God has promised to supply our needs

Morning

flowers

“There fell down many slain, because the war was of God.”
1 Chronicles 5:22

Warrior, fighting under the banner of the Lord Jesus, observe this verse with holy joy, for as it was in the days of old so is it now, if the war be of God the victory is sure. The sons of Reuben, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh could barely muster five and forty thousand fighting men, and yet in their war with the Hagarites, they slew “men, an hundred thousand,” “for they cried to God in the battle, and he was entreated of them, because they put their trust in him.” The Lord saveth not by many nor by few; it is ours to go forth in Jehovah’s name if we be but a handful of men, for the Lord of Hosts is with us for our Captain. They did not neglect buckler, and sword, and bow, neither did they place their trust in these weapons; we must use all fitting means, but our confidence must rest in the Lord alone, for he is the sword and the shield of his people. The great reason of their extraordinary success lay in the fact that “the war was of God.” Beloved, in fighting with sin without and within, with error doctrinal or practical, with spiritual wickedness in high places or low places, with devils and the devil’s allies, you are waging Jehovah’s war, and unless he himself can be worsted, you need not fear defeat. Quail not before superior numbers, shrink not from difficulties or impossibilities, flinch not at wounds or death, smite with the two-edged sword of the Spirit, and the slain shall lie in heaps. The battle is the Lord’s and he will deliver his enemies into our hands. With steadfast foot, strong hand, dauntless heart, and flaming zeal, rush to the conflict, and the hosts of evil shall fly like chaff before the gale.

Stand up! stand up for Jesus!

The strife will not be long;

This day the noise of battle,

The next the victor’s song:

To him that overcometh,

A crown of life shall be;

He with the King of glory

Shall reign eternally.

Evening

JUST BELIEVE

“Thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not.”
Numbers 11:23

God had made a positive promise to Moses that for the space of a whole month he would feed the vast host in the wilderness with flesh. Moses, being overtaken by a fit of unbelief, looks to the outward means, and is at a loss to know how the promise can be fulfilled. He looked to the creature instead of the Creator. But doth the Creator expect the creature to fulfil his promise for him? No; he who makes the promise ever fulfils it by his own unaided omnipotence. If he speaks, it is done–done by himself. His promises do not depend for their fulfilment upon the co-operation of the puny strength of man. We can at once perceive the mistake which Moses made. And yet how commonly we do the same! God has promised to supply our needs, and we look to the creature to do what God has promised to do; and then, because we perceive the creature to be weak and feeble, we indulge in unbelief. Why look we to that quarter at all? Will you look to the north pole to gather fruits ripened in the sun? Verily, you would act no more foolishly if ye did this than when you look to the weak for strength, and to the creature to do the Creator’s work. Let us, then, put the question on the right footing. The ground of faith is not the sufficiency of the visible means for the performance of the promise, but the all-sufficiency of the invisible God, who will most surely do as he hath said. If after clearly seeing that the onus lies with the Lord and not with the creature, we dare to indulge in mistrust, the question of God comes home mightily to us: “Has the Lord’s hand waxed short?” May it happen, too, in his mercy, that with the question there may flash upon our souls that blessed declaration, “Thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not.”

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

 

KING JESUS!

Morning

images16CDVWX2

“God, even our own God.”
Psalm 67:6

It is strange how little use we make of the spiritual blessings which God gives us, but it is stranger still how little use we make of God himself. Though he is “our own God,” we apply ourselves but little to him, and ask but little of him. How seldom do we ask counsel at the hands of the Lord! How often do we go about our business, without seeking his guidance! In our troubles how constantly do we strive to bear our burdens ourselves, instead of casting them upon the Lord, that he may sustain us! This is not because we may not, for the Lord seems to say, “I am thine, soul, come and make use of me as thou wilt; thou mayst freely come to my store, and the oftener the more welcome.” It is our own fault if we make not free with the riches of our God. Then, since thou hast such a friend, and he invites thee, draw from him daily. Never want whilst thou hast a God to go to; never fear or faint whilst thou hast God to help thee; go to thy treasure and take whatever thou needest–there is all that thou canst want. Learn the divine skill of making God all things to thee. He can supply thee with all, or, better still, he can be to thee instead of all. Let me urge thee, then, to make use of thy God. Make use of him in prayer. Go to him often, because he is thy God. O, wilt thou fail to use so great a privilege? Fly to him, tell him all thy wants. Use him constantly by faith at all times. If some dark providence has beclouded thee, use thy God as a “sun;” if some strong enemy has beset thee, find in Jehovah a “shield,” for he is a sun and shield to his people. If thou hast lost thy way in the mazes of life, use him as a “guide,” for he will direct thee. Whatever thou art, and wherever thou art, remember God is just what thou wantest, and just where thou wantest, and that he can do all thou wantest.

Evening

imagesPMD74L39

“The Lord is King forever and ever.”
Psalm 10:16

Jesus Christ is no despotic claimant of divine right, but he is really and truly the Lord’s anointed! “It hath pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell.” God hath given to him all power and all authority. As the Son of man, he is now head over all things to his church, and he reigns over heaven, and earth, and hell, with the keys of life and death at his girdle. Certain princes have delighted to call themselves kings by the popular will, and certainly our Lord Jesus Christ is such in his church. If it could be put to the vote whether he should be King in the church, every believing heart would crown him. O that we could crown him more gloriously than we do! We would count no expense to be wasted that could glorify Christ. Suffering would be pleasure, and loss would be gain, if thereby we could surround his brow with brighter crowns, and make him more glorious in the eyes of men and angels. Yes, he shall reign. Long live the King! All hail to thee, King Jesus! Go forth, ye virgin souls who love your Lord, bow at his feet, strew his way with the lilies of your love, and the roses of your gratitude: “Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown him Lord of all.” Moreover, our Lord Jesus is King in Zion by right of conquest: he has taken and carried by storm the hearts of his people, and has slain their enemies who held them in cruel bondage. In the Red Sea of his own blood, our Redeemer has drowned the Pharaoh of our sins: shall he not be King in Jeshurun? He has delivered us from the iron yoke and heavy curse of the law: shall not the Liberator be crowned? We are his portion, whom he has taken out of the hand of the Amorite with his sword and with his bow: who shall snatch his conquest from his hand? All hail, King Jesus! we gladly own thy gentle sway! Rule in our hearts forever, thou lovely Prince of Peace.

