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Devotionals by C.H. Spurgeon

Discussion in 'Spirit-Filled / Charismatic' started by Ajax 777, Nov 22, 2010.

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  1. Ajax 777

    Ajax 777 God is the Truth, not an opinion. Supporter

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    July 15
    Morning


    "The fire shall ever be burning upon the altar;
    it shall never go out"


    - Leviticus 6:13

    Keep the altar of private prayer burning. This is the very life of all piety. The sanctuary and family altars borrow their fires here, therefore let this burn well. Secret devotion is the very essence, evidence, and barometer, of vital and experimental religion.

    Burn here the fat of your sacrifices. Let your closet seasons be, if possible, regular, frequent, and undisturbed. Effectual prayer availeth much. Have you nothing to pray for? Let us suggest the Church, the ministry, your own soul, your children, your relations, your neighbors, your country, and the cause of God and truth throughout the world. Let us examine ourselves on this important matter. Do we engage in lukewarmness in private devotion? Is the fire of devotion burning dimly in our hearts? Do the chariot wheels drag heavily? If so, let us be alarmed at this sign of decay. Let us go with weeping, and ask for the Spirit of grace and of supplications. Let us set apart seasons for extraordinary prayer. For if this fire should be smothered beneath the ashes of a worldly conformity, it will dim the fire on the family altar, and lessen our influence both in the church and in the world.

    The text will also apply to the altar of the heart. This is a golden altar indeed. God loves to see the hearts of His people glowing towards Himself. Let us give to God our hearts, all blazing with love, and seek His grace, that the fire may never be quenched; for it will not burn if the Lord does not keep it burning. Many foes will attempt to extinguish it; but if the unseen hand behind the wall pour thereon the sacred oil, it will blaze higher and higher. Let us use texts of Scripture as fuel for our heart's fire, they are live coals; let us attend sermons, but above all, let us be much alone with Jesus.
     
  2. Ajax 777

    Ajax 777 God is the Truth, not an opinion. Supporter

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    Evening


    "He appeared first Mary Magdalene"

    - Mark 16:9

    Jesus 'appeared first to Mary Magdalene', probably not only on account of her great love and persevering seeking, but because, as the context intimates, she had been a special trophy of Christ's delivering power. Learn from this, that the greatness of our sin before conversion should not make us imagine that we may not be specially favored with the very highest grade of fellowship. She was who had left all to become a constant attendant on the Savior. He was her first, her chief object. Many who were on Christ's side did not take up Christ's cross; she did. She spent her substance in relieving His wants. If we would see much of Christ, let us serve Him. Tell me who they are that sit oftenest under the banner of His love, and drink deepest draughts from the cup of communion, and I am sure they will be those who give most, who serve best, and who abide closest to the bleeding heart of their dear Lord. But notice how Christ revealed Himself to this sorrowing one - by a word, 'Mary'. It needed but one word in His voice, and at once she knew Him, and her heart owned allegiance by another word, her heart was too full to say more. That one word would naturally be the most fitting for the occasion. It implies obedience. She said, 'Master'. There is no state of mind in which this confession of allegiance will be too cold. No, when your spirit glows most with the Heavenly fire, then you will say, 'I am Thy servant, Thou hast loosed my bonds'. If you can say, 'Master', if you feel that His will is your will, then you stand in a happy, holy place. He must have said, 'Mary', or else you could not have said, 'Rabboni'. See, then, from all this, how Christ honors those who honor Him, how love draws our Beloved, how it needs but one word of His to turn our weeping to rejoicing, how His presence makes the heart's sunshine.
     
