Monday, June 25, 2012

Where wisdom may be found

There is more wisdom in a quarter of an hour’s prayer than there is in a quarter of a year’s consultation with friends. Oftentimes when we have sought counsel of the living God he has befriended us. When we have left things with him, we have always gone wisely. Oh, how he can make the most crooked thing that ever did happen suddenly turn out to be the very straightest thing that ever occurred for our welfare. I know that sometimes I have puzzled my head about some difficulty in my Master’s service — asked opinions of lots of people, like a stupid, and I have gone home with any head aching in deeper uncertainty than ever what to do. And I have never discovered how to unravel a knotty point by my own ingenuity, but I have always found that when I at last bowed the knee, and said, “Heavenly Father, it is rather thy business than mine; it is quite beyond me, and I now leave it in thy hands to guide me,” and when I have just put it up on the shelf, and said, “I will never take it down again whatever happens,” it has gone all right. If I had maneuvered to manage it for myself it would have gone wrong enough.

You are often, dear friends, busy in doing yourself a mischief, when eager to do the right thing; so you do the wrong thing after all, as though there were a fatality about it. “Stand still and see the salvation of God.” A hard lesson to learn, full often, and especially to impetuous spirits, as some of us are. But when it is learnt, if we continue to practice it, we shall find it the way of wisdom.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Blind Befriended," delivered March 9, 1876. Image by Vinoth Chandar on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Great faith!

Jesus said [to the Syrophoenician woman], “O, woman, great is thy faith.” She had not heard of the prophecies concerning Jesus; she was not bred and born and educated in a way in which she was likely to become a believer, and yet did become a believer of the first class. It was marvellous that it should be so, but grace delights in doing wonders. She had not seen the Lord before in her life, she was not like those who had associated with him for many months: and yet, with but one view of him, she gained this great faith. It was astonishing, but the grace of God is always astonishing. Perhaps she had never seen a miracle: all that her faith had to rest upon was that she had heard in her own country that the Messiah of the Jews was come, and she believed that the Man of Nazareth was he, and on this she relied.

O brethren, with all our advantages, with the opportunities that we have of knowing the whole life of Christ, and understanding the doctrines of the gospel as they are revealed to us in the New Testament, with many years of observation and experience, our faith ought to be much stronger than it is. Does not this poor woman shame us when we see her with her slender opportunities nevertheless so strong in faith, so that Jesus himself commending her says, “O woman, great is thy faith.”

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Little Dogs," delivered August 6, 1876. Image by Kevin Dooley on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Let us remember God's mercies towards us

What faults there are in our memory touching the work and word of God! Perhaps some of you have very powerful memories, and may be able to treasure up whole volumes as some have done. It might be said of you as it was of Dr. Lawson, that if the whole Bible had been destroyed, he could have reproduced it from memory. This is a great gift and a worthy use for it, but I fear that few of us have it. It is not likely that men could say of us as of the famous Grecian, that out of ten thousand soldiers he knew every one of his men by name. I do not find fault with short memories, but with good memories which are treacherous towards divine things. What I complain of is that memory may be very strong concerning self-interest, grievances, and trials, and yet towards God’s mercies it may be very weak.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Recorders," delivered June 25, 1876. Image by Ian Sane on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

You can walk with God

...Enoch lived in a very evil age. He was prominent at a time when sin was beginning to cover the earth, not very long before the earth was corrupt and God saw fit to sweep the whole population from off its surface on account of sin. Enoch lived in a day of mockers and despisers. You know that from his prophecy, as recorded by Jude. He prophesied, saying, “The Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” He lived when few loved God and when those who professed to do so were being drawn aside by the blandishments of the daughters of men. Church and state were proposing an alliance, fashion and pleasure ruled the hour, and unhallowed compromise was the order of the day. He lived towards the close of those primitive times wherein long lives had produced great sinners, and great sinners had invented great provocations of God. Do not complain, therefore, of your times and of your neighbors and other surroundings, for amid them all you may still walk with God.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Enoch," delivered July 30, 1876. Image by Noël Zia Lee on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Covenant cannot fail

Under no conceivable circumstances shall the covenant fail; the Lord who made it cannot change, Jesus who sealed it cannot die, the love which dictated it cannot cease, the power which executes it cannot decay, and the truth which guarantees it cannot be questioned. In the eternal provisions of that covenant of peace, which is sure to all the seed, we may rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. My brethren, do you believe this? If you do you ought to be as happy as the angels are. Our lot is supremely blessed. What a loving God we serve, and what great things has he spoken concerning us.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Fat Things, Full Of Marrow," delivered July 23, 1876. Image by Mike Behnken on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

What Is Happy Living?