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

 

HIS NAME IS JESUS

Morning

1 John 1:7  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

1 John 1:7
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

“Thou shalt call his name Jesus.”
Matthew 1:21

When a person is dear, everything connected with him becomes dear for his sake. Thus, so precious is the person of the Lord Jesus in the estimation of all true believers, that everything about him they consider to be inestimable beyond all price. “All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia,” said David, as if the very vestments of the Saviour were so sweetened by his person that he could not but love them. Certain it is, that there is not a spot where that hallowed foot hath trodden–there is not a word which those blessed lips have uttered–nor a thought which his loving Word has revealed–which is not to us precious beyond all price. And this is true of the names of Christ–they are all sweet in the believer’s ear. Whether he be called the Husband of the Church, her Bridegroom, her Friend; whether he be styled the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world–the King, the Prophet, or the Priest–every title of our Master–Shiloh, Emmanuel, Wonderful, the Mighty Counsellor–every name is like the honeycomb dropping with honey, and luscious are the drops that distil from it. But if there be one name sweeter than another in the believer’s ear, it is the name of Jesus. Jesus! it is the name which moves the harps of heaven to melody. Jesus! the life of all our joys. If there be one name more charming, more precious than another, it is this name. It is woven into the very warp and woof of our psalmody. Many of our hymns begin with it, and scarcely any, that are good for anything, end without it. It is the sum total of all delights. It is the music with which the bells of heaven ring; a song in a word; an ocean for comprehension, although a drop for brevity; a matchless oratorio in two syllables; a gathering up of the hallelujahs of eternity in five letters.

“Jesus, I love thy charming name,

‘Tis music to mine ear.”

Evening

2 Corinthians 4:4  In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

2 Corinthians 4:4
In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

“He shall save his people from their sins.”
Matthew 1:21

Many persons, if they are asked what they understand by salvation, will reply, “Being saved from hell and taken to heaven.” This is one result of salvation, but it is not one tithe of what is contained in that boon. It is true our Lord Jesus Christ does redeem all his people from the wrath to come; he saves them from the fearful condemnation which their sins had brought upon them; but his triumph is far more complete than this. He saves his people “from their sins.” Oh! sweet deliverance from our worst foes. Where Christ works a saving work, he casts Satan from his throne, and will not let him be master any longer. No man is a true Christian if sin reigns in his mortal body. Sin will be in us–it will never be utterly expelled till the spirit enters glory; but it will never have dominion. There will be a striving for dominion–a lusting against the new law and the new spirit which God has implanted–but sin will never get the upper hand so as to be absolute monarch of our nature. Christ will be Master of the heart, and sin must be mortified. The Lion of the tribe of Judah shall prevail, and the dragon shall be cast out. Professor! is sin subdued in you? If your life is unholy your heart is unchanged, and if your heart is unchanged you are an unsaved person. If the Saviour has not sanctified you, renewed you, given you a hatred of sin and a love of holiness, he has done nothing in you of a saving character. The grace which does not make a man better than others is a worthless counterfeit. Christ saves his people, not in their sins, but from them. “Without holiness no man shall see the Lord.” “Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” If not saved from sin, how shall we hope to be counted among his people. Lord, save me now from all evil, and enable me to honour my Saviour.

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

 

CONSUME US LORD WITH YOUR LOVE

God’s Word is powerful

Consume my life

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.

Jim Elliot, 1949

God, I pray Thee, light these idle sticks of my life and may I burn for Thee. Consume my life, my God, for it is Thine. I seek not a long life, but a full one, like you, Lord Jesus.

Jim Elliot, 1948

Jim Elliot’s prayer

When he died [at the hands of the Auca Indians], Jim left little of value, as the world regards values.…Of material things, there were few; a home in the jungle, a few well-worn clothes, books, and tools. The men who went to try to rescue the five [missionaries — all of whom died] brought back to me from Jim’s body his wrist watch, and from…the beach, the blurred pages of his college prayer-notebook. There was no funeral, no tombstone for a memorial.…No legacy then? Was it “just as if he had never been”? Jim left for me, in memory, and for us all, in these letters and diaries, the testimony of a man who sought nothing but the will of God, who prayed that his life would be “an exhibit of the value of knowing God.”

The interest which accrues from this legacy is yet to be realized. It is hinted at in the lives of…Indians who have determined to follow Christ, persuaded by Jim’s example; in the lives of many who write to tell me of a new desire to know God as Jim did.…His death was the result of simple obedience to his Captain.

Jim Elliot and four other missionaries met their deaths trying to reach theAuca Indians for Christ.

Elizabeth Elliot, Shadow of the Almighty

Adapted from The Prayer Bible Jean E. Syswerda, general editor, Tyndale House Publishers (2003), p375.

Digging Deeper: End of the Spear by Steve Saint (Tyndale, 2005), son of Nate Saint, chronicles the story of the encounter with the Ecuadorian tribe, which also became a major motion picture.

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

HOPE-CHRIST WITH US IN OUR SUFFERINGS

Return unto the Lord thy God

Christ—Perfect Through Sufferings


A Sermon
(No. 478)
Delivered on Sunday Morning, November 2nd, 1862, by
Rev. C. H. SPURGEON,
At the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington


 

“For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” Hebrews 2:10.