  3. Ajax 777

    Ajax 777 God is the Truth, not an opinion. Supporter

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    July 16
    Morning


    "They gathered manna every morning"

    - Exodus 16:21

    Labor to maintain a sense of thine entire dependence upon the Lord's good will and pleasure for the continuance of thy richest enjoyments. Never try to live on the old manna, nor seek to find help in Egypt. All must come from Jesus, or thou art undone forever. Old anointings will not suffice to impart unction to thy spirit; thine head must have fresh oil poured upon it from the golden horn of the sanctuary, or it will cease from its glory. Today thou mayest be upon the summit of the mount of God, but he who has put thee there must keep thee there, or thou wilt sink far more speedily than thou dreamest. Thy mountain only stands firm when He settles it in its place; if He hide His face, thou wilt soon be troubled. If the Savior should see fit, there is not a window through which thou seest the light of Heaven which He could not darken in an instant. Joshua bade the sun stand still, but Jesus can shroud it in total darkness. He can withdraw the joy of thine heart, the light of thine eyes, and the strength of thy life; in His hand thy comforts lie, and at His will they can depart from thee. This hourly dependence our Lord is determined that we shall feel and recognize, for He only permits us to pray for "daily bread", and only promises that "as our days our strength shall be". Is it not best for us that it should be so, that we may often repair to His throne, and constantly be reminded of His love? Oh! how rich the grace which supplies us so continually, and doth not refrain itself because of our ingratitude! The golden shower never ceases, the cloud of blessing tarries evermore above our habitation. O Lord Jesus, we would bow at Thy feet, conscious of our utter inability to do anything without Thee, and in every favor which we are privileged to receive, we would adore Thy blessed name and acknowledge Thine unexhausted love.
     
  4. Ajax 777

    Ajax 777 God is the Truth, not an opinion. Supporter

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    Evening


    "Thou shalt arise, and have mercy on Zion:
    for the time to favor her, yea, the set time, is come.
    For Thy servants take pleasure in her stones,
    and favor the dust thereof"


    - Psalm 102:13, 14​

    A selfish man in trouble is exceedingly hard to comfort, because the springs of his comfort lie entirely within himself, and when he is sad all his springs are dry. But a large-hearted man full of Christian philanthropy has other springs from which to supply himself with comfort beside those which lie within. He can go to his God first of all, and there find abundant help; and he can discover arguments for consolation in things relating to the world at large, tho his country, and, above all, to the church. David in this Psalm was exceedingly sorrowful; he wrote, "I am like an owl of the desert. I watch and am as a sparrow alone upon the housetop". The only way in which he could comfort himself was in the reflection that God would arise, and have mercy upon Zion: though he was sad, yet Zion should prosper; however low his own estate, yet Zion should arise. Christian man! learn to comfort thyself in God's gracious dealing towards the church. That which is so dear to thy Master, should it not be dear above all else to thee? What though thy way be dark, canst thou not gladden thine heart with the triumphs of His cross and the spread of truth? Our own personal troubles are forgotten while we look, not only upon what God has done, and is doing for Zion, but on the glorious things He will yet do for His church. Try this receipt, O believer, whenever thou art sad of heart and in heaviness of spirit: forget thyself and thy little concerns, and seek the welfare and prosperity of Zion. When thou bendest thy knee in prayer to God, limit not thy petition to the narrow circle of thine own life, tried though it be, but send out thy longing prayers for the church's prosperity. "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem", and thine own soul shall be refreshed.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2011
  5. Ajax 777

    Ajax 777 God is the Truth, not an opinion. Supporter

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    July 17
    Morning


    "Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God"

    - 1 Thessalonians 1:4

    Many persons want to know their election before they come to Christ, but they cannot learn it thus: it is only to be discovered by "looking unto Jesus". If you desire to ascertain your own election; after the following manner shall you assure your heart before God. Do you feel yourself to be a lost, guilty sinner? go straightaway to the cross of Christ, and tell Jesus so, and tell Him that you have read in the Bible, "Him that cometh unto Me, I will in no wise cast out". Tell Him that He has said, "This is a faithful saying, and is worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners". Look to Jesus and believe on Him, and you shall make proof of your election directly, for so surely as thou believest, thou art elect. If you will give yourself wholly up to Christ and trust Him, then you are one of God's chosen ones; but if you stop and say, "I want to know first whether I am elect", you ask you know not what. Go to Jesus, be you never so guilty, just as you are. Leave all curious inquiry about election alone. Go straight to Christ and hide in His wounds, and you shall know your election. The assurance of the Holy Spirit shall be given to you, so that you shall be able to say, I know whom I have believed, and I am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed to Him". Christ was at the everlasting council: He can tell you whether you were chosen or not; but you cannot find it out in any other way. Go and put your trust in Him, and His answer will be - "I have loved thee with an everlasting love, therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn thee". There will be no doubt about His having chosen you, when you have chosen Him.


