Friday, August 31, 2007

The Character of God is our Comfort

We have known full well the trials of life! Thank God we have, for what would any of us be worth, if we had no troubles? Troubles, like files, take away our rust; like furnaces, they consume our dross; like winnowing-fans they drive away the chaff, and we should have had but little value, we should have had but little usefulness, if we had not been made to pass through the furnace. But in all our troubles we have found the character of God a comfort.

You have been poor — very poor: I know some of you here have been out of work a long time, and you have wondered where your bread would come from, even for the next meal. Now what has been your comfort? Have you not said, “God is too good to let me starve; he is too bountiful to let me want.” And so, you see, you have found his character to be your strong tower. Or else you have had personal sickness; you have long lain on the bed of weariness, tossing to and fro, and then the temptation has come into your heart to be impatient: “God has dealt hardly with you,” so the Evil One whispers; but how do you escape? Why you say, “No, he is no tyrant, I know him to be a sympathizing God.” “In all their afflictions he was afflicted, the angel of his presence saved them.” Or else you have had losses — many losses, and you have been apt to ask, “How can these things be? How is it I have to work so long and plod so hard, and have to look about me with all my wits to earn but little, and yet when I have made money it melts? I see my wealth, like a flock of birds upon the fields, here one moment and gone the next, for a passer by claps his hand, and everything takes to itself wings and flies away.” Then we are apt to think that God is unwise to let us toil for naught; but, lo, we run into our strong tower, and we feel it cannot be. No; the God who sent this affliction could not have acted in a thoughtless, reckless, wisdomless manner; there must be something here that shall work for my good. You know, brethren, it is useless for me to attempt to describe the various ways in which your trials come; but I am sure they that know Jehovah’s name will put their trust in him.

Perhaps your trial has been want, and then you have said, “His name is Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord will provide;” or else you have been banished from friends, perhaps from country, but you have said, “Ah! his name is Jehovah-Shammah, the Lord is there;” or else you have had a disturbance in your family; there has been war within, and war without, but you have run into your strong tower, for you have said, “His name is Jehovah-Shalom, the Lord send peace;” or else the world has slandered you, and you yourself have been conscious of sin, but you have said, “His name is Jehovah-Tsidkenu, the Lord our righteousness,” and so you have gone there, and been safe; or else many have been your enemies, then his name has been “Jehovah-Nissi, the Lord my banner;” and so he has been a strong tower to you. Defy, then, brethren — defy, in God’s strength, tribulations of every sort and size.

From a sermon entitled "Our Stronghold," delivered October 26, 1862.

Photo by Lida Rose; some rights reserved.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Church is secure in Him

What can be more feeble than the Church of God? She has no carnal weapons. “My kingdom is not of this world, else would my servants fight.” The Church has no great riches; the most of her followers are poor. She has no wisdom; they who use logic and cunning can soon overthrow her disciples and ridicule her advocates; she understandeth not the wisdom of human speech, or, rather, she forsweareth it, and speaks with simplicity, as she ought to speak. Philosophers laugh at her; kings hardly take her into account; they think the Church so insignificant that they can put out her candle when they will. But, ah! not so; the Church is still secure, despite her feebleness.

It is wonderful how during these last nineteen centuries God has been pleased to keep that spark alive. All the devils in hell have been spitting at this candle, but it burns still: they have sought to throw the whole of the floods of evil upon the heaven-kindled spark, but the spark has lived still; they have tried to stamp it out but it has blazed the more. The Church’s feebleness, because it drives her to God, is the Church’s strength. I pray God that our Church may never confide in wisdom, or wit, or eloquence, or riches, or rank, or fame. No, Lord; thou art the unbuttressed pillar of thy Church’s sure support, and if we rest on thee we are secure; but if once we depend elsewhere, we fall to our confusion.

From a sermon entitled "Broad Rivers And Streams," delivered January 18, 1863.

Photo by Josef F. Stuefer; some rights reserved.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Dare to draw near to God

...Why is it that so many of us dare not indulge in close access to our God? We pray, but it is often to a distant God, as to one who stands upon a mountain beyond our reach! How few of us come like a child to his Father, and lay hold on God as one who is near to us by ties of divine affinity. The most of Christians, I fear, are outer court worshippers. They stand in the place of the priests, but they never come to stand where the high priest stood, within the veil. Luther was a man who used familiarities with God, and if some of us had heard Luther praying, we should have been shocked — “Oh,” we should have said, “how dare he talk thus with God?” But Luther knew that he was completely justified, that there was no sin on him, and therefore he did not tremble when he stood near to the holy, the perfect, and the just.

If I know that there is no sin remaining, but that all has been washed away, why need I fear? I may go the throne of God, and cry, “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? Not God, for he hath justified, nor Christ, for he hath died.” Once let the soul have perfect peace through believing in its perfect purity in Christ, and the nearness of our access will be perfectly wonderful. The boldness of our fellowship will make us look with wonder, and even Christians will be astonished that we dare to indulge in such a holy familiarity with God, and talk so plainly with our Father; and with our friend. There is guilt still upon the conscience of many professors [i.e., those who profess Christ], and it is proved by the fact that they fear to have a near approach to God.

From a sermon entitled "Perfect Cleansing," delivered April 7, 1861.

Photo by mike138; some rights reserved.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

He Cares For You

“He careth for you.”

Believe in an universal providence, the Lord cares for ants and angels, for worms and for worlds; he cares for cherubim and for sparrows, for seraphim and for insects. Cast your care on him, he that calleth the stars by their names, and leadeth them out by numbers, by their hosts. Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and thinkest, O Israel, "My way is passed over from God and he has utterly forgotten me?” Let his universal providence cheer you.

