Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Encouraging Word for the New Year

I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” — Joshua 1:5

The consolation given to Joshua would be exceedingly suitable in the presence of his enemies. He had spied out the land, and he knew it to be inhabited by giant races, men famous both for stature and strength. The sons of Anak were there, and other tribes, described as “great, and many, and tall.” He knew that they were a warlike people, and expert in the use of destructive implements of war, such as brought terror upon men, for they had chariots of iron. He knew, too, that their cities were of colossal dimensions — fortresses whose stones at this very day surprise the traveler, so that he asks what wondrous skill could have lifted those masses of rock into their places. The other spies had said that these Canaanites dwelt in cities that were walled up to heaven; and, though Joshua did not endorse that exaggeration, he was very well aware that the cities to be captured were fortresses of great strength, and the people to be exterminated were men of ferocious courage and great physical energy.

Therefore the Lord said, “I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” What more was needed? Surely, in the presence of God, Anakim become dwarfs, strongholds become as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, and chariots of iron are as thistle-down upon the hillside driven before the blast. What is strong against the Most High? What is formidable in opposition to Jehovah? “If God be for us, who can be against us?” They that be with us are more than they that be against us, when once the Lord of hosts is seen in our ranks. “Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be removed, the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.” Though a host should encamp against us, our heart shall not fear: though war should rise against us, in this will we be confident.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Strengthening Medicine For God's Servants." Image by Jorge Andrés Paparoni Bruzual on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Believe With Confidence

Surely the witness of Matthew and Mark, and Luke and John, and Peter and James and Paul, is as good as the witness of Julius Caesar or Tacitus, and it is rendered the more trustworthy from the fact that they died for adhering to it, which neither Caesar nor Tacitus were made to do. Besides, for the gospel narrative we have many witnesses, the number of names was about one hundred and twenty, and they all agreed and stood fast; and even the one who did for a time seem to forsake his testimony, bad as he was, returned to it, and threw down the money for which he had sold his Master, and said, “I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood.” We have the witness of men as to the facts that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, lived and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Faith, And The Witness Upon Which It Is Founded." Image by Vincent van der Pas on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

May we know such faith

Faith is so simple, that the little child who believes becomes ere long strong in the Lord; it is a vital force which gets such mastery over men that it makes them other men than they ever were before, and as it grows it lifts them up from being mere men to be men of God, and then beyond that it leads them on till they become heroes, and they stop flee mouths of lions, quench the violence of flames, obtain promises, and enter into rest. Faith the grain of mustard seed develops into faith that moves the mountain; faith the child increases into faith the giant. May we know by experience how true this is.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Faith And Its Attendant Privilege." Image by mike138 on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Plain Gospel

Do you not understand it? Christ bore the wrath of God, instead of those who trust him. Jesus Christ took the sins of all who trust him, and was punished in the room and stead of every believer, so that God will not punish a believer, because he has punished Christ for him. Christ died for the man who believes in him, so that it would be injustice on the part of God to punish that man, for how shall he punish twice for the same offense? 

Faith is the seal and evidence that you were redeemed nineteen hundred years ago upon the bloody tree of Calvary, and you are justified, and who shall lay anything to your charge. “It is God that justifies you: who is he that condemns you? It is Christ that died; yea, rather, that is risen again.” This is the gospel of your salvation.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Hospital of Waiters Visited With The Gospel." Image by Balaji.B on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Incarnation is a Promise

Think of it for a minute. If God loves us so much as to become man, then the blessings which he intends to bestow must be incalculable. The Incarnation is in itself a promise big with untold blessing. Gaze upon the Son of God in Bethlehem’s manger, and you feel sure that if the Infinite has assumed the forum of an infant, his incarnation betokens infinite love, foreshadows intimate intercourse, and foretells unbounded blessedness for the sons of Adam. If Jehovah himself in human flesh walks toilsomely over the acres of Judea, if he bears human sicknesses and sorrows, if he in human form gives his hands to the nails and his heart to the spear, there must be boundless affection in his heart towards the seed chosen from among men. What rivers of blessings must come to us if God himself comes to us, and comes in such a fashion and in such a spirit.

What meaneth the union of Godhead with humanity but this, that though he was rich yet for our sakes he became poor? And what can his purpose be but “that we through his poverty might be made rich”? rich with riches as vast as those which he renounced in order to espouse our nature in all its poverty and degradation? Let us at this time joy and rejoice in the Son of Mary, the Son of Man, who is also the Son of God; let us exult to-day as we believe that Jesus is as truly man as he is truly God.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Rivers Of Water In A Dry Place," delivered July 11, 1875.  Image by Andrew Curtis on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Robe I Received

After all, brethren, we are nobodies, and we have come of a line of nobodies. The proudest peer of the realm may trace his pedigree as far as ever he likes, but he ought to remember that if his blood is blue, it must be very unhealthy to have such blood in one’s veins. The common ruddy blood of the peasant is, after all, far healthier. Big as men may account themselves to be on account of their ancestors, we all trace our line up to a gardener, who lost his place through stealing his Master’s fruit, and that is the farthest we can possibly go. Adam covers us all with disgrace, and under that disgrace we should all sit humbly down. Look into your own heart, and if you dare to be proud, you have never seen your heart at all. It is a mass of pollution: it is a den of filthiness.

Apart from divine grace, your heart is a seething mass of putrefaction, and if God’s eternal Spirit were not to hold it in check, but to let your nature have its way, envyings, lustings, murders, and every foul thing would come flying forth in your daily life. A sinner and yet proud! It is monstrous. As for children of God, how can they be proud ? I fear we are all too much so; but what have we to be proud of ? What have we that we have not received ? How then can we boast ? Are we dressed in the robe of Christ’s righteousness ? We did not put a thread into it; it was all given us by the charity of Jesus. Are our garments white ? We have washed them in the blood of the Lamb. Are we new creatures ? We have been created anew by omnipotent power, or we should still be as we were.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Weaned Child." Image by maddy'j on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What riches there must be in Him!

