Friday, March 30, 2012

God will outdo your prayers

...where prayer has been offered, our heavenly Father has gone far beyond what we have asked or thought. I said unto the Lord in the anguish of my soul that if he would forgive my sins I would be content to be the meanest servant in his house, and would gladly lie in prison all my life, and live on bread and water; but his mercy did not come to me in that scanty way, for he put me among his children and gave me an inheritance. “Make me as one of thy hired servants” is a prayer the Father does not hear; he puts his hand on his child’s mouth when he begins to talk so, and says, “Bring forth the best robe and put it on him, put a ring on his hands, and shoes on his feet.”

We have asked for a stone and he has given us bread; we have asked for bare bread and he has given us angels’ food. For brass he has given silver, and for silver gold. We looked for a drop and the rain has filled the pools; we sought a morsel and he has filled us with good things; and therefore we are warranted in expecting that in future he will still outdo our prayers.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Paul's Doxology," delivered November 1, 1875. Image by Steve Dunleavy on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Lord - our true Friend!

There are friends in the world of a sad sort. Friends! — perhaps we have a score of them: friends while we have a shilling, but they leave us when our purse is empty, or we are under a cloud. “A friend in need is a friend indeed,” says our proverb, and such a friend is God; for, oh, how he helps the helpless! How the widow and the fatherless, and those that have no helper, look up to him; and how in our despair, when we are sore pressed and crushed under a burden of trouble, we have turned to him, and he has helped us, truly helped us, for he is a practical friend.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Eternal Truth Of God." Image by Steve Dunleavy on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Nothing But The Blood

That part of the line of battle which is most fiercely assailed by the enemy is sure to be that which he knows to be most important to carry. Men hate those they fear. The antagonism of the enemies of the gospel is mainly against the cross. From the very first it was so. They cried “Let him come down from the cross and we will believe in him.” They will write us pretty lives of Christ and tell us what an excellent man he was, and do our Lord such homage as their Judas’ lips can afford him; they will also take his sermon on the mount and say what a wonderful insight he had into the human heart, and what a splendid code of morals he taught, and so on. “We will be Christians” say they, “but the dogma of atonement we utterly reject.”

Our answer is, we do not care one farthing what they have to say about our Master if they deny his substitutionary sacrifice, whether they give him wine or vinegar is a small question so long as they reject the claims of the Crucified. The praises of unbelievers are sickening; who wants to hear polluted lips lauding him? Such sugared words are very like those which came out of the mouth of the devil when he said “Thou Son of the Highest,” and Jesus rebuked him and said “Hold thy peace, and come out of him.” Even thus would we say to unbelievers who extol Christ’s life: “Hold your peace! We know your enmity, disguise it as you may. Jesus is the Savior of men or he is nothing; if you will not have Christ crucified you cannot have him at all.”

My brethren in Jesus let us glory in the blood of Jesus, let it be conspicuous as though it were sprinkled upon the lintel and the two side posts of our doors, and let the world know that redemption by blood is written upon the innermost tablets of our hearts.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Man Of One Subject," delivered October 31, 1875. Image by Steve Dunleavy on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Patience In Persecution

Never was the victory of patience more complete than in the early church. The anvil broke the hammer by bearing all the blows that the hammer could place upon it. The patience of the saints was stronger than the cruelty of tyrants. Christ then, the immortal Christ, was stronger than all the pangs of death, and they triumphed though they were slain. Truly did the apostle say, “In all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” The secret reason for the triumph of Christians in those circumstances was their confidence in Christ. Brethren and sisters, we are not subjected to the like persecution, and it will not do for us to wrap ourselves about with the garments of our ancestors and to say that Christians are this and that, as though we were to be honored without enduring trial. Yet, remember, there are still conflicts for you.