ELIEVING THAT GOD foreknoweth all things, we cannot but come to the conclusion that he foreknow the fall, and that it was but an incident in the great method by which he would glorify himself. Foreknowing the fall, and fore-ordaining and predestinating the plan by which he would rescue his chosen out of the ruins thereof, he was pleased to make that plan a manifestation of all his attributes, and, to a very great extent, a declaration of his wisdom. You do not find in the method of salvation a single tinge of folly. The Greeks may call it folly, but they are fools themselves. The gospel is the highest refinement of wisdom, ay, of divine wisdom, and we cannot help perceiving that not only in its main features, but in its little points, in the details and the minutiae, the wisdom of God is most clearly to be seen. Just as in the making of the tabernacle in the wilderness not a single loop or tache was left to human chance or judgment, so in the great scheme of salvation, not a single fragment was left to the human will or to the folly of the flesh. It appears to be a law of the divine action that everything must be according to the fitness and necessity involved in perfect wisdom—“It behoved that Christ should suffer;” and in our text we find, “It became him from whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, that he should make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” It seemed to be but the order of natural fitness and congruity, in accordance with the nature and character of God, that the plan of salvation should be just what it is. Oh! how careful should we be who have to preach it never to alter it in the slightest degree. How should we lift our prayers to heaven that God would give us a clear understanding, first, of what we have to teach, and then a clear method of teaching what we have learned, so that no mistake may be made here, for a mistake here would mar that express image of God which shines in the gospel, and prevent our hearers from seeing the beautiful fitness and proportion which are so adapted to reveal the perfect character of God. We say the plan must be what it is; it could not be otherwise so as to be in keeping with the divine character; and, therefore, it is imperative upon us that we make no alteration in it, no, not of a word, lest we should hear the Apostle’s anathema hissing through the air like a thunderbolt from God—”If we or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel than that ye have received let him be accursed!”
    Our text invites us to the consideration of three particulars: first, that Christ is a perfect Savior; secondly, that he became so through suffering; and thirdly, that his being made perfect through suffering will ennoble and dignify the whole work of grace. “It became him”—it seemed fitting—that in bringing many sons unto glory he should make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.”
    I. To begin, then, first of all with the joyous thought, so well known to you all, but so necessary still to be repeated, that THE LORD JESUS IS A PERFECT SAVIOR.
    1. For, first, he is perfectly adapted for the work of saving. The singular constitution of his nature adapts him to his office. He is God. It was necessary that he should be so. Who but God could sustain the enormous weight of human guilt? What but Divinity was equal to bear the awful load of wrath which was to be carried upon his shoulders? What knowledge but Omniscience could understand all the evil, and what power but Omnipotence could undo that evil? That Christ is God must ever be a theme for grateful admiration to his people. They who reject the divinity of Christ can have but a poor foundation to rest upon; the fickle sand, would seem to be more stable than the basis of their hope. It is enough for one man to work out his own obedience; more than enough for one man to bear wrath for himself; how, then, could he do it for others, and for those countless multitudes whose ruin was to be retrieved? But, beloved, we know that had he only been God yet still he would not have been fitted for a perfect Savior, unless he had become man.Man had sinned; man must suffer. It was man in whom God’s purposes had been for a while defeated; it must be in man that God must triumph over his great enemy. He must take upon himself the seed of Abraham, that he may stand in their room and stead, and become their federal head. An angel, we believe, could not have suffered on the tree; it would not have been possible for an angelic nature to have borne those agonies which the wrath of God demanded as an expiation for guilt. But when we see the Lord Jesus before us, being verily the Son of Man, and as certainly the Son of God, we perceive that now Job’s desire is granted; we have a daysman that can lay his hand on both, and touch humanity in its weakness, and divinity in its strength; can make a ladder between earth and heaven; can bridge the distance which separates fallen manhood from the perfection of the eternal God. No nature but one so complex as that of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, would have been perfectly adapted for the work of salvation.
    And as he was adapted in his nature, so, beloved, it is very clear to us that he was also adapted by his experience. A physician should have some acquaintance with disease; how shall he know the remedy if he be ignorant of the malady. Our Savior knew all because “he took our infirmities and he bare our sicknesses. He was tempted in all points, like as we are.” He looked not at sin from the distance of heaven but he walked, and lived in the midst of it. He did not pass hurriedly through the world as one might hastily walk through an hospital without clearly understanding the disease, but he lived his more than thirty years in the very center of it, seeing sin in all its shapes; yes, seeing it in shapes that you and I have not yet seen. He saw it in demoniac forms, for hell was let loose for a season, that the combat might be the more terrible and the victory the more glorious. He saw sin carried to its most aggravated extent, when it crucified God himself, and nailed Jesus, the heir of heaven, to the accursed tree. He understood the disease; he was no empiric; he had studied the whole case through; deceitful as the human heart is, Jesus knew it; fickle as it is in its various appearances—Protean as it is in its constantly varying shapes, Christ knew and understood it all. His life-long walking of the hospital of human nature had taught him the disease. He knew the subjects, too, upon whom to operate. He knew man, and what was in man; yes, better than the most skilled surgeon can know by experiment. He knew by experience. He himself took our infirmities and bare our sorrows. He was himself the patient, himself the medicine. He took upon himself the nature of the race he came to save, and so every feeling made him perfect in his work; every pang instructed him; every throb of anguish made him wise, and rendered him the more accomplished to work out the purposes of God in the bringing of the many sons unto glory. If you will add to his perfect experience his marvellous character, you will see how completely adapted he was to the work. For a Savior, we need one who is full of love, whose love will make him firm to his purpose, whose love will constrain him to yoke every power and talent that he has to the great work. We want one with zeal so flaming, that it will eat him up; of courage so indomitable, that he will face every adversary rather than forego his end; we want one, at the same time, who will blend with this brass of courage the gold of meekness and of gentleness; we want one who will be determined to deal fearlessly with his adversaries, who will put on zeal as a cloak, and will deal tenderly and compassionately with the disease of sin-sick men, such an one we have in Christ. No man can read the character of Christ with any sort of understanding without saying, “That is the man I want as my friend.” The argument which Christ used was a very powerful one—”Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me.” Why? “For I am meek and lowly in heart.”The character of Christ qualifies him to be the world’s Savior, and there is something in his character, when properly understood, which is so attractive, that we may well say—

