Thursday, October 29, 2009
The Christian’s life is a matchless riddle. No worldling can comprehend it; even the believer himself cannot understand it. He knows it, but as to solving all its enigmas, he feels that to be an impossible task. Dead, yet alive; crucified with Christ, and yet at the same time risen with Christ in newness of life! Do not expect the world to understand you, Christian, it did not understand your Master. When your actions are misrepresented, and your motives are ridiculed, do not be surprised. “If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” If you belonged to the village the dogs would not bark at you.
From a sermon entitled "Christus Et Ego," delivered November 17, 1867. Image by Marilyn Peddle under Creative Commons License.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Doubt thyself, and go to Jesus. Never doubt him. Confess thyself now to be undone and ruined if so it be, but go to him who is still the Savior, able to save to the uttermost. Still guilty, still lost, still defiled, go still to the “fountain filled with blood;” go still to the openhanded Savior, and ask him to press thee to his bosom and to save thee now. This is the quick way, the sure way, the blessed way of finding out the secret spot, to go at once to Christ. If I never came before, O bleeding Savior, now I come, and if I have often come and put my trust in thee, I come again. Accept a guilty sinner who casts himself alone on thee, and save him for thy mercy’s sake. Amen.
From a sermon entitled "The Secret Spot," delivered November 10, 1867. Image by liz west under Creative Commons License.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
The Lord our God has provided for us in Christ, for all the necessities that can occur, for he has foreknown all these necessities. “I knew that thou wouldst be this and that.” Oh, is your heart heavy this morning? God knew it would be: there is the comfort that your heart wants already treasured in the promise. Seek the promise, believe it and obtain it. Do you feel, this morning, that you never were so consciously vile as you are now? Behold, the crimson fountain is open still with all its former efficacy to wash your sin away. Never shall you come into such a position that Christ cannot aid you. No pinch shall ever come in your spiritual affairs in which Jesus Christ shall not be equal to the emergency, for it has all been foreknown and provided for in him.
A man goes a journey across the desert, and when he has made a day’s advance and he pitches his tent, he discovers that he wants many comforts and necessaries, which he has not brought in his baggage. “Ah!” says he, “I did not foresee this: if I had this journey to go again, I should bring these things with me, so necessary to my comfort.” But God has foreseen all the necessities of his poor wandering children, and when those needs occur, supplies will be found ready. “My grace is sufficient for thee.” “As thy days, so shall thy strength be.”
From a sermon entitled "God's Foreknowledge of Man's Sin," delivered November 3, 1867. Image by Keven Law under Creative Commons License.
Monday, October 26, 2009
We may learn that a man may know a great deal about true religion, and yet be a total stranger to it. He may know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God Most High, and yet he may be possessed of a devil; nay, as in this case, he may be a den for a whole legion of devils. Mere knowledge does nothing for us but puff us up. We may know, and know, and know, and so increase our responsibility, without bringing us at all into a state of hope.
Beware of resting in head-knowledge. Beware of relying upon orthodoxy, for without love, with all your correctness of doctrine, you will be a sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. It is well to be sound in the faith, but the soundness must be in the heart as well as in the head. There is as ready a way to destruction by the road of orthodoxy as by the paths of heterodoxy. Hell has thousands in it who were never heretics. Remember that the devils “believe and tremble.” There are no sounder theoretical believers than devils, and yet their conduct is not affected by what they believe, and consequently they still remain at enmity to the Most High God. A mere head-believer is on a par therefore with fallen angels, and he will have his portion with them forever unless grace shall change his heart.
From a sermon entitled "Plain Words With The Careless," delivered October 13, 1867. Image by Brandon Godfrey under Creative Commons License.
I thank God there are some of you who will not let a stranger go out without a good word concerning Christ. I pray you persevere in the good habit, and the Lord will bless you, for while there is much to be done in such a congregation as this by the preacher, there is yet more to be done by these helps in getting to the conscience, and doing good to the soul. For a thoroughly efficient “help,” give me a man with a loving face. We do not make our own faces; but I do not think a brother will do much with anxious enquirers who is habitually grim. Cheerfulness commends itself, especially to a troubled heart. We do not want levity; there is a great difference between cheerfulness and levity.
I can always tell a man who looks sweetly at me what I feel, far better than I can tell it to one who in a sort of official way talks to me as though it were his only business to enquire into my private concerns, and to find out all about what I am, and where I have been. Go about your work softly, gently, affectionately; let your cheerful countenance tell that the religion you have is worth having...
From a sermon entitled "Helps." Image by kaktuslampa under Creative Commons License.
Friday, October 23, 2009
“The Lord spake unto Moses, Gather the people together, and I will give them water.”