Beloved, there are unsearchable riches in Christ, for he is by nature “God over all, blessed for ever.” Others may make him a mere man, but we behold the unsearchable riches of the Deity in Jesus Christ, “In whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” He is the Creator, without whom was not anything made that was made. He is the preserver of all things, and by him all things consist. What riches there must be in him who both makes and sustains the universe by the word of his power. In Jesus Christ all the attributes of God are manifest: the wisdom, the power, the immutability, the truth, the faithfulness, the justice, and love of God are all to be found in the character of Jesus Christ our Lord.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "A Grateful Summary of Twenty Volumes," delivered December 27, 1874. Image by Will Clayton on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Using the Infallible Word

I commend to every Christian here the constant use of the infallible word, because it was our champion's chosen weapon when he was assailed by Satan in the wilderness. He had a great choice of weapons with which to fight with Satan, but he took none but this sword of the spirit — “It is written.” Our Lord might have overcome Satan by angelic force. He had only to pray to his Father and he would presently have sent him twelve legions of angels, against whose mighty rush the arch-fiend could not have stood for a single moment. If our Lord had but exercised his godhead, a single word would have sent the tempter back to his infernal den.

But instead of power angelic or divine he used, “It is written”; thus teaching his church that she is never to call in the aid of force, or use the carnal weapon; but must trust alone in the omnipotence which dwells in the sure word of testimony. This is our battle-axe and weapon of war. The patronages or the constraints of civil power are not for us; neither dare we use either bribes or threats to make men Christians: a spiritual kingdom must be set up and supported by spiritual means only.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Infallibility — Where To Find It And How To Use It," delivered December 20, 1874. Image by Jim Trodel on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Making God A Liar

A physician says, “That medicine will heal you.” The patient replies, “I want to see that it does heal me before I take it.” The man is a fool, and so are you if that is how you trifle with God. You must believe the gospel on the evidence of God, and not otherwise, or your faith is not faith in God at all. The faith which he commanded in the gospel is faith in the record which God has given concerning his Son, a faith which takes God at his word. Believe then, on the Lord Jesus Christ and you have believed God to be true: refuse to trust in Jesus Christ, unless you get some other evidence beyond the witness of God, and you have practically said that God’s testimony is not enough, that is to say, you have made God a liar.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "A Solemn Impeachment of Unbelievers," delivered December 13, 1874. Image by Keoni Cabral on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A God Of Their Own Invention

Man fashions for himself a god after his own liking; he makes to himself if not out of wood or stone, yet out of what he calls his own consciousness, or his cultured thought, a deity to his taste, who will not be too severe with his iniquities or deal out strict justice to the impenitent. He rejects God as he is, and elaborates other gods such as he thinks the Divine One ought to be, and he says concerning these works of his own imagination, “These be thy gods, O Israel.” The Holy Spirit, however, when he illuminates their minds, leads us to see that Jehovah is God, and beside him there is none else. He teaches his people to know that the God of heaven and earth is the God of the Bible, a God whose attributes are completely balanced, mercy attended by justice, love accompanied by holiness, grace arrayed in truth, and power linked with tenderness. He is not a God who winks at sin, much less is pleased with it, as the gods of the heathen are supposed to be, but a God who cannot look upon iniquity, and will by no means spare the guilty.

This is the great quarrel of the present day between the philosopher and the Christian. The philosopher says, “Yes, a god if you will, but he must be of such a character as I now dogmatically set before you”; but the Christian replies, “Our business is not to invent a god, but to obey the one Lord who is revealed in the Scriptures of truth.” The God of Holy Scripture is love, but he is also possessed of justice and severity; he is merciful and gracious, but he is also stern and terrible towards evil; therefore unregenerate hearts say, “We cannot accept such a God as this,” and they call him cruel, and I know not what besides.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Heart-Knowledge of God," delivered December 6, 1874. Image by Geraint Rowland on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Greater Honor

It is a greater honor to serve Christ in the most menial capacity than to occupy the throne of the Caesars. I speak of honor, I may also dilate [i.e., expand] upon the happiness of the service of Jesus! It is the purest of pleasures. We long to express our affection for Jesus by acts of zeal. Love pants for expression, and is not obedience the tongue of love? That love is feigned which does not declare itself in some practical form or other, by deeds of kindness, or gifts, or sacrifices, or patient endurance, or hearty praise. 

Beloved, let us count it an unrivalled honor and an unsurpassed delight to do anything for Jesus. For this service let us be insatiably ambitious, resolved at all costs to show our loyalty to our Prince. To serve us he laid aside his glorious array, and girt about him the garments of a servant; for us he took a basin and towel and stooped to wash his disciples’ feet; for us he became obedient to death, even the death of the cross: now, therefore, in our turn, by all the shame he bore, by all the labor he endured, by all the agonies he suffered, let us serve him and him alone for ever.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "All For Jesus," delivered November 29, 1874. Image by Bert Kaufmann on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Rejoice in Their Salvation!

(Concluding a sermon on the Prodigal Son and receiving sinners:) Those who work for the good of sinners are always the gladdest when they are saved. You who pray for them, you who teach them, you who preach to them, you who win them for Christ, you shall share their merriment....

