“So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem: for he did eat continually at the king’s table; and was lame on both his feet.”
Mephibosheth was no great ornament to a royal table, yet he had a continual place at David’s board, because the king could see in his face the features of the beloved Jonathan. Like Mephibosheth, we may cry unto the King of Glory, “What is thy servant, that thou shouldst look upon such a dead dog as I am?” but still the Lord indulges us with most familiar relationship with himself, because he sees in our countenances the remembrance of his dearly-beloved Jesus. The Lord’s people are dear for another’s sake. Such is the love which the Father bears to his only begotten, that for his sake he raises his lowly brethren from poverty and banishment, to courtly companionship, noble rank, and royal provision. Their deformity shall not rob them of their privileges. Lameness is no bar to sonship; the cripple is as much the heir as if he could run like Asahel. Our right does not limp, though our might may. A king’s table is a noble hiding-place for lame legs, and at the gospel feast we learn to glory in infirmities, because the power of Christ resteth upon us. Yet grievous disability may mar the persons of the best-loved saints. Here is one feasted by David, and yet so lame in both his feet that he could not go up with the king when he fled from the city, and was therefore maligned and injured by his servant Ziba. Saints whose faith is weak, and whose knowledge is slender, are great losers; they are exposed to many enemies, and cannot follow the king whithersoever he goeth. This disease frequently arises from falls. Bad nursing in their spiritual infancy often causes converts to fall into a despondency from which they never recover, and sin in other cases brings broken bones. Lord, help the lame to leap like an hart, and satisfy all thy people with the bread of thy table!
“What is thy servant, that thou shouldest look upon such a dead dog as I am?”
If Mephibosheth was thus humbled by David’s kindness, what shall we be in the presence of our gracious Lord? The more grace we have, the less we shall think of ourselves, for grace, like light, reveals our impurity. Eminent saints have scarcely known to what to compare themselves, their sense of unworthiness has been so clear and keen. “I am,” says holy Rutherford, “a dry and withered branch, a piece of dead carcass, dry bones, and not able to step over a straw.” In another place he writes, “Except as to open outbreakings, I want nothing of what Judas and Cain had.” The meanest objects in nature appear to the humbled mind to have a preference above itself, because they have never contracted sin: a dog may be greedy, fierce, or filthy, but it has no conscience to violate, no Holy Spirit to resist. A dog may be a worthless animal, and yet by a little kindness it is soon won to love its master, and is faithful unto death; but we forget the goodness of the Lord, and follow not at his call. The term “dead dog” is the most expressive of all terms of contempt, but it is none too strong to express the self- abhorrence of instructed believers. They do not affect mock modesty, they mean what they say, they have weighed themselves in the balances of the sanctuary, and found out the vanity of their nature. At best, we are but clay, animated dust, mere walking hillocks; but viewed as sinners, we are monsters indeed. Let it be published in heaven as a wonder, that the Lord Jesus should set his heart’s love upon such as we are. Dust and ashes though we be, we must and will “magnify the exceeding greatness of his grace.” Could not his heart find rest in heaven? Must he needs come to these tents of Kedar for a spouse, and choose a bride upon whom the sun had looked? O heavens and earth, break forth into a song, and give all glory to our sweet Lord Jesus.
All rights belong to the collection of Charles Spurgeon(C)
|How to Keep Going When Your Tank is Empty – #5648|
|A Word With You – Your Personal Power|
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Download MP3 (right click to save)
Our friend, Mike, had just started up the pickup truck when the trouble started. Mike was taking the truck out for a test drive for some people who had just bought it. And as he backed it out of the new owner’s garage, it suddenly started sputtering and stalling. He couldn’t keep it running no matter what he tried. He got to a phone and called the old owner and said, “What’s the deal with this truck you just sold?” Well, the man who sold it is an honorable man, and he was really distressed about this suddenly dysfunctional truck. Then suddenly he asked Mike, “Did you happen to mess with the radio at all?” Yes, he had. The previous owner told Mike to go check these two switches that are right next to the radio. This truck has a wonderful feature, especially for the country roads that it travels so much. It has a reserve gas tank. Mike had unknowingly turned off Tank 2, which was full of gas, and turned on Tank 1, which was totally empty. But the good news is that as soon as he switched from the empty tank to the reserve tank, Mr. Pickup Truck ran and ran and ran.
I’m Ron Hutchcraft, and I want to have A Word With You today about “How to Keep Going When Your Tank is Empty.”
I’m assuming that your life runs pretty fast, pretty hard like mine. And there are times when your tank is basically empty. You’re totally exhausted, you have nothing left to give, your demands and responsibilities are much greater than the strength you have to meet them. And sometimes you just run out of ideas, you’re out of solutions, you’re out of motivation, you’re out of energy. Now why am I assuming that you know about an empty tank like this? Because I’m assuming you’re not that different from me.
But there’s good news when your tank has nothing left. Our word for today from the Word of God, Isaiah 40:28 , “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary and His understanding no one can fathom.” Now the God you belong to, the God who lives in you, is inexhaustible. He is what the theologians call infinite. His resources and wisdom just never, never run out, but yours do. Mine do.
Here’s where the reserve tank kicks in. The passage continues, “He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall.” By the way, any words here that sound like you? “Weary, weak, tired, stumble, fall?” Here’s what God promises to the totally overwhelmed and depleted person. “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31 ).
When Mike’s Tank 1 on that truck was empty, the fuel in Tank 2 was all the difference. I can’t tell you how many times I have reached empty in my tank, and God’s never-empty tank has kicked in and it has made all the difference. After an exhausting week, I wake up and say, “God, I’m so tired.” He says, “I’m not.” I say, “I’m empty, Lord.” He says, “I know, but switch on My power, Ron. I’m not empty.” It’s was I sang about as a little boy and I didn’t really understand it until life got a lot more complicated, “Little ones to Him belong, they are weak, but He is strong.”
If you dwell on how stressed you are, or how tired, or how sick or overwhelmed, you’re done. You’re dwelling on your empty tank. But if, on those depleted days, you consciously focus on your Lord’s inexhaustible strength, your Lord’s unlimited power, you will be able to keep driving when you thought you couldn’t go another mile.
The songwriter of one of my favorite songs said it pretty well. “When we have exhausted our store of endurance; when our strength has failed ere the day is half done. When we’ve reached the end of our hoarded resources, our Father’s full giving has only begun.”