“Bring him unto me.”
Despairingly the poor disappointed father turned away from the disciples to their Master. His son was in the worst possible condition, and all means had failed, but the miserable child was soon delivered from the evil one when the parent in faith obeyed the Lord Jesus’ word, “Bring him unto me.” Children are a precious gift from God, but much anxiety comes with them. They may be a great joy or a great bitterness to their parents; they may be filled with the Spirit of God, or possessed with the spirit of evil. In all cases, the Word of God gives us one receipt for the curing of all their ills, “Bring him unto me.” O for more agonizing prayer on their behalf while they are yet babes! Sin is there, let our prayers begin to attack it. Our cries for our offspring should precede those cries which betoken their actual advent into a world of sin. In the days of their youth we shall see sad tokens of that dumb and deaf spirit which will neither pray aright, nor hear the voice of God in the soul, but Jesus still commands, “Bring them unto me.” When they are grown up they may wallow in sin and foam with enmity against God; then when our hearts are breaking we should remember the great Physician’s words, “Bring them unto me.” Never must we cease to pray until they cease to breathe. No case is hopeless while Jesus lives.
The Lord sometimes suffers his people to be driven into a corner that they may experimentally know how necessary he is to them. Ungodly children, when they show us our own powerlessness against the depravity of their hearts, drive us to flee to the strong for strength, and this is a great blessing to us. Whatever our morning’s need may be, let it like a strong current bear us to the ocean of divine love. Jesus can soon remove our sorrow, he delights to comfort us. Let us hasten to him while he waits to meet us.
God employs his people to encourage one another. He did not say to an angel, “Gabriel, my servant Joshua is about to lead my people into Canaan–go, encourage him.” God never works needless miracles; if his purposes can be accomplished by ordinary means, he will not use miraculous agency. Gabriel would not have been half so well fitted for the work as Moses. A brother’s sympathy is more precious than an angel’s embassy. The angel, swift of wing, had better known the Master’s bidding than the people’s temper. An angel had never experienced the hardness of the road, nor seen the fiery serpents, nor had he led the stiff-necked multitude in the wilderness as Moses had done. We should be glad that God usually works for man by man. It forms a bond of brotherhood, and being mutually dependent on one another, we are fused more completely into one family. Brethren, take the text as God’s message to you. Labour to help others, and especially strive to encourage them. Talk cheerily to the young and anxious enquirer, lovingly try to remove stumblingblocks out of his way. When you find a spark of grace in the heart, kneel down and blow it into a flame. Leave the young believer to discover the roughness of the road by degrees, but tell him of the strength which dwells in God, of the sureness of the promise, and of the charms of communion with Christ. Aim to comfort the sorrowful, and to animate the desponding. Speak a word in season to him that is weary, and encourage those who are fearful to go on their way with gladness. God encourages you by his promises; Christ encourages you as he points to the heaven he has won for you, and the spirit encourages you as he works in you to will and to do of his own will and pleasure. Imitate divine wisdom, and encourage others, according to the word of this evening.
ALL RIGHTS BELONG TO THE COLLECTIONS OF CHARLES SPURGEON(C)
A single eye and simple faith
The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness.
Suggested Further Reading: Philippians 3:17-21
God will say to thee, Take no thought for the morrow, be careful for nothing; Mammon will say to thee, Look ahead, be careful for everything and when God says to thee, Give of thy substance to the poor Mammon will say, Hold it tight, it is that giving that spoils everything; and when God will say unto thee, Set not thy affections on the things of earth; Mammon will say, Get money, get money, get it anyhow; and when God saith, Be upright; Mammon will say, Cheat thy own father if thou canst win by it. Mammon and God are at such extreme ends of the earth and so desperately opposed, that I trust, Christian, thou art not such a fool, as to attempt to serve them both. If thou dost thou hast the worldling’s eye, and thou art a worldling thyself. Remember, too, if thou triest to do this we may suspect thee of having the hypocrites eye. As Matthew Henry says, The hypocrite is like the waterman; he pulls this way, but he looks that. He pretends to look to heaven, but he pulls towards his own interest. He says, he looks to Christ, but he is always pulling towards his own private advantage. The true Christian, however, is like a traveller; he looks to the goal and then he walks straight on to it; he goes the way he is looking Be then not like the hypocrite, who hath this double eye, looking one way and going the other. An old Puritan said, A hypocrite is like the hawk; the hawk flies upward, but he always keeps his eye down on the prey; let him get up as high as he will, he is always looking on the ground. Whereas, the Christian is like the lark, he turns his eye up to heaven, and as he mounts and sings he looks upward and he mounts upward.
For meditation: Not looking where you ought to be going can have disastrous consequences (Luke 6:39-42).
Sermon no. 335 17 September (Preached 16 September 1860)
ALL RIGHTS BELONG TO THE BELONGINGS TO THE COLLECTIONS OF CHARLES SPURGEON(C)
Judgment threatening but mercy sparing
Cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also.
Suggested Further Reading: Hebrews 10:26-31
Jesus Christ has pleaded for you, the crucified Saviour has interfered for you. And you ask me Why? I answer, because Jesus Christ has an interest in you all. We do not believe in general redemption, but we believe in every word of this precious Bible, and there are many passages in the Scripture which seem to show that Christ’s death had a universal bearing upon the sons of men. We are told that he tasted death for every man. What does that mean? Does it mean that Jesus Christ died to save every man? I do not believe it does, for it seems to me that everything which Christ intended to accomplish by the act of his death he must accomplish, or else he will be disappointed, which is not supposable. But did he in any other sense die for the rest of mankind? He did. Nothing can be much more plain in Scripture, it seems to me, than that all sinners are spared as the result of Jesus Christ’s death, and this is the sense in which men are said to trample on the blood of Jesus Christ. We read of some who denied the Lord that bought them. No one who is bought with blood for eternal salvation ever tramples on that blood; but Jesus Christ has shed his blood for the reprieve of men that they may be spared, and those who turn God’s sparing mercy into an occasion for fresh sin, do trample on the blood of Jesus Christ. You can hold that doctrine without holding universal redemption, or without at all contradicting that undoubted truth, that Jesus laid down his life for his sheep, and that where he suffered he suffered not in vain. Now, sinner, whether you know it or not, you are indebted to him that did hang upon the tree, for the breath that is now in you.
For meditation: Christ suffered and died on the cross to save all who would repent and trust in Him; God’s delays are to give us the opportunity to do that (2 Peter 3:9). To abuse His kindness and patience by continuing to reject Christ instead of repenting is to add insult to injury and to store up trouble for eternity (Romans 2:4-5; Hebrews 10:29).
Sermon no. 650 17 September (1865)
ALL RIGHTS BELONG THE COLLECTIONS OF CHARLES SPURGEON(C)