“His worth if all the nations knew,
Sure the whole world would love him too.”
If we had to make a Savior ourselves, and it were left to a parliament of the wisest senators of the race to form an ideal personage who should just meet man’s case, if the Divine One had lent us his own wisdom for the occasion, we could only have desired just such a person as Christ is. In character, we should have needed just such traits of nature and of spirit as we see in Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God. We think, therefore, we may safely say to every unconverted man, Christ is adapted to be a Savior to you. We know that the saints, without our saying it, will respond, “Ay, and he is just fitted to be a Savior to us.” Man, yet God; bone of our bone, and yect counting it no robbery to be equal with God; sufferer like ourselves, bearer of all the ills of manhood, and yet, unlike us, free from sin, holy, harmless, undefiled: qualified in all respects to undertake and accomplish the great work; Jesus, thou art a perfect Savior to us.
    2. Furthermore, as Christ is thus perfectly adapted, so he is perfectly able to be a Savior. He is a perfect Savior by reason of ability. He is now able to meet all the needs of sinners. That need is very great. The sinner needseverything. The beggar at the door of Christ, asks not for crumbs or groats, but needs all that Christ can give. Nothing short of all-sufficiency can ever meet the wants of a poor son of Adam fallen by sin. Christ Jesus hath all fullness dwelling in himself. “More than all in Christ we find:” pardon in his blood; justification in his righteousness; wisdom in his teaching; sanctification in his Spirit. He is the God of all grace to us. Deep as our miseries and boundless as our sins may be, the mines of his unfathomable love, his grace, and his power, exceed them still. Send a spirit throughout all nations to hunt up the most abject of all races; discover, at last, a tribe of men degenerated as low as the beasts; select out of these the vilest, one who has been a cannibal; bring before us one lost to all sense of morality, one who has put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter, light for darkness and darkness for light; let that man be red with murder, let him be black with lust; let villainies infest his heart as innumerable and detestable as the frogs of Egypt’s plague—yet Christ is able to meet that man’s case. It is impossible for us to produce an exaggeration of the work of sin and the devil, which Christ shall not be able to overtop by the plenitude of his power. “He is able to save unto the uttermost them that come unto God by him.” That divine word which made heaven and earth, is able to make a new creature in Christ Jesus; and that power which never can be exhausted, which after making ten thousand times ten thousand worlds could make as many morel is all in Christ, and is linked with the virtue of his merit and the prevalence of his blood, and therefore he hath all power in heaven and in earth to save souls. As he has this power to meet all needs, so he can meet all needin all cases. There has never been brought to Christ a man whom he could not heal. If born blind, a touch of his finger has given sight; if lame he has made him leap like a hart; ay, and though dead, the voice of Christ has made Lazarus come forth from his tomb. Some troubled consciences think their case is not in the list of possible cures, let us assure them it must be. I would like to know who is the vilest sinner, for if I knew him I should feel delighted to behold him, since I should see a platform upon which my Lord’s grace might stand to be the more gloriously resplendent in the eyes of men. Are you the vilest of the vile this morning? Do you feel so? Does Satan say you are so? Then I pray you do my Master the honor to believe that he is still able to meet your case, and that he can save even you. Though you think yourselves the ends of the earth, the very ravellings of the garment of manhood, yet “look unto him and be ye saved, all ye ends of the earth, for he is God, and besides him there is none else.” As he can meet all cases, so he can meet all cases at all times. One villainy of hell is to tell sinners that it is too late. While the lamp holds out to burn, the vilest sinner that returns shall find mercy in him. At the eleventh hour he saved the thief; let not this be a reason for your procrastination—that were ungrateful let it, however, be a cause for hope—that were reasonable. He is able to save you now. Now, at this hour, at this very moment, if thou dost trust him thou art saved. If now, without an hour’s delay to retire to thy chamber, without even five minutes’ time elapsing in which to prepare thy soul for him, if now thou canst believe that Christ can save thee, he will do it, do it at this moment. His cures are instantaneous; a word, and it is done. Swift as the lightning’s flash is the accomplishment of his purpose of grace. As the lightning flasheth from the west even to the east, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be at his last great advent; and so is it in his marvellous advent into the hearts of sinners whom he ordains to save. Able to meet all cases, able to meet them at this very hour is Christ. Sinner, Christ is perfectly able to save thee, and to save thee perfectly. I know the will and wit of man want to be doing something to begin salvation. Oh, how wicked is this! Christ is Alpha, why would you take his place and be an Alpha to yourselves? I have had this week two cases in which I have had to hold a solemn argument with troubled souls about this matter. Oh! the “ifs” and “buts” they put; the “perhaps,” and “and,” and “peradventures,” and “Oh, I don’t feel this,” and “I don’t feel that!” Oh, that wicked questioning of Christ! While talking with them, endeavoring to comfort them, and I hope not unsuccessfully, I was led to feel in my own mind what an awful crime it is to doubt God, to doubt Him that speaks from above, to doubt Him when he hangs bleeding on the tree. While it seemed to me to be such a hard thing to bring a sinner to trust Christ, yet it did seem, on the other hand, such a sin of sins, such a master-piece of iniquity that we do not trust Christ at once. Here is the plan of salvation—trust Christ and he will save you. But they say “I do not feel enough;” or else “I have been such a sinner;” or else “I cannot feel the joy I want;” or else “I cannot pray as I would.” Then I put it to them. Do you trust Christ? “Yes,” they will say, “I do trust Christ, and yet am not saved.” Now, this makes God a liar, for he says, “He that believeth in him is not condemned, and he that believeth on him hath everlasting life.” When a soul professes to trust Christ, and yet says “I am afraid he will not save me,” what is this but telling the Eternal God to his face that he is false? Can you suppose a grosser infamy than this? Oh! that men were wise, that they would take