LAUS DEO – GLORY TO GOD

Laus Deo (Glory to God)

matthew419

‘For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.’

Romans 11:36

Suggested Further Reading: 1 Corinthians 10:31–11:1

The apostle puts his pen back into the ink bottle and falls on his knees—he cannot help it—he must have a doxology. ‘To whom be glory for ever. Amen.’ Beloved, let us imitate this devotion. I think that this sentence should be the prayer, the motto for every one of us—‘To whom be glory for ever. Amen.’ This should be the single desire of the Christian. I take it that he should not have twenty wishes but only one. He may desire to see his family well brought up, but only that ‘To God may be glory for ever.’ He may wish for prosperity in his business, but only so far as it may help him to promote this—‘To whom be glory for ever.’ He may desire to attain more gifts and more graces, but it should only be that ‘To him may be glory for ever.’ This one thing I know, Christian, you are not acting as you ought to do when you are moved by any other motive than the one motive of your Lord’s glory. As a Christian, you are ‘of him, and through him;’ I pray you be ‘to him.’ Let nothing ever set your heart beating but love to him. Let this ambition fire your soul; be this the foundation of every enterprise upon which you enter, and this your sustaining motive whenever your zeal would grow cold—only make God your object. Depend upon it, where self begins, sorrow begins; but if God be my supreme delight and only object,

‘To me ’tis equal whether love ordain
My life or death—appoint me ease or pain.’

To me there shall be no choice, when my eye singly looks to God’s glory.

For meditation: If some of us were given one wish, it would not be a patch on the single-minded desires expressed by God’s people in the Bible, such as David (Psalm 27:4), Asaph (Psalm 73:25) and Paul (Philippians 3:8–10, 13–15). What would your wish be? Could you pray for it with a clear conscience?

Sermon no. 572  29 May (1864)

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JUST TO FORGIVE

Justice satisfied

Acts 2:33 - Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.

Acts 2:33 – Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.

“Just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9

Suggested Further Reading: Genesis 50:15-21

I have heard of Mr John Wesley, that he was attended in most of his journeyings by one who loved him very much, and was willing, I believe, to have died for him. Still he was a man of a very stubborn and obstinate disposition, and Mr Wesley was not perhaps the very kindest man at all times. Upon one occasion he said to this man, “Joseph, take these letters to the post.” “I will take them after preaching, sir.” “Take them now, Joseph,” said Mr Wesley. “I wish to hear you preach, sir; and there will be sufficient time for the post after service.” “I insist upon your going now, Joseph.” “I will not go at present.” “You won’t?” “No, sir.” “Then you and I must part,” said Mr Wesley. “Very good, sir.” The good men slept over it. Both were early risers. At four o’clock the next morning, the refractory helper was accosted with, “Joseph, have you considered what I said—that we must part?” “Yes, sir.” “And must we part?” “Please yourself, sir.” “Will you ask my pardon, Joseph?” “No, sir.” “You won’t?” “No, sir.” “Then I will ask yours, Joseph!” Poor Joseph was instantly melted, and they were at once reconciled. When once the grace of God has entered the heart, a man ought to be ready to seek forgiveness for an injury done to another. There is nothing wrong in a man confessing an offence against a fellow-man, and asking pardon for the wrong he has done him. If you have done aught, then, against any man, leave thy gift before the altar, and go and make peace with him, and then come and make peace with God. You are to make confession of your sin to God. Let that be humble and sincere. You cannot mention every offence, but do not hide one.

For meditation: If we cannot bring ourselves to apologise to and to forgive those we have seen, we must know little about true confession to and the forgiveness of God whom we have not seen (Matthew 6:14,15; 1 John 4:20).

Sermon no. 255  29 May (1859)

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Christ is in the Gospel

Morning

JOHN 7:37

“Thou hatest wickedness.”
Psalm 45:7

“Be ye angry, and sin not.” There can hardly be goodness in a man if he be not angry at sin; he who loves truth must hate every false way. How our Lord Jesus hated it when the temptation came! Thrice it assailed him in different forms, but ever he met it with, “Get thee behind me, Satan.” He hated it in others; none the less fervently because he showed his hate oftener in tears of pity than in words of rebuke; yet what language could be more stern, more Elijah-like, than the words, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer.” He hated wickedness, so much that he bled to wound it to the heart; he died that it might die; he was buried that he might bury it in his tomb; and he rose that he might forever trample it beneath his feet. Christ is in the Gospel, and that Gospel is opposed to wickedness in every shape. Wickedness arrays itself in fair garments, and imitates the language of holiness; but the precepts of Jesus, like his famous scourge of small cords, chase it out of the temple, and will not tolerate it in the Church. So, too, in the heart where Jesus reigns, what war there is between Christ and Belial! And when our Redeemer shall come to be our Judge, those thundering words, “Depart, ye cursed” which are, indeed, but a prolongation of his life-teaching concerning sin, shall manifest his abhorrence of iniquity. As warm as is his love to sinners, so hot is his hatred of sin; as perfect as is his righteousness, so complete shall be the destruction of every form of wickedness. O thou glorious champion of right, and destroyer of wrong, for this cause hath God, even thy God, anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

