Monday, November 24, 2014
He died a real death, but now he lives a real life, he did lie in the tomb, and it was no fiction that the breath had departed from him: it is equally no fiction that our Redeemer liveth. The Lord is risen indeed. He hath survived the death struggle and the agony, and he lives unhurt: he has come out of the furnace without so much as the smell of fire upon him. He is not injured in any faculty; whether human or divine. He is not robbed of any glory, but his name is now surrounded with brighter lustre than ever. He has lost no dominion, he claims superior rights and rules over a new empire. He is a gainer by his losses, he has risen by his descent. All along the line he is victorious at every point.
Never yet was there a victory won but what it was in some respects a loss as well as a gain, but our Lord’s triumph is unmingled glory – to himself a gain as well as to us who share in it. Shall we not then rejoice? What, would ye sit and weep by a mother as ￼she exultingly shows her new-born child? Would you call together a company of mourners to lament and to bewail when the heir is born into the household? This were to mock the mother’s gladness. And so to-day shall we use dreary music and sing dolorous hymns when the Lord is risen, and is not only unhurt, unharmed, and unconquered, but is far more glorified and exalted than before his death?
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Sorrow At The Cross Turned Into Joy," delivered November 3, 1878. Image by StephaniePetraPhoto on Flickr under Creative Commons License, without alteration.
Saturday, November 22, 2014
“I did know thee in the wilderness, in the land of great drought. According to their pasture, so were they filled; they were filled, and their heart was exalted; therefore have they forgotten me. Therefore I will be unto them as a lion: as a leopard by the way will I observe them: I will meet them as a bear that is bereaved of her whelps, and will rend the caul of their heart, and there will I devour them like a lion: the wild beast shall tear them.” - Hosea 13:5-8.
There may also be some... who are eagerly aspiring after great things, and these may learn a lesson of sobriety. A desire to rise is laudable, but the winged horse needs to be well bitted and reined lest it fly away with its rider. Some spirits are dissatisfied with ￼moderate success; they pine to reach the front ranks, and to climb to the high places of the earth. Ambition has become the star of their life, perhaps, I had better say-the will-o’-the-wisp of their folly.
Let them learn from this morning’s word [in Hosea above] that all is not gold that glitters, that outward prosperity doth not make men truly prosper, and that there is a way of growing rich without being rich towards God. I would lay a cool hand upon a fevered brow, and remind the ardent youth that a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Prosperous Man's Reminder," delivered October 27, 1878. Image by Kamal Hamid on Flickr under Creative Commons License, without alteration.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Oh, wondrous grace of God, that he owns* his son when that son is still an Egyptian slave. Moreover, God owned his people when they did not own him, for his name “Jehovah” was scarcely known to them. Although Moses presented himself to them with evident credentials, they were ready enough to reject him. They had gone aside unto false gods, we are informed in other parts of the Scripture. During their sojourn in Egypt the Israelites fell into the prevailing superstition of the country, and they forsook the Lord. Some little light still lingered among them. Some traditions were treasured and transmitted from sire to son in solemn trust. Doubtless there was a remnant of pious souls, faithful to the God of Abraham. The bones of Joseph, preserved in Goshen as a memorial of the oath that he took of their tribes, subsequently carried through all their devious wanderings in the wilderness, and ultimately buried in Shechem, as you read in the last chapter of the book of Joshua, vouch for a fidelity we cannot wantonly forget.
But the bulk of the people had fallen into the snares which surrounded them, and conformed to the fashions of those among whom their fortunes were cast, whose gods many and lords many were superstitiously served in secret. They were not a people who could have scraped together so much as a molehill of merit, if they had tried. They were a vain and vicious people, prone to supplant, yet utterly supplanted; specially sinful, because their marked proclivities which might have developed on the side of virtue were perverted into stains and stigmas on their reputation.
Yet Jehovah says, “Israel is my son, even my firstborn.”
* "Owns" in the old sense of acknowledging someone or admitting to something - Ed.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Great Emancipator." Image by Kamil Porembiński on Flickr under Creative Commons License, without alteration.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
When our Lord blessed the little children he was making his last journey to Jerusalem. It was thus a farewell blessing which he gave to the little ones, and it reminds us of the fact that among his parting words to his disciples, before he was taken up, we find the tender charge, “Feed my lambs.” The ruling passion was strong upon the great Shepherd of Israel, “who gathereth the lambs with his arm, and carrieth them in his bosom”; and it was fitting that while he was making his farewell journey he should bestow his gracious benediction upon the children.
Beloved, our Lord Jesus Christ is not here among us in person; but we know where he is, and we know that he is clothed with all power in heaven and in earth wherewith to bless his people; let us then draw near to him this day. Let us seek his touch in the form of fellowship, and ask the aid of his intercession; let us include others in our prayers, and among these let us give our children, and, indeed, all children, a leading place. We know more of Jesus than the women of Palestine did; let us, therefore, be even more eager than they were to bring our children to him that he may bless them, and that they may be accepted in him, even as we ourselves are.
Jesus waits to bless. He is not changed in character, or impoverished in grace; as he still receiveth sinners, so doth he still bless children; and let none of us be content, whether we be parents or teachers, until he has received our children, and has so blessed them that we are sure that they have entered the kingdom of God.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Receiving The Kingdom Of God As A Little Child," delivered October 20, 1878. Image by ameriswede on Flickr under Creative Commons License, without alteration.
Monday, November 17, 2014
[T]he apostle prays “that ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing.” Is it not fit that you who are to rise to Enoch’s heaven should walk as he did, and have this testimony that you please God? You are going to dwell at God’s right hand, where there are pleasures for evermore, would not you wish to do all you can to please your Lord before you see him? You are a son of a king: you have not put on your glittering array as yet; your crown is not yet on your head; but surely you wish to behave yourself as becometh one who is fore-ordained for so much honor and glory. If a son is in a distant country and is coming home, he begins to think “What can I take home? What can I do to please the beloved father whom I am soon to see?”