Think next of his particular providence over all the saints. “Precious shall their blood be in his sight.” “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.“We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to his purpose.” Let the fact that while he is the Savior of all men, he is specially the Savior of them that believe, let that cheer and comfort you, that special providence which watches over the chosen, “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him.”

And then, thirdly, let the thought of his special love to you be the very essence of your comfort. “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” God says that as much to you as he said it to any saint of old. “Fear not, I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.” Oh! I would beloved, that the Holy Ghost would make you feel the promise as being spoken to you; out of this vast assembly forget the rest and only think of yourself, for the promises are unto you, meant for you.

From a sermon entitled "A Cure For Care," delivered January 12, 1862.

Photo by Renata Diem; some rights reserved.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Spiritual peace

The world has tried hard to put an end to the Christian’s peace, and it has never been able to accomplish it. I remember, in my early childhood, having heard an old man utter in prayer, a saying which stuck by me — “O Lord, give unto thy servants that peace which the world can neither give nor take away.” Ah! the whole might of our enemies cannot take it away. Poverty cannot destroy it, the Christian in his rags can have peace with God. Sickness cannot mar it; lying on his bed, the saint is joyful in the midst of the fires. Persecution cannot ruin it, for persecution cannot separate the believer from Christ, and while he is one with Christ his soul is full of peace. “Put your hand here,” said the martyr to his executioner, when he was led to the stake, “put your hand here, and now put your hand on your own heart, and feel which beats the hardest, and which is the most troubled.” Strangely was the executioner struck with awe, when he found the Christian man as calm as though he were going to a wedding feast, while he himself has all agitation at having to perform so desperate a deed.

Oh, world! we defy thee to rob us of our peace. We did not get it of thee, and thou canst not rend it from us. It is set as a seal upon our arm; it is strong as death and invincible as the grave. Thy stream, O Jordan, cannot drown it, black and deep though thy depths may be; in the midst of thy tremendous billows our soul is confident, and resteth still on him that loved us, and gave himself for us.

From a sermon entitled "Spiritual Peace," delivered February 19, 1860 .

Photo by Nicholas_T; some rights reserved.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The sin of doubt

All the purposes of man have been defeated, but not the purposes of God. The promises of man may be broken, many of them are made to be broken, but the purposes of God shall stand, and his promises shall be fulfilled. He is a promise maker, but he never was a promise breaker: he is a promisekeeping God, and his people shall prove it so. Come then, ye that are always hoping amidst trembling, and fear, but are never confident, for once take that doubting note out of your mouth, and say assuredly “the Lord will perfect that which concerneth me.” If I be really his child, though full of sin, I shall one day be perfect; if I have really set my heart towards him, I shall one day see his face with joy; and let whatever foes obstruct, I shall conquer through the Lamb’s redeeming blood. He “will perfect that which concerneth me....”

Doubts are the greatest of sins, and even though Christians have doubts, yet doubts are unchristian things. The spirit of Christ is not a spirit of doubting, but a spirit of believing. Doubts may exist in the hearts of spiritual men, but doubts are unspiritual, carnal, and sinful. Let us seek to get rid of them, and speak confidently where God’s word is confident.

From a sermon entitled "Faith in Perfection," delivered January 2, 1859.

Photo by vittis; some rights reserved.

Friday, August 24, 2007

When prayer is not enough

And the Lord said unto Moses, "Wherefore criest thou unto me? Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward.” - Exodus 14:15.

SPIRITUAL men, in their distresses, turn at once to prayer, even as the stag when hunted takes to flight. Prayer is a never-failing resort; it is sure to bring a blessing with it. Even apart from the answer of our supplications, the very exercise of prayer is healthy to the man engaged in it. Far be it from me ever to say a word in disparagement of the holy, happy, heavenly exercise of prayer. But, beloved, there are times when prayer is not enough - when prayer itself is out of season. You will think that a hard saying, and say, “Who can hear it?” But my text is to the point. Moses prayed that God would deliver his people; but the Lord said to him, “Wherefore criest thou unto me?” As much as to say this is not the time for prayer, it is the time for action. “Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward.”

When we have prayed over a matter to a certain degree, it then becomes sinful to tarry any longer; our plain duty is to carry our desires into action, and having asked God’s guidance, and having received divine power from on high, to go at once to our duty without any longer deliberation or delay.

Brethren, a vigorous faith will often shut its eyes to difficulties. When faith looks upon a difficulty as being exceedingly great, then she turns to prayer; but, on the other hand, after having sought God’s help, and having received it, she frequently laughs at the impossibility, and cries, “It shall be done;” and then, instead of betaking herself any longer to her knees, she boldly marches on, believing that the difficulty will vanish before her, that the crooked will be made straight, and the rough places plain. We are not to be always praying over a difficulty; when we have fairly committed it to God, we are to act upon the assurance that he has heard us; nor will such an action be the fruit of rashness, for it is a solid and substantial fact, that prayer does avail with God. Beloved, it strikes me that the advice which the Lord gave to Moses, was such as he has given to the preacher tonight; and that the message which Moses delivered to the children of Israel, is a very fit one for me to deliver to you. Short, prompt, soldierlike, here is the whole of it: “Forward! forward!” If you have been sitting down or tempted to go back- “ Forward!” We have long been praying, let us to-night “Go forward.” The one subject we shall take up and try to deliver to different classes of character, is, “Thus saith the Lord, ye children of Israel, Forward!”

From a sermon entitled "Forward! Forward! Forward!," delivered October 18, 1863.

Photo by pfly; some rights reserved.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Fear not, little flock!