Evening

flowers

“Cursed be the man before the Lord, that riseth up and buildeth this city Jericho.”
Joshua 6:26

Since he was cursed who rebuilt Jericho, much more the man who labours to restore Popery among us. In our fathers’ days the gigantic walls of Popery fell by the power of their faith, the perseverance of their efforts, and the blast of their gospel trumpets; and now there are some who would rebuild that accursed system upon its old foundation. O Lord, be pleased to thwart their unrighteous endeavours, and pull down every stone which they build. It should be a serious business with us to be thoroughly purged of every error which may have a tendency to foster the spirit of Popery, and when we have made a clean sweep at home we should seek in every way to oppose its all too rapid spread abroad in the church and in the world. This last can be done in secret by fervent prayer, and in public by decided testimony. We must warn with judicious boldness those who are inclined towards the errors of Rome; we must instruct the young in gospel truth, and tell them of the black doings of Popery in the olden times. We must aid in spreading the light more thoroughly through the land, for priests, like owls, hate daylight. Are we doing all we can for Jesus and the gospel? If not, our negligence plays into the hands of the priestcraft. What are we doing to spread the Bible, which is the Pope’s bane and poison? Are we casting abroad good, sound gospel writings? Luther once said, “The devil hates goose quills” and, doubtless, he has good reason, for ready writers, by the Holy Spirit’s blessing, have done his kingdom much damage. If the thousands who will read this short word this night will do all they can to hinder the rebuilding of this accursed Jericho, the Lord’s glory shall speed among the sons of men. Reader, what can you do? What will you do

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HIS NAME!

The eternal name

PHIL 4:13

PHIL 4:13

“His name shall endure for ever.” Psalm 72:17

Suggested Further Reading: Luke 23:32-43

Do you see yonder thief hanging upon the cross? Behold the fiends at the foot thereof, with open mouths; charming themselves with the sweet thought, that another soul shall give them meat in hell. Behold the death-bird, fluttering his wings over the poor wretch’s head; vengeance passes by and stamps him for her own; deep on his breast is written “a condemned sinner;” on his brow is the clammy sweat, expressed from him by agony and death. Look in his heart: it is filthy with the crust of years of sin; the smoke of lust is hanging within, in black festoons of darkness; his whole heart is hell condensed. Now, look at him. He is dying. One foot seems to be in hell; the other hangs tottering in life—only kept by a nail. There is a power in Jesus’ eye. That thief looks: he whispers, “Lord, remember me.” Turn your eye again there. Do you see that thief? Where is the clammy sweat? It is there. Where is that horrid anguish? Is it not there? Positively there is a smile upon his lips. The fiends of hell where are they? There are none; but a bright seraph is present, with his wings outspread, and his hands ready to snatch that soul, now a precious jewel, and bear it aloft to the palace of the great King. Look within his heart: it is white with purity. Look at his breast: it is not written “condemned,” but “justified.” Look in the book of life: his name is engraved there. Look on Jesus’ heart: there on one of the precious stones he bears that poor thief’s name. Yes, once more, look! Do you see that bright one amid the glorified, clearer than the sun, and fair as the moon? That is the thief! That is the power of Jesus; and that power shall endure for ever.

For meditation: Jesus has the power to save to the uttermost all who seek God through him (Hebrews 7:25); have you been “crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20)?

Sermon no. 27  27 May (1855)

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Choice Portions

Choice portions

JOHN 7:37

John 7:37 (KJV)
37 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.

‘The Lord is my portion, saith my soul.’ Lamentations 3:24

Suggested Further Reading: 1 John 4:7–19

The love of God changes us into its own image, so that what the Lord says concerning us, we can also declare concerning him. God is love essentially, and when this essential love shines forth freely upon us, we reflect it back upon him. He is like the sun, the great father of lights, and we are as the moon and the planets, we shine in rays borrowed from his brightness. He is the golden seal, and we, his people, are the wax receiving the impression. Our heaven is to be likeness to Christ, and our preparation for heaven consists in a growing imitation of him in all things. See, brethren, how the Lord gives the word, and our heart, like an echo, repeats every syllable. The Lord loves his people, and we love him because he first loved us; he has chosen his saints, and they have also made him their chosen heritage. The saints are precious to Jesus, and unto us who believe he is precious; Christ lived for us, and for us to live is Christ; we gain all things by his death, and for us to die is gain. The church is the looking-glass in which Christ sees himself reflected; she is like a fair songstress taking up the refrain of Jesus’ canticles of love; while he sings, ‘My sister, my spouse,’ she answers, ‘My beloved is mine, and I am his.’ It is most delightful to perceive how, through divine grace, believers come to have the same feeling towards their God which their gracious Lord has towards them. Our two texts present us with an interesting instance: the church is God’s portion, he delights in her, he finds in her his solace and his joy; but God is also, as the result of this, the church’s portion, her full delight and bliss. Beloved, the love is mutual.

For meditation: God has loved us (Malachi 1:2); how are you responding to him? With unbelief, self-justification and self-defence (Malachi 1:2,6–7; 2:17; 3:8,13)? Or with love displayed in thankful trust and obedience (Psalm 56:10–13; 116:1–2,12–14)? Are you being changed into his image (2 Corinthians 3:18)?