Is it not a sad proof of the alienation of our nature that though God is everywhere we have to school ourselves to perceive him anywhere? His are the beauties of nature, his the sunshine which is bringing on the harvest, his the waving grain which cheers the husbandman, his the perfume which loads the air from multitudes of flowers, his the insects which glitter around us like living gems; and yet the Creator and Sustainer of all these is far too little perceived. Everything in the temple of nature speaks of his glory, but our ears are dull of hearing. Everything, from the dewdrop to the ocean, reflects the Deity, and yet we largely fail to see the eternal brightness.

I beseech you, my brethren, to pray that you may have this text wrought into your very souls: “I have set the Lord always before me.” Refuse to see anything without seeing God in it. Regard the creatures as the mirror of the great Creator. Do not imagine that you have understood his works till you have felt the presence of the great worker himself. Do not reckon that you know anything till you know that of God which lies within it, for that is the kernel which it contains. Wake in the morning and recognize God in your chamber, for his goodness has drawn back the curtain of the night and taken from your eyelids the seal of sleep: put on your garments and perceive the divine care which provides you with raiment from the herb of the field and the sheep of the fold. Go to the breakfast room and bless the God whose bounty has again provided for you a table in the wilderness: go out to business and feel God with you in all the engagements of the day: perpetually remember that you are dwelling in his house when you are toiling for your bread or engaged in merchandise. At length, after a well-spent day, go back to your family and see the Lord in each one of the members of it; own his goodness in preserving life and health; look for his presence at the family altar, making the house to be a very palace wherein king’s children dwell. At last, fall asleep at night as in the embraces of your God or on your Savior’s breast.

This is happy living. The worldling forgets God, the sinner dishonors him, the atheist denies him, but the Christian lives in him. “In him we live and move and have our being; we are also his offspring.” Visible things we look upon as shadows; the things which we touch and taste and handle perish in the using; the elements of this solid earth shall dissolve with fervent heat, but the ever-present God whom we cannot see is the same, and of his years there is no end, and his existence is the only real and true and eternal one to us. He has been our dwelling-place in all generations, and it were evil indeed not to know our own eternal home. This is a main ingredient in the oil of joy, — to realize always that the Lord is round about us “as the mountains are round about Jerusalem, from henceforth even for evermore.”

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Secret Of A Happy Life," delivered July 16, 1876. Image by Jean-Raphaël Guillaumin on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Monday, June 18, 2012

God gives the Church increase

When the church is visited by the power of the Holy Spirit she is increased on every side. When a Church in the midst of a vast population remains stationary in numbers, or even becomes smaller, no man can see in such a condition the marks of God’s blessing. Certainly it would be a novel sort of benediction; for the first blessing, the blessing of Pentecost, resulted in three thousand being added to the church in one day, and we find afterwards that “The Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” We read in the Acts of the Apostles that the churches “walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.”

Ever since those early days, when the Lord has been with his people they have increased in numbers, their children have sprung up as among the grass, and as willows by the water courses. When they have been “minished and brought low” it has been because they have departed from the truth or lost their first love. The clearness of gospel testimony has been dimmed, spirituality has been at a low ebb, the Holy Ghost has been despised, and he has suspended his operations, and then the church has dwindled down till she has had little more than a name to live: but as soon as ever the Lord has returned to her she has become a fruitful mother, and her children have cried out, “the place is too strait for us, give place to us that we may dwell.” When the Lord has sent forth his power with the preaching of the gospel, converts have been as the drops of the dew and as the sands upon the sea-shore, innumerable. It is plain that one of the blessings which we as a church should seek with all our hearts is that of continual increase.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Enquire Of The Lord," delivered July 9, 1876. Image by Nana B Agyei on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Faith will be exchanged for sight

We walk here by faith, not by sight. You believe in God, but you have not beheld his glory as the blessed dead have done. You believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, but it is in one “whom having not seen you love.” You believe in the Holy Spirit, and you have been conscious of his presence by faith, but there is a something better yet; a clearer sight is yet to be had, which we cannot enjoy while we tarry here. At present we take everything on the testimony of God’s word and the witness of his Spirit: but we have not yet seen the celestial city, nor heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps, nor eaten at the banquets of the glorified. We enjoy a foretaste of all these, and anticipate them by faith, but actual enjoyments are not for this world. What a man seeth why doth he yet hope for? As this is the realm of hope we cannot expect to see, but we are going to the place where we shall not so much believe as behold, where we shall not so much credit as enjoy. We are nearing the country where we shall

“See, and hear, and know, 
All we desired or wished below.” 