Beloved, we have a promise. A promise? nay, a thousand promises! God’s people were never in any plight whatever, but what there was a promise to meet that condition. There is not a single lock of which God has not the key. You shall never be placed in a difficulty without some provision being made for that difficulty, which God foresaw, and for which his heavenly wisdom had devised a way of escape.
From a sermon entitled "A Song At The Well-Head," delivered October 10, 1867. Image by Sergio Tudela under Creative Commons License.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
The death of our Lord Jesus Christ must have appeared to his apostles to be an unmitigated misfortune. No doubt they conceived that it would be the death of the cause, a heavy blow, and a deep discouragement. Smite the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered. Strike the head, and what shall become of the members? But our Lord instructed his disciples that this, which seemed so dreary a circumstance, was really the most hopeful of all the points of his history. He assured them that by his death he would totally defeat the powers of darkness. “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.” He comforted them yet further by the declaration that his crucifixion, instead of driving men away from his doctrine, would give to that doctrine a peculiar lustre and a special charm.
The cross of Christ, with all its ignominy and shame, is no hindrance to his heavenly teaching but is, in fact, a matchless loadstone by which men are attracted to it. There is such a thing as “the offense of the cross,” and that offense has not ceased; but still, listen to the Master’s words, “I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.” The attractive power of the gospel lies mainly in the crucifixion of the gospel’s great Teacher.
From a sermon entitled "The Great Attraction," delivered October 13, 1867. Image by jenny downing under Creative Commons License.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
I do not say, is love upon your tongue, but, does love rule thy heart? Dost thou love God as a child loves its father? Dost thou love the Savior from a sense of gratitude to him who bought thee with his blood? Dost thou feel the love of the gracious Comforter, who dwells in thee, if thou be indeed a child of God? What knowest thou about love to the brethren? Dost thou love the saints, as saints, whether they belong to thy church or no; whether they please thee or serve thy turn or no? Say, dost thou love God’s poor? Dost thou love God’s persecuted and despised ones?
Answer, I pray thee. What about love to the kingdom of the Lord’s dear Son, and to the souls of men? Canst thou sit still and be satisfied with being saved thyself while thy neighbors are being damned by thousands? Are thine eyes never wet with tears for impenitent souls? Do the terrors of the Lord never get hold upon thee, when thou thinkest of men plunging themselves into perdition? “He that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” Hast thou this fruit, then? for if not, “every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away.”
From a sermon entitled "A Sharp Knife for the Vinebranches," delivered October 6, 1867. Image by rachel_thecat under Creative Commons License.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
How great is the goodness of God, which he laid up in the covenant of grace! He determined to bless us in a way of covenant relationship, into which he entered on our behalf with our federal head, the Lord Jesus. To attempt, my dear brethren, to read to you the treasures, which God has made over to us in the covenant of grace, were to attempt an impossibility. The catalogue is far too comprehensive. Behold, he has given all things to you in the covenant of his eternal love, for all things are yours, whether things present or things to come-life and death, time and eternity; nay, more, God himself is yours!
“I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” The Father is your Father; the Son of God is your Brother; the Spirit of God is your Comforter, who abides with you forever. In that golden casket of the covenant of grace, all the wealth of the Eternal is stored up for the chosen. David laid up in store for the temple, but Jesus has treasured up far more for his church; Jacob gave to Joseph one portion above his brethren, but our heavenly Father has given to all the family an inheritance surpassing all conception. Nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, can fully estimate the infinite wealth of blessedness laid up in the everlasting covenant.
From a sermon entitled "David's Holy Wonder At The Lord's Great Goodness," delivered September 19, 1867. Image by under Creative Commons License.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Our Lord for the “joy set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame.” It is written, that he rejoices over us with joy and singing, so that he reaps the fruit of his pains and groans in our salvation. When the shepherd lays the sheep on his shoulders, he returns home rejoicing, for he has found the sheep which was lost. The joy of finding the strayed one compensates him for all his toil, he forgets the length of the road, the toilsome climb up the mountains in search of it. It is found! It is found! That is enough: that one joyful cry embodies the measure of his satisfaction and rewards. How Christ delights to save! This is how Christ is rewarded for his soul’s travail.
From a sermon entitled "Delay Is Dangerous." Image by rachel_thecat under Creative Commons License.
Friday, October 16, 2009
There are hours when some of us would be glad to creep into a mouse hole or hide ourselves in a nutshell. We feel so little, so insignificant. Our faith is at so miserable an ebb, that we know not what to do. Well, let us not be astonished, as though we were not the children of God, because of this. Everything that has life has variations. A block of wood is not affected by the weather, but a living man is. You may drive a stake into the ground, and it will feel no influence of spring, summer, autumn, or winter; but if the stake be alive, and you drive it into the soil where there is moisture, it will soon begin to sprout, and you will be able to tell when spring and winter are coming by the changes that take place in the living tree. Life is full of these changes; do not wonder, then, if you experience them.