They did not represent much of this world’s wealth. They had left all that they had. But their little all did not count for much. An old boat or two upon the lake, some nets, a little fishing tackle, and a few et ceteras — surely they were not much to leave! Their capital and their income were alike limited. Their treasurer never had a heavy purse to carry, though he took care to help himself out of its contents. The disciples of Jesus were poor, very poor. They were somewhat akin to their Master, who had not where to lay his head. Nor from their social position could they exert much influence. Most of them were Galileans — countrymen from the most countrified part of the whole country; and, as such, little esteemed. They spoke, no doubt, broad country dialects, and were looked upon as unlearned and ignorant men by those that heard them. When the Holy Ghost was on them, they spoke with great power, but there was not a “DD” among them, nor yet a professor from any university. They had not a solitary rabbi that could be put in the front, neither was there one that could have been called rabbi, if others had chosen to call him so.

No prestige did they derive from rank or title, no princes of the blood, no knights or esquires were associated with them; common peasants and fishermen were they all. And I daresay many fears would cross their minds and many gloomy apprehensions would haunt them as they contemplated the strange adventure on which they were called to go forth. They were to preach the Christ of God, and to convert the world to him; yet see what lowly people they were! Had they been brought up in the schools of philosophers, had they been the sons of kings or princes, had they the wealth of Croesus at their control, they might have said, “We can do something”; but poverty, and ignorance, and obscurity combined to make them seem little in the eyes of their fellow-men; therefore, the Savior says, “Fear not, little flock!” Against all adverse circumstances, there stands the actual promise. Be sure of this; the kingdom is yours, and you will win the day. Your father in heaven can do without the dignity, the wealth, and the learning of this world, and he has resolved to give you the kingdom; so you shall assuredly have it.

From a sermon entitled "Little But Lovely."

Photo by notfilc;
some rights reserved.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Unless the Lord builds the house...

Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it. (Psalm 127:1)

The word vain is the keynote here, and we hear it ring out clearly three times. Men desiring to build know that they must labour, and accordingly they put forth all their skill and strength; but let them remember that if Jehovah is not with them their designs will prove failures. So was it with the Babel builders; they said, "Go to, let us build us a city and a tower"; and the Lord returned their words into their own bosoms, saying, "Go to, let us go down and there confound their language." In vain they toiled, for the Lord's face was against them.

When Solomon resolved to build a house for the Lord, matters were very different, for all things united under God to aid him in his great undertaking: even the heathen were at his beck and call that he might erect a temple for the Lord his God. In the same manner God blessed him in the erection of his own palace; for this verse evidently refers to all sorts of house building. Without God we are nothing. Great houses have been erected by ambitious men; but like the baseless fabric of a vision they have passed away, and scarce a stone remains to tell where once they stood....Not only do we now spend our strength for nought without Jehovah, but all who have ever laboured apart from him come under the same sentence. Trowel and hammer, saw and plane are instruments of vanity unless the Lord be the Master builder.

From "The Treasury of David," exposition of Psalm 127.

Photo by 29cm; some rights reserved.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The heart of the Master

“And Ittai answered the king, and said, "As the Lord liveth, and as my lord the king liveth, surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also will thy servant be.” — 2 Samuel 15:21.

SOME men have a very remarkable power of creating and sustaining friendship in others. David was a man brimming over with affection — a man, notwithstanding all his rough soldier-life, of an exceedingly tender heart — a man, I was about to say — the word was on my tongue — a man of vast humanity. I mean, there was a great deal of manhood about him. He was all that other men are, had suffered their sorrows, and had tasted their joys, and, therefore, I suppose it was that he had a large power of attraction about him, and brought others to himself.

But there is one Man more than man, whose attracting influence is greater than that of all men put together. In the person of the Lord Jesus Christ we see gentleness, meekness, and tenderest affection, and we see the most hearty sympathy with everything that belongs to manhood. Such a vast heart has the Master, such boundless, disinterested affection, such human sympathy; so near is he to every one of us in his life, and in his experiences, that he attracts the sons of men to himself, and when he is lifted up he draws men unto him, and afterwards, by the cords of his love, he draws them unto himself.

It is in the hope that some here may feel the sweet attractions of Christ that I have selected this text, anxiously praying that some here may so give themselves to Christ as never to leave him: and that others who have already done may be confirmed in their solemn resolution that, in whatsoever place their Master, the Son of David, the King, shall be, there also will they be as his servants, whether in life or in death.

From a sermon entitled "Following Christ," delivered August 22, 1889.

Photo by Maciej Lewandowski; some rights reserved.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Brought near to God by the Blood of Christ

We read of the blood of the atonement under the old law. Christ, now, under the gospel, is the propitiation for our sins. It is through the blood that God, the infinitely just, without the violation of his character, can pass by the transgression of the guilty. It is not possible that any one attribute of God should ever shadow another. He is perfect. Infinitely merciful he is, but he will not be merciful at the expense of justice. Justice shall never triumph against mercy; mercy, on the other hand, shall never cut off the skirts of the flowing robe of justice.

It is in the person of Jesus, and especially in the blood of Jesus, that the great riddle of the ages is unriddled. God can be just, and yet the Justifier of him that believeth in Jesus. We have sinned. God must punish sin. According to the inexorable laws which God has stamped upon the: universe, the sinner cannot go unpunished. His sin is, in fact, its own punishment, and becomes the mother of unnumbered griefs. The Mediator steps in — the Son of God and the Son of Man, eternal, and yet as man, born of Mary, and slumbering in Bethlehem’s manger — he comes as the substitute for the guilty. “The chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed,” and “now in Christ Jesus, we who some time were afar off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” God can be gracious without the violation of the severity of his judgment. His moral government remains untarnished in all the majesty of its purity, and yet he puts out the right hand of reconciliation, and love to all who approach him, making mention of the blood of the atonement of his dear Son.

