Thursday, June 30, 2011

Trust Him with your Prayers

Jesus has proved the power of prayer. Oh but, saith one, “he has not proved what it is to pray in trouble like mine.” How grossly thou arrest, the Savior’s trouble was worse than thine. There are no depths so deep that he has not dived to the bottom of them.

Christ has prayed out of the lowest dungeon and out of the most horrible pit. “Ay, but he has not cried under the burden of sin.” How canst thou speak so thoughtlessly! Was ever such a burden of sin borne by any man as was laid on him?” True, the sins were not his own, but they were sins, and sins with all their crushing weight in them too; yet was he heard, and he was helped unto the end. Christ gives thee, in his own experience, the divinest proof that the asking shall be followed by the receiving, even when sin lieth at the door.

Thus much is certain, if you, who are believers, cannot believe in the efficacy of prayer on the very word of Christ, it has come to a strange pass; for, O beloved, you are leaning all your soul’s weight on Jesus. If he be not true, then are you trusting to a false Savior. If he speak not verities, then you are deceived. If you can trust him with your soul, you must of necessity trust him with your prayers.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Prayer Certified of Success," delivered January 19, 1873. Image by merlune on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Strength of Man

God has given to all the creatures he has made some peculiar form of strength - one has such swiftness of foot that at the baying of a hound it escapes from danger by outstripping the wind; another, with outspread wing, is lifted beyond the fowler; a third with horns pushes down its enemy, and a fourth with tooth and claw tears in pieces its adversary. To man he gave but little strength compared with the animals among which he was placed in Eden, and yet he was king over all, because the Lord was his strength. So long as he knew where to look for the source of his power, man remained the unresisted monarch of all around him. That image of God in which he shone resplendent sustained his sovereignty over the fowls of the air, and the beasts of the field, and the fish of the sea.

By instinct man turned to his God in Paradise; and now, though he is to a sad degree a discrowned monarch, there lingers in his memory shadows of what he was, and remembrances of where his strength must still be found. Therefore, no matter where you find a man, you meet one who in his distress will ask for supernatural help. I believe in the truthfulness of this instinct, and that man prays because there is something in prayer. And when the Creator gives his
creature the power of thirst, it is because water exists to meet its thirst; and as when he creates hunger there is food to correspond to the appetite; so when he inclines men to pray it is because prayer has a corresponding blessing connected with it.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Prayer Certified of Success," delivered January 19, 1873. Image by merlune on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

If a man can still pray

Now, while a man can pray he is never far from light; he is at the window, though, perhaps, as yet the curtains are not drawn aside. The man who can pray has the clue in his hand by which to escape from the labyrinth of affliction. Like the trees in winter, we may say of the praying man, when his heart is greatly troubled, “his substance is in him, though he has lost his leaves.” Prayer is the soul’s breath, and if it breathes it lives, and, living it will gather strength again. A man must have true and eternal life within him while he can continue still to pray, and while there is such life there is assured hope.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "For The Troubled," delivered January 12, 1873. Image by pasotraspaso on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Dangers of wealth

O, it is noble to see a man lifted up into the high places of wealth and position, made to wear a crown and scarlet robe, and yet for all that walking humbly with his God and fulfilling his duty without a flaw, even as those do who have not such high things to try them. I read this week of a vessel at sea which was overtaken by a storm, and a mountainous wave, a very alp of water, went right over it, putting out the engine fires at once, and sweeping away the wheel and the steering house, so that the vessel lay like a log in the trough of the sea. Now many a man has been like that, a great mass of wealth and prosperity has come upon him, put out the fires of his former zeal, taken away all the steerage of his soul, and he has lain like a log tossed up and down between the waves of worldliness and pride, and has become a total wreck.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Man Greatly Beloved," delivered January 5, 1873. Image by jamesongravity on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The plain truth of the Gospel

Faith in Jesus makes us righteous through the righteousness of another; it causes us to be accepted in the Beloved, perfect in Christ Jesus. As by the first Adam we fell, so by the second Adam we rise again. Now the way to partake in the benefits of the death of the Lord Jesus is simply by believing in him.

