GOD WILL LEAD THY

Morning

ames 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much

ames 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much

“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 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.”

Evening

flowers

“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 till 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 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 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 splendours 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.”

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

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Continental tour H2

matthew419

Suggested Reading: Philippians 2:12-16

At Zurich I saw in the great fair what I also saw at Baden-Baden, a sight which gave me pleasure, namely, the little star of truth shining amid the darkness. Opposite the house at Baden, where Satan was winning souls at the gaming table, there was a little stall at which an agent of the Bible Society was selling Bibles and Testaments. I went up and bought a Testament from him, and felt quite cheered to see the little battery erected right before the fortifications of Satan, for I felt in my soul it was mighty through God to the pulling down of the stronghold. There in the midst of the fair at Zurich where they were selling all manner of things, like John Bunyan’s Vanity Fair, there stood a humble looking man with his stall, upon which there were Bibles, Testaments, and Mr Ryle’s Tracts. It is always a great comfort to me to see my sermons in French and other languages sold at the same shops as those of that excellent man of God. There is the simple gospel in his tracts, and they are to my knowledge singularly owned of God. How sweet it is to see these dear brethren in other churches, loving our Lord, and honoured by him. At Lucerne we stopped and spent our third Sabbath day and of all days in the year, Sabbath days on the Continent are most wretched, so far as the means of grace are concerned. This, however, was spent in quiet worship in our own chamber. Our first Sabbath was a dead waste, for the service at church was lifeless, spiritless, graceless, powerless. Even the grand old prayers were so badly read, that it was impossible to be devout while hearing them, and the sermon upon “The justice of God in destroying the Canaanites,” was as much adapted to convert a sinner, or to edify a saint, as Burke’s Peerage, or Walker’s dictionary.

For meditation: In what ways do you think Spurgeon would have applied the title of the sermon which so disappointed him, so that it could be beneficial to saint and sinner alike?

Part of nos. 331-332     21 July

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Am I clear of his blood?

It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.  Psalm 118:8

It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in man.
Psalm 118:8

‘The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.’ Genesis 4:10

Suggested Further Reading: Ephesians 5:15–20

The servants of Satan shame me; they shame me! There comes at night a message to some of you who are the servants of Satan—‘The master is come, and calleth for thee.’ You leave your wife and your children without a tear, you go to your master’s house, and there are foul cups passing round, and you will drink, and drink still on; never denying your master; confessing him with many an oath; saying to your comrades many things which injure your poor souls; and yet you do it so bravely. You hardly know how you get home at night, but when the morning comes, and you wake, there is the redness of the eyes, the headache, and the sickness; but the next night when your master wants you, you go again; and so you will do year after year, even though delirium tears you like a whirlwind. But here am I, a servant of God, and when my Master calls for me and bids me go and confess him, I am tempted to be still, and when he tells me to speak to yonder man I would wickedly avoid the task; and whereas you confess your master and imprecate a curse upon your head, how often do some of us confess our master as timidly as if we feared a curse, when instead thereof it is by confession that the curse is turned away! It is enough to make us Christians ashamed to think how sinners will confess their god! Hear them at night, as they reel home through the streets; they are not ashamed of their lord and master. Hear how they swear, and defy heaven! They are ashamed of nothing for their lord; and yet we, who have heaven for our reward, and such a Christ to serve, and one so good and gracious to us—look at us! What poor lovers of our Saviour are we! What poor lovers of the souls of men!

For meditation: Do you find yourself being ashamed firstly of Christ and then, as a result, of yourself (Mark 14:66–72)? Failure to speak for him is a common temptation and sin of omission, but with God’s help it is possible to get the victory over it (Psalm 119:46; Romans 1:16; 2 Timothy 1:8).