Begin, beloved, to see what you can do to please God, because you are so soon to enter into his pleasure, and dwell with those that wear white robes, “for they are worthy.”
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Hope Laid Up In Heaven," delivered October 13, 1878. Image by studiobeeldruis on Flickr under Creative Commons License, without alteration.
Saturday, November 15, 2014
To millions upon millions of people the name of Jesus is as yet an unknown sound; yet they shall be gathered out of all nations, and kindreds, and peoples, and tongues, and shall unite in one great family. The gospel of Jesus is cosmopolitan. It suits so well with our own latitude that one would think that our Lord was born an Englishman: but the same is true in reference to every land. His name was fitly mentioned by the Jordan, but it loses none of its music by the Thames, the Ganges, or the Orinoco. Jesus belongeth to all lands, whether they are scorched by tropical suns or frozen by the long winters of the poles.
Jesus is a man, and a man is a noble name, nobler than Jew, or Briton, or Roman. He is “the man,” the man of men, man’s man, the man for men. Let all men worship him, for he is the hope of our race, the restorer of our ruin, the gatherer of the new people, and he shall gather others beside those that have been gathered unto him. “God hath made of one blood all nations of men that dwell upon the face of the earth,” and that one blood also has at the back of it another blood more precious still, by which one blood he hath redeemed from among men a multitude which no man can number.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Others To Be Gathered," delivered October 6, 1878. Image by well lucio on Flickr under Creative Commons License, without alteration.
Friday, November 14, 2014
Jehovah is the living God, and the divine life is seen in each of the adorable persons of the Godhead. Our Lord Jesus Christ is not to us a dead Christ: we love and bless him because he once died upon the cross, but we adore him because he ever liveth to make intercession for us. We are bold to preach the gospel because of his living power, and we are earnest to observe his commands because we own his living government in the midst of the church. The living God proves his life among us by the Holy Spirit, by the conversion of sinners, by comforting and instructing saints, and by edifying the faithful into a building fitly framed together. Since, then, the church belongs to the living God, what is a dead church? Is that the church of the living God? How can it be? Only as you and I possess the Spirit of God quickening us to a life of godliness may we dare to think ourselves a part of the church of the living God.
If you have never been quickened by the Spirit of God, if you are dead in trespasses and sins, what have you to do with the church of the living God? O ye dead and corrupt, how can ye have communion with the living in Zion. Only when you live unto God may you be built up as living stones into the living temple of the living God. The thing most to be dreaded in any one church is the decay of life. We may soon fall into formalism, and even hold the truth in the cold grip of spiritual death; prayer may be neglected, and the ￼other offices of spiritual life may be disregarded, and then all will languish. “Thou hast the name that thou livest and art dead” is the dreadful sentence which must be written across the brow of a merely nominal church.
Brethren, if we would be the church of the living God, we must be thoroughly alive unto God.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "What The Church Should Be," delivered September 29, 1878. Image by Philip Male on Flickr under Creative Commons License, without alteration.
Thursday, November 13, 2014
Believing brings forgiveness and justification through our Lord Jesus; it also brings adoption, for it is written, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” Faith brings us into the realization of our adoption in the next place by setting us free from the bondage of the law. “After that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.” When we groaned under a sense of sin, and were shut up by it as in a prison, we feared that the law would punish us for our iniquity, and our life was made bitter with fear.
Moreover, we strove in our own blind self-sufficient manner to keep that law, and this brought us into yet another bondage, which became harder and harder as failure succeeded to failure: we sinned and stumbled more and more to our soul’s confusion. But now that faith has come we see the law fulfilled in Christ, and ourselves justified and accepted in him: this changes the slave into a child, and duty into choice. Now we delight in the law, and by the power of the Spirit we walk in holiness to the glory of God.
Thus it is that by believing in Christ Jesus we escape from Moses, the taskmaster, and come to Jesus, the Savior; we cease to regard God as an angry Judge and view him as our loving Father. The system of merit and command, and punishment and fear, has given way to the rule of grace, gratitude, and love, and this new principle of government is one of the grand privileges of the children of God.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Adoption – The Spirit And The Cry," delivered September 22, 1878. Image by Sander van der Wel on Flickr under Creative Commons License, without alteration.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014
We have no common Savior, Jesus is the way to God, therefore will we preach him; he is the truth, therefore will we hear of him; he is the life, therefore shall our hearts rejoice in him....
So inexpressibly fragrant is the name of Jesus that it imparts a delicious perfume to everything which comes in connection with it. for neither earth nor heaven could produce his equal. At the time when the name was given his full person had not been seen by mortal eyes, for he lay as yet concealed; but soon he came forth, having been born of Mary by the power of the Holy Ghost, a matchless man, he bears our nature, but not our corruption; he was made in the likeness of sinful flesh, but yet in his flesh there is no sin. This Holy One is the Son of God, and yet he is the Son of man: this surpassing excellence of nature makes his name most precious.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Jesus," delivered September 15, 1878. Image by Rutger Tuller on Flickr under Creative Commons License, without alteration.
Monday, November 10, 2014
All parents must have anxieties. There is never a babe dropped into a mother’s bosom but it brings care, labor, grief, and anxiety with it. There is a joy in the parental relationship, but there must necessarily be a vast amount of anxious care with it throughout those tender years of infancy in which the frail cockle-shell boat of life seems likely to be swamped by a thousand waves which sweep harmlessly over stronger barques. The newly-lit candle is so readily blown out that mothers nurse and watch with a care which frequently saps the parental life.