Here let it be understood that believing in Jesus is not a mysterious and complex action. It does not require a week to explain what faith is. Faith believes what God has revealed concerning Christ, and it therefore trusts in Christ as the divinely-appointed Savior. I believe that Jesus was God’s Son, that God sent him into the world to save sinners, that to do so he became a substitute to justice for all those who trust him, and, as I trust him, I know that he was my substitute and that I am clear before God. Since Jesus died for me, God’s justice cannot put me to eternal death for whom Jesus my substitute has died; God’s truth cannot demand a second time the debt which has already been fully paid on my behalf.

The rationale of the whole thing is as plain as possible, and whoever in this world, old or young, Jew or Gentile, literate or illiterate, rich or poor, debauched or moral, will trust in Jesus shall be saved — nay he is saved the moment he does so; but whosoever of women born refuses to trust in Jesus is condemned already, because he hath not believed on the Son of God.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Essence of Simplicity," delivered December 29, 1872. Image by joiseyshowaa on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Miracle of Condescension

What a miracle of condescension is here, that God should manifest himself in flesh. It needs not so much to be preached upon as to be pondered in the heart. It needs that ye sit down in quiet, and consider how he who made you became like you, he who is your God became your brother man. He who is adored of angels once lay in a manger; he who feeds all living things hungered and was athirst; he who oversees all worlds as God, was, as a man, made to sleep, to suffer, and to die like yourselves. This is a statement not easily to be believed. If he had not been beheld by many witnesses, so that men handled him, looked upon him, and heard him speak, it were a thing not readily to be accepted that so divine a person should be manifest in flesh. It is a wonder of condescension!

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Hexapla of Mystery," delivered December 22, 1872. Image by "Vittis from Lithuania" on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Kingdom in Men's Hearts

The Scribes and Pharisees were very fluent upon sacrifices, offerings, oblations, tithes, fastings, and the like; but what influence could all that exert over aching hearts? Jesus has imperial power over contrite spirits, because he tells them of his one real sacrifice and of the perfection which he has secured to all believers. The priests lost their power over the people because they went no further than the shadow, and sooner or later all will do so who rest in the symbol. The Lord Jesus retains his power over his saints because he reveals the substance, for grace and truth are by Jesus Christ.

What a loss of time it is to debate upon the fashion of a cope, or the manner of celebrating communion, or the color suitable for the clergyman’s robes in Advent, or the precise date of Easter. Vanity of vanities, all is vanity! Such trifles will never aid in setting up an everlasting kingdom in men’s hearts. Let us talk care lest we also set great store by externals, and miss the essential spiritual life of our holy faith. Christ’s kingdom is not meat and drink, but righteousness and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost!

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Jesus, The King of Truth," delivered December 19, 1872. Image by Ken Lund on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Horror of Sin

It is highly important, beloved, that every one of us should have a deep sense of sin, and a profound horror of it. Those who have but slight convictions, if those convictions bring them to the Savior, are safe, but such persons should pray the Lord to deepen in them their sense of the evil of sin. Slight thoughts of sin lead to slight thoughts of grace! and what can be worse? Nothing is more to be dreaded than a flimsy religion, frail as the spider’s web, unsubstantial as the air.

Lord, give me deep repentance. Teach me to know my sin, and all the evils which lurk in it; make me to shudder at it, and dread it as a burnt child dreads the fire. Do not, dear friend, be like those people who jauntily confess, “yes, we are sinners,” but who merely intend thereby, to chime in with a general form of speech. Such false speeches are a mockery of God. Thank God, if you have been laid low under the law. Bless God, for deep subsoil ploughing and trenching. I desire to feel, every day, that sin is an exceeding bitter thing, a deadly evil, a moral poison, the essence of hell. O, to loathe iniquity and see with self-abhorrence its heinous character; for so shall we prize the salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love which thought it, the blood which bought it, and the grace which wrought it out!

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Dwell Deep, O Dedan." Image by Matthew P Sharp on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The proud He will abase

Shall Jesus, who had all things in himself, be lowly, and shall we, who owe all to his charity, be lifted up? God forbid.