From a sermon entitled "The Savior's Precious Blood."

Photo by hillary h; some rights reserved.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The results of our poll

Poll results are in - your favorite Spurgeon books or collections are:

1. Morning and Evening

2. Spurgeon's Sermons

These two works were very much ahead of #s 3, 4, and 5, which were The Treasury of David, Faith's Checkbook, and All of Grace.

Thanks to everyone who participated!

Victory over your enemy

If Satan can be capable of any enjoyment, it must be a very sweet morsel for him to roll under his tongue when he thinks of the victory that he gained in paradise, when the whole human race, in the person of its representative, Adam, was so ignominiously overthrown. It is true that, since then, he has had more defeats than victories; and that, by this time, he must have had at least many a foretaste, of that final bruising of his head which was foretold in the garden, yet he still perseveres in his hopeless task of leading on his condemned legions against the followers of that great King against whom he revolted so long ago. The indomitable pluck of Satan is a thing which deserves to be imitated by Christians. The only point in which I can hold him up for your admiration is this, — desperate as his cause is, he still presses on with it, foiled as he has been ten thousand times, he is still ready for the fray. Oh, that we had half as much holy courage as he has of unholy impudence.... With such a blessed cause as our Master’s is, oh, that we had valor worthy of it!

So, Christian, I bid you again to look at your great adversary, that you may realize how stern is the conflict in which you are engaged. You are often afraid of Satan, but he is never afraid of you. If you turn your back in the day of battle, it is not likely that he will turn his. If you are to come off more than conqueror in this lifelong fight, you must be no mere feather-bed soldier. If you have only the name of a Christian, and not the nature of a Christian, defeat must certainly await you. Count the cost of this campaign before you commence it, see whether your force of one thousand is likely to prevail against your adversary’s hundred thousand; and then, as you realize your own insufficiency, cry to the Strong for strength, rely upon your almighty Ally, and in his might go forth to this holy war, rejoicing in the assurance that “the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.”

From a sermon entitled "Satan, Self, Sin, and the Saviour," delivered April 19, 1866.

Photo by Yuval Haimovits. Some rights reserved.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Prepared Through Prayer

So we find that it was while Christ was praying, at his baptism that the Holy Ghost came upon him, “in a bodily shape like a dove,” to qualify him for his public service; and it is through prayer that we also receive that spiritual enrichment that equips us as co-workers together with God.

Without prayer, you will remain in a region that is desolate as a desert; but bend your knees in supplication to the Most High, and you have reached the land of promise, the country of benediction. “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you,” not merely as to his gracious presence, but as to the powerful and efficacious working of the Holy Spirit. More prayer, more power; the more pleading with God that there is, the more power will there be in pleading with men, for the Holy Ghost will come upon us while we are pleading, and so we shall be fitted and qualified to do the work to which we are called of God.

Let us learn, then, from this first instance of our Saviour’s preparatory prayer, at his baptism, the necessity of special supplication on our part in similar circumstances. If we are making our first public profession of faith in him, or if we are renewing that profession, If we are removing to another sphere of service, if we are taking office in the church as deacons or elders, if we are commencing the work of the pastorate, if we are in any way coming out more distinctly before the world as the servants of Christ, let us set apart special seasons for prayer, and so seek a double portion of the Holy Spirit’s blessing to rest upon us.

From a sermon entitled "The Preparatory Prayers of Christ," delivered August 7, 1873.

Photo by Glenn Scofield Williams. Some rights reserved.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

You must be born again

Perhaps someone here says, “I have given up drunkenness....” “Well,” says another, “I am very different from what I was twelve months ago. I am glad of it, I say again, as glad as when I read that this blind man’s eyes were opened. But, my dear friend, that is not the main point. “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?” Morality is excellent as far as it goes, but without holiness no man shall see the Lord, and holiness far exceeds mere morality. Holiness can only be produced by a real change of heart, and that real change of heart can only come through the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit which manifests itself through faith in Jesus Christ. Moral changes are commendable, and we would be the last to say a word against them; but just as silver is not gold, so morality is not holiness, and the message we have still to deliver is this, “Ye must be born again.”

So we press the question of the text home upon the conscience of everyone here because it concerns the vital point of faith in Christ. I am convinced that this question, “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?” is the most important question that a man can ever have to answer; this is vitally and overwhelmingly important. “I am a Churchman,” says one. “I am a Nonconformist,” says another. “I am a Calvinist,” says one. “I am an Arminian,” says another. Well now, I am not going to ask you anything about your belief on any of these points, though I know what I think is the right view concerning all of them. But I can tell you that you may go to heaven or you may go to hell either as a Churchman or as a Nonconformist, as a Calvinist or as an Arminian; but if you believe on Jesus Christ, you shall never perish, neither shall any pluck you out of his hands. It is believing on him that is the all-important point, so I still urge each one of you to answer the question, “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?”

From a sermon entitled, "A Question For Thee," delivered August 9, 1874.

Photo by Peter Emmett. Some rights reserved.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Serve the Lord wherever you are

It is not alone preaching and praying and going to meetings that are to be commended. These are useful in their place. But well doing consists in taking down the shutters and selling your goods; tucking up your shirt sleeves and doing a good day’s work; sweeping the carpets and dusting the chairs, if you happen to be a domestic servant. Well doing is attending to the duties that arise out of our relationships in life — attending carefully to them, and seeing that in nothing we are eye-servers and men-pleasers, but in everything are seeking to serve God. I know it is difficult to make people feel that such simple and ordinary things as these are well doing. Sometimes stopping at home and mending the children’s clothes does not seem to a mother quite so much “well doing” as going to a prayer-meeting, and yet it may be that the going to a prayer-meeting would be ill-doing if the other duty had to be neglected.