God at his word, and believe that Christ is a perfect Savior, not asking them to help him at the first, but able to begin with them just where they are, and to lift them up from all the hardness of their hearts and the blackness of their souls to the very gates of heaven. He is a perfect Savior, soul, and a perfect Savior for you. You know the old story of the brazen serpent. There may have been some very wise persons who, when the brazen serpent was lifted up, would say “I cannot look there and be healed, for, you see, I do not feel the venom in my veins as my next door neighbor does.” The man is bitten, and his veins are swelling, but he says he does not feel the pain so acutely as his neighbor, and he does not feel the joy of those who are healed, or else he would look. “If some angel would come,” he says, “and tell me that the brazen serpent was set up on purpose for me, and that I am ordained to be healed by it, then I would look.” There is a poor ignorant man over there who asks no questions but does just as he is told. Moses cries “Look, look, ye dying; look and live!” and, asking no questions about what he has felt, or what he was, or what he should feel, yonder poor soul just looks and the deed is done; the flush of health runs through him, and he is restored, while the questioner, the wise man in his oval conceit, too wise indeed, to do as he is told, perishes through his own folly, a victim to the serpents, but yet more a victim to his own conceit. Christ is a perfect Savior to begin with you, and he will also be a perfect Savior to carry on the work. He will never want your help; he is a perfect Savior to finish the work. He will bring you at last to his right-hand, and throned with him in light you shall bless and praise the name of God that He provided a perfect Savior for men.
    3. Once more, let me remind you that Christ is a perfectly successful Savior. I mean by this that, in one sense, he has already finished the work of salvation. All that has to be done to save a soul Christ has done already. There is no more ransom to be paid; to the last drachma he hath counted down the price. There is no more righteousness to be wrought out; to the last stitch he has finished the garment. There is nothing to be done to reconcile God to sinners; he hath reconciled us unto God by his blood. There is nothing wanted to clear the way to the mercy-seat; we have a new and living way through the veil that was rent, even the body of Christ. There is no need of any preparation for our reception on the part of God. “It is finished,” was the voice from Calvary; it meant what it said, “It is finished.” Christ hath finished transgression, made an end of sin, and brought in everlasting righteousness. And, as he has been successful in doing all the work for us, so, in every case where that work has been applied, perfect success has followed. Produce a single case where an application has been made to Christ without success. Find a single soul in whom Christ has commenced his work, and then left it. You do hear of some who fall from grace: produce them. We are told of some who are children of God to-day, and children of the devil to-morrow: produce them. We are told that whom once he loves he may leave; produce those whom he has ever left. Let them be seen. Hold them up to the gaze of men and devils—the patients in whom Christ’s medicine did work awhile, but failed to produce a lasting cure. Heaven were clothed in sackcloth if such a discovery were made, for if he hath failed to keep on earth, why not in heaven? Hell were echoing with infernal laughter if one such instance were found, for where were the honor of God’s word and promise? We challenge you, ye princes of darkness, and ye who make the vast assembly of the damped in hell, we challenge you to produce in all your ranks a single case of one who trusted in Christ that he would deliver him and yet Christ cast him away; or one in whom the new spirit was infused and regeneration wrought, and who yet, after all fell and perished like the rest. Lift up your eyes to heaven; innumerable as the stars are the spirits redeemed by blood; so many as they are, they are all witnesses to the fact that Christ is a perfect Savior; that he is no professor who does not perform, for he has carried them all there, and as we gaze upon them are can say, “Thou hast redeemed them unto God by thy blood;” thou canst save, and perfectly save, O Lord Jesus Christ.
    Now I have thus dwelt upon the perfect adaptation, the perfect ability, and the perfect success of Christ, our text tells us that it became him for whom are all things that he should give us such a Savior. “For whom are all things,” says the Apostle; that is, all things are made for his glory. Now, it could not have been for God’s glory to give us an imperfect Savior; to send us one who would mock us with hopes which could not be fulfilled. It would have been a tantalizing of human hope, which I do not hesitate to pronounce an awful cruelty, if any but a complete and perfect Savior had been presented to us. If it had been partly works and partly grace, there had been no grace in it. If it had been needful for us to do something to make Christ’s atonement efficacious, it would have been no atonement for us; we must have gone down to the pit of hell with this as an aggravation, that a God who professed to be a God of mercy had offered us a religion of which we could not avail ourselves; a hope which did but delude us, and make our darkness the blacker. I want to know what some of my brethren in the ministry, who preach such very high doctrine, do with their God’s character. They are told to preach the gospel to every creature, but they very wisely do not do it, because they feel that the gospel they preach is not a gospel suitable to every creature; so they neglect their Master’s mandate, and single out a few. I bless my Master that I have an available gospel, one that is available to you this morning, for “whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life,” and I hold that it were inconsistent with the character of him “for whom are all things,” and that it were derogatory to his honor if he should have sent to you a salvation that would not meet your case; if he should have sent me to preach a gospel to you which could not completely save. But, glory be to God, the salvation which is here preached, the salvation taught in this Book, brings all to you, and asks nothing from you.