Let us begin to be merry this morning. But we cannot unless we are laboring for the salvation of others in all ways possible to us. If we have done and are doing that, let us praise and bless the Lord, and rejoice with the reclaimed ones, and let us keep the feast as Jesus would have it kept; for I hope there is no one here of the elder brethren who will be angry and refuse to go in. Let us continue to be merry as long as we live, because the lost are found and the dead are made alive. God grant you to be merry on this account world without end. Amen.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Reception of Sinners," delivered November 22, 1874. Image by James Jordan on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Keep Preaching the Blood

I am persuaded that no one will ever serve the Lord humbly and devotedly unless he obtains a clear view of the Lord Jesus as his sin offering, and substitute. Some preachers either do not know that truth, or else they think too little of it to make it prominent in their sermons, hence their ministry does not save souls. The great saving truth is the doctrine of atonement by substitution. Without it ministers will keep souls in bondage year after year, because they do not proclaim the finished redemption, nor let men know that sin was laid on Jesus that it might be for ever removed from the believer. “He was made sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in him;” brethren, get that truth clearly into your heads, and intensely into your hearts, and you will become devoted to the Lord. Do not only believe that grand truth, but to the spirit of it serve ye the Lord without weariness, seeing ye have been redeemed with a price far more precious than silver and gold.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Consecration of Priests," delivered November 15, 1874. Image by James Jordan on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Gift of Living Water

“Whosoever drinketh of water that I shall give him shall never thirst.” It is clear from this that true religion must come to us as a gift. The water that I shall give him, says Christ. There is no suggestion as to digging deep with much learning into the bowels of mysterious truth to find the water for ourselves; this priceless draught is freely handed out to us by our Redeemer, without our bringing either bucket or line. There is no hint in the text that we are to purchase the lifegiving water; it is presented to us without money and without price. There is no allusion to a certain measure of fitness to qualify us for the draught, it is purely a gift to be received by us here and now.

Our Lord Jesus told the woman that had she known the gift of God she would have asked and he would have given. Sinner as she was, she had only to ask and have. There is no other way of obtaining eternal life but as the free gift of sovereign grace. The divine life is not in us by nature, it cannot be produced in us by culture, nor infused into us by ceremonies, nor propagated in us by natural descent, it must come as a boon of infinite charity from heaven, unpurchased, undeserved. Wisdom cannot impart it, power cannot fashion it, money cannot buy it, merit cannot procure it, grace alone can give it.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Holy Water," delivered November 8, 1874. Image by 29cm on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Where He has placed each soldier

You have been wishing for another position where you could do something for Jesus: do not wish anything of the kind, but serve him where you are. If you are sitting at the King’s gate there is something for you to do there, and if you were on the queen’s throne, there would be something for you to do there; do not ask either to be gatekeeper or queen, but whichever you are, serve God therein. 

Brother, are you rich? God has made you a steward, take care that you are a good steward. Brother, are you poor? God has thrown you into a position where you will be the better able to give a word of sympathy to poor saints. Are you doing your allotted work? Do you live in a godly family? God has a motive for placing you in so happy a position. Are you in an ungodly house? You are a lamp hung up in a dark place; mind you shine there. Esther did well, because she acted as an Esther should, and Mordecai did well, because he acted as a Mordecai should. I like to think, as I look over you all, God has put each one of them in the right place, even as a good captain well arranges the different parts of his army, and though we do not know his plan of battle, it will be seen during the conflict that he has placed each soldier where he should be.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Providence - As Seen In The Book Of Esther," delivered November 1, 1874. Image by David Restivo, NPS on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Monday, December 5, 2011

A sight of the glorified Christ

It was no small honor to have seen our risen Lord while yet he lingered here below. What must it be to see Jesus as he is now! He is the same Jesus as when he was here; yonder memorials as of a a lamb that has been slain assure us that he is the same man. Glorified in heaven his real manhood sits, and it is capable of being, beheld by the eye, and heard by the ear, but yet how different. Had we seen him in his agony, we should all the more admire his glory.

Dwell with your hearts very much upon Christ crucified, but indulge yourselves full often with a sight of Christ glorified. Delight to think that he is not here, for he is risen; he is not here, for he has ascended; he is not here, for he sits at the right hand of God, and maketh intercession for us. Let your souls travel frequently the blessed highway from the sepulcher to the throne. As in Rome there was a Via Sacra along which returning conquerors went from the gates of the city up to the heights of the Capitol, so is there another Via Sacra which you ought often to survey, for along it the risen Savior went in glorious majesty from the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea up to the eternal dignities of his Father’s right hand. Your soul will do well to see her dawn of hope in his death, and her full assurance of hope in his risen life.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Power of the Risen Savior ," delivered October 25, 1874. Image by rachel_thecat on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

In your temptations

Learn, dear brethren, the real humanity of our Lord Jesus Christ. Do not think of him as God merely, though he is assuredly divine, but feel him to be near of kin to you, bone of your bone, flesh of your flesh. How thoroughly can he sympathize with you! He has been burdened with all your burdens and grieved with all your griefs. Are the waters very deep through which you are passing? Yet they are not deep compared with the torrents with which he was buffeted. Never a pang penetrates your spirit to which your covenant Head was a stranger. Jesus can sympathize with you in all your sorrows, for he has suffered far more than you have ever suffered, and is able therefore to succor you in your temptations. Lay hold on Jesus as your familiar friend, your brother born for adversity, and you will have obtained a consolation which will bear you through the uttermost deeps.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Agony In Gethsemane," delivered October 18, 1874. Image by rachel_thecat on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Attentive Discipleship

Let us take every word of Jesus, weigh it, read it, mark it learn it, feed on it and inwardly digest it. I am afraid we do not read our Bibles as we should, or attach such importance as we ought to every shade of expression which our Master uses. I should like to see a picture of Mary sitting at the Master’s feet. Great artists have painted the Virgin Mary so often that they might take a change, and sketch this Mary looking up with a deep, fixed gaze, drinking all in, and treasuring all up; sometimes startled by a new thought and a fresh doctrine, and then inquiringly waiting till her face beams with unspeakable delight as new light goods her heart. Her attentive discipleship proved how truly Jesus was her Master.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Master."  Image by rachel_thecat on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

For God has truly made us

No, we did not become what we are by chance or growth. God made us. This belief is the easiest escape from all difficulties, and besides, it is true, and everything in us tells us so. Now, since the Lord made us, he has a right to us. The property which God has in man is proved beyond dispute by our being his creatures. The potter has a right make the vessel for what use he pleases, still he has not such absolute right over his clay as God has over us, for the potter does not make the clay; he makes the vessel from the clay, but the clay is there from the first. The Lord has in our case made the clay from which he has fashioned us, and therefore we are entirely at his disposal, and should serve him with all our hearts. Why, man, if you make anything, you expect to use it....

