Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Good Soldier Of Jesus Christ

“A good soldier of Jesus Christ.” —2 Timothy 2:2, 3.

Paul does not appear to have pictured true believers as sluggards sound asleep upon the downiest beds; his description of a Christian in the text is that of a soldier, and that means something very far different either from a religious fop, whose best delight is music and millinery, or a theological critic who makes a man an offender for a word, or a spiritual glutton who cares for nothing but a lifelong enjoyment of the fat things full of marrow, or an ecclesiastical slumberer who longs only for peace for himself. He represents him as a soldier and that, I say, is quite another thing.

For what is a soldier? A soldier is a practical man, a man who has work to do, and hard, stern work. He may sometimes when he is at his ease wear the fineries of war, but when he comes to real warfare he cares little enough for them; the dust and the smoke, and the garments rolled in blood, these are for those who go a soldiering; and swords all hacked, and dented armor, and bruised shields, these are the things that mark the good, the practical soldier. Truly to serve God, really to exhibit Christian graces, fully to achieve a life-work for Christ, actually to winsouls, this is to bear fruit worthy of a Christian.

A soldier is a man of deeds, and not of words. He has to contend and fight. In war times his life knows little of luxurious ease. In the dead of night perhaps the trumpet sounds to boot and saddle, just at the time when he is most weary, and hemust away to the attack just when he would best prefer to take his rest in sleep. The Christian is a soldier in an enemy’s country always needing to stand on his watchtower, constantly to be contending, though not with flesh and blood, with far worse foes, namely, with spiritual wickednesses in high places.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "A Good Soldier Of Jesus Christ," delivered June 26, 1870. Image by mr-football under Creative Commons License.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Better Than Life

...[T]here can be such a thing as overvaluing this life, and multitudes have fallen into that error. Those overvalue it who prefer it to eternal life. Why, it is but as a drop compared with the ocean, if you measure time with eternity. Seventy or eighty years of dwelling here below, what are they when compared with infinite ages of existence in the presence of the Most High? I reckon that this present life is not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us.

When men in fearful moments have denied the faith for the sake of saving their lives, they have overvalued this life; when to preserve themselves from the sword, or the fire, or the tortures of the rack, they have denied the name of Jesus, they have made a mistake and exchanged gold for dross. Alas, how many of us, in like condition, might have fallen into the same error! They overvalue this life who consider it to be a better thing than divine love, for the love of God is better than life — his lovingkindness is better than life itself. Some would give anything for their lives, but they would give nothing for God’s love.

From a sermon by Charles Spurgeon entitled "The Profit Of Godliness In This Life," delivered June 19, 1870. Image by Alyson Hurt under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I Will Praise Thee

The museum of grace is richer than that of nature. A heart broken on account of sin is a far greater wonder than the rarest fossil, whatever it may tell of ancient floods of the sea or convulsions of the land. An eye that glistens with the tears of penitence is a greater marvel than the cataract of Niagara, or the fountains of the Nile. Faith that humbly links itself to Christ has in it as great a beauty as the rainbow, and the confidence which looks alone to Jesus, and so irradiates the soul, is as much an object for admiration as is the sun when he shineth in his strength. Talk not of the pyramids, the Colossus, the golden house of Nero, or the temple of Ephesus, for the living temple of God’s church is fairer far. Let others glory in the marvels they have seen but be it mine to say unto my Lord, “I will praise thee, for thou hast done wonderful things...."

From a sermon entitled "A Blessed Wonder," delivered June 12, 1870. Image by Beverly & Pack under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Sad Wonder

If there be anything under heaven that I am as sure of as I am of the demonstrations of mathematics, it is the fact that God hears prayer. Answers to prayer have come to some of us not now and then, on rare occasions, so that after a series of years we have a few facts to collate, but they come to us as ordinary circumstances of everyday life.

God has heard for us prayers about great things and prayers about little things; prayers about things that we could reveal to others, and prayers about secret matters in which none could join us. We have had so many answers to prayer that the fact is far beyond any further question with us; and yet there may be a matter pressing upon our heart for God’s glory, and it may be a subject about which we could plead a precise promise, such as this — “If two of you are agreed as touching anything concerning my kingdom, it shall be done unto you,” and yet we are half afraid that our prayer will not be heard: the husband afraid that the conversion of his wife will never occur; the wife fearful that that swearing husband of hers will not after all yield to the importunate entreaties which she has addressed to heaven; a teacher in a Sunday-school class still afraid that his children, though often prayed for, will not be converted. We have many prayers, but how little faith is mingled with them!

From a sermon entitled "The Sad Wonder," delivered June 12, 1870. Image by Patrick Doheny under Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

By Jesus' help

Sin, like an iron net, encompassed us and held us fast; nor could we be free, struggle as we might, until that pierced band which took away the guilt of sin also released us from its power. By Jesus’ help habits which seemed invincible were soon overcome; customs which bound us fast were broken as Samson snapped the green withs; we were free by the power of God’s Holy Spirit from the service of Satan and were enlisted under the banner of Christ. Oh, what freedom is this! The Lord continue to give us more and more of it till the last link of sin’s cruel chain shall be removed and our freedom of holiness shall be complete.

From a sermon entitled "Bands Of Love," delivered June 5, 1870. Image by William and Lisa Roberts under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Light blogging - summer vacation!

We've been enjoying a bit of summer vacation and hope to see you all online soon. Be sure to stay in the Word and live in God's grace!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The matchless wisdom of God

The serpent was exceeding wise, but God was wiser far. Satan’s craft was dexterous, but God’s wisdom was infinite in its prescience. Wisdom has outmatched craft. Is it not glorious to think that this world where God was dishonored most is the world where he shall be most revered? There is no such display of the attributes and perfections of Godhead in the whole universe beside as there is here. On our blighted soil God has stood foot to foot with moral evil. God incarnate, the Son of God has sustained the conflict, and won the victory, for while the heel of Christ was bruised, the head of the dragon has been most effectually broken! A triumph that God would have us commemorate in time and in eternity, has come through the sin that threatened the destruction of the world.

From a sermon entitled "Angelic Studies," delivered May 1, 1870. Image by Dennis Wong under Creative Commons License.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Blameless One

So blameless was the conduct of this most blessed Man of Nazareth throughout his entire career, that even those who accept not his deity, do homage to his integrity. We have had in our own day, and in our midst, we grieve to say, some who have blasphemed our faith with bitterest words, but even they have paused as if they stood abashed when they came to survey the character of him whose divinity and mission they refused to acknowledge. They have seen about his life a something that they saw nowhere else, and if they have not adored they have admired. There was a condemnation of sin in his very look. The Pharisees felt it. They could not meet or encounter him without discovering and exposing what hypocrites they were. All sorts of men felt it. They could not fail to see through the purity of his life what crooked, ugly, deformed lives their own were in comparison with his, and thus the very existence of Christ, and the example of Christ, condemned sin.

From a sermon entitled "How God Condemned Sin," delivered May 8, 1870. Image by Andy Fitzsimon under Creative Commons License.