Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Mighty Preserving God

Our help is in the name of the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. 

Our Creator is our preserver. He is immensely great in his creating work; he has not fashioned a few little things alone, but all heaven and the whole round earth are the works of his hands. When we worship the Creator let us increase our trust in our Comforter. Did he create all that we see, and can he not preserve us from evils which we cannot see? Blessed be his name, he that has fashioned us will watch over us; yea, he has done so, and rendered us help in the moment of jeopardy.

He is our help and our shield, even he alone. He will to the end break every snare. He made heaven for us, and he will keep us for heaven; he made the earth, and he will succour us ripen it until the hour cometh for our departure. Every work of his hand preaches to us the duty and the delight of reposing upon him only. All nature cries, "Trust ye in the Lord for ever, for in the Lord Jehovah there is everlasting strength." "Wherefore comfort one another with these words."

From the Treasury of David, by Charles Haddon Spurgeon, exposition of Psalm 124:8. Image by Chao Yen on Flickr under Creative Commons License, unaltered.

Monday, September 29, 2014

By Dying He Restored Our Loss

We, too, expect, unless special circumstances should intervene, that these bodies of ours will lie in their narrow beds beneath the greensward, and slumber till the resurrection. Nor need we be afraid of the tomb, for Jesus has been there. Sitting over against his sepulcher we grow brave, and are ready, like knights of the holy sepulcher, to hurl defiance at death. At times we almost long for evening to undress that we may rest with God, in the chamber where he giveth to his beloved sleep.

Now, note that our Lord’s tomb was in a garden; for this is typically the testimony of his grave to the hope of better things. Just a little beyond the garden wall you would see a little knoll, of grim name and character... Golgotha, the place of a skull, and there stood the cross. That rising ground was given up to horror and barrenness; but around the actual tomb of our Savior there grew herbs and plants and flowers. A spiritual garden still blooms around his tomb; the wilderness and the solitary place are glad for him, and the desert rejoices and blossoms as the rose. He hath made another Paradise for us, and he himself is the sweetest flower therein. The first Adam sinned in a garden and spoiled our nature; the second Adam slept in a garden and restored our loss. The Savior buried in the earth hath removed the curse from the soil; henceforth blessed is the ground for his sake. He died for us that we ourselves might become in heart and life fruitful gardens of the Lord.

Let but his tomb, and all the facts which surround it, have due influence upon the minds of men, and this poor blighted earth shall again yield her increase: instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree, and it shall be to the Lord for a name.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Over Against The Sepulchre," delivered March 24, 1878. Image by rachel_thecat on Flickr under Creative Commons License, unaltered.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Come Apart And Rest A While

Repose is as needful to the mind as sleep to the body. Our Sabbaths are our days of toil, and if we do not rest upon some other day we shall break down. Even the earth must lie fallow and have her Sabbaths, and so must we. Hence the wisdom and compassion of our Lord, when he said to his disciples, "Let us go into the desert and rest a while."

What! when the people are fainting? When the multitudes are like sheep upon the mountains without a shepherd? Does Jesus talk of rest? When Scribes and Pharisees, like grievous wolves, are rending the flock, does he take his followers on an excursion into a quiet resting place?

Does some red-hot zealot denounce such atrocious forgetfulness of present and pressing demands? Let him rave in his folly. The Master knows better than to exhaust his servants and quench the light of Israel. Rest time is not waste time. It is economy to gather fresh strength.

From "Lectures To My Students," by Charles Haddon Spurgeon. Image by Nicholas A. Tonelli on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Live Your Testimony, Give Your Testimony

I have so to speak on God’s behalf that those about me may see what religion is by watching my life. Whatever my lot, condition, or occupation, I have a witness to bear; for those who never read the Bible may read me, and those who never think of Christ may at least think of one of his disciples, and see in some degree what the Master is by what the servant is. Let this object tone and tune your lives, my brothers and sisters; and let the members of this church especially bear in mind that they are bound from morning to night in all that they are and all that they do to be speaking on the behalf of God.

But, further, we are bound to do this by giving instruction. All of you who have been taught should also teach, and I am sure there is a great want of instruction in this age: instruction, I mean, upon the things of God. We have probably more present need of instruction than of exhortation. We have many who exhort, but few who edify. Do, dear friends, whether you teach in the Sunday-school, or stand up at the corner of the street, or talk with friends and comrades, try to make known the name and nature and attributes of God; show his claims, the perfect righteousness demanded by his law, and the penalties due to disobedience; speak on God’s behalf of his gospel’s freeness, fullness, and sureness; speak on God’s behalf concerning the doctrine of his providence and the great truths of his grace and sovereignty. Do not let those around you die for lack of knowledge: make the name of the Lord to be known as much as lieth in you.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "God's Advocates Breaking Silence," delivered March 17, 1878. Image by Bob Jagendorf on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Lead Us Not Into Temptation

I am afraid that badly as some behave under temptation, others of us might have done worse if we had been there. I like, if I can, to form a kind judgment of the erring; and it helps me to do so when I imagine myself to have been subject to their trials, and to have looked at things from their point of view, and to have been in their circumstances, and to have nothing of the grace of God to help me: should I not have fallen as badly as they have done, or even gone beyond them in evil? May not the day come to you who show no mercy in which you may have to ask mercy for yourselves?...