Beloved, above all things it is dangerous for a Christian to be exalted above measure, for if he be, he will rob God of his glory, and this is a high crime and misdemeanor. The Lord has said, “I will not give my glory to another.” To give God’s glory to graven images is bad, but to usurp it for ourselves is by no means better. I see no difference between the worship of a God of stone and the worship of a God of flesh. Self is as degrading an idol as Juggernaut or Kalee. God will not honor that man who retains honor for himself. The meek he will exalt, the proud he will abase.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Thorn In The Flesh," delivered December 8, 1872. Image by Robert S. Donovan on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Friday, June 17, 2011

He empowers you where you are

Work on, dear friend, and wait on, for it is no business of yours to correct your Maker’s arrangements. He who placed you where you now are, knew what he was at. Look at your infirmities with another eye. No longer allow them to distress you; but the rather glory in them because they afford room and space for the divine power to rest in you and work by you. Listen no more to the wailings of your trembling flesh, which cries, “Alas, I am weak,” but hear the voice of him who saith “I am God Almighty.”

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Life, Walk and Triumph of Faith." Image by Robert S. Donovan on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

It will all hinge on this!

There is a spot of earth that must be shovelled out for you to be laid into to fill up the vacuum. And your soul shall live: your soul shall never die. Let not those who tell you of annihilation be believed for a moment. It must exist.

Put it to yourself whether it shall be with the worm that never dieth and the fire that never shall be quenched, or with Christ who liveth in his glory, and who shall come a second time to give glory to his people and raise their bodies like his own.

Oh, it will all hinge on this — “Dost thou believe in Jesus?”

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "A Visit To The Tomb." Image by Kevin Dooley on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Needing to be stirred up

There are many kinds of gifts. All Christians have some gift. Some may have but one talent, but all have one at the least. The Great Householder has apportioned to every servant a talent. No single part of a vital body is without its office. True, there are some parts of the body whose office has not been discovered; even the physician and the anatomist have not been able to tell why certain organs are in the human frame, or what office they serve, but as even these are found to be necessary, we are quite sure that they fulfill some useful purpose. Truly, there are some Christians who might be put in that category: it might puzzle anybody to know what they are capable of; and yet it is certain they have some charge committed to them to keep, and that, if true believers, they are essential parts of the body of Christ.

As every beast, bird, fish, and insect, has its own place in nature, so has every Christian a fit position in the economy of grace. No tree, no plant, no weed, could be dispensed with without injury to nature’s perfectness; neither can any sort of gift or grace be lost to the church without injury to her completeness. Every living saint has his charge to keep — his talent, over which he is a steward. A measure of gift is in all of us, needing to be stirred up.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Our Gifts And How To Use Them." Image by shioshvili on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Picking and Choosing

Beware of picking and choosing in God’s word. It is a very dangerous symptom when there is any portion of Scripture that we are afraid to read. If there is one single chapter in the Book that I do not like, it must be because I feel it accuses and condemns me, and my duty ought to be to face that chapter at once and answer its accusation, and endeavor as far as possible to purify myself by God’s help from that which the passage of Scripture condemns. Brethren, read that passage most which stings you most.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Secret Food And The Public Name." Image by Zach Dischner on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Beams in our own eyes

The tendency among men is, when they grow a little earnest, to expend their zeal upon other people, and frequently in the way of faultfinding. It is wonderfully easy to wax indignant at the indolence, the divisions, the coldness, or the errors of the Christian church, and to fulminate our little bulls against her, declaring her to be weighed in our balances and found wanting, as if it mattered one halfpenny to the church what the verdict of our imperfect scales might be. Why, instead of a tract upon the faults of the church, at the present moment, it would be easy to write a folio volume; and when it was written it would be wise to put it in the fire.

Friend, mind those beams in your own eye, and leave the Lord Jesus to clear the motes from the eye of his church. Begin at home; there is in-door work to be done. Instead of vainly pointing to the faults of others, pour forth thine earnestness in praising God, and say thou unto thine own heart, “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name."

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Saints Blessing The Lord," delivered October 20, 1872. Image by Zach Dischner on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Friday, June 10, 2011

And now we are one with Him

Who shall doubt that ye are blessed of the Lord that made heaven and earth, since for you the Son of God laid aside his royalties to become the Son of Man? Union with you in your nature was clear evidence that the heart of Christ was with you. Gethsemane and Calvary speak volumes concerning the reality of the blessings which God has given to his chosen, for there they were loved to the death and redeemed by blood. An incarnate God, a Mediator covered with bloody sweat, a Redeemer wounded and slain, — What say you to this? “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift,” said the apostle; and even so say we.