If you be real Christians you will have to endure the trial of cruel mockings. In some cases family ties are the source of far greater sorrow than comfort: truly is it written, “A man’s foes shall be they of his own household.” The coming of the gospel into a man’s heart has often rendered him the object of hatred to those who loved him before. In his own house, and in society abroad, the Christian working man has at this day to run the gauntlet much more severely than some suppose; and in almost every sphere of life the genuine Christian meets with the “cold shoulder” and the sneer, and sometimes with cruel misrepresentation and slander; for, until the hearts of men are changed, persecution in some form or other will continue. Those that are born after the flesh will always persecute those that are born after the Spirit.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Hold Fast Your Shield." Image by Thaddeus Roan on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The weapon of love

Prayer for ourselves is blessed work, but for the child of God it is a higher exercise to become an intercessor, and to pray for others. Prayer for ourselves, good as it is, has just a touch of selfishness about it: prayer for others is delivered from that ingredient. Herein is love, the love which God the Holy Spirit delights to foster in the heart, when a man’s prayers go up for others. And what a Christlike form of prayer it is when you are praying for those who have ill-treated you and despitefully used you. Then are you like your master. Praying for yourselves, you are like those for whom Jesus died; but praying for your enemies, you are like the dying Jesus himself. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,” has more of heaven in it than the songs of seraphs, and your prayer when offered for those who have treated you ill is somewhat akin to the expiring prayer of your Lord.

Job was permitted to take a noble revenge, I am sure the only one he desired, when he became the means of bringing them back to God. God would not hear them, he said, for they had spoken so wrongly of his servant Job, and now Job is set to be a mediator, or intercessor on their behalf: thus was the contempt poured upon the patriarch turned into honor. If the Lord will only save the opposer’s soul through your prayer, it will be a splendid way of returning bitter speeches.. If many unkind insinuations have been thrown out, and wicked words said, if you can pray for those who used such words, and God hears you and brings them to Jesus, it will be such a triumph as an angel might envy.

My brother, never use any other weapon of retaliation than the weapon of love. Avenge not thyself in anywise by uttering anything like a curse, or desiring any hurt or mischief to come to thy bitterest foe, but inasmuch as he curses, overwhelm him with blessings. Heap the hot coals of thy good wishes and earnest prayers upon his head, and if the Lord give thee to bring him to a state of salvation, he shall be praised, and thou shalt have happiness among the sons of men.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Turning of Job's Captivity." Image by Abaconda on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Your labors will live on

And establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it. (Psalm 90:17)

Let what we do be done in truth, and last when we are in the grave; may the work of the present generation minister permanently to the building tip of the nation. Good men are anxious not to work in vain. They know that without the Lord they can do nothing, and therefore they cry to him for help in the work, for acceptance of their efforts, and for the establishment of their designs. The church as a whole earnestly desires that the hand of the Lord may so work with the hand of his people, that a substantial, yea, an eternal edifice to the praise and glory of God may be the result.

We come and go, but the Lord's work abides. We are content to die so long as Jesus lives and his kingdom grows. Since the Lord abides for ever the same, we trust our work in his hands, and feel that since it is far more his work than ours he will secure it immortality. When we have withered like grass our our holy service, like gold, silver, and precious stones, will survive the fire.

From the "Treasury of David" by Charles Haddon Spurgeon, exposition of Psalm 90. Image by Ryan.Berry on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Living in His smile

Life is dear, but God's love is dearer. To dwell with God is better than life at its best; life at ease, in a palace, in health, in honour, in wealth, in pleasure; yea, a thousand lives are not equal to the eternal life which abides in Jehovah's smile. In him we truly live, and move, and have our being; the withdrawal of the light of his countenance is as the shadow of death to us: hence we cannot but long after the Lord's gracious appearing. Life is to many men a doubtful good: lovingkindness is an unquestioned boon: life is but transient, mercy is everlasting: life is shared in by the lowest animals, but the lovingkindness of the Lord is the peculiar portion of the chosen.

From the "Treasury of David" by Charles Haddon Spurgeon, exposition of Psalm 63. Image by Ryan.Berry on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

When you need a special harvest

There should be a special sowing, it seems to me, whenever we desire a special harvest. Notice our blessed Lord: whenever he was about to do some special action, such as sending out the twelve, we always read that he retired to pray. Praying was his habit, but there were peculiar seasons when he had more of it than usual, that more power might go out from him.

Whenever you are about to be, as you hope, a great soul-winner, wait on the Lord more abundantly concerning it. If you are about to pass through an extreme trial, and need great strength, to yield a greater harvest of patience, have a greater sowing of grace by drawing nearer to God. Our grace should always be at the flood tide; but even then some flood tides are higher than others, and we may pray the Lord to give us a spring tide flood when extraordinary grace is required. Again, I say, look well to yourselves, lest ye lose that which ye have wrought.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Sow To Yourselves," delivered October 24, 1875. Image by Victor Szalvay on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Monday, March 19, 2012

There has always been a remnant

There has always been a remnant according to the election of grace. When the church moaned and said, “God hath forsaken me, my God hath forgotten me. The fathers, where are they?”