Will you not acknowledge his claim? Consider what he has made us. No mean things are we! Who but God could make a man? Raphael takes the pencil in his hand, and with master touch creates upon yonder canvas the most wondrous forms; and the sculptor with his chisel and his hammer develops amazing beauty; but there is no life, thought, intellect, and if you speak there is neither voice nor answering. How different are you from the canvas and the marble, for in your bosom there is a mysterious principle, which makes you akin to the Deity, for your soul can know reason, believe, understand, and love. I had almost called the soul infinite, for God has made it capable of such wondrous things. Thus has he trusted us with high powers and faculties, and lifted us up to to a high position; surely, then, it is ours to serve him with a loving loyalty.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Claims of God," delivered October 11, 1874. Image by rachel_thecat on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Despairing of my good works

If you have anything to do with Jesus, you must get right away from your own good works; I mean from all reliance upon them, and come to rest in him, and him alone, for it never will be Christ and company. He will save from top to bottom, from first to last, or else not at all. Not a drop of his blood and then a drop of your tears; not a work from Christ and then a work from you. Oh no! Such hideous patchwork cannot be endured. It is not the object of the law to drive you to a compromise. But its object is this — to make you accept salvation as the free gift of God — to make you stand and own that you are a sinner, and accept a free, full, perfect forgiveness, according to the infinite grace of the eternal Father.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Stern Pedagogue." Image by Graeme Law on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Where sinners find their hope

Christ is always welcomed by those who know they want him: the self-righteous Pharisees and Scribes murmur at him, but those who are humble and contrite, because conscious of their guilt, approach him, wishing, as it were, but to touch the hem of his garment, that they may be made whole. As the sun is attended by his planets, who borrow all their light from him, so is the Lord Jesus waited on by crowds of sinners, who find in him their hope, their all. As the thirsty harts resort to the water-brooks so do needy souls hasten to Jesus, and it is according to the divine order that it should be so.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Abundant Pardon," delivered September 27, 1874. Image by Parvin on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Hold on, brother!

Hold on, brother! and hold out to the end; be humble and quietly faithful. Do not try to be a wonder, but be a wonder. Do not try to do some astonishing thing to attract attention; but “let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Do not believe that the common Christianity of the present age will carry anybody to heaven. It is a counterfeit and a sham. It does not make men to differ from their fellows, it pretends to faith and has none, talks about love and does not show it, brags of truth and evaporates it into thin air in its latitudinarian charity.

God give us back the real thing... strong belief in the gospel, real faith in Jesus, real prayer to him, real spiritual power. Then again there will be persecution, but it will only blow away the chaff; and leave the pure wheat! The world likes us better because we like the world better; it calls us friends because we doff our colors and sheathe our swords and play the craven; but if we preach and live the gospel in the old apostolic way, we shall soon have the devil roaring round the camp and the seed of the serpent hissing on all sides, but we fear not, for “the Lord of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.”

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "I And The Children," delivered September 20, 1874. Image by Zach Dischner on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Excellence Comes From Effort

Young man, young woman, you desire to be as nearly perfect as may be possible. So be it! God help you and accomplish in you all the good pleasure of his will. But do not vainly dream that the life which you admire in others will readily be reproduced in yourself. Excellence comes of effort; they labored and watched, and prayed; and trusted in the Lord, or they never would have become what they were, and be assured there is no royal road for you, you too must wrestle hard ere victory will be won. Let the ideal be before your mind, but remember it is but an ideal, and grace will be needed to work in you “to will and to do of the Lord’s good pleasure.” To will is present with you even now, but perhaps ere long you will have to say, “How to perform that which I would I find not.”

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Girding On The Harness," delivered August 6, 1874. Image by ND Strupler on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Monday, November 21, 2011

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Man of Earnest Prayer

When a man becomes cold, indifferent, and careless, one of the first things that will suffer will be his devotion. When a sick man is in a decline his lungs suffer and his voice; and so when a Christian is in a spiritual decline the breath of prayer is affected, and the cry of supplication becomes weak. Prayer is the true gauge of spiritual power. To restrain prayer is dangerous, and of deadly tendency. You may depend upon it that, take it for all in all, what you are upon your knees you are really before your God. What the Pharisee and the Publican were in prayer was the true criterion of their spiritual state.

You may maintain a decent repute among men, but it is a small matter to be judged of man’s judgment, for men see only the surface, while the Lord’s eyes pry into the recesses of the soul. If he sees that you are prayerless he makes small account of your attendance at religious meetings, or your loud professions of conversion. If you are a man of earnest prayer, and especially if the spirit of prayer be in you, so that in addition to certain seasons of supplication your heart habitually talks with God, things are right with you; but if this be not the case, and your prayers be “hindered,” there is something in your spiritual system which needs to be ejected, or somewhat lacking which ought at once to be supplied. “Keep thine heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life;” and living prayers are among those issues.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Hindrances To Prayer," delivered September 13, 1871. Image by Mary Ann Enriquez on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

As we really were

Jesus viewed us as we really were, not as our pride fancies us to be; he saw us to be without God, enemies to our own Creator, dead in trespasses and sins, corrupt, and set on mischief, and even in our occasional cry for good, searching for it with blinded judgment and prejudiced heart, so that we put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. He saw that in us was no good thing, but every possible evil, so that we were lost, — utterly, helplessly, hopelessly lost apart from him: yet viewing us as in that graceless and Godless plight and condition, he died for us.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "For Whom Did Christ Die?," delivered September 6, 1874. Image by Steve Dunleavy on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The best gauge of our spiritual condition

Our estimate of Christ is the best gauge of our spiritual condition; as the thermometer rises in proportion to the increased warmth of the air, so does our estimate of Jesus rise as our spiritual life increases in vigor and fervency. Tell me what you think of Jesus and I will tell you what to think of yourself. Christ is, yea, more than all when we are thoroughly sanctified and filled with the Holy Ghost. When pride of self fills up the soul, there is little room for Jesus; but when Jesus is fully loved, self is subdued, and sin driven out of the throne.