    "Sons we are through God's election,
    Who in Jesus Christ believe."
     
  6. Ajax 777

    Ajax 777 God is the Truth, not an opinion. Supporter

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    July 17
    Evening


    "Let not one of them escape"

    - 1 Kings 18:40

    When the prophet Elijah had received the answer to his prayer, and the fire from Heaven had consumed the sacrifice in the presence of all the people, he called upon the assembled Israelites to take the priests of Baal, and sternly cried, "Let not one of them escape". He took them all down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there. So must it be with our sins - they are all doomed, not one must be preserved. Our darling sin must die. Spare it not for its much crying. Strike, though it be as dear as an Isaac. Strike, for God struck at sin when it was laid upon His own Son. With stern unflinching purpose must you condemn to death that sin which was once the idol of your heart. Do you ask how you are to accomplish this? Jesus will be your power. You have grace given you to overcome sin given you in the covenant of grace; you have strength to win the victory in the crusade against inward lusts, because Christ Jesus has promised to be with you even unto the end. If you would triumph over darkness, set yourself in the presence of the Sun of Righteousness. There is no place so well adapted for the discovery of sin, and recovery from its power and guilt, as the immediate presence of God. Job never knew how to get rid of sin half so well as he did when his eye of faith rested upon God, and then he abhorred himself, and repented in dust and ashes. The fine gold of the Christian is oft becoming dim. We need the sacred fire to consume the dross. Let us fly to our God; He is a consuming fire; He will not consume our spirit, but our sins. Let the goodness of God excite us to a sacred jealousy, and to a holy revenge against those iniquities which are hateful in His sight. Go forth to battle with Amalek in his strength, and utterly destroy the accursed crew: let not one of them escape.
     
  7. Ajax 777

    Ajax 777 God is the Truth, not an opinion. Supporter

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    July 18
    Morning


    "They shall go hindmost with their standards"

    - Numbers 2:31

    The camp of Dan brought up the rear when the armies of Israel were on the march. The Danites occupied the hindmost place, but what mattered the position, since they were as truly part of the host as were the foremost tribes; they followed the same fiery cloudy pillar, they ate of the same manna, drank of the same spiritual rock, and journeyed to the same inheritance. Come, my heart, cheer up, though last and least; it is thy privilege to be in the army, and to fare as they fare who lead the van. Someone must be hindmost in honor and esteem, someone must do menial work for Jesus, and why should not I? In a poor village, among an ignorant peasantry; or in a back street, among degraded sinners, I will work on, and "go hindmost with my standard".

    The Danites occupied a very useful place. Stragglers have to be picked up upon the march, and lost property has to be gathered from the field. Fiery spirits may dash forward over untrodden paths to learn fresh truth, and win more souls to Jesus; but some of a more conservative spirit may be well engaged in reminding the Church of her ancient faith, and restoring her fainting sons. Every position has its duties, and the slowly moving children of God will find their peculiar state one in which they may be eminently a blessing to the whole host.

    The rear guard is a place of honor. There are foes behind us as well as before us. Attacks may come from any quarter. We read that Amalek fell upon Israel, and slew some of the hindmost of them. The experienced Christian will find much work for his weapons in aiding those poor doubting, desponding, wavering souls who are hindmost in faith, knowledge, and joy. These must not be left unaided, and therefore be it the business of well-taught saints to bear their standards among the hindmost. My soul, do thou tenderly watch to help the hindmost this day.
     