Sermon no. 461   20 July (1862)

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

JESUS OPENS SPIRITUALLY BLINDED EYES

Seeing and not seeing, or men as trees walking

ames 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much

James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

‘He took the blind man by the hand …; when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought. And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, … and he … saw every man clearly.’ Mark 8:23–25

Suggested Further Reading: Hebrews 5:11–14

Be not satisfied, my dear friends, with being saved; desire to know how you are saved, why you are saved, the method by which you are saved. It is a rock on which you stand, I know, but think upon the questions—how you were put upon that rock, by whose love you came there, and why that love was set on you. I would to God that all the members of this church were not only in Christ Jesus, but understood him, and knew by the assurance of the understanding where unto they have attained. Recollect there are many grave distinctions in Scripture which will save you a world of trouble if you will know and remember them. Try to understand the difference between the old nature and the new. Never expect the old nature to improve into the new, for it never will. The old nature can never do anything but sin, and the new nature never can sin. These are two distinct principles; never confound them. Do not see men as trees walking. Do not confuse sanctification and justification. Recollect that the moment you trust in Christ you are justified as completely as you will be in heaven, but sanctification is a gradual work, which is carried on from day to day by God the Holy Spirit. Distinguish between the great truth that salvation is all of God, and the great lie that men are not to be blamed if they are lost. Be well assured that salvation is of the Lord, but do not lay ****ation at God’s door. Be not ashamed if men call you a Calvinist, but hate with all your heart Antinomianism. On the other hand, while you believe human responsibility, never run into the error that man ever turns to God of his own free will. There is a narrow line between the two errors; ask for grace to see it.

For meditation: Recently born again believers cannot be expected to be experts in doctrine, but long-standing converts ought to know better (1 Corinthians 3:1–2; 13:11; 14:20; Ephesians 4:14–15).

Sermon no. 701     22 July (1866)

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

HOLY TRINITY

Morning

dove2animated

“Sanctified by God the Father.”
Jude 1

“Sanctified in Christ Jesus.”

1 Corinthians 1:2

“Through sanctification of the Spirit.”

1 Peter 1:2

Mark the union of the Three Divine Persons in all their gracious acts. How unwisely do those believers talk who make preferences in the Persons of the Trinity; who think of Jesus as if he were the embodiment of everything lovely and gracious, while the Father they regard as severely just, but destitute of kindness. Equally wrong are those who magnify the decree of the Father, and the atonement of the Son, so as to depreciate the work of the Spirit. In deeds of grace none of the Persons of the Trinity act apart from the rest. They are as united in their deeds as in their essence. In their love towards the chosen they are one, and in the actions which flow from that great central source they are still undivided. Specially notice this in the matter of sanctification. While we may without mistake speak of sanctification as the work of the Spirit, yet we must take heed that we do not view it as if the Father and the Son had no part therein. It is correct to speak of sanctification as the work of the Father, of the Son, and of the Spirit. Still doth Jehovah say, “Let us make man in our own image after our likeness,” and thus we are “his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” See the value which God sets upon real holiness, since the Three Persons in the Trinity are represented as co-working to produce a Church without “spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.” And you, believer, as the follower of Christ, must also set a high value on holiness–upon purity of life and godliness of conversation. Value the blood of Christ as the foundation of your hope, but never speak disparagingly of the work of the Spirit which is your meetness for the inheritance of the saints in light. This day let us so live as to manifest the work of the Triune God in us.

Evening

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.

“His heavenly kingdom.”
2 Timothy 4:18

Yonder city of the great King is a place of active service. Ransomed spirits serve him day and night in his temple. They never cease to fulfil the good pleasure of their King. They always “rest,” so far as ease and freedom from care is concerned; and never “rest,” in the sense of indolence or inactivity. Jerusalem the golden is the place of communion with all the people of God. We shall sit with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in eternal fellowship. We shall hold high converse with the noble host of the elect, all reigning with him who by his love and his potent arm has brought them safely home. We shall not sing solos, but in chorus shall we praise our King. Heaven is a place of victory realized. Whenever, Christian, thou hast achieved a victory over thy lusts–whenever after hard struggling, thou hast laid a temptation dead at thy feet–thou hast in that hour a foretaste of the joy that awaits thee when the Lord shall shortly tread Satan under thy feet, and thou shalt find thyself more than conqueror through him who hath loved thee. Paradise is a place of security. When you enjoy the full assurance of faith, you have the pledge of that glorious security which shall be yours when you are a perfect citizen of the heavenly Jerusalem. O my sweet home, Jerusalem, thou happy harbour of my soul! Thanks, even now, to him whose love hath taught me to long for thee; but louder thanks in eternity, when I shall possess thee.

