RSS

Tag Archives: Charles Spurgeon

Holy Reliance

Holy Reliance

Today’s Morning and Evening is a warning against self-reliance and a reminder of God’s care.

As fallen men, it is easy for us to neglect the source of our strength. As those who have received grace, we know there is only one place to turn to for help. Lord, forgive us the moment we think to ourselves, “I got this…” Rather, may we declare with David,

Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life. — Psalm 54:4

Here is Alistair Begg’s paraphrase of the Spurgeon classic.

* * * * *

For I was ashamed to ask the king for a band of soldiers
and horsemen to protect us against the enemy on our way,
since we had told the king,
“The hand of our God is for good on all who seek Him,
and the power of His wrath is against all who forsake Him.” — Ezra 8:22

A convoy on many accounts would have been desirable for the pilgrim band, but Ezra was ashamed to ask for one. He feared that the heathen king might think his professions of faith in God were mere hypocrisy or might imagine that the God of Israel was not able to preserve His own worshipers. He could not bring his mind to depend on human instruments in a matter so evidently of the Lord, and therefore the caravan set out with no visible protection, and yet guarded by Him who is the sword and shield of His people.

It is to be feared that few believers sense this holy jealousy for God; even those who in some measure walk by faith occasionally spoil the sparkle of their life by seeking help from man. It is a most blessed thing to have no props and no buttresses, but to stand upright on the Rock of Ages, upheld by the Lord alone. Would any believers seek government funds for their church if they remembered that the Lord is dishonored by their asking for Caesar’s help? As if the Lord could not supply the needs of His own cause! Would we run so quickly to friends and relatives for assistance if we remembered that the Lord is glorified by our obvious reliance on His solitary arm? My soul, wait only on God.

“But,” says one, “are means never to be used?” Certainly they are. But our fault seldom lies in their neglect: Far more frequently it springs from foolishly believing in them instead of believing in God. Few run too far in neglecting the arm of man; but many sin greatly in making too much of it.

So learn, dear reader, to glorify the Lord by leaving means untried, if by using them you would dishonor the name of the Lord.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 24, 2014 in Devotional

 

Tags: , , , ,

The Walk of Faith

The Walk of Faith

Today’s Morning and Evening echos the evangelical battle cry, “We are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone.” In other words, faith is the foundation of a holy life. As Spurgeon says below…

You will never find true faith unaccompanied by true godliness; on the other hand, you will never discover a truly holy life that does not have at its root a living faith relying upon the righteousness of Christ.

Here is Alistair Begg’s modern phrasing of the Spurgeon classic.

* * * * *

If we live by the Spirit,
let us also walk by the Spirit. — Galatians 5:25

The two most important things in our Christian journey are the life of faith and the walk of faith. The person who grasps this is not far from being a master in experimental [experiential] theology, for they are vital points to a Christian. You will never find true faith unaccompanied by true godliness; on the other hand, you will never discover a truly holy life that does not have at its root a living faith relying upon the righteousness of Christ.

Woe to those who seek the one without the other! There are some who cultivate faith and forget holiness; these may be very high in orthodoxy, but they shall be very deep in condemnation, for they hold the truth in unrighteousness! There are others who have strained after a holy life but have denied the faith, like the Pharisees of old, of whom the Master said they were “whitewashed tombs.”1 We must have faith, for this is the foundation; we must have holiness of life, for this is the superstructure.

What use is the mere foundation of a building to a man on the day of tempest? Can he hide himself in it? He needs a house to cover him as well as a foundation for that house. Even so we need the superstructure of spiritual life if we want comfort in the day of doubt. But do not seek a holy life without faith, for that would be to erect a house that can provide no permanent shelter because it has no foundation on a rock. Let faith and life be put together, and like the two supports of an archway, they will make our devotion endure. Like light and heat streaming from the same sun, they are full of blessing. Like the two pillars of the temple, they are for glory and for beauty. They are two streams from the fountain of grace, two lamps lit with holy fire, two olive trees watered by heavenly care.

Lord, give us today life internally, and it will reveal itself externally to Your glory.

1 Matthew 23:27

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 18, 2014 in Devotional

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Bad News Bearings

Bad News Bearings

No one eagerly anticipates the arrival of bad news. However, as Christ’s followers, we have no reason to fear it. Today’s Morning and Evening reminds us that our response to tragedy should not mimic those who are without hope and without help.

Fellow Christian, does the inevitability of bad news scare you? Take courage, stand firm, and trust in the unchanging nature of your ever faithful Savior.

Here is Alistair Begg’s modern phrasing of the Spurgeon classic.

* * * * *

He is not afraid of bad news;
his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD. — Psalm 112:7

Christian, you ought not to be afraid of the arrival of bad news; because if you are distressed by such, you are no different from other men. They do not have your God to run to; they have never proved His faithfulness as you have done, and it is no wonder if they are bowed down with alarm and cowed with fear. But you profess to be of another spirit; you have been born again to a living hope, and your heart lives in heaven and not on earthly things. If you are seen to be distracted as other men, what is the value of that grace that you profess to have received? Where is the dignity of that new nature that you claim to possess?