Now, whenever you see the drunkard reel through the streets do not glory over him, but say, “Lead us not into temptation.” When you take down the papers and read that men of position have betrayed their trust for gold, condemn their conduct if you will, but do not exult in your own steadfastness, rather cry in all humility, “Lead us not into temptation.” When the poor girl seduced from the paths of virtue comes across your way, look not on her with the scorn that would give her up to destruction, but say, “Lead us not into temptation.”

It would teach us milder and gentler ways with sinful men and women if this prayer were as often in our hearts as it is upon our lips.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Lead Us Not Into Temptation." Image by Moyan_Brenn on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Let Us Work With Faith In God

Whether we live, or whether we die, let us have faith in God: whenever we preach or teach the Gospel, let us have faith; for without faith we shall labor in vain. Whenever you distribute religious books or visit the sick, do so in faith, for faith is the lifeblood of all our service. If only by faith can a dying Jacob bless his descendants, so only by faith can we bless the sons of men. Have faith in God, and the instruction which you give shall really edify, the prayers you offer shall bring down showers of mercy, and your endeavors for your sons and daughters shall be prospered. God will bless what is done in faith; but if we believe not our work will not be established.

Faith is the backbone and marrow of the Christian’s power to do good: we are weak as water till we enter into union with God by faith, and then we are omnipotent. We can do nothing for our fellowmen by way of promoting their spiritual and eternal interests if we walk according to the sight of our eyes; but when we get into the power of God, and grasp his promise by a daring confidence, then it is that we obtain the power to bless.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Jacob Worshipping On His Staff." Image by Ruth Hartnup on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

We Ought Not Be Idle

Jesus said, “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” The most wonderful worker in the universe is God himself; and his dear Son, when he was here, never had an idle hour. “He went about doing good.” He began life as a carpenter, and, I do not doubt, worked hard at it. Then as a Savior he surveyed on the outset his great charge “to fulfill all righteousness.” With untiring zeal he pursued his arduous mission to the end, and he finished his work. Until he said, “It is finished,” he did not relax his ardor or lay down his toil. Brethren, we cannot dwell with the great working God and yet be sluggards. He will not put up with it. He will not have communion with us unless we are agreed with him. “How can two walk together unless they be agreed?...”

Now, a glorious and active-minded God will not walk with sluggards. He cannot endure them. If you are to dwell with God you must be his servant, you must have something to do in his name; in whatever occupation it may be, to lay yourself out for his glory is essential and imperative.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "With The King For His Work," delivered November 1, 1877. Image by The Knowles Gallery on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Monday, September 22, 2014

No One Can Believe For Me

It is not possible for a man to shift from his own shoulders to those of another his obligations to the Most High. Obedience to the law of God must be personally rendered, or a man becomes guilty. No matter how holy his father, or how righteous his mother, he himself will have to stand upon his own feet and answer for himself before the judgment-seat of God. Each man who hears the gospel is responsible for the hearing of it. No one else can believe the gospel for him, or repent for him, or be born again for him, or become a Christian for him. He must himself personally repent of sin, personally believe in Jesus Christ, personally be converted, and personally live to the service and glory of God. Every tub must stand on its own bottom.

There have been idle attempts to shift the responsibility to a certain order of men called priests, or clergymen, or ministers, according as the case may be; but it cannot be done. Each man must seek the Lord himself-himself lay his load of sin at the foot of the cross, and himself accept a personal Savior for himself. You cannot do with the matters of your soul as you do with the business of your estate, and employ a priest in the same way as you engage a solicitor to represent you. There is one substitute and advocate who can plead for us, but no earthly sponsor can avail with heaven. God demands the heart, and with the heart man must believe unto righteousness, and with his own heart, too, for none can take his place.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Am I My Brother's Keeper?" Image by Ian Sane on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Who Will Dare to Follow Christ?

The religion of Jesus Christ never was, nor ever can be, the religion of this present evil world. He has chosen a people out of the world who believe it, but the world itself has always hated it. Did not our Lord tell us (John 14:17), concerning the Spirit of truth, that the world cannot receive him, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him?

Whenever you find a religion which unites itself with pomp and show and worldly power, if there be any truth in it at all, it has, at any rate, deteriorated from the standard of its purity, and is not according to the mind of Christ. But there are some who are so fond of everything that is fashionable - everything that is great and famous - that, if the Lord Jesus Christ be despised and rejected of men, they despise and reject him too. Ah, but I hope that I address some to whom the Lord has given a nobler spirit. Some men and women I hope are here to-night who will never reject the truth because it is unfashionable, or refuse to follow Christ because he is despised. No, but the noble spirit says, “Is it right? Then I will espouse it. Is it true? Then I will believe it in the name of God. Though it may mean poverty and shame, yet that is the side on which I will enlist.”

There is a lordlier chivalry than all the chivalry of war: it is the chivalry of the heart that dares be nailed to the cross with Christ sooner than turn aside to seek flowery pathways and follow the trail of the serpent. Yet many do reject Christ because of the humbleness of his exterior. Who is on the Lord’s side, and will dare avow it before a scoffing world?

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Offended With Christ." Image by seyed mostafa zamani on Flickr under Creative Commons License.