If we think little of the Lord Jesus we have very great cause to account ourselves spiritually blind, and naked, and poor, and miserable. The rebel despises his lawful sovereign, but the favored courtier is enthusiastic in his praise. Christ crucified is the revealer of many hearts, the touchstone by which the pure gold and the counterfeit metal are discerned; his very name is as a refiner’s fire and like fuller’s soap; false professors cannot endure it, but true believers triumph therein. We are growing in grace when we grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Let everything else be gone, and let Christ fill up the entire space of our soul, then, and only then, are we rising out of the vanity of the flesh into the real life of God.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "A Song Among The Lilies," delivered August 30, 1874. Image by joiseyshowaa on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Get away to your Father

This is what the sinner has to do, and what the Spirit enables him to do: namely, to come straight away to his God. But, alas! very commonly, when men begin to be anxious, they go round about and hasten to a friend to tell him about it, or they even resort to a deceitful priest, and seek help from him. They fly to a saint or a virgin, and ask these to be mediators for then, instead of accepting the only Mediator Jesus Christ, and going to God at once by him. They fly to outward forms and ceremonies, or they turn to their Bibles, their prayers, their repentances, or their sermon-hearings; in fact, to anything rather than their God. But the prodigal knew better; he went to his father, and it will be a grand day for you, O sinner, when you do the same.

Go straight away to your God in Christ Jesus. “Come here,” says the priest. Pass that fellow by. Get away to your Father. Reject an angel from heaven if he would detain you from the Lord. Go personally, directly, and at once to God in Christ Jesus. But surely I must perform some ceremony first? Not so did the prodigal, he arose and went at once to his father. Sinner, you must come to God, and Jesus is the way. Go to him then, tell him you have done wrong, confess your sins to him, and yield yourself to him. Cry, “Father, I have sinned: forgive me, for Jesus’ sake.”

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Turning Point," delivered August 23, 1874. Image by Steve-h on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Have you counted the cost?

Was not Joseph hated of his brethren? Was not David persecuted by Saul, Daniel by the Persian princes, and Jeremiah by the kings of Israel? Has it not ever been so? Did not the Lord Jesus Christ himself meet with slander, cruelty, and death, and did he not tell us that we must not look for favor where he found rejection? He said plainly, “I came not to send peace upon the earth, but a sword;” and he declared that the immediate result of the preaching of the gospel would be to set the son against the father and the father against the son, so that a man’s foes should be they of his own household. Did he not carefully inquire of every recruit who wished to enlist in his army, “Have you counted the cost?”

Have you not admired his perfect honesty and admirable caution in dealing with men, when he bids them remember that if they follow him they must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and be content to be hated of all men for his sake? He warns us not to expect that the disciple will be above his Master, for if men have called the Master of the house Beelzebub, they will assuredly confer no sweet titles upon his household. Since our Lord has forewarned us, it is well for us to stand ready for the trial which he predicts, and to ask ourselves whether we are ready to bear oppression for Christ’s sake.

I press the question upon you who think of avowing yourselves believers, for most likely it will come practically home to you, and it is well when you begin to build a house to calculate whether you will be able to finish it.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "A Word For The Persecuted," delivered August 16, 1874. Image by yugoQ n Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Keep sowing!

“They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.” [Psalm 126:5]

Hence, present distress must not be viewed as if it would last for ever: it is not the end, by any means, but only a means to the end. Sorrow is our sowing, rejoicing shall be our reaping. If there were no sowing in tears there would be no reaping in joy. If we were never captives we could never lead our captivity captive. Our mouth had never been filled with holy laughter if it had not been first filled with the bitterness of grief. We must sow: we may have to sow in the wet weather of sorrow; but we shall reap, and reap in the bright summer season of joy. Let us keep to the work of this present sowing time, and find strength in the promise which is here so positively given us. Here is one of the Lord's shalls and wills; it is freely given both to workers, waiters, and weepers, and they may rest assured that it will not fail: “in due season they shall reap.”

From The Treasury of David, by Charles Haddon Spurgeon, exposition of Psalm 126. Image by Taylor Mcbride on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Messiah was cut off

Now Messiah was to be cut off, but not for himself; he was to make his soul an offering for sin, he was to make his grave with the wicked, and lie in the heart of the earth. The blood of the covenant was to be shed, the paschal victim was to be slain, the Shepherd was to be smitten, the Lamb was to be led to the slaughter, and therefore only by the shedding of his blood could Jesus prove himself to be the Messiah so long foretold.

However pure the life he led, had he never died he could not have been the Savior appointed to bear the iniquity of us all. The blood was needed to complete the witness. The blood must now with the water, the suffering with the serving. The most pious example would not have proved him to be the divine Shepherd, if he had not laid down his life for the sheep. Take away the atonement, and Jesus is no more than any other prophet, the essential point of his mission is gone. It is evident that he who was to come was to finish transgression, and to make reconciliation for iniquity. Now, this could not be done except by an expiation, and as Jesus has made such an expiation by his own blood, we know him to be the Christ of God. His blood is the seal of his mission, the very life of his work.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Three Witnesses," delivered August 9, 1874. Image by blinking idiot on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Confirmed By Blood

In olden times when men made covenants the one with the other, they generally used some ceremony to bind the bargain, as it were. Now, under the old dispensation covenants with God were always confirmed with blood. As soon as ever blood was shed, and the victim died, the agreement made was established. Now, when our heavenly Father made a covenant with Jesus Christ on our behalf, that covenant was true and firm, “according to the sure mercies of David,” but to make it stand fast there must be blood. Now, the blood ordained to seal the covenant was not the blood of bulls or of goats, but the blood of the Son of God himself; and this has made the covenant so binding that sooner may heaven and earth pass away than one tittle of it fail.