God has not forsaken her, he has kept for himself his thousands who have not bowed the knee to Baal, and there has arisen a leader just in the nick of time to seize the banner and to rally the wavering host: for as God lives, and the Spirit still abides in the church, and Jesus is with us alway, even to the world’s end, the succession of grace shall never cease. Glory be to the name of the Most High.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Unbroken Line Of True Nobles," delivered October 17, 1875. Image by nosha on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

When We All Arrive

Where will some of the vessels I see before me go? It is a fine fleet I am looking upon. Brothers and sisters, I hope all of us will be found in that great harbour in heaven which can accommodate all his Majesty’s fleet. Oh, it will be a great day when we all arrive. Will you give me a hail when you get into port? Will you know me? I shall look out for some of you. I cannot help believing that we shall know each other. We have been in rough waters together these twenty years, and we have had some glorious weather too, have we not? We have seen the works of the Lord and his wonders in the deep: I hope we shall keep together till we reach that blessed haven, where our fellowship will be eternal. How we will glorify him who gets us there, even Jesus, the Lord High Admiral of the seas. Christ shall never hear the last of it if I get to heaven. I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto his name.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "There Go The Ships." Image by nosha on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Only through much tribulation

The Christian man must not expect to go to heaven without opposition. A soldier who never meets an enemy at all is not renowned.... The man who is scarred and gashed, maimed and wounded, he is the hero to whom men pay homage. You must fight if you would reign. Your predecessors swam through seas of blood to win the crown; and, though the form of battle may be changed, yet the spirit of the enemy is unaltered; you must still contend against sin and bear up under trouble, for only through much tribulation will you inherit the kingdom of God.

It is a warfare, brethren, for all these reasons, and yet more so because we must always be upon the watch against danger. In a battle no man is safe. Where bullets fly, who can reckon upon life a moment? Brethren, the age is peculiarly dangerous. Perhaps every preacher before me has said as much, and every preacher after me will say the same for his times — yet still, I say, in this peculiar age there are a thousand perils for the soul, from superstition on the one hand and scepticism on the other; from rude self-reliance and indolent trust in others, from a wicked world and an apostate church. You must not wonder that it is so, for war is raging. The enemy has not laid down his weapons, the war drum is still beaten; therefore do not lay down your arms, but fight manfully for your King and country — for Christ and for his church.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Hand Of God In The History Of A Man," delivered October 10, 1875. Image by nosha on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Love for Jesus is the great test

We ought to pity as well as to blame the man who does not love Jesus Christ. Alas, poor soul, into what a state has he fallen that he should not be able to love him who is “altogether lovely;” nor to admire him who is the “Chief among ten thousand.” I met not long ago with a lady who had lost her taste and smell — a somewhat singular affliction. The fairest rose in the world cannot salute her nostrils with its pleasant perfume; the most dainty flavour that ever delighted men’s palate has no charms for her. She is dead to those pleasures, and I could not but sympathize with her in her loss. Yet after all this loss of pleasurable sensation is a trifle, it will only last for a few years, and when brief life is over she will possess every desirable faculty.

But what a terrible thing to be unable to perceive the fragrance of the name of Jesus, which is as ointment poured forth; unable to taste the sweet flavor of the bread of heaven, or the richness of that wine on the lees well refined, which makes the saints of God so glad. I had rather be blind and deaf and dumb, and lose my taste and smell, than not love Christ. To be unable to appreciate HIM, is the worst of disabilities, the most serious of calamities. It is not the loss of a single spiritual faculty, but it proves the death of the soul. It evidences the absence of all that can make existence worth the having, for he that hath not the Son hath not life, and the wrath of God abideth on him.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Love To Jesus The Great Test," delivered October 3, 1875. Image by nosha on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The more grace a man has...