But our children, perhaps, do not give us most anxiety when they are infants, nor when we have them at school, when we can put them to bed and give them a good-night’s kiss and feel that all is safe; the heavy care comes afterwards – afterwards when they have broken through our control, when they are running alone, and on their own account, when they are away from our home, when they are out of the reach of our rebuke, and do not now feel as once they did the power of our authority, and hardly of our love. It is then to many parents that the time of severe trial begins, and, doubtless, many a grey head has been brought with sorrow to the grave by ￼having to cry, “I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.” Many a father and many a mother die, murdered, not with knife or poison, but by unkind words and cruel deeds of their own children. Many and many a grave may well be watered by the tears of sons and daughters, because they prematurely filled those graves by their ungrateful conduct.
Let us all think, who still have parents spared to us, how much we owe to them, and let it be our joy, if we cannot recompense them, at any rate to give them so much of comfort by our conduct as shall show our gratitude. Let them have such joy in us that they may never regret the anxieties of past years, but may have their hearts made to rejoice that they brought into the world such sons and daughters. If we have had parents who did care for us, and anxiously said, “Are they safe?” let us be grateful to God, and let us never show that we undervalue his mercy by treating the boon with contempt.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "An Anxious Enquiry For A Beloved Son," delivered September 5, 1878. Image by heiwa4126 on Flickr under Creative Commons License, without alteration.
Saturday, November 8, 2014
We are not as those who believe in two co-existent forces, each supreme, one of whom shall create disasters, and the other shall distribute blessings. The prince of evil is, according to our faith, subordinate to the great Lord of all. Thus saith Jehovah, by the mouth of his servant Isaiah, “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and I create evil: I the Lord do all these things.”
He reigneth in the calm summer’s day, and gives us the precious fruits of harvest, but he is equally present and regnant in the hurricane which destroys, or the blight which desolates. His providence speeds the ship to its desired haven, but it is equally his providence which sinks the barque and its mariners to the bottom of the sea. It is his power which looses the bands of Orion and binds the sweet influence of the Pleiades; his are the lightnings as well as the sunbeams, the thunderbolts as well as the raindrops. He is able to make the heaven as iron and the earth as brass, so that our land shall not yield her increase; he can call for a famine and break the whole staff of bread; for famine, pestilence, and war are as rods in his hand.
Everywhere is God, and in all things his hand is present: in the things which seem to us to be evil as well as in the events which appear to us to be good, God is at work. He doeth no wrong, for God is not tempted of evil, neither tempteth he any man, but we speak of physical evil, which causeth sorrow, pain, and death among men, and we say that certainly God is there. If not a sparrow falleth to the ground without our Father, we are sure that no great calamity can befall us apart from him. He is not far from us in our deepest sorrow, and however we may trace a calamity to the carelessness or the mistake of men, these are but the second causes, and we see behind all mere detail the permit of the Lord. If it were not so, mourners would be deprived of the greatest reason for submission, and the surest source of consolation.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Divine Interpositions," delivered September 8, 1878. Image by Steven Bratman on Flickr under Creative Commons License, without alteration.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
If this country were invaded, which may God grant it never may be, we could not confine the defense to our professional soldiers. No, every man would grasp such weapon as he could reach, and use it vigorously to drive the intruder over our white cliffs; I might even venture to say every woman would do the same, and matrons would become Amazons. Dear are our hearths and homes, and none of us would ask to be excused the defense of our beloved isle.
Even so in the work of the salvation of souls, every saved one longs to have a share. Can we let sinners perish? Can we permit our own kinsmen to go down into the pit? No, not if our prayers, and tears, and earnest teachings can rescue them. Jesus Christ in mighty love has died to save sinners, and he must be honored for his glorious deed of grace – can we suffer his name to be trailed in the mire? Shall he still be despised and rejected by human hearts? Shall even the members of our own family refuse his gentle sway? No, not if our testimony may help to honor him; nor if our earnest pleadings may gain him a throne in some one human heart.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Message From The Lord's Mouth," delivered September 1, 1878. Image by phinworld on Flickr under Creative Commons License, without alteration.
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
The Lord has special dealings with each one of his saints, and refines each one by a process peculiar to the individual, not heaping all his precious metals into one furnace of silver, but refining each metal by itself You do not know my trials, I am glad you do not: neither do I know yours, nor could I wish to bear that which you may have to suffer. There is a common sympathy, for we all go into the furnace; but there is a distinction in the case of each one, for to each one the furnace differs. Some tender hearts would be utterly crushed if they were afflicted as others are. Does not even the husbandman teach us this? He does not beat out the tender cummin and fitches with the cart wheel which he turns upon the heavier grain. No; he has different modes of operating upon the different kinds of seeds. They must all be thrashed, but not all thrashed in the same way.
Thou, brother, mayest be as a sheaf of the best corn. Be thou grateful; but remember thou shalt feel the sharp thrashing instrument having teeth. And thou, my brother, mayest be one of the tender seeds, the minor seeds of the Masters garner. Be thou grateful, for thou shalt feel a lighter flail than some others; but do not compliment thyself upon it, for thou mightest almost regret that gentler flail, because it proves that thou art of lighter stuff although still true grain of the Master’s sowing.
Beloved, I would venture to go so far as to say that the lines have not fallen to any two men in precisely the same places. We rejoice as we read the life of David, because he seems to set us all forth. David is to the church of God what Shakespeare is to the world:
“A man so various, that he seems to be
Not one, but all mankind’s epitome;”
and yet David is totally distinct from any other of the saints. There are not, and could not be, two Davids. So you and I may travel in lines almost parallel, and we may therefore know each other’s griefs, and tenderly sympathize, but there is a turning in my life which you have never reached, and there is a dark corner in your life which I have never seen. The skeleton in any one person’s house is of a different sort to that which haunts any other dwelling. No one man is the exact replica of another.
In all this, divine sovereignty operates in connection with divine love and divine wisdom, purifying all the sons of Levi, giving to each one his own separate purification, according as his need may be. “I have refined thee, but not with silver. I have chosen thee.” Mark - not “you,” but “thee.” A distinct personal word is used, and is addressed to each separate saint. “I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.”