God must keep his own promises. He is a free God, but he binds himself; by two immutable things wherein it is impossible for him to lie, he has bound himself to bestow covenant blessings upon the flock which the great Shepherd represented. Brethren, you and I, as honest men, are bound by our word. If we took an oath, which I trust we would not, we should certainly feel doubly bound by it; and if we had lived in the old times, and blood had been sprinkled on an agreement which we had made, we should regard the solemn sign and never dream of running back from it.

Think, for a moment, how impossible it is that the Lord should ever break that covenant of grace, which he spontaneously made with his own Son, and with us in him, now that it has been sprinkled with blood from the veins of his own well-beloved Son. No; the covenant is everlasting. It stands fast for ever, because it is confirmed by blood which is none other than the blood of the Son of God.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Blood of the Covenant," delivered August 2, 1874. Image by Zach Dischner on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Better Nothing Than Lukewarmness

It is harder a great deal to work for Jesus with a church which is lukewarm than it would be to begin without a church. Give me a dozen earnest spirits and put me down anywhere in London, and by God’s good help we will soon cause the wilderness and the solitary place to rejoice; but give me the whole lot of you, half-hearted, undecided, and unconcerned, what can I do? You will only be a drag upon a man’s zeal and earnestness. Five thousand members of a church all lukewarm will be five thousand impediments, but a dozen earnest, passionate spirits, determined that Christ shall be glorified and souls won, must be more than conquerors; in their very weakness and fewness will reside capacities for being the more largely blessed of God. Better nothing than lukewarmness.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "An Earnest Warning Against Lukewarmness," delivered July 26, 1874. Image by P. Oglesby on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Friday, November 4, 2011

He stooped to lift us up

To lift us up he stooped. He made the heavens, and yet he lay in Bethlehem’s manger. He hung the stars in their places, and laid the beams of the universe, and yet he became a carpenter’s son, giving up all his rank and dignity for love’s dear sake; and then when he grew up he consented to be the servant of servants, and made himself of no reputation. He took the lowest place; “he was despised and rejected of men;” he gave up all ease and comfort, for he had not where to lay his head; he gave up all health of body, for he bore our sickness, and he bared his back to the smiters that the chastisement of our peace might fall upon him; he gave up the last rag he had, for they took his own raiment from him, and upon his vesture did they cast lots; he gave up for the world all esteem.

They called him a blasphemer. Reproach broke his heart, but he gave that heart up for us; he gave his body to the nails, and his heart to the spear, and he could do no more. When at last he gave his life, “It is finished,” said he; and they took down his mangled body from the tree and laid it in the grave. Self-sacrifice had reached its climax; further he could not go; but he could not have saved us if he had stopped short of that. So lost, so utterly lost we were, that without this extreme self-devotion — till it could be said, "He saved others; himself he could not save" — without this self-devotion, I say, he could not have saved so much as one of us.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Sad Plight And Sure Relief." Image by Pieterjan Vandaele on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A change both radical and complete

In the third [chapter] of John our Lord associates faith and regeneration in the closest manner, declaring not only that we must be born again, but also that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.

We must undergo a change quite as great as if we could return to our native nothingness and could then come forth fresh from the hand of the Great Creator. John tells us, in his first epistle, 5:4, that “Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world,” and he adds, to show that the new birth and faith go together, “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” To the same effect is 1 John 5:1, “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.”  Where there is true faith, there is the new birth, and that term implies a change beyond measure complete, and radical.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Is Conversion Necessary?" delivered July 19, 1874. Image by Ernst Vikne on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Trusting in His mighty aid

While carnal men say “seeing is believing,” we assure them that to us “believing is seeing.” We turn their saying upside down, our faith is eye and ear, and taste and touch to us, it is so mighty in us that we do not only know that there is a God, but we regard him as the great motive force of the universe, and daily calculate upon his mighty aid. Hence it is the Christian’s habit to fall back upon God in all time of faintness, to cry to God in all time of danger: he does not pray because he thinks it a pious though useless exercise, but because he believes it to be an effectual transaction, the potent pleading of a child with its parent, rewarded with loving grants of blessing.

The believer does not look up to heaven because it is a natural instinct to hope for better days, and to cheer one’s self with a pious fiction about providence, but he looks up to heaven because God is actually there, truly observant, tenderly sympathetic, and ready with a mighty arm to come to the rescue of his people. So, then, because it is our wont to wait upon the Lord, we go to him in troublous days as a matter of course. We do not make him an occasional resort to be used only when we cannot help it, but we dwell in him, and morning by morning pour out our hearts before him; and so when adversity comes, we fly to God as naturally as the dove to its dovecote, or the coney to the rock, or the weary child to its mother’s bosom. The nautilus, when disturbed, folds up its sails and sinks into the depths, and even so in every hour of storm we descend into the deeps of divine love. Blessed is that man whose spirit looks to God alone at all times. Let us each one ask his own heart — is this my case? And if we can answer aright, let us sing with Madame Guyon —

“Ah then! to his embrace repair;
My soul, thou art no stranger there;
There love divine shall be thy guard,
And peace and safety thy reward.”

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "A Singular Title And A Special Favor," delivered July 12, 1874. Image by Jerry Kirkhart on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Monday, October 31, 2011

The false conversion and the true

There is a spurious conversion which is not true conversion to God. A man may have another heart and yet he may not have a new heart. We read of King Saul that he had another heart, but he remained unsaved. A man may change his idols; he may change his sins, but may not be changed in heart. Drunkards have become sober, and renounced their intoxicating cups, which is so far so good, but they have presently become intoxicated with a conceit of their own virtue, and extolled themselves as models of purity. Ah, then! it is a poor gain to change drunkenness for self-righteousness. Both sins are deadly. A man may as easily go to hell by trusting in himself as by resigning himself to a besetting vice.