    Moreover, Paul calls our God—“him by whom are all things.” It would be inconsistent with the character of him by whom are all things if he had sent a part-Savior; for us to do part ourselves, and for Christ to do the rest. Look at the sun. God wills for the sun to light the earth; doth he ask the earth’s darkness to contribute to the light? Doth he question night, and ask it whether it has not in its sombre shades something which it may contribute to the brightness of noon? No, my brethren, up rises the sun in the morning, like a giant to run his race, and the earth is made bright. And shall God turn to the dark sinner, and ask him whether there is anything in him that may contribute to eternal light? No; up rises the face of Jesus, like the Sun of Righteousness, with healing beneath his wings, and darkness is, at his coming, light. See ye, too, the showers. When the earth is thirsty and cracking, doth the Lord say unto the clouds, “Wait ye until the earth can help ye, and can minister unto its own fertility?” Nay, verily, but the wind bloweth and the clouds cover the sky, and upon the thirsty earth the refreshing showers come down. So is it with Christ; waiting not for man, and tarrying not for the Son of Man; asking nothing from us, he giveth us of his own rich grace, and is a complete and perfect Savior.
    Thus much, then, upon our first head; I would we had more time for our second; but we will pass to it at once.
    II. CHRIST WAS MADE A PERFECT SAVIOR THROUGH SUFFERING.
    He was not made perfect in character by his suffering, for he always was perfect—perfect God, perfect man; but he was made officially perfect, perfect as the captain of our salvation through his sufferings, and that in four ways.
    By his sufferings he became perfect as a Savior from having offered a complete expiation for sin. Sin could not have been put away by holiness. The best performance of an unsuffering being could not have removed the guilt of man. Suffering was absolutely necessary, for suffering was the penalty of sin. “In the day thou eatest thereof,” said God to Adam, “thou shalt surely die.” Die then he must. Nothing short of death could meet the case. Christ must go to the cross; he must suffer there; ay, and he must bow his head and give up the ghost, or else no atonement for sin had been possible. The curse came upon us as the result of sin. “Curseth is every one that continueth not in all things written in the book of the law to do them.” Now had Christ been never so perfect, yet had he never suffered he never could have taken our curse. “Cursed is every one that hangeth on the tree,” but without the tree, without the cross, Christ had not been our substitute, and all he did could have been of no sort of use to us. Being crucified he became accursed; being crucified he died, and thus he could make perfect expiation for sin. Sin demanded punishment; punishment must consist of loss and of pain; Christ lost everything, even to the stripping of his garment; his glory was taken from him; they made nothing of him; they spat in his face; they bowed the knee, and mocked him with bitter irony. There must be pain too, and he endured it; in his body there were the wounds and the fever which the wounds produced, and in his soul there was an exceeding heaviness even unto death, and an agony which no tongue can tell, for we have no words in which to speak of it. We believe that this agony was commensurate with the agonies of the lost in hell; not the same agony, but an equivalent for it; and remember, not the equivalent for the agony of one, but an equivalent for the hells of all that innumerable host whose sins he bore, condensed into one black draught to be drained in a few hours; the miseries of an eternity without an end, miseries caused by a God infinitely angry because of an awful rebellion, and these miseries multiplied by the millions for whom the man Christ Jesus stood as covenant head. What a draught was that, men and brethren! Well might it stagger even him! And yet he drained that cup, drained it to its utmost dregs not a drop was left. For thee, my soul, no flames of hell; for Christ the Paschal-lamb has been roasted in that fire. For thee, my soul, no torments of the ****ed, for Christ hath been condemned in thy stead. For thee, my spirit, no desertion of thy God, for He was forsaken of God for thee. ‘Tis done, ’tis finished, and by thy sufferings, Jesus, thou hast become perfect as the expiation of thy people’s sins. Do, my brethren, remember that your sins are perfectly expiated. Do not let them trouble you as to punishment; the punishment has gone. Sins cannot lie in two places at one time; they were put on Christ, and they cannot be on you. In fact, your sins are not to be found; the scapegoat has gone, and your sins will never be found again. Your sins, if they were searched for, could not be discovered, nor by the piercing eye of God can a single blemish be found in you. So far as the punishment of the law is concerned it is finished, and Christ is a perfect Savior.
    Again, if Christ had not suffered he could not have been perfect as a Savior, because he could not have brought in a perfect righteousness. It is not enough to expiate sin. God requires of man perfect obedience. If man would be in heaven he must be perfectly obedient. Christ, as he took away our guilt, has supplied us with a matchless righteousness. His works are our works; his doings are, by imputation, our doings. But a part of obedience is a patient endurance of God’s will. Patience is no mean part of the full obedience of a sincere soul. Christ must therefore suffer hunger, and cold, and nakedness throughout life, that he may be capable of the virtue of patience. An obedience even unto death is now the only perfect form of obedience. The man who would keep the law of God perfectly must not start back even at martyrdom. “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy strength,” would now require death to consummate it. It was not possible for the Master to have made the robe, woven from the top throughout without seam, unless the scarlet thread of crucifixion had run along its edge. But now, my soul, Christ is thy perfect Savior, for he presents thee with a perfect righteousness. There is nothing more to do. Neither my living nor my dying can make my righteousness more complete. No doing, no Iabouring, no denying, no suffering, are needed to finish that which Christ began. “It is finished.” Put on thy robe, O Christian; walk ever in it; let it be thy wedding-dress. Angels admire thee; God himself accepts thee; coming into his wedding-feast he sees thee with this garment on, and he asks thee not how thou comest hither, but bids thee sit down and feast for ever, for thou art such as even He can keep company with in his glory.
    Yet, thirdly, it was necessary that Christ should suffer to make him a perfect Savior so far as his sympathy goes. After sin is washed away, and righteousness imputed, we yet want a friend, for we are in a land of troubles and of sorrows. Now, if Christ had not suffered he could not have been a faithful high-priest, made like unto his brethren. We should never have had that sweet text—”He was tempted in all points, like as we are, yet without sin,” if he had not suffered. But now he knows all shapes of suffering. It is not possible that even out of the thousands now in this house there should be one heart whose case Christ cannot meet.