From a sermon entitled "Seeing Jesus." Image by brokinhrt2 under Creative Commons License.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
It is impossible that the bleeding Lamb should cease to be pitiful to poor bleeding hearts. By everything that can make the name of the great Physician glorious, by every pang of his soul on account of sinners, I am persuaded that he will not deny you. Why, the more a physician cures, the greater is his fame; the more the Savior saves, the higher is his honor; the more Jesus Christ can bless, the more lofty will be the praise, and the more exalted that mighty shout of “Hallelujah!” that shall go up from ten thousand times ten thousand of sinners, who have been washed in his blood.
Come, then, seeking sinner, come thou now, and by humble faith trust in the Mediator’s sacrifice. Wipe those eyes of thine. Be of good cheer. Be bold in heart. He calleth thee. There is room at his table. The door is open. There is room in his heart, he died for those who rest in him. If thou wishest for Christ, he wishes for thee. If thou longest to go to the feast, he wants guests as much as thou wantest the feast. Only trust thou him! God help thee to trust him by his Spirit, and thou shalt live.
From a sermon entitled "The Water Of Life." Image by joiseyshowaa under Creative Commons License.
Monday, October 12, 2009
The worldly religionists’ service has no gladness in it. “Serve the Lord with gladness” seems to the carnal mind to be a perfect monstrosity; and yet, mark you, this is the test between the genuine and the hypocritical professor - by this one thing shall you know who it is that feareth God, and who it is that does but offer him the empty tribute of his lips.
There is an old legend, that when the Queen of Sheba came to see Solomon, she posed him with many difficulties, and, among the rest, placed before him a vase of artificial flowers, which were so skillfully made that for awhile Solomon could not tell which of two bouquets of flowers were the handiwork of man, until he bade them open the window wide, and watched to see to which the bees would fly. No bees or flies would lodge upon the artificial, but only upon the genuine ones, for there alone they discerned the mystic sweetness which dwells in the secret aroma of the living bloom. Even so, observe the worldling’s religion: it is beautifully constructed, well put together, it is everything to the eye that could be expected; but no winged delights ever alight thereon, no joyous thoughts find honey there. As for the true believer in Jesus, he serves his God because he loves to serve him; he assembles with the great congregation because it is his delight to worship the Most High.
From a sermon entitled "Serving The Lord With Gladness," delivered September 8, 1867. Image by Stefan Bungart under Creative Commons License.
Friday, October 9, 2009
We ought to pray constantly for the people of God, they always need it; it is always our duty to remember their necessities. It is always our privilege to pray for one another, prayer is always useful to the church, and therefore we should delight to exercise it. The fire upon the altar of intercession should never go out, neither by night nor by day. Our prayer for the Lord’s people should be comprehensive. The church of God needs many things, and we must not be content to ask for one thing when the church needs many. We must be thoughtful about our prayers, so that, like David, we may say much in little.
Some people’s prayers have very little in them, they much abound with the chaff of utterance, and have but one grain of the wheat of meaning. We must not rush into God’s presence and there offer any words that may come to hand, but we should direct our prayer unto God, and meditate upon it, so that when we utter it, there may be something in it, some meaning; not asking for a shadowy something, but pleading wisely for what we intelligently desire.
From a sermon entitled "A Prayer For The Church Militant." Image by Oliver Wald under Creative Commons License.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
“I am purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.”
Oh those sad lips of ours! we had need purpose to purpose if we would keep them from exceeding their bounds. The number of diseases of the tongue is as many as the diseases of all the rest of the man put together, and they are more inveterate. Hands and feet one may bind, but who can fetter the lips? Iron bands may hold a madman, but what chains can restrain the tongue? It needs more than a purpose to keep this nimble offender within its proper range. Lion-taming and serpent-charming are not to be mentioned in the same day as tongue-taming, for the tongue can no man tame.
Those who have to smart from the falsehoods of others should be the more jealous over themselves; perhaps this led the Psalmist to register this holy resolution; and, moreover, he intended thereby to aver that if he had said too much in his own defence, it was not intentional, for he desired in all respects to tune his lips to the sweet and simple music of truth. Nothwithstanding all this David was slandered, as if to show us that the purest innocence will be bemired by malice. There is no sunshine without a shadow, no ripe fruit unpecked by the birds.
From The Treasury of David, exposition of Psalm 17:3. Image by Rachel Kramer under Creative Commons License.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
“For all the gods of the nations are idols.”
Mere images of wood and stone, vanities, nothings. “But the Lord made the heavens.” The reality of his Godhead is proved by his works, and foremost among these the Psalmist mentions that matchless piece of architecture which casts its arch over every man's head, whose lamps are the light of all mankind, whose rains and dew fall upon the fields of every people, and whence the Lord in voice of thunder is heard speaking to every creature. The idol gods have no existence, but our God is the author of all existences; they are mere earthly vanities, while he is not only heavenly, but made the heavens.... Who can be worshipped but he? Since none can rival him, let him be adored alone.
