeting you would ask the people to pray for my sister, that she may begin to read the Bible.” “Well, well, it shall be done, John.”

So the teacher gave out that a little boy was very anxious that prayers should be offered that his sister might begin to read the Bible. John was observed to get up and go out. The teacher thought it very unkind of the boy to disturb the people in a crowded room and go out like that, and so the next day when the lad came, he said, “John, I thought that was very rude of you to get up in the prayer-meeting and go out. You ought not to have done it.” “Oh! sir,” said the boy, I did not mean to be rude, but I thought I should just like to go home and see my sister reading her Bible for the first time.”

That is how we ought to believe, and wait with expectation to see the answer to prayer. The girl was reading the Bible when the boy went home. God had been pleased to hear the prayer; and if we could but trust God after that fashion we should often see similar things accomplished.

From a sermon entitled, "Joyful Transformations, delivered December 27, 1868.

Photo by Xia Men, some rights reserved

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The humanity of Christ

Photo by Kevin Dooley
Some rights reserved

How greatly we rejoice to think of Christ’s humanity, because we feel that it brings him very near to us! He is our Brother, he feels what we feel, and through his humanity this wondrous Man is next of kin unto us. He who is truly God, is also our near Kinsman, bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh. How the blessed doctrine of the union of the saints with Christ delights us, as we remember that “we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones”!

How the wondrous truth of the indwelling of the Holy Ghost charms us, because the same Spirit that rested upon him rests also upon us, and the holy oil that was first poured upon him who is the Head descends even to us who are as the hem of the garment that reaches even to the ground! It is the same Spirit that is upon him that is upon us, and so again we are one with him.

From a sermon entitled, "Spices, Flowers, Lilies, and Myrrh," delivered August 5, 1880.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Illumination from the Spirit

When the Holy Spirit enters, after quickening he gives enlightening. We cannot make men see the truth, they are so blind; but when the Lord puts his Spirit within them their eyes are opened. At first they may see rather hazily; but still they do see. As the light increases, and the eye is strengthened, they see more and more clearly. What a mercy it is to see Christ, to look unto him, and so to be lightened! By the Spirit, souls see things in their reality: they see the actual truth of them, and perceive that they are facts.

The Spirit of God illuminates every believer, so that he sees still more marvellous things out of God’s law; but this never happens unless the Spirit opens his eyes. The apostle speaks of being brought “out of darkness into his marvellous light”; and it is a marvellous light, indeed, to come to the blind and dead. Marvellous because it reveals truth with clearness. It reveals marvellous things in a marvellous way. If hills and mountains, if rocks and stones were suddenly to be full of eyes, it would be a strange thing in the earth, but not more marvellous than for you and for me by the illumination of the Holy Spirit to see spiritual things. When you cannot make people see the truth, do not grow angry with them, but cry, “Lord, put thy Spirit within them.” When you get into a puzzle over the Word of the Lord, do not give up in despair, but believingly cry, “Lord, put thy Spirit within me.” Here lies the only true light of the soul. Depend upon it, all that you see by any light except the Spirit of God, you do not spiritually see.

If you only see intellectually, or rationally, you do not see to salvation. Unless intellect and reason have received heavenly light, you may see, and yet not see; even as Israel of old. Indeed, your boasted clear sight may aggravate your ruin, like that of the Pharisees, of whom our Lord said, “But now ye say, We see, therefore your sin remaineth.” O Lord, grant us the Spirit within, for our soul’s illumination!

From a sermon entitled, "The Covenant Promise of the Spirit," delivered April 10, 1891.

Photo by Kiwehowin; some rights reserved.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Do something for Christ!

You young people who have lately joined the church, do not be long before you try to do something for Christ. You that have for a long time been trusting Christ, and have never yet begun to work, arouse yourselves to attempt some service for his sake. Aged friends and sick friends can still find something to do. Perhaps, at the last, it will be found that the persons whom we might have excused on account of illness, or weakness, or poverty, are the people who have done the most. That, at least, is my observation.

I find that, if there is a really good work done, it is usually done by an invalid, or by somebody who might very properly have said, “I pray thee, have me excused.” How is it that so many able-bodied and gifted Christians seem to be so slow in the Master’s service? If there is a political meeting, something about Liberals and Conservatives, how earnest you are! You are all there, every bit of you, over your politics, which are not worth a penny a year; but when it comes to souls being saved, many of you are mute as fishes. You go all the year round without caring even for the spiritual welfare of a little child.

