FISHER OF MEN

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.

1 JOHN 3:16

Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

Read at Bible Gateway       Read all of 1 John 3      Public Domain

The two draughts of fishes

MT 4:19 And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

MT 4:19
And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.

‘And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.’ John 21:6

Suggested Further Reading: John 6:22–35

The whole life of Christ was a sermon. He was a prophet mighty in word and deed; and by his deeds as well as his words he taught the people. It is perfectly true that the miracles of Christ attest his mission. But we ought not to overlook that probably a higher reason for the miracles is to be found in the instruction which they convey. To the world without, at the present time, the miracles of Christ are more hard to believe than the doctrine which he taught. Sceptics turn them into stones of stumbling, and when they cannot cavil at the marvellous teaching of Jesus, they attack the miracles as monstrous and incredible. I doubt not that even to minds seriously vexed with unbelief, the miracles, instead of being helps to belief, have been trials of faith. Few indeed are there in whom faith is wrought by signs and wonders; nor indeed is this the gospel way of bringing conviction to the soul: the secret force of the living word is the chosen instrumentality of Christ, and wonders are left to be the resort of that antichrist by whom the nations shall be deceived. We, who by grace have believed, view the miracles of Christ as noble attestations to his mission and divinity, but we confess that we value them even more as instructive homilies than as attesting witnesses; it is our conviction that we should lose much of the benefit which they were meant to convey to us, if we were merely to view them as seals to the roll, for they are a part of the writing of the roll itself. The marvels wrought by our blessed Lord are acted sermons full of holy doctrine, set forth to us more vividly than it could have been in words.

For meditation: The Lord Jesus Christ taught lessons as follow-up to and spiritual application of some of his miracles (Matthew 21:21–22;Mark 2:9–11; Luke 5:9–10; John 6:26–27; 9:39–41). Are you learning them?

Sermon no. 443      6 April (1862)

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God wants your worries!

Give your worries to God, for he cares for you

thinking THY WORD

 

He will not forget

And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:.

Matthew 6:28 KJV

 

God knows your name

“A good friend of mine once went to visit his brother during a time of deep crisis. His marriage was struggling, his business was near collapse, and his money was drying up quickly. He had just sold his home and moved into a one-bedroom apartment and had no idea how he was going to dig himself out of his financial and relational problems.

My friend listened as his brother confided in him about his deep frustration. “Some days you want to go outside and shake your fist at heaven and say, ‘God, why don’t you help me?'” his brother said.

My friend looked at his brother in the eye and said somberly, “That wouldn’t do any good. He doesn’t even know who you are.” The two looked at each other for several seconds then burst out laughing. The two brothers had spent their lives trusting God and studying his Word, and the absurdity of the statement left them both in stitches. Years later, the brother told my friend that his joke had brought him a great deal of comfort during his trying time. Even more, it gave him renewed perspective.

We’ve all felt abandoned by God at one time or another. God cares deeply when we suffer, and he is right there beside us all the time.

At times like these the best thing to do is put your hand in his and trust him with your future. Because he not only knows what you’re going through, he knows exactly who you are.

from Embracing Eternity by Tim LaHaye, Jerry B. Jenkins and Frank M. Martin (Tyndale) p 166

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

His name, “The Everlasting Father”

His name, “The Everlasting Father

In Your Light Pic 3

The everlasting Father   . Isaiah 9:6

Suggested Further Reading: John 10:30-38

God is called the Father of the fatherless, and Job says of himself that he became a father to the poor. You know what it means, of course, at once; it means that he exercised a father;s part. Now, albeit that the Spirit of adoption teaches us to call God our Father, yet it is not straining truth to say that our Lord Jesus Christ exercises to all his people a Father’s art. According to the old Jewish custom the elder brother was the father of the family in the absence of the father; the firstborn took precedence of all, and took upon himself the father’s position; so the Lord Jesus, the firstborn among many brethren, exercises to us a Father’s office. Is it not so? Has he not succoured us in all time of our need as a father succours his child? Does he not daily protect us? Did he not yield up his life that we his little ones might be preserved? Will he not say at the last, Behold I and the children which God hath given me; those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost? Does he not chastise us by hiding himself from us, as a father chastens his children? Do we not find him instructing us by his Spirit and leading us into all truth? Has he not told us to call no man father upon earth in the sense that he is to be our true guide and instructor, but to sit at his feet and make him our authoritative Teacher? Is he not the head in the household to us on earth, abiding with us, and has he not said,I will not leave you comfortless (the Greek word is orphans): I will come to you, âs if his coming was the coming of a father?