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Refined, But Not With Silver." Image by Lauren Tucker on Flickr under Creative Commons License, without alteration.
Monday, November 3, 2014
A stone rests wholly on the foundation. If a wall is well built it is not shored up with timber so that the stones have two supports, but the whole structure rests on a common basis. There is a good foundation, and each stone lies upon it. It can do no more, for it could not keep its place for an instant if the foundation were removed. If the foundation fails the stone falls, but while the foundation stands the stone remains secure. That is faith: resting upon Christ wholly and entirely, looking to him for everything that has to do with our salvation.
Genuine faith in Christ does not trust him to pardon sin, and then trust itself to overcome sin. No, it trusts Christ both for the conquest of evil and for the forgiveness of it. Some of our friends make a great muddle here. They say they believe that the Lord Jesus will keep them as long as they are faithful to him. That is true; but where do you rely for your being faithful to him? Do you depend upon yourself for faithfulness? If so, there is a very weak spot in your confidence.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Faith's Sure Foundation," delivered August 18, 1878. Image by Stefano Montagner on Flickr under Creative Commons License, without alteration.
Saturday, November 1, 2014
When the winds are out, and the storms are loosed, and temptation howls through the soul, we always fly to the Word of God and not to our own experience: we get away from what we feel to what the Lord has said. One ounce, of "it is written," gives more confidence than a ton of what we have felt. We are apt in troublous times to judge that our happy feeling was a delusion, and our confidence a mistake. “True, I did think that I stood and looked within the pearly gates, and was full of heavenly joy; but, alas, it may have been all a dream.”
This is, however, no dream - that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners - there is no mistake about that fact, That God has set forth his Son to be a propitiation for sin - there is no imagination about that. There it stands in black and white in the Scriptures of truth, and to that witness we fly again. Whether I am saint or sinner, whether I am an heir of heaven or an heir of wrath, there standeth the word, “He that believeth in him is not condemned.” I do believe in him, and I am not condemned, nor shall all the devils in hell make me think I am, since God has said I am not. On that rock my faith shall stand unshaken, come what may.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The True Position Of The Witness Within," delivered August 11, 1878. Image by John Fowler on Flickr under Creative Commons License, without alteration.
Friday, October 31, 2014
We may, dear friends, have been so unwatchful as to have brought ourselves into this condition by actual faults of life and conduct. I would make it a matter of personal enquiry among you by asking thoughtful answers to a few questions. Have you restrained prayer? Do you wonder that the land grows dry? Has the word of God been neglected? Have you left off its study of late through pressure of other concerns? Do you wonder if you have left the streams that your soul thirsts? Have you been over much engaged in hunting after temporal gain, and has the hot simoom* of worldliness parched your heart? Has there been anything about your spiritual life that has grieved the Holy Spirit? Have you been idle as a Christian? Have you been content to eat the fat and drink the sweet, and to do nothing to win souls? Or have you while you have fed upon the word of God taken the sweet things of the gospel as a matter of course, and not blessed the Lord for them? Has there been a lack of humility or a deficiency of gratitude? If so, can you wonder that you are in a dry and thirsty land?
Have you been careless in your walk? In domestic life has sin been permitted in the family? Have you been winking at evil in your children? Have you permitted it in yourself? If so, remember it is written, “He turneth rivers into a wilderness, and water springs into dry ground, a fruitful land into barrenness, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein.” You may have fallen into a parched condition of spirit because you have forgotten him of whom in happier days you sang, “All my fresh springs are in thee.” Because you have walked contrary to God, God is walking contrary to you; and it is your duty to repent and return at once to your Lord; only by so doing will peace return unto you.
* - a hot, desert wind
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "A Wilderness Cry," delivered August 4, 1878. Image by Stacy Manson on Flickr under Creative Commons License, without alteration.
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Hear the lowing of the ox, as hour after hour its thirst tells upon it. Would you not pity it? And do you think the Lord does not pity his poor, tried, tempted, afflicted children? Those tears, shall they fall for nothing? Those sleepless nights, shall they be disregarded?... Hath the Lord forgotten to be gracious? Hath he in anger shut up the bowels of his mercy? Ah, no, he will remember thy sorrowful estate and hear thy groanings, for he puts thy tears into his bottle.... The night has been so long, it must be so much nearer the dawning. You have been scourged so long that it must be so much nearer the last stroke, for the Lord doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men. Therefore take heart and be of a good courage.
Oh, that my divine Master would now come and do what I fain would do but cannot, namely, make every child of God here leap for joy. I know what this being bound by Satan means. The devil has not tied me up for eighteen years at a stretch, and I do not think he ever will, but he has brought me into sad bondage many a time. Still, my Master comes and sets me free, and leads me out to watering: and what a drink I get at such times! I seem as if I could drink up Jordan at a draught when I get to his promises, and quaff my fill of his sweet love. I know by this that he will lead other poor souls out to the watering; and when he does so to any of you I pray you drink like an ox. You may be tied up again; therefore drink as much as you can of his grace, and rejoice while you may. Eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight in fatness. Be glad in the Lord, ye righteous, and shout for joy all ye that are upright in heart, for the Lord looses the prisoners. May he loose many now. Amen.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Lifting Up Of The Bowed Down," delivered July 14, 1878. Image by YellowBecky on Flickr under Creative Commons License, without alteration.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
"I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go."
Here the Lord is the speaker, and gives the psalmist an answer to his prayer. Our Saviour is our instructor. The Lord himself deigns to teach his children to walk in the way of integrity, his holy word and the monitions of the Holy Spirit are the directors of the believer's daily conversation. We are not pardoned that we may henceforth live after our own lusts, but that we may be educated in holiness and trained for perfection. A heavenly training is one of the covenant blessings which adoption seals to us:
"All thy children shall be taught by the Lord."