From The Treasury of David, exposition of Psalm 96:5. Image by Calum Davidson under Creative Commons License.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
When the Creator saith, “Seek ye my face,” it is the natural duty of the creature to reply, “Thy face, Lord, will I seek.” And the more is this so, because our Creator renews our obligations hourly, by exercising his sustaining power, and maintaining our existence. In a certain sense we are “created” every day, because the creature would go back to its native nothingness, our bodies would return to the dust, and our spirits would expire, if it were not for a continued action of divine omnipotence, by which we are retained in being. Being, therefore, every day, dependent upon the Preserver of men, it is but an every-day obligation that when God saith, “Seek ye my face,” the daily debtor should cheerfully reply, “Thy face, Lord, will I seek.”
If any should say that this is not a duty on such grounds, I would reply that the commands of God are always so good, and so reasonable, that it must be the duty of man to obey them. If it were possible for the Most High to command anything unrighteous, or unreasonable, the question of his claims might be raised; but since what the word of God commands is always most to our interest, at once the wisest and the best thing that we could possibly do, it becomes the duty of a rational and an intelligent being to follow the wise, loving, and tender counsels of the great God; and when his heavenly Father bids him seek his face, he should readily answer, “Thy face, Lord, will I seek.”
From a sermon entitled "The Echo." Image by topher76 under Creative Commons License.
Monday, October 5, 2009
If we want to grow in grace, we shall not do so by humbling ourselves, as we call it. The way to make advances in divine life, is to believe that you can only grow in grace by God’s Spirit; to believe that since Jesus Christ is yours, all things are yours. My brother, have you a bad temper? You will never overcome that temper by saying, “I cannot overcome it;” but if; by faith, you are able to say, “I can do all things through Christ that strengtheneth me,” you will overcome it yet. No sin is ever slain by your saying, “Oh! it is my disposition; it is natural to me.” I know it is, and all manner of wickedness is natural to us, but you have to rest upon a supernatural arm; you are a twice-born man.
You are a new creature, and you must not sit down in peace in any form of sin, but believe that you can overcome it by the power of your faith, and of the Holy Spirit that is in you. Believe, in order to see yourselves growing in grace; believe, to see yourselves conquering sin, in the name of Christ, and you shall do so.
From a sermon entitled "Believing To See." Image by James Jordan under Creative Commons License.
Friday, October 2, 2009
“But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.”-Acts 15:11.
The apostle did not believe in self-righteousness. The creed of the world is, “Do your best, and it will be all right with you.” To question this is treason against the pride of human nature, which evermore clings to salvation by its own merits. Every man is born a Pharisee. Self-confidence is bred in the bone - and will come out in the flesh. “What,” says a man, “do you not believe that if a man does his best, he will fare well in the next world? Why, you know, we must all live as well as we can, every man according to his own light; and if every man follows out his own conscience, as near as may be, surely it will be well with us?”
That is not what Peter said. Peter did not say, “We believe that through doing our best, we shall be saved like other people.” He did not even say, “We believe that if we act according to our light, God will accept that little light for what it was.” No, the apostle strikes out quite another track, and solemnly affirms, “We believe that through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved,” not through our good works, not through. anything that we do, not by the merit of anything which we feel or perform, or promise to perform, but by grace, that is to say, by the free favor of God.
From a sermon entitled "Grace - The One Way Of Salvation." Image by under Creative Commons License.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
“His delight is in the law of the Lord.”
He is not under the law as a curse and condemnation, but he is in it, and he delights to be in it as his rule of life; he delights, moreover, to meditate in it, to read it by day, and think upon it by night. He takes a text and carries it with him all day long; and in the night-watches, when sleep forsakes his eyelids, he museth upon the Word of God. In the day of his prosperity he sings psalms out of the Word of God, and in the night of his affliction he comforts himself with promises out of the same book.
“The law of the Lord” is the daily bread of the true believer. And yet, in David's day, how small was the volume of inspiration, for they had scarcely anything save the first five books of Moses! How much more, then, should we prize the whole written Word which it is our privilege to have in all our houses! But, alas, what ill-treatment is given to this angel from heaven! We are not all Berean searchers of the Scriptures. How few among us can lay claim to the benediction of the text! Perhaps some of you can claim a sort of negative purity, because you do not walk in the way of the ungodly; but let me ask you - Is your delight in the law of God? Do you study God's Word? Do you make it the man of your right hand - your best companion and hourly guide? If not, this blessing belongeth not to you.
From The Treasury of David, exposition of Psalm 1:2. Image by George Bannister under Creative Commons License.