Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Encouraging Word for the New Year

I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” — Joshua 1:5

The consolation given to Joshua would be exceedingly suitable in the presence of his enemies. He had spied out the land, and he knew it to be inhabited by giant races, men famous both for stature and strength. The sons of Anak were there, and other tribes, described as “great, and many, and tall.” He knew that they were a warlike people, and expert in the use of destructive implements of war, such as brought terror upon men, for they had chariots of iron. He knew, too, that their cities were of colossal dimensions — fortresses whose stones at this very day surprise the traveler, so that he asks what wondrous skill could have lifted those masses of rock into their places. The other spies had said that these Canaanites dwelt in cities that were walled up to heaven; and, though Joshua did not endorse that exaggeration, he was very well aware that the cities to be captured were fortresses of great strength, and the people to be exterminated were men of ferocious courage and great physical energy.

Therefore the Lord said, “I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” What more was needed? Surely, in the presence of God, Anakim become dwarfs, strongholds become as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, and chariots of iron are as thistle-down upon the hillside driven before the blast. What is strong against the Most High? What is formidable in opposition to Jehovah? “If God be for us, who can be against us?” They that be with us are more than they that be against us, when once the Lord of hosts is seen in our ranks. “Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be removed, the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.” Though a host should encamp against us, our heart shall not fear: though war should rise against us, in this will we be confident.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Strengthening Medicine For God's Servants." Image by Jorge Andrés Paparoni Bruzual on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Believe With Confidence

Surely the witness of Matthew and Mark, and Luke and John, and Peter and James and Paul, is as good as the witness of Julius Caesar or Tacitus, and it is rendered the more trustworthy from the fact that they died for adhering to it, which neither Caesar nor Tacitus were made to do. Besides, for the gospel narrative we have many witnesses, the number of names was about one hundred and twenty, and they all agreed and stood fast; and even the one who did for a time seem to forsake his testimony, bad as he was, returned to it, and threw down the money for which he had sold his Master, and said, “I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood.” We have the witness of men as to the facts that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, lived and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Faith, And The Witness Upon Which It Is Founded." Image by Vincent van der Pas on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

May we know such faith

Faith is so simple, that the little child who believes becomes ere long strong in the Lord; it is a vital force which gets such mastery over men that it makes them other men than they ever were before, and as it grows it lifts them up from being mere men to be men of God, and then beyond that it leads them on till they become heroes, and they stop flee mouths of lions, quench the violence of flames, obtain promises, and enter into rest. Faith the grain of mustard seed develops into faith that moves the mountain; faith the child increases into faith the giant. May we know by experience how true this is.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Faith And Its Attendant Privilege." Image by mike138 on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Plain Gospel

Do you not understand it? Christ bore the wrath of God, instead of those who trust him. Jesus Christ took the sins of all who trust him, and was punished in the room and stead of every believer, so that God will not punish a believer, because he has punished Christ for him. Christ died for the man who believes in him, so that it would be injustice on the part of God to punish that man, for how shall he punish twice for the same offense? 

Faith is the seal and evidence that you were redeemed nineteen hundred years ago upon the bloody tree of Calvary, and you are justified, and who shall lay anything to your charge. “It is God that justifies you: who is he that condemns you? It is Christ that died; yea, rather, that is risen again.” This is the gospel of your salvation.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Hospital of Waiters Visited With The Gospel." Image by Balaji.B on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Incarnation is a Promise

Think of it for a minute. If God loves us so much as to become man, then the blessings which he intends to bestow must be incalculable. The Incarnation is in itself a promise big with untold blessing. Gaze upon the Son of God in Bethlehem’s manger, and you feel sure that if the Infinite has assumed the forum of an infant, his incarnation betokens infinite love, foreshadows intimate intercourse, and foretells unbounded blessedness for the sons of Adam. If Jehovah himself in human flesh walks toilsomely over the acres of Judea, if he bears human sicknesses and sorrows, if he in human form gives his hands to the nails and his heart to the spear, there must be boundless affection in his heart towards the seed chosen from among men. What rivers of blessings must come to us if God himself comes to us, and comes in such a fashion and in such a spirit.