  8. Ajax 777

    Ajax 777 God is the Truth, not an opinion. Supporter

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    July 18
    Evening


    "Neither shall one thrust another;
    they shall walk every one in his path"


    - Joel 2:8

    Locusts legion: they do not crowd upon each other, so as to throw their columns into confusion. This remarkable fact in natural history shows how thoroughly the Lord has infused the spirit of order into His universe, since the smallest animate creatures are as much controlled by it as are the rolling spheres or the seraphic messengers. It would be wise for believers to be ruled by the same influence in all their spiritual life. In their Christian graces no one virtue should usurp the sphere of another, or eat out the vitals of the rest for its own support. Affection must not smother honesty, courage must not elbow weakness out of the field, modesty must not jostle energy, and patience must not slaughter resolution. So also with our duties, one must not interfere with another; public usefulness must not injure private piety; church work must not push family worship into a corner. It is ill to offer God one duty stained with the blood of another. Each thing is beautiful in its season, but not otherwise. It was to the Pharisee that Jesus said, "This ought ye to have done, and not to have left the other undone". The same rule applies to our personal position: we must take care to know our place, take it, and keep to it. We must minister as the Spirit has given us ability, and not intrude upon our fellow servant's domain. Our Lord Jesus taught us not to covet the high places, but to be willing to be the least among the brethren. Far from us be an envious, ambitious spirit; let us feel the force of the Master's command, and do as He bids us, keeping rank with the rest of the host. Tonight let us see whether we are keeping the unity of the Spirit in the bonds of peace, and let our prayer be that, in all the churches of the Lord Jesus, peace and order may prevail.
     
  9. Faulty

    Faulty bind on pick up Supporter

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    Sounds like he's teaching from this passage...

    "Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
    1 Cor 9:24-27
     
  10. Ajax 777

    Ajax 777 God is the Truth, not an opinion. Supporter

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    Quite possibly, and I would think also a salient pointing to the knowledge that we must learn to be content in all circumstances,
    to be anxious for nothing, to seek not our own, but His will, in all humility...even Ecclesiastes points out:

    "There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven—
    A time to give birth and a time to die;
    A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted. A time to kill and a time to heal;
    A time to tear down and a time to build up.
    A time to weep and a time to laugh;
    A time to mourn and a time to dance.
    A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
    A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
    A time to search and a time to give up as lost;
    A time to keep and a time to throw away.
    A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;
    A time to be silent and a time to speak.
    A time to love and a time to hate;
    A time for war and a time for peace.
    What profit is there to the worker from that in which he toils? I have seen the task which God has given the sons of men with which to occupy themselves. He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end."


    - Ecclesiastes 3:1-11

    There is real wisdom in being still for our part, and eternal reward in forgetting ourselves to seek only HIS face.
    I'd rather dig a ditch for Him than build a tower that reached to Heaven because I thought it good.

    Learning to humble ourselves and submit to His will exclusively is the ideal which I think Spurgeon is pointing to. In all our doings and toils, are we laboring for some grandiose delusion of sitting in the places of honor at the feast in Heaven, or do we TRULY count ourselves unworthy to even sit at His feet under the table (which we are?) So many nowadays cling desperately to the thought that because He delights to give us the Kingdom, they are entitled to more than the same shame and contempt we knew while we were yet rebellious children of the devil. It's not because we are worthy that we are called.

    I'm trying to learn to delight in Him such that I find myself too bland and tasteless to consider.
    It's a much harder lesson than I would have thought...at least for me.

    I'm amazed at how excruciating the anguish can sometimes get when the self-will continues to try to assert itself.
    It's almost like certain things actually come to life the very minute you condemn them, and not before. :sigh:
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2011
  11. Ajax 777

    Ajax 777 God is the Truth, not an opinion. Supporter

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    July 19
    Morning


    "The Lord our God hath shewed us His glory"