“My soul has tasted of the grapes,

And now it longs to go

Where my dear Lord his vineyard keeps

And all the clusters grow.

“Upon the true and living vine,

My famish’d soul would feast,

And banquet on the fruit divine,

An everlasting guest.”

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

The wicked man’s life

The wicked man’s life, funeral, and epitaph

abstract fire on black

“And so I saw the wicked buried, who had come and gone from the place of the holy, and they were forgotten in the city where they had so done: this also is vanity.” Ecclesiastes 8:10

Suggested Further Reading: Luke 16:19-23

Go into Bunhill Fields, and stand by the memorial of John Bunyan, and you will say, “Ah! There lies the head that contained the brain which thought out that wondrous dream of the Pilgrim’s Progress from the City of Destruction to the Better Land. There lies the finger that wrote those wondrous lines which depict the story of him who came at last to the land Beulah, and waded through the flood, and entered into the celestial city. And there are the eyelids which he once spoke of, when he said, “If I lie in prison until the moss grows on my eyelids, I will never make a promise to withhold from preaching.” And there is that bold eye that penetrated the judge, when he said, “If you will let me out of prison today, I will preach again tomorrow, by the help of God.” And there lies that loving hand that was ever ready to receive into communion all them that loved the Lord Jesus Christ: I love the hand that wrote the book, “Water Baptism no bar to Christian Communion.” I love him for that sake alone, and if he had written nothing else but that, I would say, “John Bunyan, be honoured for ever.” And there lies the foot that carried him up Snow Hill to go and make peace between a father and a son, in that cold day, which cost him his life. Peace to his ashes! Wait, O John Bunyan, till thy Master sends his angel to blow the trumpet; and methinks, when the archangel sounds it, he will almost think of thee, and this shall be a part of his joy, that honest John Bunyan, the greatest of all Englishmen, shall rise from his tomb at the blowing of that great trump. You cannot say so of the wicked.

For meditation: In Heaven the saved are still known by name—Abraham, Lazarus; in hell the lost are at best known only by a description—Dives is just the Latin for “a rich man”. See the contrast inProverbs 10:7. Are the names and burial-places of John Bunyan’s enemies well known even on earth?

Sermon no. 200  13 June (1858)

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

THE LORD-THE LIBERATOR

King James Version

0190-0133_madonna_con_il_bambino_dormiente

And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

Read at Bible Gateway    Read all of Luke 1

The Lord—the Liberator

‘The Lord looseth the prisoners.’ Psalm 146:7

Suggested Further Reading: Psalm 107:10–16

When preaching last Tuesday in Dover, the mayor of the town very courteously lent the ancient town hall for the service, and in passing along to reach a private entrance, I noticed a large number of grated windows upon a lower level than the great hall. These belonged to the prison cells where persons committed for offences within the jurisdiction of the borough were confined. It at once struck me as a singular combination, that we should be preaching the gospel of liberty in the upper chamber, while there were prisoners of the law beneath us. Perhaps when we sang praises to God, the prisoners, like those who were in the same jail with Paul and Silas, heard us; but the free word above did not give them liberty, nor did the voice of song loose their bonds. Alas! what a picture is this of many in our congregations. We preach liberty to the captives; we proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord; but how many remain year after year in the bondage of Satan, slaves to sin. We send up our notes of praise right joyously to our Father who is in heaven, but our praises cannot give them joy, for alas! their hearts are unused to gratitude. Some of them are mourning on account of unpardoned sin, and others are deploring their blighted hopes, for they have looked for comfort where it is never to be found. Let us breathe a prayer this morning, ‘Lord, break the fetters, and set free the captives. Glorify thyself this morning by proving thyself to be Jehovah, who ‘looseth the prisoners’.’

For meditation: Dover Old Town Gaol is now a prison museum. Spurgeon’s allegorical guided tour of Victorian and earlier prisons included the common prison (sin), the solitary cell (penitence), the silent cell (prayerlessness), the cell of ignorance (unbelief), the ball and chain (habit), the hard labour room (self-righteousness), the low dungeon (despondency), the inner prison (despair), the torture chamber (Satanic temptation) and the condemned cell (self-condemnation). Are you in spiritual prison? Christ was sent to set the prisoners free (Isaiah 42:7; 61:1;Luke 4:18; John 8:36), but nothing can be done for those who choose to stay in prison.