One of our friends gave a good answer to a brother who said to him, “I have been a member of a church now for forty years. I am a father in Israel.” He asked him, “How many children have you? How many have you brought to Christ?” “Well,” the man said, “I do not know that I ever brought anybody to Christ.” Upon which our friend retorted, “Call yourself a father in Israel, and yet you have no children! I think you had better wait until you have earned the title.” So do I.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Vote for your favorite Spurgeon resource!

The Daily Spurgeon continues to grow so fast that I'm actually surprised. The number of both online readers and e-mail subscribers is really taking off fast and we've only been here one month! Thanks for your support.

Actually, I shouldn't be surprised, as there are still many people who enjoy solid, old-fashioned preaching, and many Spurgeon fans out there even 115 years after his death.

As a way to celebrate our first month, I thought it might be fun to conduct a poll as to what is your favorite Spurgeon resource. Just click one of the buttons in the poll in the top of the left column to cast your vote.

The polling ends August 15. Have fun!

The love of Jesus for His enemies

Did you ever hear yet of the world’s blessing an enemy? Never. It gives its benefactions to its friends, and but very scantily even to them. But Christ gives his benefactions to his enemies. “Not as the world giveth” he may truly say. The world says, “I must see whether you deserve it; I must see that your case is a good one.” It enquires, and enquires, and enquires again; but Christ only sees that our case is a bad one, and then he gives. He wants not a good case but a bad case. He knows our necessity, and, once discovering our necessity, not all our sin can stop the hand of his bounty.

Oh, if Jesus should call to mind some of the hard speeches we have uttered about him, he would never bless us surely, if it were not that his ways are far above our ways. Why, remember man, it is not long ago since you cursed him — since you laughed at his people — despised his ministers, and could spit upon his Bible. Jesus has cast all that behind his back, and loved you notwithstanding. Would the world have done that? Let a man get up and rail at his fellows, will they forgive, and, after forgiving, will they begin to bless? Will they die for their enemies? Oh, no! such a thing never entered into the heart of manhood. But Christ blesses rebels, traitors, enemies to his cross. He brings them to know his love, and taste of his eternal mercies.

From a sermon entitled, "The Best of Masters," delivered April 10, 1859.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Forget not all His benefits!

You have asked for blessings in your going out and your coming in blessings of the day and of the night, and of the sun and of the moon; and all these have been vouchsafed to you. Your prayers were innumerable; you asked for countless mercies, and they have all been given. Only look at yourself: are not you adorned and bejeweled with mercies as thickly as the sky with stars. Think how you have prayed for your family. When you first knew the Lord your husband feared him not; but how you wrestled for your husband’s soul! and now the tear is in your eye while you see your husband sitting by your side in the house of God, and recollect, it is not many months ago since he would have been in the tavern. Your children too have through your prayers been brought to God. Mothers, you wrestled with God that your children might be God’s children, and you have lived to see them converted. How great the mercy to see our offspring called in early youth. Oh! love the Lord, because in this respect too he has heard your voice and your supplication. How often have you presented before God your business, and he has helped you in that matter. How frequently have you laid your household sorrows before him, and he has delivered you in that case.

And some of us can sing of blessings given to us in the service of God in his church. We have lived to see the empty sanctuary crowded to the full, we have seen our largest attempts successful beyond our most sanguine hopes; we have prayed for sinners, and seen them saved; we have asked for backsliders, and have seen them restored; we have cried for a Pentecost, and we have had it; and by God’s grace we are crying for it again, and we shall have it once more.

O minister, deacon, elder, church member, father, mother, man of business, hast thou not indeed cause to say, “I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications?” I am afraid the very fact that God hears our prayers so constantly, leads us to forget the greatness of his mercy. Let it not be so, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” Let this today be brought to mind, and let me raise a song to the God who hath heard the voice of my supplication.

From a sermon entitled, "Prayer Answered, Love Nourished," delivered February 27, 1859.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Consecrated to Christ

The littleness of Christians of this age results from the littleness of their consecration to Christ. The age of John Owen was the day of great preachers; but let me tell you, that that was the age of great consecration. Those great preachers whose names we remember, were men who counted nothing their own: they were driven out from their benefices, because they could not conform to the Established Church, and they gave up all they had willingly to the Lord. They were hunted from place to place; the disgraceful five-mile act would not permit them to come within five miles of any market town; they wandered here and there to preach the gospel to a few poor sheep, being fully given up to their Lord.