    - Deuteronomy 5:24

    God's great design in all His works is the manifestation of His own glory. Any aim less than this were unworthy of Himself. But how shall the glory of God be manifested to such fallen creatures as we are? Man's eye is not single: he has ever a side glance toward his own honor, has too high an estimate of his own powers, and so is not qualified to behold the glory of the Lord. It is clear, then, that self must stand out of the way, that there may be room for God to be exalted; and this is the reason why He bringeth His people ofttimes into straits and difficulties: that, being made conscious of their own folly and weakness, they may be fitted to behold the majesty of God when He comes forth to work their deliverance. He whose life is one even and smooth path will see but little of the glory of the Lord, for he has few occasions of self-emptying, and hence, but little fitness for being filled with the revelation of God. They who navigate little streams and shallow creeks know but little of the God of tempests; but they who "do business in great waters", these see His "wonders in the deep". Among the huge Atlantic-waves of bereavement, poverty, temptation, and reproach, we learn the power of Jehovah, because we feel the littleness of man. Thank God, then, if you have been led by a rough road: it is this which has given you your experience of God's greatness and lovingkindness. Your troubles have enriched you with a wealth of knowledge to be gained by no other means: your trials have been the cleft of the rock in which Jehovah has set you, as He did His servant Moses, that you might behold His glory as it passed by. Praise God that you have not been left to the darkness and ignorance which continued prosperity might have involved, but that in the great fight of affliction, you have been capacitated for the outshinings of His glory in His wonderful dealings with you.
     
  12. Ajax 777

    Ajax 777 God is the Truth, not an opinion. Supporter

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    July 19
    Evening


    "A bruised reed shall He not break, and smoking
    flax shall He not quench"


    - Matthew 12:20

    What is weaker than the bruised reed or the smoking flax? A reed that groweth in the fen or march, let but the wild duck light upon it, and it snaps; let but the foot of man brush against it, and it is bruised and broken; every wind that flits across the river moves it to and fro. You can conceive of nothing more frail or brittle, or whose existence is more in jeopardy, than a bruised reed. Then look at the smoking flax - what is it? It has a spark within it, it is true, but it is almost smothered; an infant's breath might blow it out; nothing has a more precarious existence than its flame. Weak things are here described, yet Jesus says of them, "The smoking flax I will not quench; the bruised reed I will not break". Some of God's children are made strong to do mighty works for Him; God has His Samsons here and there who can pull up Gaza's gates, and carry them to the top of the hill; He has a few mighties who are lion-like men, but the majority of His people are a timid, trembling race. They are like starlings, frightened at every passerby; a little fearful flock. If temptation comes, they are taken like birds in a snare; if trial threatens, they are ready to faint; their frail skiff is tossed up and down by every wave, they are drifted along like a sea bird on the crest of the billows - weak things, without strength, without wisdom, without foresight. Yet, weak as they are, and because they are so weak, they have this promise made specially to them. Herein is grace and graciousness! Herein is love and lovingkindness! How it opens to us the compassion of Jesus - so gentle, tender, considerate! We need never shrink back from His touch. We need never fear a harsh word from Him; though He might well chide us for our weakness, He rebuketh not. Bruised reeds shall have no blows from Him, and the smoking flax no damping frowns.
     
  13. Ajax 777

    Ajax 777 God is the Truth, not an opinion. Supporter

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    July 20
    Morning


    "The earnest of our inheritance"

    - Ephesians 1:14

    Oh! what enlightenment, what joys, what consolation, what delight of hear is experienced by that man who has learned to feed on Jesus, and on Jesus alone. Yet the realization which we have of Christ's preciousness is, in this life, imperfect at the best. As an old writer says, "'Tis but a taste!" We have tasted "that the Lord is gracious", but we do not yet know how good and gracious He is, although what we know of His sweetness makes us long for more. We have enjoyed the firstfruits of the Spirit, and they have set us hungering and thirsting for the fullness of the Heavenly vintage. We groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption. Here we are like Israel in the wilderness, who had but one cluster from Eshcol, there we shall be in the vineyard. Here we see the manna falling small, like coriander seed, but there shall we eat the bread of Heaven and the old corn of the Kingdom. We are but beginners now in spiritual education; for although we have learned the first letters of the alphabet, we cannot read words yet, much less can we put sentences together; but as one says, "He that has been in Heaven but five minutes, knows more than the general assembly of divines on earth". We have many ungratified desires at present, but soon every wish shall be satisfied; and all our powers shall find the sweetest employment in that eternal world of joy. O Christian, antedate Heaven for a few years. Within a very little time thou shalt be rid of all thy trials and thy troubles. Thine eyes now suffused with tears shall weep no longer. Thou shalt gaze in ineffable rapture upon the splendor of Him Who sits upon the throne. Nay, more, upon His throne shalt thou sit. The triumph of His glory shall be shared by thee; His crown, His joy, His paradise: these shall be thine, and thou shalt be co-heir with Him Who is the heir of all things.
     