Sermon no. 484   14 December (1862)

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

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God reminded Jacob of the covenant promise

Day 40: Read today’s devotional on Bible Gateway.

ICANDOTHISEAGLE

Genesis 46:1-27

When Jacob learns that Joseph is alive, he moves from Canaan to Egypt with his entire family.

On the Road Again

Read

So Jacob set out for Egypt with all his possessions. And when he came to Beersheba, he offered sacrifices to the God of his father, Isaac. During the night God spoke to him in a vision. “Jacob! Jacob!” he called.

Here I am, Jacob replied.

I am God, the God of your father,  the voice said.  Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make your family into a great nation. I will go with you down to Egypt, and I will bring you back again. You will die in Egypt, but Joseph will be with you to close your eyes.  (Genesis 46:1-4)

Reflect

God told Jacob to leave his home and travel to a strange and faraway land. But God reassured him by promising to go with him and take care of him.

God reminded Jacob of the covenant promise he had made to Abraham: He would be the father of a great nation (Genesis 15:1-6). While in Egypt, the Israelites did become a great nation, and Jacob’s descendants eventually returned to Canaan. Jacob himself never returned to Canaan, but God promised that his descendants would return. That Jacob would die in Egypt with Joseph at his side was God’s promise to Jacob that he would never know the pain of being lonely again. The book of Exodus recounts the story of Israel’s slavery in Egypt for 400 years (fulfilling God’s words to Abram in Genesis 15:13-16), and the book of Joshua gives an exciting account of the Israelites entering and conquering Canaan, the Promised Land.

God made several promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and he fulfilled them all, even though these men wavered in their faith from time to time and did not always live as they should. Fortunately, God’s actions in the world will be fulfilled with or without our cooperation. He has plans and will accomplish them and God always keeps his promises.

Respond

Thank God for his love and guidance and ask him for faith to trust him more and for strength to do his will.

Take God’s Covenant’s Seriously!

THY WORD

Genesis 18:1-15

After God reaffirms the covenant to Abraham, heavenly visitors repeat his promise that Sarah will bear a son, but Sarah cannot believe it.

Punch Line

Read

He looked up and noticed three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he ran to meet them and welcomed them, bowing low to the ground. . . .

Then one of them said, “I will return to you about this time next year, and your wife, Sarah, will have a son!”

Sarah was listening to this conversation from the tent. Abraham and Sarah were both very old by this time, and Sarah was long past the age of having children. So she laughed silently to herself and said, “How could a worn-out woman like me enjoy such pleasure, especially when my master—my husband—is also so old?”

Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh? Why did she say, ‘Can an old woman like me have a baby?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”

Sarah was afraid, so she denied it, saying, “I didn’t laugh.”

But the Lord said, “No, you did laugh.” (Genesis 18:2, 10-15)

Reflect

Abraham eagerly welcomed these visitors, as did Lot (Genesis 19:2). In Abraham’s day, a person’s reputation largely depended on his or her hospitality—the sharing of home and goods. Even strangers were to be treated as highly honored guests. Meeting another’s need for food or shelter was and still is one of the most immediate and practical ways to obey God. It is also a time-honored relationship builder.

These visitors brought specific news about Sarah and a baby boy. Because Sarah was over ninety, she thought the prediction was laughable. But when confronted about her response, she responded, “I didn’t laugh.”

Sarah lied because she was afraid of being discovered. Fear is a common motive for lying. We are afraid that our inner thoughts and emotions will be exposed or our wrongdoings discovered. In response to Sarah’s unbelief (and laughter), God says, “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” The obvious answer is, “Of course not!”

Respond

Nothing is too difficult for God. Make it a habit to insert your specific needs into God’s question. “Is this day in my life too hard for the Lord?” “Is this habit I’m trying to break too hard for him?” “Is the communication problem I’m having too hard for him?” Asking the question this way can remind you that God is personally involved in your life and nudges you to ask for his power to help you.

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