Those were foul times; but they promised they would walk the road fair or foul, and they did walk it knee deep in mud; and they would have walked it if it had been knee deep in blood too. They became great men, and if we were, as they were, wholly given up to God — if we could say of ourselves, “From the crown of my head to the sole of my foot, there is not a drop of blood that is not wholly God’s; all my time, all my talents, everything I have is God’s” — if we could say that, we [would] be strong like Samson, for the consecrated must be strong.

From a sermon entitled, "Samson Conquered," delivered November 21, 1858.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Blood of Jesus Christ cleanses from all sin

Our sins are great; every sin is great; but there are some that in our apprehension seem to be greater than others. There are crimes that the lip of modesty could not mention. I might go far in this pulpit this morning in describing the degradation of human nature in the sins which it has invented. It is amazing how the ingenuity of man seems to have exhausted itself in inventing fresh crimes. Surely there is not the possibility of the invention of a new sin. But if there be, ere long man will invent it, for man seemeth exceedingly cunning, and full of wisdom in the discovery of means of destroying himself and the endeavor to injure his Maker. But there are some sins that show a diabolical extent of degraded ingenuity — some sins of which it were a shame to speak, of which it were disgraceful to think.

But note here: “The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin.” There may be some sins of which a man cannot speak, but there is no sin which the blood of Christ cannot wash away. Blasphemy, however profane, lust, however bestial; covetousness, however far it may have gone into theft and rapine; breach of the commandments of God, however much of riot it may have run, all this may be pardoned and washed away through the blood of Jesus Christ. In all the long list of human sins, though that be long as time, there standeth but one sin that is unpardonable, and that one no sinner has committed if he feels within himself a longing for mercy, for that sin once committed, the soul becomes hardened, dead, and seared, and never desireth afterwards to find peace with God.

I therefore declare to thee, O trembling sinner, that however great thine iniquity may be, whatever sin thou mayest have committed in all the list of guilt, however far thou mayest have exceeded all thy fellow-creatures, though thou mayest have distanced the Pauls and Magdalens and every one of the most heinous culprits in the black race of sin, yet the blood of Christ is able now to wash thy sin away. Mark! I speak not lightly of thy sin, it is exceeding great; but I speak still more loftily of the blood of Christ. Great as are thy sins, the blood of Christ is greater still. Thy sins are like great mountains, but the blood of Christ is like Noah’s flood; twenty cubits upwards shall this blood prevail, and the top of the mountains of thy sin shall be covered.

From a sermon entitled, "The Evil and its Remedy," delivered November 14, 1858.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Incarnation of the Son

Talk ye of the sun, moon, and stars; consider ye the heavens, the work of God’s fingers, the moon and the stars that he hath ordained; but all the wonders of the universe shrink into nothing, when we come to the mystery of the incarnation of the Lord Jesus Christ. It was a marvellous thing when Joshua bade the sun to stand still, but more marvellous when God seemed to stand still, and no longer to move forward, but rather, like the sun upon the dial of Ahaz, did go back ten degrees, and veil his splendor in a cloud. There have been sights matchless and wonderful, at which we might look for years, and yet turn away and say, “I cannot understand this; here is a deep into which I dare not dive; my thoughts are drowned; this is a steep without a summit; I cannot climb it; it is high, I cannot attain it!” But all these things are as nothing, compared with the incarnation of the Son of God.

I do believe that the very angels have never wondered but once and that has been incessantly ever since they first beheld it. They never cease to tell the astonishing story, and to tell it with increasing astonishment too, that Jesus Christ. the Son of God, was born of the Virgin Mary, and became a man. Is he not rightly called Wonderful? Infinite, and an infant — eternal, and yet born of a woman — Almighty, and yet hanging on a woman’s breast supporting the universe, and yet needing to be carried in a mother’s arms — king of angels, and yet the reputed son of Joseph — heir of all things and yet the carpenter’s despised son. Wonderful art thou O Jesus, and that shall be thy name for ever.