And faith shall be exchanged for the clearest sight.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Believer In The Body And Out Of The Body," delivered July 2, 1876. Image by Nana B Agyei on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

He gathers the outcasts

I think you may judge of a man’s character by the persons whose affection he seeks. If you find a man seeking only the affection of those who are great, depend upon it he is ambitious and self-seeking; but when you observe that a man seeks the affection of those who can do nothing for him, but for whom he must do everything, you know that he is not seeking himself, but that pure benevolence sways his heart. When I read in the text that the Lord gathers together the outcasts of Israel, and when I see that the text is truly applicable to the Lord Jesus Christ, because this is just what he did, I see another illustration of the gentleness of his heart, who said, “Take my yoke upon you, for I am meek and lowly of heart, and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” Be glad to-night, dear friends, that we gather around such a Savior as this, from whom all pride and self-seeking are absent, and who coming down among us in gentleness and meekness, comes to gather those whom no man cares for — those who are judged to be worthless and irreclaimable. He comes to gather together the outcasts of Israel.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Good Cheer for Outcasts," delivered June 15, 1876. Image by on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Blotting Out The Record Of Your Sin

If he forgive thee, all thy transgressions shall be as though they had never been. He will make clean work of it, blotting out every record of thy sin, so that in God’s book there shall be no grieving memory of thy having been a sinner at all. So powerful is the atoning blood that all manner of sin and transgression shall be forgiven unto men for its sake. Sins against a holy God, sins against Christ’s love and blood, sins against conscience, sins against the law, sins against the gospel, sins which have lain in your bones from your youth up, sins of your middle age, sins of your old age, aggravated sins, black sins, damnable sins, all are gone when he saith, “I have blotted out thy sins like a cloud, and as a thick cloud thy transgressions.”

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "A Prince And A Savior," delivered June 25, 1876. Image by Jenny Pansing on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

We must have You, Holy Spirit!

What a mechanical thing prayer is without the Spirit of God. It is a parrot’s noise, and nothing more; a weariness, a slavish drudgery. How sweet it is to pray when the Spirit gives us feeling, unction, access with boldness, pleading power, faith, expectancy, and full fellowship; but if the Spirit of God be absent from us in prayer our infirmities prevail against us, and our supplication loses all prevalence. Did you ever resolve to praise God, and come into the congregation where the sweetest psalms were being sent to heaven, but could you praise God till the Holy Spirit came like a divine wind and loosed the fragrance of the flowers of your soul? You know you could not; you used the sacred words of the sweet singers of Israel, but hosannas languished on your tongue and your devotion died. I know that it is dreadful work to be bound to preach when one is not conscious of the aid of the Spirit of God! It is like pouring water out of bottomless buckets, or feeding hungry souls out of empty baskets. A true sermon such as God will bless no man can preach of himself; he might as well try to sound the archangel’s trumpet.

We must have thee, O blessed Spirit, or we fail! O God, we must have thy power, or every action that we perform is but the movement of an automaton, and not the acceptable act of a living, spiritual man.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Life's Need And Maintenance," delivered June 18, 1876. Image by SteveD. on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Because He first loved us

“We love him, because he first loved us.” — 1 John 4:19.

Very simple words, but very full of meaning. I think I might say of this sentence what the poet says of prayer: it is “the simplest form of speech that infant lips can try,” and yet it is one of the “sublimest strains that reach the majesty on high.” Take a little believing child and ask her why she loves the Savior, and she will reply at once, “Because he loved me and died for me:” then ascend to heaven where the saints are perfect in Christ Jesus and put the same question, and with united breath the whole choir of the redeemed will reply, “He hath loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood.” When we begin to love Christ we love him because he first loved us; and when we grow in grace till we are capable of the very highest degree of spiritual understanding and affection, we still have no better reason for loving him than this, “Because he first loved us.”

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Love's Birth And Parentage," delivered June 11, 1876. Image by Steve Dunleavy on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Friday, June 1, 2012

They come to Him from everywhere

Remember, that of all who come to Christ from every quarter, never one was disappointed with him yet. They come from various regions, drawn by the hope that Jesus will supply their needs, and he does supply them. All sorts of people who come to Christ believingly find in him all that is needed to meet their peculiar cases. Sweet also is the thought that he never casts out a coming sinner come from where he may. They arrive from different quarters, but he has no prejudice against Galilee or Judea, or Tyre or Sidon: he receives all comers. The elder in the Book of Revelation asked a deeply interesting question, “Whence came they?” and, blessed be God, it is one which will never be answered to the prejudice of any one who draws near to Jesus by faith. O sinners, you may come from the thieves’ kitchen, or from the convicts’ cell, you are as welcome to Jesus as those who come from homes of virtue.

You may come from the seat of the scorner, you may come from the bench of the drunkard, and if you come you shall receive a hearty welcome. You, too, O hopeful ones, may come from the home of piety, and from the school of truth, and when you come you will find the gates set wide open to receive you. Come from the tents of Jacob, or from the tents of Kedar, from the holy mountain or from the lonely wilderness, and you shall alike find that he will in no wise cast you out.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Gathering To The Centre," delivered June 4, 1876. Image by Stefano on Flickr under Creative Commons License.