I hope that from our youth we have known the necessity of dependence upon God, but I am certain that dependence is a growing feeling. Growing Christians think themselves nothing; full-grown Christians think  themselves less than nothing. Good men are like ships, the fuller they are the lower they sink in the stream. The more grace a man has the more he complains of his want of grace. Grace is not a kind of food which creates a sense of fullness, but as I have heard of some meats that you can eat them till you are hungry, so it is with grace, the more you receive the more you long for.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Old Man's Sermon," delivered September 26, 1875. Image by Diego Torres Silvestre on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Let us not neglect His Word

God’s word is the soul’s manna and the soul’s water of life. How greatly we ought to prize each word of divine teaching. But, dear brethren, do you not think that many are very neglectful of God’s instructive voice? In the Bible we have precious doctrines, precious promises, precious precepts, and above all a precious Christ, and if a man would really live upon these choice things, he might rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. But how often is the Bible left unread! And so God is not heard. He calls and we give no heed. As for the preaching of the Word when the Holy Spirit is in it, it is the “power of God unto salvation,” and the Lord is pleased by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe; but all believers do not hear the voice of the Lord by his ministers as they should. There is much carping criticism, much coldness of heart, much glorying in man, and a great want of teachableness of spirit, and thus the word is shut out of our hearts. The Lord would fain teach us by his servants, but our ears are dull of hearing....

Search the Scriptures that no word from the Lord may be inadvertently slighted by you; hear the Word attentively and ponder it in your heart, and daily make this your prayer, “What I know not, teach thou me.” “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” Let us strive against prejudice, and never let us dream that we are so wise that we need learn no more. Jesus Christ would have us be teachable as little children and ready to receive with meekness the engrafted word which is able to save our souls. You will have a blessed fellowship with your Lord if you will sit at his feet and receive his words.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "How To Converse With God," delivered. Image by bcanepa_photos on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

That wonderful gift

The last gift he gave them was, he breathed on them. His breath was the Spirit of God. This was the first drop of the shower of the Spirit which afterwards so plenteously at Pentecost. He breathed on them, and though they did not get the fullness of the Spirit thereby yet they obtained a measure of it, and they became qualified to fulfill their commission. Oh that he would breathe the Spirit upon us now! Nay, we need not ask for it, beloved, for our Lord has given the Spirit once for all to all his people. He has baptised his church into the Holy Ghost, and into fire, and the Spirit remaineth with us evermore, only ye must believe the might which that Spirit bestows upon you.

Oh brother, oh sister, I beseech thee do not estimate thyself according to thine ability, according to thine experience, thy learning, and the like, but according to that divine energy which rests upon thee, if thou be called of God to service. What are the powers within? they are feebleness itself, but the power from above is the power of God. Gird on this mystic belt, this divine omnipotence, and if thou knowest how to wear it by faith thou shalt break through a troop and leap over a wall. “All things are possible to him that believeth.”

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Jesus In Our Midst," delivered September 12, 1875. Image by nattu on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Let us go on to greater triumphs

David remembered that by confidence in God his energetic fighting gained the victory — the lion was killed, and the bear was killed too. And cannot you remember, brethren, what victories God gave you? When you were little in Israel and despised, yet his hand was upon you, and when few would bid you God speed, yet the Jehovah of Hosts encouraged your heart, and when you were feeble and but a youth, the Lord Jesus helped you to do exploits for him in your own way. Remember this, and be of good courage this morning in the conflict which now lies before you.

David talked of his former deeds somewhat reluctantly. I do not know that he had ever spoken of them before, and he did so on this occasion with the sole motive of glorifying God, and that he might be allowed to repeat them. He ravished for permission from Saul to confront the Philistine champion, and bring yet greater glory to God. Brethren, whenever you talk of what God enabled you to do, mind you lay the stress upon God’s enablings, and not upon your own doings; and when you rehearse the story of your early days, let it not be as a reason why you should now be exonerated from service, and be allowed to retire upon your laurels, but as an argument why you should now be allowed the most arduous and dangerous post in the battle.

Let the past be a stepping-stone to something higher, an incentive to nobler enterprise. On, on ye soldiers of the cross, in God’s name eclipse your former selves. As grace enabled you to pile the carcass of the bear upon the corpse of the lion, so now resolve that the Philistine shall increase the heap, and his head shall crown the whole, to the honor and glory of the God of Israel. So much for recollections. I pity the man who has none of them, and I pity yet more the man who having them is now afraid to risk all for his Lord.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Lion-Slayer - The Giant-Killer," delivered September 5, 1875. Image by Nigel Wedge on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Encourage the young

A few words to a young Christian will be very greatly helpful to him, and his weakness craves them. Those of us who have been a long while in the Lord’s ways ought to be ashamed if we are gruff, and sour, and critical. You know it was the elder brother, not one of the younger ones, who said, “This thy son hath come, who hath devoured thy living with harlots,” and so on. Do not degenerate into the elder brother’s spirit, I pray you. You must grow older in years, but endeavor to remain young at heart.