From a sermon entitled, "His Name — Wonderful!," delivered September 19, 1858.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The privileges of the child of God

Photo by Kevin Greene

I will make but one more remark before I leave this point, namely, this, — that our being the children of God brings with it innumerable privileges. Time would fail me, if I were to attempt to read the long roll of the Christian’s joyous privileges. I am God’s child: if so, he will clothe me; my shoes shall be iron and brass; he will array me with the robe of my Saviour’s righteousness, for he has said, “Bring forth the best robe and put it on him,” and he has also said that he will put a crown of pure gold upon my head and inasmuch as I am a king’s son, I shall have a royal crown. Am I his child? Then he will feed me; my bread shall be given me, and my water shall be sure; he that feeds the ravens will never let his children starve. If a good husbandman feeds the barn-door fowl, and the sheep and the bullocks, certainly his children shall not starve. Does my Father deck the lily, and shall I go naked? Does he feed the fowls of the heaven that sow not, neither do they reap, and shall I feel necessity? God forbid!

My Father knoweth what things I have need of before I ask him, and he will give me all I want. If I be his child, then I have a portion in his heart here, and I shall have a portion in his house above. for “if children then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ,” “If we suffer with him we shall be also glorified together.” And oh! brethren, what a prospect this opens up! The fact of our being heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, proves that all things are ours — the gift of God, the purchase of a Saviour’s blood.

From a sermon entitled, "The Fatherhood of God," delivered September 12, 1858.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Dying love touches the heart!

Here is a proud sinner, boasting of his own righteousness; you cannot get his self-glorying out of him: but by-and-by he learns that the Son of God gave his life to redeem him, poured out his heart upon Calvary’s cross, the just for the unjust, to bring him to God; and now he is of another mind. No man could ever think that he deserved that the Son of God should die for him! If he
does think so, he must be out of his mind. Dying love touches the heart, and the man cries, “Lord, I am not worthy of a drop of thy precious blood; I am not worthy of a sigh from thy sacred heart; I am not worthy that thou shouldest have lived on earth for me, much less that thou shouldest have died for me.” A sense of that wondrous condescension which is the highest
commendation of God’s love, that in due time Christ died for the ungodly, brings the man down upon his knees, dissolved by the mercies of God. Now, if there is any man here who has a good hope through grace that by and by he will be with God in heaven, if he will meditate upon the beatific vision, if he will picture to himself the crown upon his head, and the palm branch in his hand, and himself enjoying the everlasting hallelujah,

“Far from a world of grief and sin, With God eternally shut in”;

why, the next thing he will do is to sit down and weep that this can be possible to him. Such a poor, useless, sinful soul as I am, can I be glorified, and has Jesus gone to prepare a place for me? Does he give me his own assurance that he will come again, and receive me to himself? Am I a joint heir with Christ, and a favored child of God? This makes us lose ourselves in adoring gratitude. Oh, sirs, we can never open our mouth again in the way of boasting; our pride is drowned in this sea of mercy. If we had a little Savior, and a little heaven, and little mercy we might still hang out our flags; but with a great Savior, and great mercy, and a great heaven we can only go in like David, and sit before the Lord, and say, “Whence is this to me?...”

This exceeding kindness of the Lord all tends to promote humility, and at the same time to help us in prayer; for if the Lord be so greatly good, we may adopt the language of the Phoenecian woman when the Master said to her, “It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.” She answered, “Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” So we will go and ask our Lord to give us crumbs of mercy, and they will be enough for us poor dogs. God’s crumbs are bigger than man’s loaves, and if he gives us what to him may be a crumb, it shall be a meal to us. Oh, he is a great Giver! He is a glorious Giver! We are not equal to his least gift! We cannot estimate his least mercy, nor describe it folly, nor praise him for it sufficiently. His shallows are too deep for us; his mole-hill mercies overtop us; what shall we say of his mountain mercies?

From a sermon entitled "Humility the Friend of God," delivered June 22, 1884.

Friday, July 13, 2007

God is our unchanging dwelling place

The Christian knows no change with regard to God. He may be rich today and poor tomorrow; he may be sickly today and well tomorrow; he may be in happiness to day, tomorrow he may be distressed; but there is no change with regard to his relationship to God. If he loved me yesterday he loves me today. I am neither better nor worse in God than I ever was. Let prospects be blighted, let hopes be blasted, let joy be withered, let mildews destroy everything, I have lost nothing of what I have in God. He is my strong habitation whereunto I can continually resort. The Christian never becomes poorer, and never grows richer with regard to God. “Here,” he can say, “is a thing that never can pass away or change. On the brow of the Eternal there is ne’er a furrow; his hair is unwhitened by age; his arm is unpalsied by weakness; his heart does not change in its affections; his will does not vary in its purpose; he is the Immutable Jehovah standing fast and for ever.