Sermon no. 451   25 May (1862)

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God Knit You as a Babe in Mother’s Womb – God Carries You In Your Golden Years!

The God of the aged

(source:  Google royalty free images  GNU License )

“Even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.”Isaiah 46:4

Suggested Further Reading: Psalm 71:1-18

Middle aged man! Listen to what David says, again, “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” Go on, then, unsheath your sword once more. “The battle is the Lord’s;” leave your declining years to him, and give your present years to him. Live to him now, and he will never cast you away when you are old. Do not lay up for old age and keep back from the cause of God; but rather trust God for the future. Be “diligent in business;” but take care you do not hurt your spirit, by being too diligent, by being grasping and selfish. Remember you will

“Want but little here below, Nor want that little long.”

And lastly, my dear venerable fathers in the faith, and mothers in Israel, take these words for your joy. Do not let the young people catch you indulging in melancholy, sitting in your chimney corner, grumbling and growling, but go about cheerful and happy, and they will think how blessed it is to be a Christian. If you are surly and fretful, they will think the Lord has forsaken you; but keep a smiling countenance, and they will think the promise is fulfilled. “And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.” Do, I beseech you, my venerable friends, try to be of a happy temperament and cheerful spirit, for a child will run away from a surly old man; but there is not a child in the world who does not love his grandfather if he is cheerful and happy. You can lead us to heaven if you have got heaven’s sunlight on your face.

For meditation: Elderly believers—the Bible tells us about their testimony (Psalm 92:14,15; Proverbs 16:31), their teaching (Titus 2:2,3) and their treatment (1 Timothy 5:1,2).

note: This sermon was substantially repeated at Stambourne, Essex, two days later on the commemoration of the jubilee of Spurgeon’s grandfather, Rev James Spurgeon.

Sermon nos. 81-82        5 May (1856)

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CONVERSATION

PHIL 4:13

PHIL 4:13

Morning

“Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer.”
Psalm 66:20

In looking back upon the character of our prayers, if we do it honestly, we shall be filled with wonder that God has ever answered them. There may be some who think their prayers worthy of acceptance–as the Pharisee did; but the true Christian, in a more enlightened retrospect, weeps over his prayers, and if he could retrace his steps he would desire to pray more earnestly. Remember, Christian, how cold thy prayers have been. When in thy closet thou shouldst have wrestled as Jacob did; but instead thereof, thy petitions have been faint and few–far removed from that humble, believing, persevering faith, which cries, “I will not let thee go except thou bless me.” Yet, wonderful to say, God has heard these cold prayers of thine, and not only heard, but answered them. Reflect also, how infrequent have been thy prayers, unless thou hast been in trouble, and then thou hast gone often to the mercy-seat: but when deliverance has come, where has been thy constant supplication? Yet, notwithstanding thou hast ceased to pray as once thou didst, God has not ceased to bless. When thou hast neglected the mercy-seat, God has not deserted it, but the bright light of the Shekinah has always been visible between the wings of the cherubim. Oh! it is marvellous that the Lord should regard those intermittent spasms of importunity which come and go with our necessities. What a God is he thus to hear the prayers of those who come to him when they have pressing wants, but neglect him when they have received a mercy; who approach him when they are forced to come, but who almost forget to address him when mercies are plentiful and sorrows are few. Let his gracious kindness in hearing such prayers touch our hearts, so that we may henceforth be found “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.”

Evening

MATTHEW 4:19

MATTHEW 4:19

“Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ.”
Philippians 1:27

The word “conversation” does not merely mean our talk and converse with one another, but the whole course of our life and behaviour in the world. The Greek word signifies the actions and the privileges of citizenship: and thus we are commanded to let our actions, as citizens of the New Jerusalem, be such as becometh the gospel of Christ. What sort of conversation is this? In the first place, the gospel is very simple. So Christians should be simple and plain in their habits. There should be about our manner, our speech, our dress, our whole behaviour, that simplicity which is the very soul of beauty. The gospel is pre-eminently true, it is gold without dross; and the Christian’s life will be lustreless and valueless without the jewel of truth. The gospel is a very fearless gospel, it boldly proclaims the truth, whether men like it or not: we must be equally faithful and unflinching. But the gospel is also very gentle. Mark this spirit in its Founder: “a bruised reed he will not break.” Some professors are sharper than a thorn-hedge; such men are not like Jesus. Let us seek to win others by the gentleness of our words and acts. The gospel is very loving. It is the message of the God of love to a lost and fallen race. Christ’s last command to his disciples was, “Love one another.” O for more real, hearty union and love to all the saints; for more tender compassion towards the souls of the worst and vilest of men! We must not forget that the gospel of Christ is holy. It never excuses sin: it pardons it, but only through an atonement. If our life is to resemble the gospel, we must shun, not merely the grosser vices, but everything that would hinder our perfect conformity to Christ. For his sake, for our own sakes, and for the sakes of others, we must strive day by day to let our conversation be more in accordance with his gospel.

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