Hell has many gates, though heaven has but one. We must experience the change, which is according to the word of God, and so the text saith, “I turned my feet unto thy testimonies,” that is, to believe what God has revealed, to accept what God presents, to do what God commands, and to be what God would have us to be. May God give us to experience within and to manifest without such a radical turn as that.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Thinking And Turning," delivered July 5, 1874. Image by Jerry Kirkhart on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Setting out on a good errand

Now-a-days we are willing to testify if we can do it very comfortably; but I love to hear of those good brethren who will walk many miles on the Sabbath day to preach the gospel, who are willing to sacrifice ease and comfort so that they may do good to others, just as these did.

Oh, for more enthusiasm in telling of the Savior’s love and hearing of it! We want nice cushions and very comfortable pews, don’t we now-a-days? When we were first converted we would stand anywhere in the crowd, if we could but hear the Savior’s name. I remember when I would have gone over hedge and ditch to hear about my Master, or to preach about him either. May our earnest love to him never grow cold, and our enthusiasm never depart. May a midnight’s walk be nothing to us if we may but declare even to unbelieving brethren what we have seen of our blessed Lord. It is a good message, and it is a good errand to go upon, when we go to tell of Jesus, and it will bring good to our own souls.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Jesus Near But Unrecognised." Image by Geof Wilson on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Seeing His blessing everywhere

I must confess my Lord’s special favor towards me, the very stones in the street would cry out against me if I did not; he has indeed blessed all the work of my hands. Brethren, you have had a share in the blessing, have a share also in the praising. Sometimes the work of our hands has appeared to crumble to pieces, but then it has been rebuilt ere long in a better style; enemies have arisen, and they have been exceedingly violent, only to fulfill some special purpose of God, and increase our blessing against their wills; sickness has come only to yield discipline, we have been made weak that we might be strong, and brought to death’s door that we might know more of the divine life.

Glory be to God, our life has been all blessing from beginning to end, there has been no exceptional event all along; ever since we knew him he has dealt out blessing and blessing and blessing, and never a syllable of cursing. He has fulfilled to us the word, “Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.”

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Forty Years," delivered June 14, 1874. Image by Kevin Dooley on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

For He alone is worthy of glory

It was a good argument of a simple-minded man that there could not be two gods, because the first God filled heaven and earth, and all places, and therefore there was not room for another. If God be everywhere, and fills all in all; there can be no other god; and if the glory of God be infinite, then there can be no second glory; and if the theme be boundless, then there is not room for a second. As all other gods but Jehovah must be idols, so all other glory save that which is in the Lord must be foolish and sinful.

Those men who really know the Lord feel that such is the greatness of his glory, that it takes up all our faculties, absorbs all our powers, demands indeed our whole energy, and we cannot spare time, or love, or skill, or power, or thought for any other topic. Let the Lord be gloried in, and him alone, because the Lord alone is worthy to be gloried in. He only is great, he is the blessed and only Potentate, from him only cometh our salvation, he is God alone, therefore in one rolling flood let all our glorying cheerfully flow at his feet.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Glorying in the Lord." Image by Luis Argerich  on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Shells of Religion

Many are content with the shells of religion, whereas it is the kernel only which can feed the soul. The bended knee is nothing, the prostrate heart is everything; the uplifted eye is nothing, the glance of the soul towards God is acceptable. The hearing of good words and the repeating of them in prayer or in song, will amount to very little; if the heart be absent the whole thing will be dead as a stone. We must be born again, baptism availeth nothing apart from that; we must live spiritually upon the slain Redeemer, the bread and wine of the Lord’s Supper avail nothing if we do not feed upon Jesus. “With the heart man believeth unto righteousness.” The inner nature, the soul, must be quickened, for “God is a spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” I exhort you, brethren, to fear lest any of you come short of this, for if you do, you will come short of the rest which remaineth for the people of God.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Fearful of Coming Short," delivered June 7, 1874. Image by on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Monday, October 24, 2011

We are coming to a jubilee

It was a glad day for Israel when the trumpets rang out the morning of the Jubilee, for every slave was free, and every debtor found his liabilities discharged. Back came each man’s lost inheritance, and the whole nation was glad. With sound of trumpet and of cornet they saluted the rising of the sun on the first day of that Jubilee year; but the jubilee year went by, and lands were mortgaged and forfeited, and slaves fell again into slavery, and bankrupts were again seized by their creditors. Ah, beloved, we are coming to a jubilee, of which the trumpets shall sound on for ever. We shall regain our once forfeited inheritance never to have it encumbered any more; we shall snap the fetters which have bound us, never to feel them again. “If the Son make you free, ye shall be free indeed.”

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Eternal Day," delivered May 31, 1874. Image by Luis Argerich on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Let us trim our lamps

It is of the greatest service to us all to be reminded that our life is but a vapor, which appeareth for a little while and then vanisheth away. Through forgetfulness of this worldlings live at ease, and Christians walk carelessly. Unless we watch for the Lord’s coming, worldliness soon eats into our spirit as doth a canker. If thou hast this world’s riches, believer, remember that this is not thy rest, and set not too great a store by its comforts. If, on the other hand, thou dwellest in straitness, and art burdened with poverty, be not too much depressed thereby, for these light afflictions are but for a moment, and are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Look upon the things that are as though they were not. Remember you are a part of a great procession which is always moving by; others come and go before your own eyes, you see them, and they disappear, and you yourself are moving onward to another and more real world.... Our duty is to trim our lamps against the time when the Bridegroom comes; we are called upon to stand always ready, waiting for the appearing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, or else for the summons which shall tell us that the pitcher is broken at the fountain, and the wheel broken at the cistern, that the body must return to the earth as it was, and the spirit unto God who gave it.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Stephen's Death," delivered May 24, 1874. Image by Zach Dischner on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Determined to go through