It still is a sort of superstition among men that the cobbler’s lapstone and the carpenter’s adze are not sacred things, and that you cannot serve God with them, but that you must get a Bible and break its back at a revival meeting, or give out a hymn and sing it lustily in order to serve God. Now, far am I from speaking even half a word against all the zeal and earnestness that can be expended in religious engagements. These things ought ye to have done, but the other things are not to be left undone, or to be depreciated in any way whatever.

When Peter saw the sheet come down from heaven, you remember, it contained all manner of beasts and creeping things; God said even of the creeping things that he had cleansed them, and they were not to be counted common; from which I gather, among a great many other things, that even the most menial of the forms of service even the commonest actions of life — if they be done as unto the Lord, are cleansed and become holy things, and are by no means to be despised.

From a sermon entitled "Facing The Wind," delivered September 28, 1876.

Photo by Kambiz Kamrani. Some rights reserved.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

How great the Father's love!

I ask every converted man here just to look through his own biography. Some of you were, perhaps, converted while you were young, and so were kept from the grosser sins into which others fall; but there were some who were suffered to go into drunkenness, or into uncleanness and all manner of iniquity. God has forgiven you, my brother, and has washed all that evil away in the precious blood of Jesus; but you feel that you can never forgive yourself.

I know that I am bringing some very unhappy memories before you, of which you say, “Would God that night had never been, or that day had never passed over my head! “The Lord grant that, as you look back upon those sins of yours, you may feel deeply humbled, and, at the same time, may be devoutly grateful to God for “his great love” wherewith he hath loved you! There have been some, who seem as if they had gone to the utmost extremity of sin, — as if they dared and defied the Most High; and yet, notwithstanding their atrocious sins, free grace has won the day. There has seemed, in some cases, to be a stern struggle between sin and grace, as if sin said, “I will provoke God till grace shall leave him;” but grace has said, “Provoked as the Lord is, yet still will he stand to his purpose of mercy; he will not turn away from the decree of his love,”

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, I ask you to think this subject over in your own private meditations. There are some things that it would not be right to mention in any ear but the ear of God; for it certainly was a horrible pit out of which he took us, and miry clay indeed out of which he drew us; so we may well praise “his great love wherewith he loved us even when we were dead in sins.”

From a sermon entitled, "His Great Love," delivered August 15, 1875.

Photo by Peter Davis. Some rights reserved.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Take the Promises of God!

Whenever you look into the Word of God, and read what “God hath spoken” to you, see that you appropriate it. Suppose that he has promised you comfort, do not rest satisfied without that comfort. Suppose he has promised you joy and peace in believing; never rest till you have that joy and peace. Suppose he has promised you complete sanctification, full deliverance from the power of evil, do not be satisfied till you are delivered from it all. Never say, “Ah, that is a constitutional sin; that is the result of my temperament.” No, brother, if the Lord hath promised you the victory over your enemies, be not satisfied till you have planted your foot on their necks, and they are in subjection to you.

Some Christian people are living, spiritually, on a penny a week, when their income might be ten thousand a day. You might live like kings, yet you are starving like paupers. Your faith might lay hold on God’s exceeding great and precious promises, and so fill her mouth with good things; but, instead of doing so, you are quivering with the palsy of unbelief, and so not grasping what God has put within your reach.... Oh, if our faith did but really grip the promises, and believe in the promise-keeping God, she would never rest till she possessed all the blessings that are really hers!

I think that every young Christian should say when he joins the church, “Now, I do not want to be merely an average Christian. I am nothing, and less than nothing, in myself; but, if there is any blessing to be had from God I will have it. If I can have a closer walk with God than others have, I will have it. If there is more of Christ’s likeness to be had than others possess, I will have it.

From a sermon entitled "God Hath Spoken! - Rejoice!," delivered October 12, 1876.

Photo by Gytis Cibulskis. Some rights reserved.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Just a few days left to vote on our poll!

Only a few days left to vote on our poll for the most popular Spurgeon work. So far the leader is Morning and Evening...

If you haven't voted yet, take a peek in the left-hand column and cast your ballot.

Have a great Lord's Day.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Son has praised the Father, and so must we

The example of our Lord... is this: if the Lord Jesus Christ declares God, especially to his own brethren, be it your business and mine, in order to praise Jehovah, to tell out what we know of the excellence and surpassing glories of our God; and especially let us do it to our kinsfolk, our household, our neighbors, and, since all men are in a sense our brethren, let us speak of Jesus wherever our lot is cast. My brethren and sisters, I wish we talked more of our God.

“But ah! how faint our praises rise!
Sure ‘tis the wonder of the skies,
That we, who share his richest love,
So cold and unconcern’d should prove.”

How many times this week have you praised the dear Redeemer to your friends? Have you done it once? I do it often officially; but I wish I did it more often, spontaneously and personally, to those with whom I may commune by the way. You have doubtless murmured this week, or spoken against your neighbors, or spread abroad some small amount of scandal, or, it may be, you have talked frothily and with levity. It is even possible that impurity has been in your speech; even a Christian’s language is not always so pure as it should be.

Oh, if we saved our breath to praise God with, how much wiser! If our mouth were filled with the Lord’s praise and with his honor all the day, how much holier! If we would but speak of what Jesus has done for us, what good we might accomplish! Why, every man speaks of what he loves! Men can hardly hold their tongues about their inventions and their delights. Speak well, O ye faithful, of the Lord’s name. I pray you, be not dumb concerning one who deserves so well of you; but make this the resolve of this Sabbath morning, “I will declare thy name unto my brethren.”