What meaneth the union of Godhead with humanity but this, that though he was rich yet for our sakes he became poor? And what can his purpose be but “that we through his poverty might be made rich”? rich with riches as vast as those which he renounced in order to espouse our nature in all its poverty and degradation? Let us at this time joy and rejoice in the Son of Mary, the Son of Man, who is also the Son of God; let us exult to-day as we believe that Jesus is as truly man as he is truly God.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Rivers Of Water In A Dry Place," delivered July 11, 1875.  Image by Andrew Curtis on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Robe I Received

After all, brethren, we are nobodies, and we have come of a line of nobodies. The proudest peer of the realm may trace his pedigree as far as ever he likes, but he ought to remember that if his blood is blue, it must be very unhealthy to have such blood in one’s veins. The common ruddy blood of the peasant is, after all, far healthier. Big as men may account themselves to be on account of their ancestors, we all trace our line up to a gardener, who lost his place through stealing his Master’s fruit, and that is the farthest we can possibly go. Adam covers us all with disgrace, and under that disgrace we should all sit humbly down. Look into your own heart, and if you dare to be proud, you have never seen your heart at all. It is a mass of pollution: it is a den of filthiness.

Apart from divine grace, your heart is a seething mass of putrefaction, and if God’s eternal Spirit were not to hold it in check, but to let your nature have its way, envyings, lustings, murders, and every foul thing would come flying forth in your daily life. A sinner and yet proud! It is monstrous. As for children of God, how can they be proud ? I fear we are all too much so; but what have we to be proud of ? What have we that we have not received ? How then can we boast ? Are we dressed in the robe of Christ’s righteousness ? We did not put a thread into it; it was all given us by the charity of Jesus. Are our garments white ? We have washed them in the blood of the Lamb. Are we new creatures ? We have been created anew by omnipotent power, or we should still be as we were.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Weaned Child." Image by maddy'j on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

What riches there must be in Him!

Beloved, there are unsearchable riches in Christ, for he is by nature “God over all, blessed for ever.” Others may make him a mere man, but we behold the unsearchable riches of the Deity in Jesus Christ, “In whom dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” He is the Creator, without whom was not anything made that was made. He is the preserver of all things, and by him all things consist. What riches there must be in him who both makes and sustains the universe by the word of his power. In Jesus Christ all the attributes of God are manifest: the wisdom, the power, the immutability, the truth, the faithfulness, the justice, and love of God are all to be found in the character of Jesus Christ our Lord.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "A Grateful Summary of Twenty Volumes," delivered December 27, 1874. Image by Will Clayton on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Using the Infallible Word

I commend to every Christian here the constant use of the infallible word, because it was our champion's chosen weapon when he was assailed by Satan in the wilderness. He had a great choice of weapons with which to fight with Satan, but he took none but this sword of the spirit — “It is written.” Our Lord might have overcome Satan by angelic force. He had only to pray to his Father and he would presently have sent him twelve legions of angels, against whose mighty rush the arch-fiend could not have stood for a single moment. If our Lord had but exercised his godhead, a single word would have sent the tempter back to his infernal den.

But instead of power angelic or divine he used, “It is written”; thus teaching his church that she is never to call in the aid of force, or use the carnal weapon; but must trust alone in the omnipotence which dwells in the sure word of testimony. This is our battle-axe and weapon of war. The patronages or the constraints of civil power are not for us; neither dare we use either bribes or threats to make men Christians: a spiritual kingdom must be set up and supported by spiritual means only.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Infallibility — Where To Find It And How To Use It," delivered December 20, 1874. Image by Jim Trodel on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Making God A Liar

A physician says, “That medicine will heal you.” The patient replies, “I want to see that it does heal me before I take it.” The man is a fool, and so are you if that is how you trifle with God. You must believe the gospel on the evidence of God, and not otherwise, or your faith is not faith in God at all. The faith which he commanded in the gospel is faith in the record which God has given concerning his Son, a faith which takes God at his word. Believe then, on the Lord Jesus Christ and you have believed God to be true: refuse to trust in Jesus Christ, unless you get some other evidence beyond the witness of God, and you have practically said that God’s testimony is not enough, that is to say, you have made God a liar.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "A Solemn Impeachment of Unbelievers," delivered December 13, 1874. Image by Keoni Cabral on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A God Of Their Own Invention

Man fashions for himself a god after his own liking; he makes to himself if not out of wood or stone, yet out of what he calls his own consciousness, or his cultured thought, a deity to his taste, who will not be too severe with his iniquities or deal out strict justice to the impenitent. He rejects God as he is, and elaborates other gods such as he thinks the Divine One ought to be, and he says concerning these works of his own imagination, “These be thy gods, O Israel.” The Holy Spirit, however, when he illuminates their minds, leads us to see that Jehovah is God, and beside him there is none else. He teaches his people to know that the God of heaven and earth is the God of the Bible, a God whose attributes are completely balanced, mercy attended by justice, love accompanied by holiness, grace arrayed in truth, and power linked with tenderness. He is not a God who winks at sin, much less is pleased with it, as the gods of the heathen are supposed to be, but a God who cannot look upon iniquity, and will by no means spare the guilty.