Practical teaching is the very best of instruction, and they are thrice happy who, although they never sat at the feet of Gamaliel, and are ignorant of Aristotle, and the ethics of the schools, have nevertheless learned to follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.
"I will guide thee with mine eye."
As servants take their cue from the master's eye, and a nod or a wink is all that they require, so should we obey the slightest hints of our Master, not needing thunderbolts to startle our incorrigible sluggishness, but being controlled by whispers and love touches. The Lord is the great overseer, whose eye in providence overlooks everything. It is well for us to be the sheep of his pasture, following the guidance of his wisdom.
From The Treasury Of David by Charles Haddon Spurgeon, exposition of Psalm 32:8. Image by Fraser Mummery on Flickr under Creative Commons License, without alteration.
Monday, October 27, 2014
The name of Paul brought the blood into the face of a Jew. He spat in rage. More than forty of them had bound themselves with an oath that they would slay him, and the whole company of the circumcised seemed, wherever he went, to be moved by the same impulse. He frequently gathered large congregations of Gentiles who attended to him earnestly, but the Jews stirred up riots and mobs, and, frequently, he was in danger of his life from them. They detested him; regarding him as an accursed apostate from the faith of his fathers. Remembering how earnest he had been against Christ, they could not believe in his sincerity when he became a Christian, or, if they did, they hated him as a fanatic whose delusion was beyond measure mischievous. His generous retaliation was to pray for them, nay, more, to carry the whole nation on his heart as a burden. “I have continual heaviness,” says he, “and sorrow of heart for my kinsmen according to the flesh.”
Now, if any of you in following Christ should meet with opposition, avenge it in the same way. Love most the man who treats you worst. If any man would kill you in his anger, kill him with your loving prayers. If he smite thee on the one cheek, turn to him the other also in submission, and lift both hands and eyes to heaven and cry, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
Never let oppressors see your anger rise. They will observe your emotion and your grief, and they will perceive that you are naturally vexed and troubled, but let them also see that you bear them no malice, but desire their welfare. I commend this to those who have a hard fight for Christ in the workroom, in the midst of sneers and jests. Never use the devil’s weapons, though they lie very handy, and look very suitable. Only use Christ's omnipotent weapon of love, so shall ye be his disciples.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Concern For Other Men's Souls." Image by maf04 on Flickr under Creative Commons License, without alteration.
Friday, October 24, 2014
If Jesus Christ be our Master, we must be content to let the fairest prospect go, and all things that seem to tell for our success in this life must be secondary in our account. We must seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness. Ay, and sometimes love that has been longed for must go for Christ’s sake. Company that has been delightful must be forsaken for Christ’s sake, and if all this be done, yet still it is not enough. He that has Christ must give to Christ himself and all that he has.
I should doubt whether I were a follower of Christ if I had not in my very soul given up to him all that I am and all that I have, to be for ever his. He has bought us with a price, and it is not surely meet for us to give him one arm, and one eye, and one foot, and half a heart. He that is a true Christian is a Christian through and through. Whatever he possesses of talent, whatever of substance he owns, he looks upon nothing as being his own, but as all belonging to his Master, and he is prepared to use all for his Master’s glory, and to part with all if so it were needful for the maintenance of his Master’s kingdom.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "A Great Bargain." Image by Jyrki Salmi on Flickr under Creative Commons License, without alteration.
Thursday, October 23, 2014
To be nothing is ours by nature; but to know that we are nothing and to confess that we are nothing is a gift of his grace. Brethren, we are emptier than emptiness, and more vain than vanity. We may tax language and use extravagant hyperboles, but we shall never be able fitly to estimate our own utter insignificance. We are weakness itself, hampered with the conceit of power; and yet if we can say in truth, “The Lord is my strength,” we cannot estimate how strong we are, for there is no measuring omnipotence.
Come, let us consider the matter, and let each believer speak personally. He who made the heavens and the earth is my strength. He who fixes the mountains firm so that they start not from their places in the day of tempest, when the cedars are breaking, is my strength. Although he will one day rock heaven and earth, and before his presence all creation shall flee away, yet he is my strength. These are but the hidings of power, but, truly, all the force reserved and lying latent in the Almighty bosom is engaged for his saints, and is my portion. Whatever omnipotence can do (and that is a wrong expression to use, for omnipotence knows no frontier or confines to its sphere of possible action) is ours. All that God has done is but little in comparison with what he can effect when his arm shall be bared to complete his mighty purposes; yet all the possibilities that pertain to God belong to his people. “The Lord is my strength.”
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "A Sacred Solo." Image by nickliv on Flickr under Creative Commons License, without alteration.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
As in our Lord’s life his teaching was always connected with healing, he would have the church also take a very deep interest in the bodily sorrows of the people as well as in their spiritual needs. It will be a very great pity if ever it should be thought that benevolence is divorced from Christianity, for hitherto the crown of the faith of Jesus has been love to men; it is, indeed, the glory of Christianity that wherever it comes it erects buildings altogether unknown to heathenism - hospitals, asylums, and other abodes of charity. The genius of Christianity is pity for the sinful and the suffering.
Let the church be a healer like her Lord: at least if she cannot pour forth virtue from the hem of her garment, nor “say in a word” so that sickness may fly, let her be among the most prompt to help in everything that can assuage pain or assist poverty. So ought it to be, for “as Jesus was, so are we also in this world.” Did he not tell us, “As the Father hath sent me even so send I you.” We cannot too diligently study his character, for he has left us an example that we may follow in his steps.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Chief Physician And The Centurion's Servant," delivered June 30, 1878. Image by Steve Corey on Flickr under Creative Commons License, without alteration.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
The mighty deeds of heroes and the obedient acts of pilgrim fathers are only told to us because they spring out of faith. It is to commend the root that the fruits are mentioned. The children are named one by one that the mother may have the praise, for faith is the mother of all virtues. According to this book God estimates men by their faith, and “without faith it is impossible to please God.”