From a sermon entitled "Jesus, the Example of Holy Praise," delivered March 8, 1868.

Photo by Mike Pedroncelli. Some rights reserved.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Sliding gradually into sin

For the most part, men do not fall into great sin by sudden surprises. It is sometimes so; but, usually, there are several descending platforms, and the descent is made by slow degrees. When King David walked upon the top of his house, that fatal evening, and saw Bathsheba washing herself, if he had been in a right state of heart, as in former times, he would, with all delicacy, have at once retreated from the sight. But he had grown cold and dull in spirit for months — perhaps for years — and that incident was but the match to fire the fuel which had been so long in the drying, and which, once kindled, burned to such a fearful conflagration. The sin itself seemed to come upon him of a sudden, but the preparation for the sin had been in the making long before.

O friends, if we begin to look upon iniquity, we shall almost certainly fall! There are some sins that we poor, frail creatures cannot endure to look at. We are as moths near a burning candle; the only safety for us is to get out of the room, and fly into the open air; but if we stop near the light, we shall certainly burn our wings, and perhaps even destroy ourselves. So we must take care that we do not get used to sin. I believe that even the common reading in the newspapers of accounts of evil things is defiling to us, and that, if we habitually read such things, we shall come at last to think less and less of the coarser forms of vice than we ought to do. It is said that “familiarity breeds contempt.” So it does where heavenly things become familiar to those who have no spiritual perceptions; but it also breeds a hardness of conscience ... where there ought to be delicacy....

From a sermon entitled "Deadness and Quickning," delivered October 29, 1885.

Photo by Flynn Wynn, some rights reserved.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

The Beauty of a True Intercessor

...I want you to see the beauty of a true intercessor, and to endeavor, by the power of God’s Spirit, to imitate the intercession. Jeremiah interceded for the people, but we have not to seek far before we discover the reason why he did it. God, in infinite mercy, gave the weeping prophet to his sinful people in order that they might not be left as sheep without a shepherd, and be quite given over to utter destruction; and wherever you meet with a man, who intercedes with God for his fellowmen, and makes this the main business of his life, you see in him one of the most precious gifts of God’s grace to the age in which he lives.

It is God that writes intercession upon men’s hearts. All true prayer comes from him, but especially that least selfish and most Christlike form of prayer called intercession; when the suppliant forgets all about himself, and his own needs, and all his pleadings, his tears, and his arguments are on behalf of others. I repeat that such men are a most precious gift from heaven; and I feel certain that, before the Reformation, there must have been hundreds of godly men and women who were day and night interceding with the Lord, and giving him no rest until he answered their supplications; and Luther and the rest of the Reformers were sent by God in answer to the many prayers which history has never recorded, but which are written in the Lord’s book of remembrance. And when Wesley and Whitefield, in more modern times, stirred the smouldering embers of religion in this land, it was because godly people, perhaps poor, obscure men and women in their cottages, reading the Scriptures, saw the sad state of irreligion and indifference into which the nation had fallen, and groaned over it, and spread the case before God.

I know not how to estimate the worth of even one man who has power with God in prayer. When John Knox went upstairs to plead for Scotland, it was the greatest event in Scottish history. All things are possible with the man who, like Elias upon Carmel, casts himself down upon the earth, and puts his face between his knees, and cries unto him that heareth prayer, till the heavens, which were like brass,suddenly drop with plenteous showers of rain. There is no power like that of intercession. The secret springs that move the puppets of earth — for kings and princes are often little more than that — are the prayers of God’s believing people. The hidden wheels that start the whole machinery, and that keep it in motion, are the prayers of God’s people. Oh, if the Lord makes you an intercessor, my dear brother, even if you cannot speak with men for God, if you know how to speak with God for men, you occupy a position that is second to none. God help you to fill it well!

From a sermon entitled, "Intercession and Supplication," delivered April 27, 1879.

Photo by Jason, some rights reserved.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Resurrection of the Saints

The body while here below, is corruptible, subject to decay; it gradually becomes weak through old age, at last it yields to the blows of death, falls into the ground, and becomes the food of worms. But the new body shall be incorruptible, it shall not be subject to any process of disease, decay, or decline, and it shall never, through the lapse of ages, yield to the force of death. For the immortal spirit it shall be the immortal companion. There are no graves in heaven, no knell ever saddened the New Jerusalem. The body here is weak, the apostle says “it is sown in weakness;” it is subject to all sorts of infirmities in life, and in death loses all strength. It is weak to perform our own will, weaker still to perform the heavenly will; it is weak to do and weak to suffer: but it is to be “raised in power, all infirmity being completely removed.”

How far this power will be physical and how far spiritual we need not speculate; where the material ends and the spiritual begins we need not define; we shall be as the angels, and we have found no difficulty in believing that these pure spirits “excel in strength,” nor in understanding Peter when he says that angels are “greater in power and might.” Our body shall be “raised in power.” Here, too, the body is a natural or soulish body — a body fit for the soul, for the lowest faculties of our mental nature but according to the apostle in the Corinthians, it is to be raised a spiritual body, adapted to the noblest portion of our nature, suitable to be the dwelling-place and the instrument of our new-born grace-given life. This body at present is no assistance to the spirit of prayer or praise; it rather hinders than helps us in spiritual exercises. Often the spirit truly is willing, but the flesh is weak. We sleep when we ought to watch, and faint when we should pursue. Even its joys as well as its sorrows tend to distract devotion: but when this body shall be transformed, it shall be a body suitable for the highest aspirations of our perfected and glorified humanity — a spiritual body like unto the body of the glory of Christ.