This is the great quarrel of the present day between the philosopher and the Christian. The philosopher says, “Yes, a god if you will, but he must be of such a character as I now dogmatically set before you”; but the Christian replies, “Our business is not to invent a god, but to obey the one Lord who is revealed in the Scriptures of truth.” The God of Holy Scripture is love, but he is also possessed of justice and severity; he is merciful and gracious, but he is also stern and terrible towards evil; therefore unregenerate hearts say, “We cannot accept such a God as this,” and they call him cruel, and I know not what besides.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Heart-Knowledge of God," delivered December 6, 1874. Image by Geraint Rowland on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A Greater Honor

It is a greater honor to serve Christ in the most menial capacity than to occupy the throne of the Caesars. I speak of honor, I may also dilate [i.e., expand] upon the happiness of the service of Jesus! It is the purest of pleasures. We long to express our affection for Jesus by acts of zeal. Love pants for expression, and is not obedience the tongue of love? That love is feigned which does not declare itself in some practical form or other, by deeds of kindness, or gifts, or sacrifices, or patient endurance, or hearty praise. 

Beloved, let us count it an unrivalled honor and an unsurpassed delight to do anything for Jesus. For this service let us be insatiably ambitious, resolved at all costs to show our loyalty to our Prince. To serve us he laid aside his glorious array, and girt about him the garments of a servant; for us he took a basin and towel and stooped to wash his disciples’ feet; for us he became obedient to death, even the death of the cross: now, therefore, in our turn, by all the shame he bore, by all the labor he endured, by all the agonies he suffered, let us serve him and him alone for ever.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "All For Jesus," delivered November 29, 1874. Image by Bert Kaufmann on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Rejoice in Their Salvation!

(Concluding a sermon on the Prodigal Son and receiving sinners:) Those who work for the good of sinners are always the gladdest when they are saved. You who pray for them, you who teach them, you who preach to them, you who win them for Christ, you shall share their merriment....

Let us begin to be merry this morning. But we cannot unless we are laboring for the salvation of others in all ways possible to us. If we have done and are doing that, let us praise and bless the Lord, and rejoice with the reclaimed ones, and let us keep the feast as Jesus would have it kept; for I hope there is no one here of the elder brethren who will be angry and refuse to go in. Let us continue to be merry as long as we live, because the lost are found and the dead are made alive. God grant you to be merry on this account world without end. Amen.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Reception of Sinners," delivered November 22, 1874. Image by James Jordan on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Keep Preaching the Blood

I am persuaded that no one will ever serve the Lord humbly and devotedly unless he obtains a clear view of the Lord Jesus as his sin offering, and substitute. Some preachers either do not know that truth, or else they think too little of it to make it prominent in their sermons, hence their ministry does not save souls. The great saving truth is the doctrine of atonement by substitution. Without it ministers will keep souls in bondage year after year, because they do not proclaim the finished redemption, nor let men know that sin was laid on Jesus that it might be for ever removed from the believer. “He was made sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in him;” brethren, get that truth clearly into your heads, and intensely into your hearts, and you will become devoted to the Lord. Do not only believe that grand truth, but to the spirit of it serve ye the Lord without weariness, seeing ye have been redeemed with a price far more precious than silver and gold.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Consecration of Priests," delivered November 15, 1874. Image by James Jordan on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Gift of Living Water

“Whosoever drinketh of water that I shall give him shall never thirst.” It is clear from this that true religion must come to us as a gift. The water that I shall give him, says Christ. There is no suggestion as to digging deep with much learning into the bowels of mysterious truth to find the water for ourselves; this priceless draught is freely handed out to us by our Redeemer, without our bringing either bucket or line. There is no hint in the text that we are to purchase the lifegiving water; it is presented to us without money and without price. There is no allusion to a certain measure of fitness to qualify us for the draught, it is purely a gift to be received by us here and now.