Thou art our habitation! As the house changes not but stands in the same place, so have I found thee from my youth up. When first I was cast upon thee from my mother’s breast I found thee my God of Providence. When first I knew thee by that spiritual knowledge which thou alone canst give, I found thee a sure habitation; and I find thee such now. Yea, when I shall be old and gray-headed, I know thou wilt not forsake me; thou wilt be the same dwelling place in all generations.”

From a sermon entitled "The Glorious Habitation," delivered October 14, 1855.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Crowd religion or personal religion?

I fear I shall not be wrong in condemning the fashionable religion of the day, for it is a religion which belongs to the crowd; and not a personal one which is enjoyed by the individual. You will hear persons say, “Well, I believe the doctrine of justification; I think that men are justified through faith.” Yes, but are you justified by faith? “I believe,” says another “that we are sanctified by the Spirit.” Yes, all very well, but are you sanctified by the Spirit?

Mark you, if ever you talk about personal piety very much, you will always be run down as extravagant. If you really say from your heart, “I know I am forgiven; I am certain that I am a pardoned sinner;”-and every Christian will at times be able to say it, and would always, were it not for his unbelief-if you say “I know in whom I have believed, I am confident that I have not a sin now recorded in the black roll; that I am free from sin as if I had never transgressed, through the pardoning blood of Jesus,” men will say it is extravagant. Well, it is a delightful extravagance, it is the extravagance of God’s Word, and I would to God more of us could indulge in that holy, blessed extravagance.

From a sermon entitled, "David's Dying Song," delivered April 15, 1855.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

We must all get rid of our pride

I have heard of a lady who was visited by a minister on her deathbed, and she said to him, “I want to ask you one question, now I am about to die.” “Well,” said the minister, “what is it?”; Oh!” said she, in a very affected way “I want to know if there are two places in heaven, because I could not bear that Betsy in the kitchen should be in heaven along with me, she is so unrefined?” The minister turned round and said, “O, don’t trouble yourself about that, madam. There is no fear of that, for until you get rid of your accursed pride, you will never enter heaven at all.”

We must all get rid of our pride. We must come down and stand on an equality in the sight of God, and see in every man a brother, before we can hope to be found in glory. Ay, we bless God, we thank him that will set down no separate table for one and for another. The Jew and the Gentile will sit down together. The great and the small shall feed in the same pasture, and we shall “sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.” But my text hath a yet greater depth of sweetness, for it says, that “many shall come and shall sit down.” Some narrow-minded bigots think that heaven will be a very small place, where there will be a very few people, who went to their chapel or their church. I confess, I have no wish for a very small heaven, and love to read in the Scriptures that there are many mansions in my Father’s house.

From a sermon entitled "Heaven and Hell," delivered September 4, 1855.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The Lord Is My Shepherd

The Lord is my shepherd.

What condescension is this, that the infinite Lord assumes towards his people the office and character of a Shepherd! It should be the subject of grateful admiration that the great God allows himself to be compared to anything which will set forth his great love and care for his own people. David had himself been a keeper of sheep, and understood both the needs of the sheep and the many cares of a shepherd. He compares himself to a creature weak, defenceless, and
foolish, and he takes God to be his Provider, Preserver, Director, and, indeed, his everything. No man has a right to consider himself the Lord's sheep unless his nature has been renewed for the scriptural description of unconverted men does not picture them as sheep, but as wolves or goats. A sheep is an object of property, not a wild animal; its owner sets great store by it, and frequently it is bought with a great price.

It is well to know,as certainly David did, that we belong to the Lord. There is a noble tone of confidence about this sentence. There is no "if" nor "but", nor even "I hope so"; but he says, "The Lord is my shepherd." We must cultivate the spirit of assured dependence upon our heavenly Father. The sweetest word of the whole is that monosyllable, "My." He does not say, "The Lord is the shepherd of the world at large, and leadeth forth the multitude as his flock", but "The Lord is my shepherd; "if he be a Shepherd to no one else, he is a Shepherd to me; he cares for me, watches over me, and preserves me. The words are in the present tense. Whatever be the believer's position, he is even now under the pastoral care of Jehovah.