For meditation: Think on Christ‘s fatherly words to his children  (Mark 10:24; John 13:33; 14:18; 21:5). If he is fatherlike towards us, we should be childlike (not childish) towards him (Matthew 18:1–4).

N.B. Spurgeon had preached on the previous three titles of Christ to be found in Isaiah 9:6 at the Royal Surrey Gardens Music Hall in 1858-59 (see New Park Street Pulpit nos. 214, 215, 258 all represented in the previous volume of daily readings 365 days with Spurgeon).

Sermon no. 724 9 December (1866)

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

 

Lord Jesus Christ spoke often of judgment !

Turn or burn

If he turn not, he will whet his sword; he hath bent his bow, and made it ready.   Psalm 7:12

Suggested Further Reading: 2 Thessalonians 1:5-12

God has a sword, and he will punish man on account of his iniquity. This evil generation has laboured to take away from God the sword of his justice; they have endeavoured to prove to themselves that God will clear the guilty, and will by no means  punish iniquity, transgression and sin.  Two hundred years ago the predominant strain of the pulpit was one of terror: it was like Mount Sinai, it thundered forth the dreadful wrath of God, and from the lips of a Baxter or a Bunyan, you heard most terrible sermons, full to the brim with warnings of judgment to come. Perhaps some of the Puritan fathers may have gone too far, and have given too great a prominence to the terrors of the Lord in their ministry: but the age in which we live has sought to forget those terrors altogether, and if we dare to tell men that God will punish them for their sins, it is charged upon us that we want to bully them into religion, and if we faithfully and honestly tell our hearers that sin must bring after it certain destruction, it is said that we are attempting to frighten them into goodness. Now we care not what men mockingly impute to us; we feel it our duty, when men sin, to tell them they shall be punished, and so long as the world will not give up its sin we feel we must not cease our warnings. But the cry of the age is, that God is merciful, that God is love. Who said he was not? But remember, it is equally true, God is just, severely and inflexibly just. He were not God, if he were not just; he could not be merciful if he were not just.

For meditation: The meek and lowly Lord Jesus Christ spoke often of judgment because of his care for the souls of men and his longing for them to repent and find rest (Matthew 11:20-30).

Sermon no. 106 7 December (1856)

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THE GOODNESS OF THE LORD

Morning

BRIDE WAITS FOR GROOM

“Thou art all fair, my love.” Song of Solomon 4:7

The Lord’s admiration of his Church is very wonderful, and his description of her beauty is very glowing. She is not merely fair, but “all fair.” He views her in himself, washed in his sin-atoning blood and clothed in his meritorious righteousness, and he considers her to be full of comeliness and beauty. No wonder that such is the case, since it is but his own perfect excellency that he admires; for the holiness, glory, and perfection of his Church are his own glorious garments on the back of his own well-beloved spouse. She is not simply pure, or well-proportioned; she is positively lovely and fair! She has actual merit! Her deformities of sin are removed; but more, she has through her Lord obtained a meritorious righteousness by which an actual beauty is conferred upon her. Believers have a positive righteousness given to them when they become “accepted in the beloved” (Eph. 1:6). Nor is the Church barely lovely, she is superlatively so. Her Lord styles her “Thou fairest among women.” She has a real worth and excellence which cannot be rivalled by all the nobility and royalty of the world. If Jesus could exchange his elect bride for all the queens and empresses of earth, or even for the angels in heaven, he would not, for he puts her first and foremost–“fairest among women.” Like the moon she far outshines the stars. Nor is this an opinion which he is ashamed of, for he invites all men to hear it. He sets a “behold” before it, a special note of exclamation, inviting and arresting attention. “Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair” (Song of Sol. 4:1). His opinion he publishes abroad even now, and one day from the throne of his glory he will avow the truth of it before the assembled universe. “Come, ye blessed of my Father” (Matt. 25:34), will be his solemn affirmation of the loveliness of his elect.