Again, if you should be filled with alarm like others, you would no doubt be led into the sins so common to them under trying circumstances. The ungodly, when they are overtaken by bad news, rebel against God; they murmur and maintain that God has dealt harshly with them. Will you fall into that same sin? Will you provoke the Lord as they do?

Moreover, unconverted men often run to wrong means in order to escape from difficulties, and you will be sure to do the same if your mind yields to the present pressure. Trust in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. Your wisest course is to do what Moses did at the Red Sea: “Stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD.”1 For if you give way to fear when you hear bad news, you will be unable to meet the trouble with that calm composure that prepares for duty and sustains in adversity.

How can you glorify God if you play the coward? Saints have often sung God’s high praises in the fires, but when you act as if there were no one to help, will your doubting and despondency magnify the Most High? Then take courage and, relying in sure confidence upon the faithfulness of your covenant God, “Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”2

1 Exodus 14:13, 2 John 14:27

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 15, 2014 in Devotional

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

The Best Physician

The Best Physician

Today’s Morning and Evening underscores our Savior’s tender care. Are you sick? Run to the Lord in prayer. Does He really care? Another passage that comes to mind is 1 Peter 5:6-7:

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you.

Cast your cares on the caring Christ. As Spurgeon writes, “You will find Jesus the best physician by far.” Here is Alistair Begg’s modern phrasing of the Spurgeon classic.

* * * * *

Now Simon’s mother-in-law lay ill with a fever,
and immediately they told Him about her. — Mark 1:30

This is a very interesting little peep into the house of the apostolic fisherman. We quickly observe that household joys and cares are no hindrance to the full exercise of ministry; rather they furnish an opportunity for personally discovering the Lord’s gracious work in one’s own family. They may provide better instruction for the teacher than any other earthly discipline. There are those who decry marriage, but true Christianity and family life live well together. Peter’s house was possibly a poor fisherman’s hut, but the Lord of Glory entered it, lodged in it, and worked a miracle in it. If these words are being read this morning in some very humble cottage, let this fact encourage the inhabitants to seek the company of King Jesus. God is more often in little huts than in rich palaces.

Jesus is looking around your room now and is waiting to be gracious to you. Into Simon’s house illness had entered; fever in a deadly form had prostrated his mother-in-law; and as soon as Jesus came, they told Him of the sad affliction, and He hurried to the patient’s bed. Do you have any illness in the house this morning? You will find Jesus the best physician by far; go to Him at once and tell Him all about the matter. Immediately lay the case before Him. It concerns one of His people, and therefore He will not regard it as trivial.

Notice that immediately the Savior restored the ill woman; none can heal as He does. We dare not assume that the Lord will remove all illness from those we love, but we dare not forget that believing prayer for the sick is far more likely to be followed by restoration than anything else in the world; and where this does not happen, we must meekly bow to His will by whom life and death are determined. The tender heart of Jesus waits to hear our griefs; let us pour them into His patient ear.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 2, 2014 in Devotional

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Wait? I Hate Waiting…

Wait? I Hate Waiting…

Learning to wait is one of life’s hardest lessons. Most of us echo this sentiment on a daily basis.

When darkness comes, our inclinations are to run away from danger or throw ourselves headlong into the fight. We run because we are afraid. We foolishly attack because we rely too much on our own strength or assume we have God’s plan figured out for ourselves.

Today’s Morning and Evening is an encouragement to faithfully remember where our help comes from. A patient pause will often protect us from anxiety, fear, retreat, and presumptuous folly. Time and again, the noblest course of action is simply to wait.

Here is Alistair Begg’s modern phrasing of the Spurgeon classic.

* * * * *

Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord! — Psalm 27:14

It may seem an easy thing to wait, but it is one of the postures that a Christian soldier cannot learn without years of teaching. Marching and quick-marching are much easier for God’s warriors than standing still. There are hours of perplexity when the most willing spirit, anxiously desiring to serve the Lord, does not know what role to play. Then what shall it do? Vex itself by despair? Retreat back in cowardice, turn to the right hand in fear, or rush forward in presumption? No, simply wait. Wait in prayer, however. Call upon God, and spread the matter before Him; tell Him your difficulty, and plead His promise of help.

In dilemmas between one duty and another, it is best to be humble as a child and wait with simplicity of soul upon the Lord. It is sure to be well with us when we feel and know our own folly and are genuinely willing to be guided by the will of God. But wait in faith. Express your unstaggering confidence in Him; for unfaithful, untrusting waiting is just an insult to the Lord. Believe that if He keeps you waiting even until midnight, He will still come at the right time; the vision will come and not delay. Wait in quiet patience, not rebelling because things are difficult, but blessing your God for the privilege of affliction.