Faith is well pleasing to the Most High, but it is in proportion to its strength, for there are cases in which weakness of faith has evidently been followed by chastisement, and other cases in which strength of faith has been abundantly honored. The more thou believest the more doth God bless thee. If thou believest with faith as small as a grain of mustard seed thou shalt be saved, for where there is faith there is salvation; but if thy faith be weak thou shalt miss many comforts, and only as thy faith shall grow and become strong through divine grace shalt thou be a receiver of the greater, deeper, and higher things of the covenant of grace.
More faith is what we want, and the Lord is willing to give it, grace upon grace; he delights, especially, to strengthen the faith which we already possess by trying it, by sustaining it under the trial, and thus rooting and grounding it, and causing it to become firm and vigorous, Oh that we might so live evermore that the Lord might see in all our actions that they spring from faith.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Hiding Of Moses By Faith." Image by Berit Watkin on Flickr under Creative Commons License, without alteration.
Monday, October 20, 2014
It has happened again and again in history that those who have been destined to do great things for the Lord have first of all been compelled to pass through a trying ordeal of misunderstanding and rejection. Such history repeats itself; it may do so in your instance. The speckled bird of the family, the one least beloved, often rises to take the most prominent place. Jephthah was driven out from his father’s family, and yet in their distress his brethren were glad enough to make him their champion and accept him as their head.
Bow thy head in patience, young man, and bear whatever God or his enemies may lay upon thee, for assuredly as the Lord is in thee and with thee he will bring thee forth, and of thee, too, it shall be true in thine own little way, “The stone which the builders refused, the same is become the head stone of the corner.”
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Head Stone Of The Corner," delivered June 23, 1878. Image by Forest Wander on Flickr under Creative Commons License, unaltered.
Saturday, October 18, 2014
If you consult your own strength, it is clear that you cannot win the life-battle. What is your strength but perfect weakness? If you look to your own wisdom, it is evident that you cannot guide your own way across the pathless desert of life. What is your wisdom but the essence of folly? Come back, then, in childlike confidence to God, and go no more from him. Come to the very spot where your spiritual life commenced and find strength, wisdom, rest, and all in the living God. Let this verse smile on you and beckon you to God, “He will be very gracious unto thee at the voice of thy cry; when he shall hear it, he will answer thee.” No trial shall happen to you but such as is common to man, and when the temptation comes the way of escape shall come with it. The burden shall always find your back strengthened to bear it, or else if your back be weak the burden shall not be laid upon you.
The whole of your future history, though unknown to yourself, is spread out like a map before the eye of your great leader and guide. Follow where Jesus leads you, and know that he cannot forsake you; he will make you to lie down in green pastures, and his goodness and his mercy will follow you all your days. Be careful for nothing, be prayerful for everything. Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust thou also in him and he shall bring it to pass; and he shall bring forth thy judgment as the light and thy righteousness as the noonday. Go to his mercy-seat in every time of trial, for he will be very gracious to thee. Pour out thy heart before him and thou shalt have an answer of peace from the God of thy salvation.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Encouragement To Trust And Pray," delivered June 16, 1878. Image by Arkansas ShutterBug on Flickr under Creative Commons License, without alteration.
Friday, October 17, 2014
Brethren, as soon as you are converted you become the disciples of Jesus, and if you are to become fast-holding Christians you must acknowledge him to be your Master, Teacher, and Lord in all things, and resolve to be good scholars in his school. He will be the best Christian who has Christ for his Master, and truly follows him. Some are disciples of the church, others are disciples of the minister, and a third sort are disciples of their own thoughts; he is the wise man who sits at Jesus’ feet and learns of him, with the resolve to follow his teaching and imitate his example. He who tries to learn of Jesus himself, taking the very words from the Lord’s own lips, binding himself to believe whatsoever the Lord hath taught and to do whatsoever he hath commanded - he I say, is the stable Christian.
Follow Jesus, my brethren, and not the church, for our Lord has never said to his disciples, “Follow your brethren,” but he has said “Follow me.” He has not said, “Abide by the denominational confession,” but he has said, “Abide in me.” Nothing must come in between our souls and our Lord. What if fidelity to Jesus should sometimes lead us to differ from our brethren? What matters it so long as we do not differ from our Master?...
Be true disciples of Christ, and let his least word be precious to you. Remember that if a man love him he will keep his words; and he hath said, “he that shall break one of the least of these my commandments and shall teach men so, the same shall be least in the kingdom of heaven.” Shun all compromises and abatements of truth, but be thorough and determined, holding fast your Savior’s words. Follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Hold Fast," delivered June 9, 1878. Image by jcookfisher on Flickr under Creative Commons License, alteration.
Thursday, October 16, 2014
Our Lord was not merely a child, but a poor child; so poor that his mother when she had to redeem him could not bring a lamb, which was the sacrifice for all who could afford it, but she presented the poorer offering, a pair of turtle doves or two young pigeons, and so she came as a poor woman, and he was presented to the Lord as a poor woman’s child. Herein also lies rich comfort for lowly hearts, and as they think of it each one may say, “Mine eyes have seen thy salvation.”
When I think of the Prince of glory and the Lord of angels stooping so low as this, that a poor woman bears him in her arms and calls him her babe, surely there must be salvation for the lowest, the poorest, and the most sunken. When the all glorious Lord, in order to be incarnate, is born a babe, born of a poor woman, and publicly acknowledged as a poor woman’s child, we feel sure that he will receive the poorest and most despised when they seek his face.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Thy Salvation," delivered June 2, 1878. Image by Kasia on Flickr under Creative Commons License, without alteration.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
The Fall was so grievous that he must come right down into the place of our ruin; he must come to the dunghill that he might lift us out of it. God sat in heaven and said, “Let there be light,” and the darkness fled before him, but he could not sit in heaven and save sinners: he must needs come into the world to do so; down into this polluted creation the eternal Creator must himself descend. Lo, there in Bethlehem’s manger he sleeps, and on a woman’s breast he hangs! He cannot save sinners, so great is their ruin, unless he becomes incarnate and takes upon himself our nature.