Nor was the gift of Jesus Christ’s dying, all; for Jesus’ living is still ours; his resurrection teems with the blessings of life and immortality. We are one with him, and he is for ever our Head; and in him, by virtue of his ascension, we have received the gift of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, and will dwell in us for ever.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Lord Blessing His Saints," delivered September 26, 1872. Image by Zach Dischner on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Our only place of safety

Oh, that we may have grace every one of us to flee to Christ! There is our only safety. Simple faith in Jesus is the basis for the character which will evidence at last that you are chosen of God. A simple belief in the merit of the Lord Jesus, wrought in us by the Holy Ghost, is the rocky foundation upon which shall be built up, by the same divine hands, the character which shall evidence that the kingdom was prepared for us from before the foundations of the world. God work in us such a character, for Christ’s sake. Amen.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Great Assize," delivered August 25, 1872. Image by shioshvili on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Human nature and our faith

...[D]id the religion of Jesus owe anything to human nature? It is sometimes said that it commends itself to human nature. It is false: the religion of Jesus opposes unrenewed human nature. In Christ’s day revenge was one of the most glorious things known; it was sung of, it was preached upon, it was the joy of men; and what religion but Christianity ever taught men never to retaliate? Christ said, “Love your enemies, and pray for them that despitefully use you.” Is this in human nature?

Is there anything in the commands of Christ that at all flatters pride or conciliates lust? He judges our thoughts as well as our actions. “He that looketh upon a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” Is that agreeable to human nature? Does that run in the same vein as our passions, think you? Mahomet prospered because his religion pandered to human weakness; but there is in the religion of Christ no yielding to what are called the natural passions, no providing for sensual desires. “Take up,” saith he, “not thy scimitar but thy cross.” He says not, “Increase thine harem.” No, but “Crucify the flesh.”

Is there any glorification of human intellect in the religion of Jesus? Is not its invariable command, “Believe, and live.” If Christianity spreads, it spreads in opposition to human nature, by changing human nature, by making it what it never was and never could have been, had not the incorruptible truth of God been planted in it like “a root in a dry ground.”

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "A Root Out Of A Dry Ground," delivered October 13, 1872. Image by shioshvili on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

In the Midst of Us

If there be this day any power in the church of God, it is because the Holy Spirit is in the midst of her. If she be able to work any spiritual miracles, it is through the might of his indwelling. If there be any light in her instruction, if there be any life in her ministry, if there be any glory gotten to God, if there be any good wrought among the sons of men, it is entirely because the Holy Spirit is still with her.

The entire weight of influence of the church as a whole, and every Christian in particular, cometh from the abiding presence of the sacred Paraclete. And brethren, we shall do well to treat the Holy Spirit as we would have treated Christ had he been yet among us. Our Lord’s disciples told him their troubles; we must trust the Comforter with ours. Whenever they felt that they were barbed by the adversary, they fell back upon their Leader’s power; so must we call in the aid of the Holy Spirit. When they needed guidance they sought direction from Jesus; we also must seek and abide by the Spirit’s leadings. When, knowing what to do, they felt themselves weak for the accomplishment of it, they waited upon their master for strength, and so must we upon the Spirit of all grace.

Treat the Holy Spirit with the love and tender respect which are due to the Savior, and the Spirit of God will deal with you as the Son of God did with his disciples.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Paraclete," delivered October 6, 1872. Image by tropicaLiving under Creative Commons License.

Monday, June 6, 2011

For His Sake

The believer under persecution should remember that he is suffering no strange thing, but is only enduring that which fell upon his Master before him. Should the disciple expect to be above his Lord? “If they have called the Master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household.” If they had received Christ they would have received us, but since they reject both Christ and his sayings, the followers of Christ must expect that both their persons and their doctrines will be lightly esteemed.

Remember that in addition to his being our Master, Jesus is also God. Shamefully unrighteous was the opposition of mankind to God, whom by all reasons of right and justice they were bound to reverence: yet he endured, with almighty patience, the contradiction of sinners against himself. A word from his lips would have withered them, but, like a sheep before her shearers, he was dumb. One glance of his eye of fire would have consumed their spirits, but that eye distilled a tear instead. Ye are but men, is it much that men should mock at you? If God himself, in the person of his dear Son, has endured the opposition of sinners, who are you, Oh sons of men, that you should wonder, much less should murmur, when you are reviled for Jesus’ sake?