Here the body is sinful, its members have been instruments of unrighteousness. It is true that our body is the temple of the Holy Ghost; but, alas! there are traces about it of the time when it was a den of thieves. The spots and wrinkles of sin are not yet removed. Its materialism is not yet so refined as to be an assistance to the spirit; it gravitates downwards, and it has a bias from the right line; but it awaits the last change, and then it shall be perfectly sinless, as alabaster white and pure, upon which stain of sin did never come; like the newly driven snow, immaculately chaste. “As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.”

From a sermon entitled, "The Power of Christ Illustrated by the Resurrection," delivered January 29, 1871.

Photo by Ron Almog, some rights reserved.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Our citizenship in in Heaven

As a Bedouin wandering across the desert, so is a Christian - a bird of passage; a voyager seeking the haven. This is not our rest: it is polluted.

The wisdom of the Christian is to disentangle himself as much as possible of the things of this life. He will act kindly towards the citizens of the country where he is called to dwell, and he will seek their good: still he will remember that he is not as they are. He is an alien among them. He may have to buy and sell in this world, but that is merely as a matter of transient convenience. He neither buys nor sells for eternity; for he has “bought the truth,” and he “sells it not.” He has received God to be his treasure, and his heart and his treasure too he has sent on ahead. On the other side of the river all his joys and all his treasures are to be found. Here he looks upon his earthly joys as things that are lent him - borrowed comforts. If his children die, he does not wonder: he knew that they were not immortal. If his friends are taken away, he is not astonished: he understood that they were born of women, and therefore would die like the rest.

If his wealth takes to itself wings, he does not marvel: he knew that it was a bird of passage, and he is not astonished when, like the swallows, it flies elsewhere. He had long ago learned that the world is founded on the floods and therefore, when it moves beneath him, he understands that this is the normal state of things, and he is not at all amazed, but rather wonders that the world is not all panic and confusion, since it is so unsubstantial. As Samson shook the Philistine temple, so shall the word of the Lord in the hour of final doom lay all nature prone in one common ruin; and vain is he who boasts of his possessions where all is waiting to be overturned.

Brethren, are you doing so?... Ah! well, may this worldliness be cast out of you, and may you be seized with homesickness, that sweet disease which every true patriot ought to have, an insatiable longing for his dear fatherland.... Are there no sweet songs of Zion which remind you of that blessed land where our best friends, our kindred dwell, where God our Savior reigns? If we are true citizens of the New Jerusalem, we shall long for that fair country, the home of the elect.

From a sermon entitled "our Life, Our Work, Our Change," delivered August 4, 1867.

Photo by freshheadfilms, some rights reserved

Monday, August 6, 2007

Wait on the Lord for guidance

Note well... that, before David went to war, in each case, he waited upon God: “David enquired of the Lord.” Whenever we have any enterprise on hand, it is wise to wait upon God for direction, and for help. David had received divine guidance before; but counsel in one dilemma is not guidance for another. Though David had been led of God the first time to fight the Philistines, he did not consider that the direction then given would apply again, so he went a second time; and it is written, “David enquired of the Lord.” The answers which David received on these two occasions were different. The first time, the Lord said, “Go up.” The second time, he said, “Thou shalt not go up.” Had David been content with his former waiting upon God, he would have made a great mistake.

What you have to do today you may not have to do tomorrow, and what you did yesterday may have been right enough for yesterday, but it may be as wrong as possible for today. Wait more continually upon God, dear friends. Be not satisfied with what you have received of direction and support; but go to God again and again. If you go to him daily for manna, you may well go to him daily for counsel. David did this, and he acted wisely. I am afraid, dear friends, that many Christians go carelessly blundering on, as we say, “neck or nothing.” They do the first thing that comes to hand, and do not wait, and pause, and consider, as they ought.

I know some friends who seem to me to enter into great speculations which they had much better let alone, and who venture into various schemes which they would be much wiser to leave to other people. If they would only wait upon God, they would find themselves restrained from many things which now they attempt, and impelled to other things which now they neglect.... If a man will only wait upon God, it will help his own mind to form a correct judgment, and, besides that, the Lord will give him guidance of which he never dreamed.

From a sermon entitled "The Lord Leading, David Following," delivered November 14, 1889.

Photo by Matt L., some rights reserved.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

FAQ and what's new at The Daily Spurgeon

Spurgeon preaching at Surrey

Actually, very little is really new here at The Daily Spurgeon, as the material we publish is over 100 years old. However, we know you find in Spurgeon's writings the timeless truths of the Word of God, set forth pungently, as he might have said.

DECEMBER 30, 2007

I suppose someone will inevitably ask me if Spurgeon would have used Facebook. I can't answer that, but if you use Facebook (and tens of millions now do) you can now add The Daily Spurgeon to yours. Just visit this application link and you'll be off and running. You will have to log in, of course. If you'd like to help us go "viral," be sure to share the Spurgeon app with your Facebook friends and pass the inspiration along.

DECEMBER 1, 2007

One thing I've noticed is that people are very interested in the photographs we use on the site. All of the pictures we use are taken from Flickr, under a Creative Commons license. To download a photo, right-click on it and follow the instructions of your particular browser. However, if you intend to use any of the pictures you must follow the terms of the Creative Commons license. Not to do so is a copyright violation - not to mention rude! In order to see more options for the photo and see the license terms, click on the link we typically run below the Spurgeon excerpt. It will say "Flickr photo by [artist]..." Christians should always observe copyright and licensing laws - it's an important part of your testimony, even if you don't agree with them.