And being here, think how dreadful must be the ruin when we see that he cannot return, saying, “It is finished,” until first of all he dies. That sacred head must be crowned with thorns, those eyes must be closed in the darkness of the tomb, that body must be pierced even to its heart, and then must lie a chill, cold corpse in the grave, ere man can be redeemed; and all that shame, and suffering, and death were but the outer shell of what the Savior suffered, for he passed under divine wrath and bare a load such as would have crushed the whole race of men had they been left to bear it.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Faithful Saying," delivered May 26, 1878. Image by Anita Ritenour on Flickr under Creative Commons License, without alteration.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014
You spare your son when you know he is doing his best to serve you. He has made a a blunder, and if he had been a mere hired servant you might have been angry, but you say, “Ah, I know my boy was doing all he could, and he will do better soon, and therefore I cannot be severe. I see that he is imperfect, but I see equally well that he loves me, and acts like a loving son.” The word here used signifies pity or compassion, “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.” He will even at the last look upon us with a love which has pity mingled with it, for we shall need it in that day. He will “remember that we are dust,” and will accept us, though, cognizant of all the faults there were, and of all the infirmities that there had been: he will accept us still, because we are his own sons in Christ Jesus, and by grace desire to serve him.
We do not serve him to become sons, but because we are sons. It is a sweet name for a child of God: a son-servant, one who is a servant to his father, and therefore, because he is his son, serves not for wage, nor of compulsion, but out of love. Such service is mentioned as evidence of sonship, and not as a claim; and we shall be saved through grace, our holy service of sonship being the proof of that grace.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Great Difference," delivered May 19, 1878. Image by Moyan Brenn on Flickr under Creative Commons License, without alteration.
Monday, October 13, 2014
When the sunlight comes upon a wicked man’s field and the rain descends upon the farm of a blaspheming atheist, the man has done nothing to deserve either shower or sun, but yet they favor him. And, blessed be God, he gives his grace to those who have done nothing to deserve it. If all your life long you cannot think of one good action you have ever performed, nevertheless the grace of God is free to you if you will have it. “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved” is preached to you; for deservings and merits are out of the question. God gives freely even to the evil and the unjust.
Showers from heaven and sunlight come to those who have not sought them at the Lord’s hands. That churl there never prayed for the sunlight. He does not believe in praying - not he. And that oppressor over yonder, that we spoke of, never asked God to send the rain: he said it was a matter of chance, and he did not see the good of praying about it. Yet it came. And oh, what a wonder it is that God is often found of them that sought him not! Persons have come into this Tabernacle, and the last thing they thought of was that they would be saved that night, and yet they have been. God’s infinite mercy sometimes comes to those who do not ask for it: according to the text, “I am found of them that sought me not.”
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "No Difference," delivered May 12, 1878. Image by Liz West on Flickr under Creative Commons License, without alteration.
Saturday, October 11, 2014
We are afraid to lean too hard on God. To be careful not to encroach on a friend is a very proper disposition. Do not spoil a generous friend by drawing upon him so heavily that he will dread to see you again. I wish some people had a little more of that disposition, as far as I am concerned; but this is not a right feeling when you have to deal with the Lord. Never fear that you will weary your God; never say to yourself, “I will ask as little as I can.” Why, he says, “Open thy mouth wide and I will fill it.”
Never say “I will trust him a little, take him a part of my cares and rest a portion of my trials upon him.” No, lean with your whole weight. Do not keep a spare ounce for your own carrying. That will break your back. Bring all the tons and the pounds and the ounces and the pennyweights, and cast them all on God. He loves his children to treat him with entire confidence. All your weight will not trouble him.
You know Aesop’s fable of the polite little gnat which apologised to the ox for burdening him when he alighted on his horn, and the ox replied that he really did not know he was there. Your God will not tell you that, for he counts the very hairs of your head, but he will tell you that your load is no burden to him. Why, if you had fifty kingdoms burdening your brain and if you carried the politics of a hundred nations in your mind, or were loaded with all the cares of a thousand worlds, you might safely leave them with the Wonderful Counsellor and go your way rejoicing. Lean hard, brothers, lean hard, sisters, for underneath you are the everlasting arms.
Friday, October 10, 2014
He hath been mindful of us, he will bless us. Let our memory of his past lovingkindness excite us to prayer for present and future favors. David then passed on to speak of the greatness of the promise: “This was yet a small thing in thy sight, O Lord God; but thou hast spoken also of thy servant’s house for a great while to come.” We also have received exceeding great and precious promises, and since God has promised so much, will we not be much in prayer? Shall he be large in promising and shall we be narrow in asking? Shall he stand before us and say, “Whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer believing, ye shall receive,” and will we be content with slender, starved petitions?
Beggars seldom need pressing to beg, and when a promise is given them they usually put the widest possible construction upon it, and urge it with great vehemence; will it not be well to take a leaf out of their book?
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Where True Prayer Is Found," delivered May 5, 1878. Image by S. Hart Photography on Flickr under Creative Commons License, without alteration.
Thursday, October 9, 2014
Herein is love indeed, that the infinitely pure should suffer for the sinful, the just for the unjust, to bring us to God. Love did never climb to so sublime a height as when it brought Jesus to the bloody tree to bear the dread sentence of inexorable law. Think of this love, beloved, till you feel its constraining influence. It was love eternal, for long before the earth was fashioned the eternal Word had set his eye upon his people, and their names were graven on his heart. It was love unselfish, for he had nothing to gain from his redeemed; there were harps enough in heaven and songs enough in the celestial city without their music. It was love most free and spontaneous, for no man sought it or so much as dreamed thereof. It was love most persevering, for when man was born into the world and sinned, and rejected Christ, and he came to his own and his own received him not, he loved them still, loved them even to the end.