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "A Honeycomb," delivered September 29, 1872. Image by docentjoyce under Creative Commons License.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Last Days Inquiries

Is our soul as vigorous in its acts for God as in its emotions towards man? We are told by the Spirit that the time is short, and it remaineth that those who have wives be as though they had not, they that rejoice as though they rejoiced not, and they that weep as though they wept not, because all these things are passing away, and therefore our emotions about them should be comparatively slight; but spiritual things, seeing they endure for ever, ought to have a lodgment in the center of our being, and concerning them we should think deeply and feel strongly. Sorrow for sin should be the keenest sorrow, joy in the Lord should be the loftiest of joy.

Is it so? How find you it with yourselves?

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "My Prayer," delivered September 22, 1872. Image by Pilottage under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Humble Duties

Attention to humble duties is a better sign of grace than an ambition for lofty and elevated works. There is probably far more grace in the loving service of a mother towards Christ in bringing up her children in the fear of God, than there might be if she were well known as taking a leading part in great public movements; there may be more service for Christ done by a workman in discharging his duties as such, and trying to do good to his fellow workmen, than if he aspired to become a great leader of the minds and thoughts of others.

Of course there are exceptions for glorious was Deborah and great shall be her name in Israel, and those who are sent of God to lead his church shall not be without their reward, but even then when they have to look for personal evidences of grace they never dare say, “We know that we are passed from death unto life because we preach the gospel” for they remember that Judas did the same; they never say, “We are confident of salvation because God has wrought wonders by us,” for they remember that the son of perdition had the same distinction; but they fail back upon the same evidences which prove the truth of the religion of humbler people, they rejoice in testimonies common to all the elect. “We know that we have passed from death unto life
because we love the brethren.”

The humbler graces and duties are the best tests. Hypocrites mimic all public duties, but the private and concealed life of true godliness they cannot counterfeit...

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Ministry of Gratitude," delivered September 15, 1872. Image by Keven Law under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Faith in the Storm

There are many young believers who get into such a squall, and do not know what to make of it. They say, “Why, had I been a child of God I could not have drifted into this frightful tempest.” How sayest thou so? Did not David go through it? He said, “All thy waves and thy billows have gone over me.” You must be very little acquainted with the history of the people of God if you think that they are strangers to these conflicts.

There are some old mariners here that I could call up into the pulpit, if it were needed, to tell you that they have done business on great waters many years, and they have encountered many storms. You cannot expect to be upon these seas and not have tossings to and fro sometimes. The strongest faith that ever was in this world has sometimes faltered. Even Abraham had times when his faith was exceeding weak, though, indeed, at other times it staggered not at the promise through unbelief. David was a great man in battle, but he waxed faint, and had like to have been slain. So you will find the bravest of God’s servants have their times when it is hard to hold their own; when they would be glad to creep into a mouse-hole, if they could there find themselves a shelter. But this is the point, dear brothers and sisters — no soul that rests in Jesus will ever be wrecked. You may have the tempests and tossings, but you will come to land; be sure of that.

The old story tells us of Caesar in the storm, when he said to the trembling captain, “Fear not! Thou carriest Caesar and all his fortunes!” Now, Christ is in the same boat with all his people. If one of his members can perish, he must perish too. “Strong language!” say you. Well, it is all in that verse — “Because I live ye shall live also.” You know, if you have got a man and you put him in the water, as long as his head is above the water you cannot drown him. There are his feet down in the mud; they will not drown, and he cannot drown. There are his hands in the cold stream; the hands are not drowned, cannot be, because his head is all safe. Now, look at our glorious Head. See where he is exalted in the highest heavens, at the right hand of the Father. The devil cannot drown me, and cannot drown you if you are a member of Christ’s body, because your Head is safe. Your Head is safe, and you are safe too. Rest you in this; that your faith may be shaken, but it cannot be destroyed if you are resting upon Christ. Your little temporary foundations that may have overlain Christ may move, but the rock of Christ Jesus never can.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Wrecked But Not Reckless," delivered June 9, 1872. Image by Geir Yngve Tro under Creative Commons License.