“In every pang that rends the heart
The man of sorrows had a part.”
Disease, sickness of body, poverty, need, friendlessness, hopelessness, desertion—he knows all these. You cannot cast human suffering into any shape that is new to Christ. “In all their afflictions he was afflicted.” If you feel a thorn in your foot, remember that it once pierced his head. If you have a trouble or a difficulty, you may see there the mark of his hands, for he has climbed that way before. The whole path of sorrow has his blood-bedabbled footsteps all along, for the Man of Sorrows has been there, and he can now have sympathy with you. “Yes,” I hear one say, “but my sorrows are the result of sin.” So were his; though not his own, yet the result of sin they were. “Yes,” you say, “but I am slandered, and I cannot bear it.” They called him a drunken man, and a wine-bibber. Why, when you once think of the sufferings of Christ, yours are not worth a thought. Like the small dust of a balance that may be blown away with the breath of an infant, such are our agonies and our trials when compared with his. Drink thy little cup; see what a cup he drained. The little vinegar and gall that fall to thy share thou mayest gladly recede, for these light afflictions, which are but for a moment, are not worthy to be compared to the sufferings through which he passed.
    Finally, upon this point; he thus became perfect as our exemplar. This, too, was necessary in bringing many sons unto glory, for we come to heaven by following the example of Christ, as well as by being washed in his blood. “Without holiness no man shall see the Lord;” that holiness is best of all promoted by an investigation of Christ’s character, and a studious imitation of all its points. Now had Christ not suffered he could not have been an example to us. We should have said, “Yes, yes, he may be an example to unsuffering angels, but not to men who have to tread the hot coals of the furnace.” He could have afforded no example of patience if he had never suffered; he could never have taught us to forgive if he had never felt injuries; he could not have trained us to holy courage if he had never fought a battle; he could never have shown us the way to make tribulation work experience, and experience hope, if through tribulation he had not himself waded to his throne. We want not an example taken from princes to be applied to peasants. We need a poor man to be an example for the poor; we want a man who lives in private to teach us how to live in retirement; we want one who fears not the face of crowds to show us how to walk in our public ways. We want, if we would meet the case of fallen humanity, a man just like the Savior, who passed through all the various phases of life, was in all companies, was shot at from all quarters, was tempted in all points like as we are, and this could not have been if he had been led in quiet ways along a path of joy. He must do business on the tempestuous deeps; his ship must rock, his anchor drag, the thick darkness and the lightnings must gather round him; they did so, and thus the captain of our salvation was made perfect through suffering, as an example for our imitation. I would that we might each of us know him in the efficacy of his blood, in the glory of his righteousness, in the sweetness of his sympathy, and in the perfection of his example, for then should we know him to the joy of our hearts for ever.
    III. And now, lastly, our point—CHRIST’S HAVING BEEN MADE PERFECT THROUGH SUFFERING WILL ENNOBLE THE WHOLE WORK OF GRACE.
    “It became him for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory “—that is the great work—”to make the captain of their salvation perfect through suffering.” The whole thing will work for his glory. Oh, my brethren, how this will glorify God at the last, that Christ, the man, should have been perfect through suffering! How this will glorify him in the eyes of devils! Looking upwards from their beds of fire where they bite their iron bands in vain, how will they see the wisdom and power of God as more than a match for the wisdom and might of their leader! It was in man that they defeated God; in man God destroys them. They trampled on man’s heel; man has broken their head. They took away from man the transient crown of his Eden-glory; man wears the unfading crown of immortality. Man, even man, sits upon the throne of Godhead, and that man crowned with light and glory everlasting was a man who did encounter Satan; who met him, too, on fair grounds; not a man shielded from pain; not a man who had an immunity from internal or external distress; but a man full of weakness, full of infirmity, like other men, and yet, through God in alliance with his manhood, more than a conqueror, and now reigning for ever and ever. Milton, I think it is, supposes that this may have been the reason for Satan’s first rebellion, because he could not bear that an inferior race should be lifted up to be set above himself on God’s throne. Whether this be so or not, it must certainly be an aggravation to the misery of that proud arch-traitor, that now the man, the man, the man in whose image God was defeated, is heir of all things, King of kings, and Lord of lords.
    How greatly will God be exalted that day in the eyes of lost spirits. Ah! ye that shall perish—God grant there may be none such here!—if you shall ever perish in hell, you will have to glorify God as you see Christ, who was made perfect through suffering, reigning there. You will not be able to say, “My ****ation lies at God’s door,” for you will see in Christ a suitable Savior. You will have to look up and say, “Yes, he who was preached to me on Sabbath-days was God; he could save me. He whom I was bidden to trust in was man, and could sympathise with me, but I would not come unto him that I might have life.” In letters of fire ye shall see it written, “Ye knew your duty, but ye did it not;” and even your moans and groans as ye suffer shall be but an utterance of this awful truth—”Great God, thou art just, nay, thou art doubly just; just, first, in ****ing me for sin, just, next, in trampling me under foot, because I trampled under foot the blood of the Son of God and counted his covenant an unholy thing.” Your weepings and wailings shall be but the deep bass of the awful praise which the whole universe, willingly or unwillingly, must give to him who has provided a perfect Savior, and made him perfect through suffering.
    Oh, my brethren, what delight and transport will seize the minds of those who are redeemed! How will God ho glorified then! Why, every wound of Christ will cause an everlasting song. As we shall circle his throne, rejoicing, will not this be the very summit of all our harmony—”Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us unto God by thy blood.” We must not say what God could do or could not do, but it does seem to me that by no process of creation could he have ever made such beings as we shall be when we are brought to heaven; for if he had made us perfect yet then we should have stood through our own holiness; or if he had forgiven us without an atonement then we should never have seen his justice, nor his amazing love. But in heaven we shall be creatures who feel that we have everything but deserve nothing; creatures that have been the objects of the most wonderful love, and therefore so mightly attached to our Lord that it would be impossible for a thousand Satans ever to lead us astray. Again. We shall be such servants as even the angels cannot be, for we shall feel under deeper obligation to God than even they. They are but created happy; we shall be redeemed by the blood of God’s dear Son, and I am sure, brethren, day without night we shall circle God’s throne rejoicing, having more happiness than the angels, for they do not know what evil is, but we shall have known it to the full, and yet shall be perfectly free from it. They do not know what pain is, but we shall have known pain, and grief, and death, and yet shall be immortal. They do not know what it is to fall, but we shall look down to the depths of hell and remember that these were our portion. Oh! how we will sing, how we will chant his praise, and this, I say again, shall be the highest note, that we owe all to that bright one, that Lamb in the midst of the throne. We will tell it over, and over, and over again, and find it an inexhaustible theme for melodious joy and song that he became man, that he sweat great drops of blood, that he died, that he rose again. While the angels are singing “Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!” we will bid them stop the song a moment, while we say, “He whom ye thus adore was once covered with bloody sweat.” As we cast our crowns at his feet, we will say, “And he was once despised and rejected of men.” Lifting up our eyes and saluting him as God over all, blessed for ever, we will remember the reed, the sponge, the vinegar, and the nails; and as we come to him and have fellowship with him, and he shall lead us beside the living fountains of water, we will remember the black brook of Kedron of which he drank, and the awful depths of the grave into which he descended. Amid all the splendours of heaven, we shall never forget the agony, and misery, and dishonor of earth; and even when they sing the loudest sonnets of God’s love, and power, and grace, we will sing this after all, and before all, and above all, that Jesus the Son of God died for us, and this shall be our everlasting song—”He loved us and gave himself for us, and we have washed our robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”

