Monday, July 15, 2013

He Carries Us With Joy

It is said that he carries them [as a shepherd does]; this is mercy; but this is not all, for he carries them in his bosom, this is tender mercy. To carry is kindness, but to carry in the bosom is loving-kindness. The shoulders are for power, and the back for force, but the bosom is the seat of love. Jesus would warm, cheer, comfort, and make them happy. The Lord wishes all his people to be happy; “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.” It is a worthy object to try and make any Christian happy, but especially a young believer, whose weakness needs great gentleness. To clothe religion with gloom is to slander the name of Christ. We should always be most eager to prevent young believers from imagining that to follow Christ is to walk in darkness, for, indeed, it is not so. Hath he not himself said, “He that followeth me shall not walk in darkness”? Did not the wise man say concerning wisdom, “Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace”?

The good Shepherd looks to the comfort, peace, and enjoyment of his lambs, and he carries them where they will be most happy. If you are to be like your Master you will try to take away from young believers’ hearts all temptation to despondency; you will set before them the richness and freeness of the gospel, the “exceeding great and precious promises,” the oath and covenant, and the stability of the engagements of God; yea, you will try to let them see the preciousness of Christ, and tell them how exceeding faithful and true you have found him to be in your own experience.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "A Sabbath-School Sermon," delivered October 28, 1877. Image by AlicePopkorn on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Choose the Comforter over Comforts

To sum up the whole, my dear brothers and sisters in Christ, look not at the things which are seen. Do not look upon your comforts as if they were enduring. Do not dote upon them. Do not think of them as if you had them otherwise than on loan, or as if you had any right to them. Be thankful to God for them; but, because they will so soon pass away, do not set much store by them. Build not your nest on any of these trees, for they are all marked for the axe, and ere long they will all come down. Say not of any mortal man, or woman, or dear child, or worldly possession, or knowledge, or pursuit, or honor, “This is much to me.” Let it be little to you. Put the gifts of God far down in the scale compared with himself. Try, when you have your comforts, to find God in all; and, when you lose your comforts, then just change the words, and try to find all in God; for, remember, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God shall man live.”

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Vanities And Verities." Image by nosha on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Mercy Of God To The Nations

How matchless is his patience! How enduring his mercy! The wicked provoke him, and he feels the provocation, but yet he does not smite. Week after week they still insult him, they even touch the apple of his eye by persecuting his people, but still he lets the lifted thunder drop, and gives space for repentance. He sends them messages of mercy, he implores them to turn from the error of their ways; but they harden their hearts, they blaspheme him, they take his holy name in vain. Still, by the space of many years he bears with their incessant rebellions, and though he is grieved with the hardness of their hearts, he keepeth back his indignation.

This patience is shown, not here and there to one of our race, but to myriads of the human family, and not for one generation only, but from generation after generation still doth his good Spirit strive, still doth he stretch out his hands all the day long even to the disobedient and to the gainsayers. Not willing that any should perish, he waiteth long and patiently, because he delighteth in mercy. Equally wonderful, I think, is the power which God hath over his own mind in the ultimate pardoning of many of these transgressors. It is marvellous that he should be able to forgive any, and so perfectly to forgive.

It often happeneth to us that we feel compelled to say when greatly offended, “I can forgive you, but I fear I shall never forget the wrong.” God goeth far beyond this, for he casteth all our sins behind his back, and he declares that he will not remember them against us any more for ever. What, never! Such deep offenses; such heinous crimes! Such provoking transgressions! Shall they never be remembered? What, not even remembered? Shall there not be at least a frown, or a degree of coolness on account of them? No. “I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins." It shows the great-mindedness of God that he should be able to act thus, and to act thus towards the very chief of sinners.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Magnanimity Of God," delivered October 21, 1877. Image by Xristoforos on Flickr under Creative Commons License.