From "The Treasury Of David," Notes on Psalm 23:1

Monday, July 9, 2007

Unity In Christ

The one Church of God, of what is it composed then? Is it composed of the Church of England, the Congregational Union, the Wesleyan Conference, and the Baptist body? No, it is not. Is not then the Church of England a part of the Church of Christ, and the Baptist denomination a part? No; I deny that these bodies, as such, unrefined and in the gross, are a part of the great unity for which Jesus prayed; but there are believers united with the Church of England who are a part of the body of Christ and there are believers in all denominations of Christians, ay! and many in no visible Church at all, who are in Christ Jesus, and consequently in the great unity. The Church of England is not a part of Christ’s true body, nor any other denomination as such; the spiritual unity is made up of spiritual men, separated, picked out, cleared away from all the mass with
which they happen to be united.

I have spoken very boldly perhaps, and may be misunderstood; but this I mean, that you cannot take out any visible Church, however pure, and say that as it stands it belongs to the spiritual unity for which Jesus prayed. There are in the visible Churches a certain number of God’s elect ones, and these are of the body of Jesus Christ; but their fellow professors, if unconverted, are not in the mystical unity. Christ’s body is not made up of denominations, nor of presbyteries, nor of Christian societies; it is made up of saints chosen of God from before the foundation of the world, redeemed by blood, called by his Spirit, and made one with Jesus.

From a sermon entitled Unity In Christ, delivered January 7, 1866.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Repentance and faith

...faith in Jesus is good evidence of life, because of the things, which accompany it. Now, no man ever did come to Jesus Christ and receive him until he had felt his need of a Saviour: no sickness, no physician: no wound, no surgeon. No soul asks for pardon or obtains it till he has felt that sin is an evil for which pardon is necessary; that is to say, repentance always comes with faith. There must be a loathing of sin and a dread of its consequences, or there is no faith. Now, as repentance is an evident sign of life, faith in Jesus must involve spiritual life. What if I say that repentance is like the cry of the new-born babe, which indicates that the child is alive? That cry of “God be merciful to me a sinner !” is as sure a sign of life as the song of cherubim before the throne. There could have been no laying hold of Christ without true repentance of sin, which repentance becomes in its turn a clear proof of the possession of the inner life which springs from incorruptible seed, and therefore liveth and abideth for ever.

From a sermon entitled, "Alive or Dead - Which?," delivered on June 16th, 1867.

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Friday, July 6, 2007

Our generous God

Spurgeon's rhetoric here is nearly bombastic as he waxes eloquent on God's generosity or "liberality' as they would have said it then:

God does not give as we do, a mere trifle to the beggar, but he bestows his wealth by [handfulls]. Solomon asked for wisdom: God gave him wealth and power. In nearly every instance of prayer in the Old Testament, God gives ten times as much as is asked for. Jacob asked that he might have bread to eat, and raiment to put on: God made him to be two bands. The Lord will “do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think.” This is the divine habit. He not only redeems his promises, but when he might meet them in silver he prefers to pay them in gold. He is exceedingly bountiful. Dear hearers, we have found him so when we have tried him, and do you think that he will begin to be [miserly] with you? If he should liberally forgive your sins, he will be none the poorer; if he withhold forgiveness, he will be none the richer. Why should he stint his favor? You want to wash away your sins: there is a river of grace to wash in. You want grace to refresh your souls: he has floods to pour upon the dry ground. We read of the unsearchable riches of Christ. Ho! ye leviathan sinners, here is an ocean of mercy for you to swim in. Ho! you elephantine sinners, here is an ark large enough to hold you and float you above the waters of the deluge! Ho! ye gigantic sinners, whose sins of pride reach up to heaven, and whose feet of lust are plunged in the mire of hell, the sacred hiding-place is large enough to hide even you. The Lord is great in mercy. Oh! who would not ask of so liberal a God, whose thoughts as the heavens are above the earth.

From a sermon entitled, "Loving Advice for Anxious Seekers," delivered February 17, 1886.