ALL RIGHTS BELONG TO THE COLLECTIONS OF CHARLES SPURGEON(C)

01/17/15 Persecution and Tribulation ~ He’s There

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.

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.

Philippians 2:14-16

Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

Read at Bible Gateway      Read all of Philippians 2   Public Domain

La Biblia de las Américas

Haced todas las cosas sin murmuraciones ni discusiones, para que seáis irreprensibles y sencillos, hijos de Dios sin tacha en medio de una generación torcida y perversa, en medio de la cual resplandecéis como luminares en el mundo, sosteniendo firmemente la palabra de vida, a fin de que yo tenga motivo para gloriarme en el día de Cristo, ya que no habré corrido en vano ni habré trabajado en vano.

Read at Bible Gateway    Read all of Filipenses 2   Public Domain

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.

2 Thessalonians 1  (KJV)

Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:

Grace unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;

So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:

Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:

Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;

And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,

In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:

12 That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Testimony of Tribulation and the Strength of Christ:
Homing in on one particular trial my family went through and is the proverbial “financial” tribulation we all have experienced at some time in our lives.  We were new to the area and still getting our bearings all the while trying to stay afloat financially.  I was the sole bread winner and mother and the father all wrapped up in one.  How this came to be is another story in it’s self.  It seemed to me at the time this was a curse on my family lineage that just would not go away.  I traveled around this forsaken mountain so many times that the Hebrews children would look at me and think:  “And we were rebellious towards God had no faith.”   My family and I were going through financial and family issues at the time.  My personal break down came when an eviction notice was put on our door.  On top of the emotional stress of raising two boys alone and working two and three jobs (all part time due the current economy) and dealing with their emotional needs; I hit rock bottom and the day came!  I just broke down in the kitchen on my knees crying out to God in the name of Jesus:  “Father help me, I can not go on like this and you are the only one who can deliver us from being put on the street.  Please help!!!”  Long to short, in crying out in prayer and immersing myself in scripture and alone time with my Father; He showed me my short comings and “lack of faith.”  I was trying to do all and to be all in the flesh in my own strength.  I had been rebellious in not trusting God to be our Provider in areas of our lives and my Faith was challenged by the spirit of oppression and anxiety.  My Father showed me how to increase my Faith, to stand strong in His Word and how to be a warrior for His sake.  He has a plan for me and my family to serve Him and Him alone.  He showed me to reach out to communicate with management where we live and he showed and confirmed in His Word the funds would be provided by His Hand.  Praise God!  So, I reached out and explained the dilemma we were in and ask if management would work with us and they did.  The Lord provided the funds needed and showed us we needed to downsize and how to better manage our budget.  It was in God’s grace and mercy He heard my prayers of desperation and pleading and blessed us with a gentle voice of love to have Great Faith, patience, trust, and alone time with Him so He can feed us spiritually!  His Holy Spirit leads us into all Truth and convicts us when we teeter to the left or to the right.  We all have trials and tribulations we have endured.  I tell you the Truth that Jesus Christ will hold you in these times and in times of rejoicing my friends.  It is in His strength, guidance and the Word of God that we go forward in this world to do the Father’s Will.  God’s Word is sharper than a two edged sword:
Hebrews 4:12 [Full Chapter]

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedgedsword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Psalm 149:6

Jesus Reveals Himself

Morning

110113ab-Jesus-et-la-Samaritaine

“Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
2 Peter 3:18

“Grow in grace”–not in one grace only, but in all grace. Grow in that root-grace, faith. Believe the promises more firmly than you have done. Let faith increase in fulness, constancy, simplicity. Grow also in love. Ask that your love may become extended, more intense, more practical, influencing every thought, word, and deed. Grow likewise in humility. Seek to lie very low, and know more of your own nothingness. As you grow downward in humility, seek also to grow upward–having nearer approaches to God in prayer and more intimate fellowship with Jesus. May God the Holy Spirit enable you to “grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour.” He who grows not in the knowledge of Jesus, refuses to be blessed. To know him is “life eternal,” and to advance in the knowledge of him is to increase in happiness. He who does not long to know more of Christ, knows nothing of him yet. Whoever hath sipped this wine will thirst for more, for although Christ doth satisfy, yet it is such a satisfaction, that the appetite is not cloyed, but whetted. If you know the love of Jesus–as the hart panteth for the water-brooks, so will you pant after deeper draughts of his love. If you do not desire to know him better, then you love him not, for love always cries, “Nearer, nearer.” Absence from Christ is hell; but the presence of Jesus is heaven. Rest not then content without an increasing acquaintance with Jesus. Seek to know more of him in his divine nature, in his human relationship, in his finished work, in his death, in his resurrection, in his present glorious intercession, and in his future royal advent. Abide hard by the Cross, and search the mystery of his wounds. An increase of love to Jesus, and a more perfect apprehension of his love to us is one of the best tests of growth in grace.

Evening

dreamcottage

“And Joseph knew his brethren, but they knew not him.”
Genesis 42:8

This morning our desires went forth for growth in our acquaintance with the Lord Jesus; it may be well tonight to consider a kindred topic, namely, our heavenly Joseph’s knowledge of us. This was most blessedly perfect long before we had the slightest knowledge of him. “His eyes beheld our substance, yet being imperfect, and in his book all our members were written, when as yet there was none of them.” Before we had a being in the world we had a being in his heart. When we were enemies to him, he knew us, our misery, our madness, and our wickedness. When we wept bitterly in despairing repentance, and viewed him only as a judge and a ruler, he viewed us as his brethren well beloved, and his bowels yearned towards us. He never mistook his chosen, but always beheld them as objects of his infinite affection. “The Lord knoweth them that are his,” is as true of the prodigals who are feeding swine as of the children who sit at the table.

But, alas! we knew not our royal Brother, and out of this ignorance grew a host of sins. We withheld our hearts from him, and allowed him no entrance to our love. We mistrusted him, and gave no credit to his words. We rebelled against him, and paid him no loving homage. The Sun of Righteousness shone forth, and we could not see him. Heaven came down to earth, and earth perceived it not. Let God be praised, those days are over with us; yet even now it is but little that we know of Jesus compared with what he knows of us. We have but begun to study him, but he knoweth us altogether. It is a blessed circumstance that the ignorance is not on his side, for then it would be a hopeless case for us. He will not say to us, “I never knew you,” but he will confess our names in the day of his appearing, and meanwhile will manifest himself to us as he doth not unto the world.

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