  14. Ajax 777

    Ajax 777 God is the Truth, not an opinion. Supporter

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    July 20
    Evening


    "And now what hast thou to do in the way of Egypt,
    to drink the waters of Sihor?"


    - Jeremiah 2:18

    By sundry miracles, by divers mercies, by strange deliverances Jehovah had proved Himself to be worthy of Israel's trust. Yet they broke down the hedges with which God had enclosed them as a sacred garden; they forsook their own true and living God, and followed after false gods. Constantly did the Lord reprove them for this infatuation, and our text contains one instance of God's expostulating with them, "What hast thou to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of the muddy river?" - for so it may be translated. "Why dost thou wander afar and leave thine own cool stream from Lebanon? Why dost thou forsake Jerusalem to turn aside to Noph and to Tahapanes? Why art thou so strangely set on mischief, that thou canst not be content with the good and healthful, but wouldst follow after that which is evil and deceitful?" Is there not here a word of expostulation and warning to the Christian? O true believer, called by grace and washed in the precious blood of Jesus, thou hast tasted of better drink than the muddy river of this world's pleasure can give thee; thou hast had fellowship with Christ; thou hast obtained the joy of seeing Jesus, and leaning thine head upon His bosom. Do the trifles, the songs, the honors, the merriment of this earth content thee after that? Hast thou eaten the bread of angels, and canst thou live on husks? Good Rutherford once said, "I have tasted of Christ's own manna, and it hath put my mouth out of taste for the brown bread of this world's joys". Methinks it should be so with thee. If thou art wandering after the waters of Egypt, O return quickly to the one living fountain: the waters of Sihor may be sweet to the Egyptians, but they will prove only bitterness to thee. What hast thou to do with them?: Jesus asks thee this question this evening - what wilt thou answer Him?
     
  15. Ajax 777

    Ajax 777 God is the Truth, not an opinion. Supporter

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    July 21
    Morning


    "The daughter of Jerusalem
    hath shaken her head at thee"


    - Isaiah 37:22

    Reassured by the Word of the Lord, the poor trembling citizens of Zion grew bold, and shook their heads at Sennacherib's boastful threats. Strong faith enables the servants of God to look with calm contempt upon their most haughty foes. We know that our enemies are attempting impossibilities. They seek to destroy the eternal life, which cannot die while Jesus lives; to overthrow the citadel, against which the gates of Hell shall not prevail. They kick against the pricks to their own wounding, and rush upon the bosses of Jehovah's buckler to their own hurt.

    We know their weakness. What are they but men? And what is a man but a worm? They roar and swell like waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame. When the Lord ariseth, they shall fly as chaff before the wind, and be consumed as crackling thorns. Their utter powerlessness to do damage to the cause of God and His truth, may make the weakest soldiers in Zion's ranks laugh them to scorn.

    Above all, we know that the Most High is with us, and when He dresses Himself in arms, where are His enemies? If He cometh forth from His place, the potsherds of the earth will not long contend with their Maker. His rod of iron shall dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel, and their very remembrance shall perish from the earth. Away, then, all fears, the kingdom is safe in the King's hands. Let us shout for joy, for the Lord reigneth, and His foes shall be as straw for the dunghill.

    "As true as God's own word is true;
    Nor earth, nor Hell, with all their crew,
    Against us shall prevail.
    A jest, and by-word, are they grown;
    God is with us, we are His own,
    Our victory cannot fail."
     
  16. Ajax 777

    Ajax 777 God is the Truth, not an opinion. Supporter

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    July 21
    Evening


    "Why go I mourning?"