Our Lord Jesus told the woman that had she known the gift of God she would have asked and he would have given. Sinner as she was, she had only to ask and have. There is no other way of obtaining eternal life but as the free gift of sovereign grace. The divine life is not in us by nature, it cannot be produced in us by culture, nor infused into us by ceremonies, nor propagated in us by natural descent, it must come as a boon of infinite charity from heaven, unpurchased, undeserved. Wisdom cannot impart it, power cannot fashion it, money cannot buy it, merit cannot procure it, grace alone can give it.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Holy Water," delivered November 8, 1874. Image by 29cm on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Where He has placed each soldier

You have been wishing for another position where you could do something for Jesus: do not wish anything of the kind, but serve him where you are. If you are sitting at the King’s gate there is something for you to do there, and if you were on the queen’s throne, there would be something for you to do there; do not ask either to be gatekeeper or queen, but whichever you are, serve God therein. 

Brother, are you rich? God has made you a steward, take care that you are a good steward. Brother, are you poor? God has thrown you into a position where you will be the better able to give a word of sympathy to poor saints. Are you doing your allotted work? Do you live in a godly family? God has a motive for placing you in so happy a position. Are you in an ungodly house? You are a lamp hung up in a dark place; mind you shine there. Esther did well, because she acted as an Esther should, and Mordecai did well, because he acted as a Mordecai should. I like to think, as I look over you all, God has put each one of them in the right place, even as a good captain well arranges the different parts of his army, and though we do not know his plan of battle, it will be seen during the conflict that he has placed each soldier where he should be.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "Providence - As Seen In The Book Of Esther," delivered November 1, 1874. Image by David Restivo, NPS on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Monday, December 5, 2011

A sight of the glorified Christ

It was no small honor to have seen our risen Lord while yet he lingered here below. What must it be to see Jesus as he is now! He is the same Jesus as when he was here; yonder memorials as of a a lamb that has been slain assure us that he is the same man. Glorified in heaven his real manhood sits, and it is capable of being, beheld by the eye, and heard by the ear, but yet how different. Had we seen him in his agony, we should all the more admire his glory.

Dwell with your hearts very much upon Christ crucified, but indulge yourselves full often with a sight of Christ glorified. Delight to think that he is not here, for he is risen; he is not here, for he has ascended; he is not here, for he sits at the right hand of God, and maketh intercession for us. Let your souls travel frequently the blessed highway from the sepulcher to the throne. As in Rome there was a Via Sacra along which returning conquerors went from the gates of the city up to the heights of the Capitol, so is there another Via Sacra which you ought often to survey, for along it the risen Savior went in glorious majesty from the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea up to the eternal dignities of his Father’s right hand. Your soul will do well to see her dawn of hope in his death, and her full assurance of hope in his risen life.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Power of the Risen Savior ," delivered October 25, 1874. Image by rachel_thecat on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

In your temptations

Learn, dear brethren, the real humanity of our Lord Jesus Christ. Do not think of him as God merely, though he is assuredly divine, but feel him to be near of kin to you, bone of your bone, flesh of your flesh. How thoroughly can he sympathize with you! He has been burdened with all your burdens and grieved with all your griefs. Are the waters very deep through which you are passing? Yet they are not deep compared with the torrents with which he was buffeted. Never a pang penetrates your spirit to which your covenant Head was a stranger. Jesus can sympathize with you in all your sorrows, for he has suffered far more than you have ever suffered, and is able therefore to succor you in your temptations. Lay hold on Jesus as your familiar friend, your brother born for adversity, and you will have obtained a consolation which will bear you through the uttermost deeps.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Agony In Gethsemane," delivered October 18, 1874. Image by rachel_thecat on Flickr under Creative Commons License.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Attentive Discipleship

Let us take every word of Jesus, weigh it, read it, mark it learn it, feed on it and inwardly digest it. I am afraid we do not read our Bibles as we should, or attach such importance as we ought to every shade of expression which our Master uses. I should like to see a picture of Mary sitting at the Master’s feet. Great artists have painted the Virgin Mary so often that they might take a change, and sketch this Mary looking up with a deep, fixed gaze, drinking all in, and treasuring all up; sometimes startled by a new thought and a fresh doctrine, and then inquiringly waiting till her face beams with unspeakable delight as new light goods her heart. Her attentive discipleship proved how truly Jesus was her Master.

From a sermon by Charles Haddon Spurgeon entitled "The Master."  Image by rachel_thecat on Flickr under Creative Commons License.