It was love - what shall I say of it? If I were to multiply words I might rather sink your thoughts than raise them: it was love infinite, immeasurable, inconceivable! It passeth the love of women, though the love of mothers is strong as death, and jealousy is cruel as the grave. It passes the love of martyrs, though that love has triumphed over the fury of the flame. All other lights of love pale their ineffectual brightness before this blazing sun of love, whose warmth a man may feel but upon whose utmost light no eye can gaze. He loved us like a God. It was nothing less than God’s own love which burned within that breast, which was bared to the spear that it might redeem us from going down into the pit.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Under Constraint," delivered. April 28, 1878 Image by Mike McCune on Flickr under Creative Commons License, unaltered.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
The principle which rules our life is not mercenary, we do not expect to earn a reward, neither are we flogged to duty by dread of punishment. We are under grace - that is to say, we are treated on the principle of mercy and love, and not on that of justice and desert. Freely, of his own undeserved favor, God has forgiven us for Christ’s sake. He has regarded us with favor, not because we deserved it, but simply because he willed to do so, according to that ancient declaration, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”
The Lord did not choose us because of any goodness in us, but he hath saved us and called us according to the purpose of his own will. Moreover, our continuance in a state of salvation depends upon the same grace which first placed us there. We do not stand or fall according to our personal merit; but because Jesus lives we live, because Jesus is accepted we are accepted, because Jesus is beloved we are beloved: in a word, our standing is not based upon merit, but upon mercy; not upon our changeable character, but upon the immutable mercy of God.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Believers Free From The Dominion Of Sin," delivered April 21, 1878. Image by on Flickr under Creative Commons License, without alteration.
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
How great the love which led him to such a condescension as this! Do not let us forget the infinite distance between the Lord of glory on his throne and the Crucified dried up with thirst. A river of the water of life, pure as crystal, proceedeth today out of the throne of God and of the Lamb, and yet once he condescended to say, “I thirst.” He is Lord of fountains and all deeps, but not a cup of cold water was placed to his lips. Oh, if he had at any time said, “I thirst,” before his angelic guards, they would surely have emulated the courage of the men of David when they cut their way to the well of Bethlehem that was within the gate, and drew water in jeopardy of their lives.
Who among us would not willingly pour out his soul unto death ￼if he might but give refreshment to the Lord? And yet he placed himself for our sakes into a position of shame and suffering where none would wait upon him, but when he cried, “I thirst,” they gave him vinegar to drink. Glorious stoop of our exalted Head! O Lord Jesus, we love thee and we worship thee!
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Shortest Of The Seven Cries," delivered April 14, 1878. Image by Nicholas A. Tonelli on Flickr under Creative Commons License, without alteration.
Monday, October 6, 2014
But what blessedness awaits you if you are not offended in Jesus. You are blessed while you are waiting for him, but your best reward is to come, In that hereafter, when the morning breaks on the everlasting shore, how will they be ashamed and disgusted with themselves who sought their own honor and esteem, and denied their Lord and Master! Where will Demas be then, who chose the present world and forsook his Lord? Where will that son of perdition be who chose the thirty pieces of silver and sold the Prince of Life? What shame will seize upon the coward, the fearful, the unbelieving, the people who checked conscience and stifled conviction because a fool’s laugh was too much for them! Then they will have to bear the Savior’s scorn and the everlasting contempt of all holy beings.
But the men who stood meekly forward to confess their Lord, who were willing to be set in the pillory of scorn for Christ, ready to be spit upon for him, ready to be called ill names for his sake, ready to lose their character, their substance, their liberty, and their lives for him - oh how calmly will they await the great assize*, when loyalty shall receive honor from the great King. How bright will be their faces when he that sitteth on the throne will say, “They confessed me before men, and now will I confess them before my Father which is in heaven. These are mine, my Father,” says he “they are mine. They clave unto me, and now I own them as my jewels.”
These are they that followed the Lamb whithersoever he went. They read the word, and what they found there they believed. They saw their Lord’s will in the Scriptures, and they labored to do it. They were faithful to conscience and to conviction, and the Spirit dwelt in them and guided their lives; they shall be the Redeemer’s crown and the beloved of his Father. They were the poor of this world; they were considered to be mere idiots by some, and were thought to have gone mad by others; but they are the Lord’s own elect.
Jesus will say, “They were with me in my tribulation; they were with me in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, and now they are mine, and they shall be with me on my throne. Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from before the foundations of the world.”
* - the sitting of a court
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Offended With Christ." Image by Patrick on Flickr under Creative Commons License, without alteration.
Saturday, October 4, 2014
A man is not saved until he bows before the supreme majesty of God. He may say, “I believe in Jesus,” but if he goes on to follow out his own desires, and to gratify his own passions, he is a mere pretender, a wolf in the clothing of a sheep. Dead faith will save no man; it is not even as good as the faith of devils, for they “believe and tremble,” and these men believe in a fashion which makes them brazen in their iniquity. No, salvation means being saved from the domination of self and sin; salvation means being made to long after likeness to God, being helped by divine grace to reach to that likeness, and living after the mind and will of the Most High.
Submission to God is the salvation which we preach, not a mere deliverance from eternal burnings, but deliverance from present rebellion, deliverance from the sin which is the fuel of those flames unquenchable. There must be conformity to the eternal laws of the universe, and according to these God must be first and man must bow to him: nothing can be right till this is done.
From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Reason Why Many Cannot Find Peace," delivered April 7, 1878. Image by Doug Aghassi on Flickr under Creative Commons License, without alteration.