AUGUST 5, 2007

I'm writing to let you know of some features we've recently added and some you might not have known about:

1. You can now read or search for items by category. Simply use the drop-down list in the left column towards the top.

2. You can also e-mail devotional articles you like to a friend by using the "Email this" link which appears at the bottom of every post.

3. You can bookmark articles using the colorful Bookmark button which also appears below posts. This button allows you to save articles or share them on popular social sites like Digg,, StumbleUpon, Facebook, Reddit, and lots more! Look for this button:

You can also use the bookmark button in the left-hand column to bookmark the entire site.

4. Subscribe to receive our posts by RSS or via e-mail without even needing to return to the site. Look for the orange button in the left-hand column - it looks like this:

We're still a new site, less than two months old, but our growth has been wonderful thanks to your readership and we are having a great time sifting through Spurgeon's material to send you out something inspiring six days a week. Thanks for your support and if you're enjoying The Daily Spurgeon, please use our e-mail links to tell a friend!

God bless,

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Develop a love for Christ's Church

Remember that your denomination is not the whole of Zion; that, although you do well to look carefully to the quarter in which your house is situated, yet there are other houses of God’s servants in other parts of the city, and you should take a survey of those regions, as well as those in which you immediately dwell. See how your brethren fare, and take their pledge and report. Let it never be a joy to a Baptist if he hears that some Congregational Church does not prosper. Let it always be a joy to a Presbyterian when he hears that a Wesleyan is doing good. Let it be a great joy to us if any part of the Church of God prosper, and if in any place there be decay or decline, let us bear in our prayers that particular portion of the Church of God, and pray him to strengthen that part of the city wall against the foe.

Let your survey of the Church be as complete as you can make it. “Go round about her.” Let it also be frequent. I am afraid that some persons think very little indeed of the Church of God. I mean that, while they know how the shop, and the State, and the world generally are getting on, they could scarcely tell how many members were added to the one Church to which they belong. Certainly they know little about other sections of the church, and, perhaps care as little as they know. It should not be so with the citizens of Zion; the time to favor Zion will come when God’s servants take pleasure in her stones and favor the dust thereof, when the very least thing that concerns the Church of God shall be important to the citizens of Zion.

Frequently, my dear friends, look not on your own things only, but also on the things of others. Does not the text say first, “Walk about Zion”? Then it adds, “Go round about her,” as if, after having done it once you were to do it again, and yet again, and again, so caring always for the Church, and making constantly an earnest, enthusiastic inspection as to the prosperity of the great cause of Christ in the land.

From a sermon entitled, "Beholding God's Church," delivered July 14, 1870.

Photo by Kruger, some rights reserved

Friday, August 3, 2007

Don't give up praying!

Photo by Jalal HB, some rights reserved

Do not give up praying because you feel you cannot pray, but pray twice as much, for you want* more prayer, and instead of being less with God, be more. Do not let a sense of unworthiness drive you away. A child should not run away from its mother at night because it wants* washing. Your children do not keep away from you because they are hungry, nor because they have torn their clothes, but they come to you just because of their necessities. They come because they are children, but they come oftener because they are needy children, because they are sorrowful children.

So let every need, let every pain, let every weakness, let every sorrow, let every sin, drive you to God. Do not say, “Depart from me.” It is a natural thing that you should say so, and not a thing altogether to be condemned, but it is a glorious thing, it is a God honoring thing, it is a wise thing, to say, on the contrary, “Come to me, Lord; come nearer to me still, for I am a sinful man, and without thy presence I am utterly undone.”

* - i.e., need

From a sermon entitled "Peter's Prayer," delivered June 10, 1869.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Give me a pure tongue!

Photo by William Murphy, some rights reserved

No description of a man’s character can be perfect which does not include his speech. A man who lies, or who talks obscenely or profanely, is a bad man! A man whose words are arrogant and boastful, cruel and slanderous, unreliable and deceptive, unchaste and impure, is no child of God. The grace of God very speedily sweetens a man’s tongue, and if his religion does not operate upon his speech surely it is not the religion of the pure and holy God.

“By thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” If the tongue be set on fire of hell the heart is not on fire with grace from heaven. The doctor says, “Put out your tongue,” and he judges the symptoms of health or disease thereby; assuredly, there is no better test of the inward character than the condition of the tongue. “Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee” is a fair decision. If, then, our lips do not speak uprightly, that is, speak truthfully and justly, if our tongue is not salted and sanctified by the grace of God, then we cannot claim any of the privileges which are described in our text. God grant that we may prove by our conversation that the Lord has reweaved us in our inner man.

From a sermon entitled "The Rocky Fortress and Its Inhabitant," delivered February 3, 1884.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Our help is in the Name of the Lord

Photo by Mark Waters, some rights reserved

Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth. (Psalm 124:8)

Our Creator is our preserver. He is immensely great in his creating work; he has not fashioned a few little things alone, but all heaven and the whole round earth are the works of his hands. When we worship the Creator let us increase our trust in our Comforter. Did he create all that we see, and can he not preserve us from evils which we cannot see? Blessed be his name, he that has fashioned us will watch over us; yea, he has done so, and rendered us help in the moment of jeopardy. He is our help and our shield, even he alone. He will to the end break every snare. He made heaven for us, and he will keep us for heaven; he made the earth, and he will succour us ripen it until the hour cometh for our departure. Every work of his hand preaches to us the duty and the delight of reposing upon him only. All nature cries, "Trust ye in the Lord for ever, for in the Lord Jehovah there is everlasting strength." "Wherefore comfort one another with these words."

From "The Treasury of David," exposition of Psalm 124.