In the Garden, when the bloody sweat fell from his face, and he said, “If it be possible, let this cup pass from me,” why did he not put away that cup? If it had pleased him he might have applied for twelve legions of angels, and they would have come to the rescue; why did he not summon that celestial body-guard? Was it not because he had wholly surrendered himself to the service of our salvation? Before his judges he might have saved himself. Why did he not? One word when he was before Pilate would have broken the spell of prophecy, but why like a sheep before her shearers was he dumb? Why did he give his back to the smiters, and his cheeks to those that plucked off the hair? Why did he condescend to die, and actually upon the cross pour out his heart’s blood? It was all because he had undertaken for us, and he would go through.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Ear Bored With An Aul." Image by Mike Behnken on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

We must seek in God's way

No good can result from efforts made apart from faith in Jesus. However earnest and sincere we may be, we must fail in our search if we do not seek in God’s way. Would it not be wise after so many bitter disappointments to leave your own inventions? If they have done you no good, depend upon it they never will. You had better humble yourself as a little child, and learn from God what the plan of salvation is, and then obediently accept it. Come, poor soul, in humble obedience, read the sacred roll of inspiration, and say, “O Lord, show me what thou wouldst have me to do;” then will light break in upon you, and peace shall follow. Faith in Jesus is God’s way; it will be the height of folly to set up a method of your own in competition therewith.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "I Thought," delivered May 17, 1874. Image by Ernst Vikne on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The sin of sins

In order that Jesus Christ, being appointed, should be fit for his office, it was necessary that he should become man. Man had sinned, and man must make reparation to the broken law. God would not accept an angel as a substitute, for the law had to do with man, and as the race had revolted, it must be through one of the race that God’s justice should be vindicated. But Jesus was God: how then could he become our Savior? Behold the mystery! God was manifest in the flesh. He descended to the manger of Bethlehem, he nestled in a woman’s bosom; for as the children were partakers of flesh and blood he himself also took part in the same. Sinner, behold your incarnate God, the Eternal one, dwells among dying men, veiled in their mortal flesh, that he may save men.

This is the greatest fact ever related in human ears. We hear it as a common thing, but the angels have never ceased to wonder since first they sang of it and charmed the listening shepherds. God has come down to man to lift man up to God. Surely it is the sin of sins if we reject a Savior who has made such a stoop in order to be perfectly qualified to save.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Savior You Need," delivered May 10, 1874. Image by Ernst Vikne on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Receive correction when it comes to you

The Spirit of God often sends home the reproofs of Scripture to our hearts; while we are reading the word we feel that it searches us and rebukes us. So also the Lord will employ his ministers to chide us. Little is that ministry worth which never chides you. If God never uses his minister as a rod, depend upon it he will never use him as a pot of manna, for the rod of Aaron and the pot of manna always go together, and he who is God’s true servant will be both to your soul.

The Lord will also chide you through your own conscience, causing you to judge and condemn yourself. The Spirit of God will quicken your understanding, and then it will be said of you as of David, “David’s heart smote him.” It is hard hitting when the heart smites, for it comes to such close quarters, but blessed is that man who can thus be corrected: it is a sad sign when conscience is too dead to be of any service in this direction.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Lord Chiding his People," delivered May 3, 1874. Image by Ernst Vikne on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The door to each man's heart

There is a door to each man’s heart, and we have to find it, and enter it with the right key, which is to be found somewhere or other in the word of God. All men are not to be reached in the same way, or by the same arguments, and as we are by all means to save some, we must be wise to win souls, wise with wisdom from above. We desire to see them conquered for Christ, but no warrior uses always the same strategy; there is for one open assault, another a siege, for a third an ambush, for a fourth a long campaign. On the sea there are great rams which run down the enemy, torpedoes under water, gunboats, and steam frigates; one ship is broken up by a single blow, another needs a broadside, a third must have a shot between wind and water, a fourth must be driven on shore, even thus must we adapt ourselves, and use the sacred force entrusted to us with grave consideration and solemn judgment, looking ever to the Lord for guidance and for power.

All the real power is in the Lord’s hands, and we must put ourselves fully at the disposal of the divine Worker, that he may work in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure; so shall we by all means save some.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "By All Means Save Some," delivered April 26, 1874. Image by Sergio Lordao on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The fullness of God in Jesus Christ

Brethren, I am going to say nothing but what you all know, and I do not mean to garnish it with finery of words. The truth is that there are many who are barely Christians, and have scarcely enough grace to float them into heaven, the keel of their vessel grating on the gravel all the way; my prayer is that we may reach deep waters, and have so much grace that we may sail like a gallant bark on the broad ocean with a glorious cargo on board and all colors flying, so that there may be administered unto us an abundant entrance into the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. For this everything is provided. Christ has not merely placed enough bread on the table to keep us from starving, his oxen and fatlings are killed, he has spread a royal festival. He has not provided a scanty garment which may barely hide your nakedness, but he has brought forth the best robe, and has procured earrings for your ears jewels for your necks, and a crown royal for your heads; for it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell for all his saints. If you have not these riches the fault lies with yourself. It is there, you might have it if you had but faith to take it.

Too often we sit down like beggars on the dunghill, and groan and cry because of the poverty of our nature when we ought to be rejoicing in the Lord. I thank God that we can groan, for that is something; but there is a more excellent way, a better gift to be earnestly coveted. In Christ ye are rich to the fullness of riches; get ye up, I pray you, to the high places, and realize for yourselves the fullness of God in Christ Jesus.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Fulness of Christ, The Treasury of the Saints," delivered April 19, 1874. Image by Geof Wilson on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Remember what He was

His royal face was marred with “wounds which could not cease to bleed, trickling faint and slow,” yet that "noblest brow and dearest” had once been fairer than the children of men, and was even then the countenance of Immanuel, God with us. Remember these things, and you will gaze upon him with enlightened eyes and tender hearts, and you will be able the more fully to enter into fellowship with him in his griefs. Remember whence he came, and it will the more astound you that he should have stooped so low. Remember what he was, and it will be the more marvellous that he should become our substitute.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Crown of Thorns," delivered April 13, 1874. Image by Will Hale on Flickr under Creative Commons License.