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Morning

SUNSHINE

“Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the Lord of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house.”
Haggai 1:9

Churlish souls stint their contributions to the ministry and missionary operations, and call such saving good economy; little do they dream that they are thus impoverishing themselves. Their excuse is that they must care for their own families, and they forget that to neglect the house of God is the sure way to bring ruin upon their own houses. Our God has a method in providence by which he can succeed our endeavours beyond our expectation, or can defeat our plans to our confusion and dismay; by a turn of his hand he can steer our vessel in a profitable channel, or run it aground in poverty and bankruptcy. It is the teaching of Scripture that the Lord enriches the liberal and leaves the miserly to find out that withholding tendeth to poverty. In a very wide sphere of observation, I have noticed that the most generous Christians of my acquaintance have been always the most happy, and almost invariably the most prosperous. I have seen the liberal giver rise to wealth of which he never dreamed; and I have as often seen the mean, ungenerous churl descend to poverty by the very parsimony by which he thought to rise. Men trust good stewards with larger and larger sums, and so it frequently is with the Lord; he gives by cartloads to those who give by bushels. Where wealth is not bestowed the Lord makes the little much by the contentment which the sanctified heart feels in a portion of which the tithe has been dedicated to the Lord. Selfishness looks first at home, but godliness seeks first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, yet in the long run selfishness is loss, and godliness is great gain. It needs faith to act towards our God with an open hand, but surely he deserves it of us; and all that we can do is a very poor acknowledgment of our amazing indebtedness to his goodness.

Evening

HalfDomeandMerced

“All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea is not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.”
Ecclesiastes 1:7

Everything sublunary is on the move, time knows nothing of rest. The solid earth is a rolling ball, and the great sun himself a star obediently fulfilling its course around some greater luminary. Tides move the sea, winds stir the airy ocean, friction wears the rock: change and death rule everywhere. The sea is not a miser’s storehouse for a wealth of waters, for as by one force the waters flow into it, by another they are lifted from it. Men are born but to die: everything is hurry, worry, and vexation of spirit. Friend of the unchanging Jesus, what a joy it is to reflect upon thy changeless heritage; thy sea of bliss which will be forever full, since God himself shall pour eternal rivers of pleasure into it. We seek an abiding city beyond the skies, and we shall not be disappointed. The passage before us may well teach us gratitude. Father Ocean is a great receiver, but he is a generous distributor. What the rivers bring him he returns to the earth in the form of clouds and rain. That man is out of joint with the universe who takes all but makes no return. To give to others is but sowing seed for ourselves. He who is so good a steward as to be willing to use his substance for his Lord, shall be entrusted with more. Friend of Jesus, art thou rendering to him according to the benefit received? Much has been given thee, what is thy fruit? Hast thou done all? Canst thou not do more? To be selfish is to be wicked. Suppose the ocean gave up none of its watery treasure, it would bring ruin upon our race. God forbid that any of us should follow the ungenerous and destructive policy of living unto ourselves. Jesus pleased not himself. All fulness dwells in him, but of his fulness have all we received. O for Jesus’ spirit, that henceforth we may live not unto ourselves!

All rights belong to the collections of Charles Spurgeon(C)

The wounds of Jesus

1 John 5:13 - These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

1 John 5:13 – These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

“He showed them his hands and his feet.” Luke 24:40

Suggested Further Reading: Isaiah 25:6-9

There are three things in Christ that death never met with before, all of which are fatal to it. There was in Christ, innocence. Now, as long as man was innocent, he could not die. Adam lived as long as he was innocent. Now, Christ was about to die; but death sucked in innocent blood; he sucked in his own poison and he died. Again, blessedness is that which takes away the sting of death. Now Christ, even when he was dying, was “God over all, blessed for ever.” All that death had ever killed before was under the curse; but this man was never by nature under the curse, because for our sakes he was not born into this world a cursed man. He was the seed of woman it is true, but still not of carnal generation. He did come under the curse when he took upon himself our sins, but not for his own sins. He was in himself blessed. Death sucked in blessed blood; he had never done that before—all others have been under the curse—and that slew death. Yet another thing. Death had never met before with any man who had life in himself. But when death drank Christ’s blood it drank life. For his blood is the life of the soul, and is the seed of life eternal. Wherever it goes, does it not give life to the dead? And death, finding that it had drunk into its own veins life in the form of Jesus’ blood, gave up the ghost; and death itself is dead, for Christ has destroyed it, by the sacrifice of himself; he has put it away; he has said, “Oh death, where is thy sting? Oh grave, where is thy victory?”

For meditation: On the cross Jesus was making the arrangements for death’s own funeral (1 Corinthians 15:26; Revelation 20:14).

Sermon no. 254    26 October (Preached 30 January 1859)

All rights belong to the collections of Charles Spurgeon(C)

Our stronghold

MEGIDDO

‘The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.’ Proverbs 18:10

Suggested Further Reading: Psalm 20:1–9

It is useless for me to attempt to describe the various ways in which your trials come; but I am sure they that know Jehovah’s name will put their trust in him. Perhaps your trial has been want, and then you have said, ‘His name is Jehovah-jireh, the Lord will provide;’ or else you have been banished from friends, but you have said, ‘His name is Jehovah-shammah, the Lord is there;’ or else you have had a disturbance in your family; there has been war within, and war without, but you have run into your strong tower, for you have said, ‘His name is Jehovah-shalom, the Lord send peace;’ or else the world has slandered you, and you yourself have been conscious of sin, but you have said, ‘His name is Jehovah-tsidkenu, the Lord our righteousness,’ and so you have gone there, and been safe; or else many have been your enemies; then his name has been ‘Jehovah-nissi, the Lord my banner;’ and so he has been a strong tower to you. Defy, then brethren, in God’s strength, tribulations of every sort and size. Say with the poet,

‘There is a safe and secret place The least and feeblest here may hide
Beneath the wings divine Uninjured and unawed.
Reserved for all the heirs of grace; While thousands fall on every side,
That refuge now is mine. I rest secure in God.’

But, beloved, besides the trials of this life, we have the sins of the flesh, and what a tribulation these are; but the name of our God is our strong tower then. At certain seasons we are more than ordinarily conscious of our guilt; and I would give little for your piety, if you do not sometimes creep into a corner with the poor publican and say, ‘God be merciful to me a sinner.’

For meditation: The name of the Lord Jesus Christ is a strong tower: the unrighteous run into it, and are saved (Matthew 1:21; Acts 4:12; 10:43; 1 John 5:13). Have you ‘fled for refuge’ (Hebrews 6:18)? Are you ‘in Christ’?

Sermon no. 491     26 October (1862)

All rights belong to the collections of Charles Spurgeon(C)

 

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