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Thursday, July 5, 2007

Private prayer is our strength

But, as for private prayer, brethren, this world were drear indeed if we could not pour out our sorrows into our Father’s ear. This is the poor man’s riches; this is the sick man’s medicine; this is the faint man’s cordial; this is the weak one’s strength; this is the ignorant man’s school; this is the strong man’s confidence. Neglect prayer, and you will soon discover that all your spiritual powers wax weak; but be much in supplication—and he that is mighty on his knees, is mighty everywhere. He that looketh God in the face every morning, will never fear the face of man; and he who looketh Christ in the face each evening, may well close his eyes in sweet repose, feeling that, if he should never wake to this world of care, he shall wake up in the likeness of his Lord.

From a sermon entitled, "Songs of Deliverance," delivered July 28, 1867.

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Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Jesus asleep on a pillow

Within the Lord where was a great calm, and that is why there was soon a great calm around Him; for what is in God comes out of God. Since there was a calm in Christ for Himself, there was afterwards a calm outside for others. What a wonderful inner calm it was! “He was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow.”

He had perfect confidence in God that all was well. The waves might roar, the winds might rage, but He was not at all disquieted by their fury. He knew that the waters were in the hollow of His Father’s hand, and that every wind was but the breath of His Father’s mouth; and so He was not troubled; nay, He had not even a careful thought, He was as much at ease as on a sunny day. His mind and heart were free from every kind of care, for amid the gathering tempest He deliberately laid Himself down, and slept like a weary child. He went to the hinder part of the ship, most out of the gash of the spray; He took a pillow, and put it under His head, and with fixed intent disposed Himself to slumber. It was His own act and deed to go to sleep in the storm; He had nothing for which to keep awake, so pure and perfect was His confidence in the great Father. What an example this is to us! We have not half the confidence in God that we ought to have, not even the best of us. The Lord deserves our unbounded belief, our unquestioning confidence, our undisturbed reliance. Oh, that we rendered it to Him as the Saviour did!

From "Till He Come"

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Tuesday, July 3, 2007

He has not left us orphans

There is one point in which the orphan is often sorrowfully reminded of his orphanhood, namely, in lacking a defender. It is so natural in little children, when some big boy [bothers] them, to say, “I’ll tell my father!” How often did we use to say so, and how often have we heard from the little ones since, “I’ll tell mother!” Sometimes, the not being able to do this is a much severer loss than we can guess. Unkind and cruel men have snatched away from orphans the little which a father’s love had left behind; and in the court of law there has been no defender to protect the orphan’s goods. Had the father been there, the child would have had its rights, scarcely would any have dared to infringe them; but, in the absence of the father, the orphan is eaten up like bread, and the wicked of the earth devour his estate. In this sense, the saints are not orphans. The devil would rob us of our heritage if he could, but there is an Advocate with the Father who pleads for us. Satan would snatch from us every promise, and tear from us all the comforts of the covenant; but we are not orphans, and when he brings a suit-at-law against us, and thinks that we are the only defendants in the case, he is mistaken, for we have an Advocate on high. Christ comes in and pleads, as the sinners’ Friend, for us; and when He pleads at the bar of justice, there is no fear but that His plea will be of effect, and our inheritance shall be safe. He has not left us orphans.

From "Till He Come."

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Monday, July 2, 2007

Lead us across!

I was once near the Mansion House, and as I stood there, a poor blind man, who wished to cross over to the Bank, said to me, "Please, sir, lead me across; I know you will, for I am blind." I was not sure that I could do so, for it is not an easy task to lead a blind man across that part where so many cabs and omnibuses are constantly passing, but I managed it as best I could. I do not think I could have, done it if the poor man had not said to me, "I know you will;" for then I thought that I must; and if you come to Christ, and say, "Lord Jesus, wilt thou lead me to heaven?" and tell him that you are sure that he will never let a poor blind soul miss its way, that you are sure you can trust him, that he is such a kind-hearted Saviour that he will never thrust away a guilty sinner who thus commits himself into his hands, and I am sure that he will be glad to save you, and that he will rejoice over you as he leads you safely home to heaven.

If any of you can see with your natural eyes, and yet are blind spiritually, be glad that there is a blessed Guide, to whom you can commit yourself, and do commit yourself to him. Christ leads the blind by a way that they know not, and he will continue to lead them until he brings them to the land where they will open their eyes, and see with rapture and surprise the splendors of paradise, and rejoice that they are all their own for ever.

From a sermon entitled, "The Poor Man's Friend," delivered June 8, 1873.

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