    - Psalm 42:9​

    Canst thou answer this, believer? Canst thou find any reason why thou art so often mourning instead of rejoicing? Why yield to gloomy anticipations? Who told thee that the night would never end in day? Who told thee that the sea of circumstances would ebb out 'til there should be nothing left, but long leagues of the mud of horrible poverty? Who told thee that the winter of thy discontent would proceed from frost to frost, from snow, and ice, and hail, to deeper snow, and yet more heavy tempest of despair? Knowest thou not that day follows night, that flood comes after ebb, that spring and summer succeed to winter? Hope thou then! Hope thou ever! for God fails thee not. Dost thou not know that thy God loves thee in the midst of all this? Mountains, when in darkness hidden, are as real as in day, and God's love is as true to thee now as it was in thy brightest moments. No father chastens always: thy Lord hates the rod as much as thou dost; He only cares to use it for that very reason which should make thee willing to receive it, namely, that it works thy lasting good. Thou shalt yet climb Jacob's ladder with the angels, and behold Him who sits at the top of it - thy covenant God. Thou shalt yet, amidst the splendors of eternity, forget the trials of time, or only remember them to bless the God Who led thee through them, and wrought thy lasting good by them. Come, sing in the midst of tribulation. Rejoice even while passing through the furnace. Make the wilderness to blossom like the rose! Cause the desert to ring with thine exulting joys, for these light afflictions will soon be over, and then "forever with the Lord", thy bliss shall never wane.

    "Faint not nor fear, His arms are near,
    He changeth not, and thou art dear;
    Only believe and thou shalt see,
    That Christ is all in all to thee."
     
  17. Ajax 777

    Ajax 777 God is the Truth, not an opinion. Supporter

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    July 22
    Morning


    "I am married unto you"

    - Jeremiah 3:14

    Christ Jesus is joined unto His people in marriage union. In love He espoused His Church as a chaste virgin, long before she fell under the yoke of bondage. Full of burning affection He toiled, like Jacob for Rachel, until the whole of her purchase-money had been paid, and now, having sought her by His Spirit, and brought her to know and love Him, He awaits the glorious hour when their mutual bliss shall be consummated at the marriage-supper of the Lamb. Not yet hath the glorious Bridegroom presented His betrothed, perfected and complete, before the Majesty of Heaven; not yet hath she actually entered upon the enjoyment of her dignities as His wife and queen: she is as yet a wanderer in a world of woe, a dweller in the tents of Kedar; but she is even now the bride, the spouse of Jesus, dear to His heart, precious in His sight, written on His hands, and united with His person. On earth He exercises towards her all the affectionate offices of Husband. He makes rich provision for her wants, pays all her debts, allows her to assume His name, and to share in all His wealth. Nor will He ever act otherwise to her. The word divorce He will never mention, for "He hateth putting away". Death must sever the conjugal tie between the most loving mortals, but it cannot divide the links of this immortal marriage. In Heaven they marry not, but are as the angels of God; yet there is one marvelous exception to the rule, for in Heaven Christ and His Church shall celebrate their joyous nuptials. This affinity as it is more lasting, so is it more near than earthly wedlock. Let the love of husband be never so pure and fervent, it is but a faint picture of the flame which burns in the heart of Jesus. Passing all human union is that mystical cleaving unto the Church, for which Christ left His Father, and became one flesh with her.
     
  18. Ajax 777

    Ajax 777 God is the Truth, not an opinion. Supporter

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    July 22
    Evening


    "Behold the Man!"

    - John 19:5

    If there be one place where our Lord Jesus most fully becomes the joy and comfort of His people, it is where He plunged deepest into the depths of woe. Come hither, gracious souls, and behold the Man in the garden of Gethsemane; behold His heart so brimming with love that He cannot hold it in - so full of sorrow that it must find a vent. Behold the bloody sweat as it distills from every pore of His body, and falls upon the ground. Behold the Man as they drive the nails into His hands and feet. Look up, repenting sinners, and see the sorrowful image of your suffering Lord. Mark Him, as the ruby drops stand on the thorn-crown, and adorn with priceless gems the diadem of the King of Misery. Behold the Man when all His bones are out of joint, and He is poured out like water and brought into the dust of death; God hath forsaken Him, and Hell compasseth Him about. Behold and see, was there ever sorrow like unto His sorrow that is done unto Him? All ye that pass by draw near and look upon this spectacle of grief, unique, unparalleled, a wonder to men and angels, a prodigy unmatched. Behold the Emperor of Woe Who had no equal or rival in His agonies! Gaze upon Him, ye mourners, for if there be not consolation in a crucified Christ there is no joy in earth or Heaven. If in the ransom price of His blood there be not hope, ye harps of Heaven, there is no joy in you, and the right hand of God shall know no pleasures for evermore. We have only to sit more continually at the cross foot to be less troubled with our doubts and woes. We have but to see His sorrows, and our sorrows we shall be ashamed to mention; we have but to gaze into His wounds and heal our own. If we would live aright it must be by the contemplation of His death; if we would rise to dignity it must be by considering His humiliation and His sorrow.
     