There is a tendency to look for too much in young converts, and to expect in them a great deal more than we shall ever see. This is wrong. We shall not do them much good by criticizing them, but we may greatly benefit them by encouraging them.... There is nothing like a cheer to a fellow when he feels faint... Give the weak brother a cheer, I say. When you meet with a young believer who is tossed about, give him a cheer; give him a hearty cheer. Tell him some choice promise, tell him how the Lord helped you. Your few words may not be much to you, but they will be very much to him; whereas the black look, which, perhaps, you really did not mean, may chill him to the very marrow of his bones. Many a poor young Christian has been frostbitten by the coldness of stern professors. Let us make a rule to encourage the young and help them forward, for that work of encouragement may affect the whole of their future history.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The First Day Of Creation," delivered August 29, 1875. Image by JR Guillaumin on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Shine your light

It has been very well remarked that there is a back door to hell, but there is none to heaven. The way to heaven is the king’s highway, a way which is not made for concealment, but for honest travelers who have nothing to hide. Believers must be seen, for they are the lights of the world; yet there are some who try to go to heaven up the back stairs, and serve the Lord only by night. It must not be. Strike the blood where all can see it, and let men know that you are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ’s atoning sacrifice: whether they like it or no, let them know that this is all your salvation and all your desire.... 

Let others believe the priest, we believe Jesus. Let others trust their works, we trust the sprinkled blood. Let others rely on frames and feelings, discipline and development, we believe in Jesus Christ and him only; and we nail to the mast the blood-red banner of atoning sacrifice.

“My faith is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus name.
On Christ, the solid rock, I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand.”

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Sacred Love-Token," delivered August 22, 1875.  Image by Andrew E. Larsen on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Accept the testimony of God's Word

Accept his naked word, for it is surer than the sight of the eye or the hearing of the ears. Behold how the arch of heaven stands without a single pillar, vast as it is: what sustains it but the word of God? See how this round world hangs on nothing, and yet starts not from her sphere: what maintains her in her course but the bare word of God? That word which rolls the stars along, and has never failed to fulfill its purpose, is that on which you are asked to lean. Sinner, will you believe your God? If you will, you shall be established, and blessed, and enriched...

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Priest Dispensed With," delivered August 15, 1875. Image by Satoru Kikuchi on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Friday, March 2, 2012

What a meeting it will be!

We shall be quite at home in heaven, when we get there. Some of you have more friends in heaven than on earth. How few are left of your former friends, compared with the many who have gone above. In the day when you enter into heaven, you will perceive that the church is one family, for they will welcome you heartily, and recognize in you a brother, and a friend, and so, together with them, you shall adore your Lord.

Remember there is coming another day in which the family union of the church will be seen, and that is when the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall be raised. It may be that we shall all be of the company of those who sleep, and if so, when the trumpet sounds, the dead in Christ shall rise first, and we shall have our share in the first resurrection. Or, if our Lord should come before we die, we shall be “alive and remain;” but we shall undergo a change at the same moment as the dead are raised, so that this corruptible shall put on incorruption. What a family we shall be when we all rise together, and all the changed ones stand with us, all of one race, all regenerate, all clothed in the white robe of Jesus’ righteousness! What a family! What a meeting it will be!

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Saints In Heaven And Earth One Family," delivered August 8, 1875. Image by Satoru Kikuchi on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Be careful who becomes your guide

We must be all conscious that we imitate those whom we admire. Love has a strange influence over our nature, to mould it into the form beloved. A true disciple is like clay on the wheel, and his Master fashions him after his own image. We may be scarcely conscious of it, but we are most surely being conformed to the likeness of those to whose influence we submit ourselves.

Whoever then your Master may be, dear friend, you are changing into his image: if you choose to be led by the votary of pleasure, you will become more and more frivolous; if you admire the slave of avarice, you will become avaricious, if you feel the sway of the minion of vice, you will grow vicious yourself. If a man who despises the word of God becomes your hero, you will ere long despise it too: while men are gazing upon him with admiration, a kind of photography is going on, and you, like a sensitive plate, receive his image. I charge you, therefore, to be careful who becomes your guide.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Choice Of A Leader," delivered August 1, 1875. Image by Peggy2012CREATIVELENZ on Flickr under Creative Commons License.