Never grumble against the second cause, as the children of Israel did against Moses; never wish you could go back to the world again, but accept the circumstance as it is, and put it as it stands, simply and with your whole heart, without any selfish agenda, into the hand of your covenant God, saying, “Now, Lord, not my will, but Yours be done. I do not know what to do. I am at an end of myself, but I will wait until You part the floods or drive back my enemies. I will wait, even if You test me for a while, for my heart is fixed upon You alone, O God, and my spirit waits for You in the deep conviction that You will still be my joy and my salvation, my refuge and my strong tower.”

 
2 Comments

Posted by on August 30, 2014 in Devotional

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Monster of Unbelief

The Monster of Unbelief

Doubt and unbelief are monstrous sins that produce severe consequences. Thomas Watson once wrote…

There are no sins God’s people are more subject to than unbelief and impatience. They are ready either to faint through unbelief, or to fret through impatience.

Today’s Morning and Evening is an encouragement to continually hack the Agag of our unbelief. It is a fight no one can afford to lose. As Spurgeon points out, to distrust Christ is a needless, foolish, and unwarranted sin. “Among hateful things it is the most to be defeated.”

Here is Alistair Begg’s modern phrasing of the Spurgeon classic.

* * * * *

And how long will they not believe in me,
in spite of all the signs
that I have done among them? — Numbers 14:11

Strive with all diligence to keep out the monster of unbelief. It is so dishonoring to Christ that He will withdraw His visible presence if we insult Him by tolerating it. It is true it is a weed that we can never entirely remove from the soil, but we must aim at its root with zeal and perseverance. Among hateful things it is the most to be defeated. Its hurtful nature is so poisonous that he that uses it and he upon whom it is used are both harmed by it. In your case, believer, it is most wicked, for the mercies of your Lord in the past increase your guilt in doubting Him now. When you distrust the Lord Jesus, He may well cry out, “Behold, I will press you down in your place, as a cart full of sheaves presses down.” To doubt is to crown His head with thorns of the sharpest kind.

It is very cruel for a well-beloved wife to mistrust a kind and faithful husband. The sin is needless, foolish, and unwarranted. Jesus has never given the slightest ground for suspicion, and it is hard to be doubted by those to whom our conduct is consistently affectionate and true. Jesus is the Son of the Highest and has unlimited wealth; it is shameful to doubt Omnipotence and distrust His sufficiency. The cattle on a thousand hills will be enough for our most hungry feeding, and the granaries of heaven are not likely to be emptied by our eating. If Christ were only a cistern, we might soon exhaust His fullness, but who can drain a fountain? Countless believers throughout the ages have drawn their supplies from Him, and not one of them has complained at the insufficiency of His resources.

Dispel this lying traitor unbelief, for his only errand is to cut the bonds of communion and make us mourn an absent Savior. Bunyan tells us that unbelief has “as many lives as a cat”; if so, let us kill one life now, and continue the work until the whole nine are gone. Down with you, traitor, my heart detests you.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 27, 2014 in Devotional

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

No More Tears

No More Tears

Heaven matters. In his book, Of God and Men, A. W. Tozer writes…

We must face today as children of tomorrow. We must meet the uncertainties of this world with the certainty of the world to come.

Today’s Morning and Evening draws our attention towards the future hope we have in Christ Jesus.

Suffering is temporary. The eternal joy of our Savior awaits us. Once all cause for sorrow has come to an end, so will our need for tears.

Here is Alistair Begg’s modern phrasing of the Spurgeon classic.

* * * * *

I will rejoice in Jerusalem
and be glad in my people;
no more shall be heard in it the sound of weeping
and the cry of distress. — Isaiah 65:19

In heaven the glorified do not weep, for all outward causes of grief are gone. There are no broken friendships, nor unfulfilled longings in heaven. Poverty, famine, danger, persecution, and slander are unknown there. There will be no pain to distress us, no anxious thoughts of death or bereavement to sadden. Those there do not weep, for they are perfectly sanctified. No evil heart of unbelief prompts them to depart from the living God; they are faultless before His throne and fully conformed to His image. Well might they stop mourning since they have stopped sinning. They do not weep, because all fear of change is past.

They know that they are eternally secure. Sin is shut out, and they are shut in. They are safe in a city that will never be taken; they bask in a sun that shall never set; they drink of a river that will never run dry; they pluck fruit from a tree that will never wither. Countless cycles may revolve, but eternity will not be exhausted; and while eternity endures, their immortality and blessedness shall endure with it.

They are forever with the Lord. They do not weep because every desire is fulfilled. They cannot wish for anything that they do not have. Eye and ear, heart and hand, judgment, imagination, hope, desire and will—all the faculties are completely satisfied; and although our present ideas of what God has prepared for those who love him are imperfect, still we know by the revelation of the Spirit that the saints above are supremely blessed. The joy of Christ, which is an infinite fullness of delight, is in them. They bathe themselves in the bottomless, shoreless sea of infinite blessing.

That same joyful rest awaits us. It may not be too long before the weeping willow is exchanged for the palm-branch of victory, and sorrow’s tears will be transformed into the pearls of everlasting bliss. “Therefore encourage one other with these words.”1

1 1 Thessalonians 4:18

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 23, 2014 in Devotional

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,