  19. Ajax 777

    Ajax 777 God is the Truth, not an opinion. Supporter

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    July 23
    Morning


    "Even thou wast as one of them"

    - Obadiah 1:11

    Brotherly kindness was due from Edom to Israel in time of need, but instead thereof, the men of Esau made common cause with Israel's foes. Special stress in the sentence before us is laid upon the word thou; as when Caesar cried to Brutus, "and thou Brutus"; a bad action may be all the worse, because of the person who has committed it. When we sin, who are the chosen favorites of Heaven, we sin with an emphasis; ours is a crying offense, because we are so peculiarly indulged. If an angel should lay his hand upon us when we are doing evil, he need not use any other rebuke than the question, "What thou? What dost thou here?" Much forgiven, much delivered, much instructed, much enriched, much blessed, shall we dare to put forth our hand unto evil? God forbid!

    A few minutes of confession may be beneficial to thee, gentle reader, this morning. Hast thou never been as the wicked? At an evening party certain men laughed at uncleanness, and the joke was not altogether offensive to thine ear, even thou wast as one of them. When hard things were spoken concerning the ways of God, thou wast bashfully silent; and so, to onlookers, thou wast as one of them. When worldlings were bartering in the market, and driving hard bargains, wast thou not as one of them? When they were pursuing vanity with a hunter's foot, wert thou not as greedy for gain as they were? Could any difference be discerned between thee and them? Is there any difference? Here we come to close quarters. Be honest with thine own soul, and make sure that thou art a new creature in Christ Jesus; but when this is sure, walk jealously, lest any should again be able to say, "Even thou wast as one of them". Thou wouldst not desire to share their eternal doom, why then be like them here? Come not thou into their secret, lest thou come into their ruin. Side with the afflicted people of God, and not with the world.
     
  20. Ajax 777

    Ajax 777 God is the Truth, not an opinion. Supporter

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    July 23
    Evening


    "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son
    cleanseth us from all sin"


    - 1 John 1:7

    "Cleanseth," says the text - not "shall cleanse". There are multitudes who think that as a dying hope they may look forward to pardon. Oh! how infinitely better to have cleansing now than to depend on the bare possibility of forgiveness when I come to die. Some imagine that a sense of pardon is an attainment only obtainable after many years of Christian experience. But forgiveness of sin is a present thing - a privilege for this day, a joy for this very hour. The moment a sinner trusts Jesus he is fully forgiven. The text, being written in the present tense, also indicates continuance; it was "cleanseth" yesterday, it is "cleanseth" today, it will be "cleanseth" tomorrow: it will be always so with you, Christian, until you cross the river; every hour you may come to this fountain, for it cleanseth still. Notice, likewise, the completeness of the cleansing, "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin" - not only from sin, but "from all sin". Reader, I cannot tell you the exceeding sweetness of this word, but I pray God the Holy Ghost to give you a taste of it. Manifold are our sins against God. Whether the bill be little or great, the same receipt can discharge one as the other. The blood of Jesus Christ is as blessed and divine a payment for the transgressions of blaspheming Peter as for the shortcomings of loving John; our iniquity is gone, all gone at once, and all gone forever. Blessed completeness! What a sweet theme to dwell upon as one gives himself to sleep.

    "Sins against a holy God;
    Sins against His righteous laws;
    Sins against His love, His blood;
    Sins against His name and cause;
    Sins immense as is the sea -
    From them all He cleanseth me."​
     
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