Evening

“Behold, all is vanity.” Ecclesiastes 1:14

Nothing can satisfy the entire man but the Lord’s love and the Lord’s own self. Saints have tried to anchor in other roadsteads, but they have been driven out of such fatal refuges. Solomon, the wisest of men, was permitted to make experiments for us all, and to do for us what we must not dare to do for ourselves. Here is his testimony in his own words: “So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me. And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.” “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” What! the whole of it vanity? O favoured monarch, is there nothing in all thy wealth? Nothing in that wide dominion reaching from the river even to the sea? Nothing in Palmyra’s glorious palaces? Nothing in the house of the forest of Lebanon? In all thy music and dancing, and wine and luxury, is there nothing? “Nothing,” he says, “but weariness of spirit.” This was his verdict when he had trodden the whole round of pleasure. To embrace our Lord Jesus, to dwell in his love, and be fully assured of union with him–this is all in all. Dear reader, you need not try other forms of life in order to see whether they are better than the Christian’s: if you roam the world around, you will see no sights like a sight of the Saviour’s face; if you could have all the comforts of life, if you lost your Saviour, you would be wretched; but if you win Christ, then should you rot in a dungeon, you would find it a paradise; should you live in obscurity, or die with famine, you will yet be satisfied with favour and full of the goodness of the Lord.

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THE KING AND HIS CHARIOT

The royal rider in his glorious chariot

KING OF KINGS GLORY

Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness?   Song of Solomon 3:6

Suggested Further Reading: Acts 17:16-23

Who is this that cometh out of the wilderness?  The equipage excites the attention of the onlooker; his curiosity is raised, and he asks, Who is this? Now, in the first progress of the Christian church, in her very earliest days, there were persons who marvelled greatly: and though they put down the wonders of the day of Pentecost to drunkenness, yet they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?  In after years many a heathen philosopher said, What is this new power which is breaking the idols in pieces, changing old customs, making even thrones unsafe? What is this?  By and by, in the age of the Reformation, there were hooded monks, cardinals in their red hats, and bishops, and princes, and emperors, who all said, What is this? What strange doctrine has come to light?  In the times of the modern reformation, a century ago, when God was pleased to revive his church through the instrumentality of Whitefield and his brethren, there were many who said, What is this new enthusiasm, this Methodism? Whence came it, and what power is this which it wields? And, doubtless, whenever God shall be pleased to bring forth his church in power, and to make her mighty among the sons of men, the ignorance of men will be discovered breaking forth in wonder, for they will say, Who is this? Spiritual religion is as much a novelty now as in the day when Greek sages scoffed at it on Mars hill. The true church of God is a stranger and pilgrim still; an alien and a foreigner in every land; a speckled bird; a dove in the midst of ravens, a lily among thorns.

For meditation: The church will not arouse any worthwhile curiosity unless it is preaching the Lord Jesus Christ as he really is. Pray that Christ will be preached in truth (Philippians 1:18) in these days, and that men and women will be caused to ask, as when he was on earth, ‘Who is this?  (Matthew 21:10; Luke 5:21; 7:49; 9:9; 19:3).

Sermon no. 482 30 November (1862)

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“Come up hither”

The voice from heaven

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˜And they heard a great voice from heaven, saying unto them, Come up hither.  Revelation 11:12

Suggested Further Reading: John 13:36-14:3

˜Come up hither.  The Father seems to say this to every adopted child. We say, ˜Our Father which art in heaven.  The Father ‘s heart desires to have his children round his knee, and his love each day beckons us with a tender Come up hither.  Nor will your Father and my Father ever be content till every one of his children shall be in the many mansions above. And Jesus whispers this in your ear too. Hearken! Do you not hear him say, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me; the glory which I had with thee before the world was.  Jesus beckons you to the skies, believer. Lay not fast hold upon the things of earth. He who is but a lodger in an inn must not live as though he were at home. Keep your tent ready for striking. Be ever prepared to draw up your anchor, and to sail across the sea and find the better port, for while Jesus beckons, here we have no continuing city. No true wife has rest save in the house of her husband. Where her consort is, there is her home, a home which draws her soul towards it every day. Jesus, I say, invites us to the skies. He cannot be completely content until he brings his body, the church, into the glory of its Head, and conducts his elect spouse to the marriage feast of her Lord. Besides the desires of the Father and the Son, all those who have gone before, seem to be leaning over the battlements of heaven, and calling, Courage, brothers! Eternal glory awaits you. Fight your way, stem the current, breast the wave, and come up hither. We without you cannot be made perfect: there is no perfect church in heaven till all the chosen saints be there; therefore come up hither.

For meditation: God calls us to himself on earth first (Matthew 11:28) and to heaven afterwards. Others have added their voices to that call (Revelation 22:17). Having come to Christ on earth, we should be calling him to come again from heaven (Revelation 22:20) to receive us, as his people, to himself (John 14:3).

Sermon no. 488 27 November (Preached 23 November 1862

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

English: Jesus ascending to heaven

English: Jesus ascending to heaven (Photo credit: Wikipedia)