The Reigning Power of Our Ever Loving Savior

C. H. Spurgeon

Excerpt 3 from the sermon, The Arrows of the Bow Broken in Zion.

“There broke he the arrows of the bow, the shield, and sword, and the battle.”
– Psalm 76:3

Jesus is now exalted far above all principalities and powers, and every name that is named, but the enemy of our souls, though defeated, continues maliciously to attempt our destruction. Satan’s head is bruised, but he still lives, and continues perpetually to assault the saints of God. We seldom stand before the angel without Satan coming forward as our accuser. The accuser of the brethren unceasingly clamors against the saints, but here is our joy—whatever may be the arrows of Satan’s bow, whatever sword he may wield against us, there He stands, our great Captain, our Shield and the Lord’s Anointed, and as fast as the arrows are shot He breaks them, and as often as the sword is drawn, He turns aside its edge.

Courage, Christian! Your foes may be unceasing in their attacks, but Jesus Christ is unfailing in your protection. For Zion’s sake He does not hold His peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake He does not rest, but His intercession comes up perpetually before the eternal throne, and the constant presentation of His omnipotent merit evermore preserves the tempted, succors the needy, and upholds those that are ready to fall. Let us be of good cheer, for there, in the New Jerusalem to which our laboring souls aspire, the intercession of Jesus breaks “the arrows of the bow, the shield, and the sword, and the battle.”

Nor does it end there, for here below our exalted Lord is Master over all events, providence is ruled and guided by the Man whose head was surrounded with the crown of thorns—

“Lo! in His hands the sovereign keys
Of heaven, and death, and hell.”

To this hour the adversaries of truth seek the overthrow of the church of God. We may be sometimes idle, but they are always diligent. “The enemy goes about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” He assails the people of God in successive ages from different points of the compass with cunning and fury, and we should have poor hope, we who are like a few lambs in the midst of wolves, if it were not that our Master is present by His eternal Spirit, and rules all things by His providential government.

He can make those wheels which are so high that they are terrible, so to revolve that the greatest enemies of the church shall be cut off or shall be converted, and He can raise up from the dunghill men that shall be princes in the midst of Israel, to be defenders of the truth, and shepherds to His people. He can cause to be born in a humble cottage in the wood a Luther, who shall shake off the fetters from the nations, He can bring forth from the wildest village of France a Calvin, whose words shall be as nails fastened by the master of assemblies, and He can raise a flaming Knox, and nourish his fiery spirit in Geneva till Scotland needs him, or raise up in the quiet parsonage of Lutterworth a Wickliffe, to shine as the morning star of the Reformation in England.

God is never short of men. He never has to bethink Himself of means. He knows no difficulties or dilemmas. If His church needed it, He could tomorrow make emperors repent of their sins, and doff their crowns to become ministers of the Word, and compel the most violent persecutors of the church to crouch at her feet, and lick the dust. Let us be confident in the reigning power of our ever loving Savior, let us be reassured by the history of the church in the past, and expect to see divine interpositions in our own day. Fear not, for still it shall be said of Zion, “There broke He the arrows of the bow, the shield, and the sword, and the battle.”

Our Victory in Christ

C. H. Spurgeon

Excerpt from the sermon, The Arrows of the Bow Broken in Zion.

“There broke he the arrows of the bow, the shield, and sword, and the battle.”
– Psalm 76:3

That glorious cry of “It is finished,” was the death-knell of all the adversaries of His people, the breaking of “the arrows of the bow, the shield, and the sword, and the battle.” I think I see before me the hero of Golgotha using His cross as an anvil, and His woes as a hammer, and dashing to shivers bundle after bundle of our sins, those poisoned “arrows of the bow,” trampling on every charge, and destroying every accusation. What glorious blows the mighty breaker gives! How the weapons fly to fragments, beaten small as the dust of the threshing floor!

Behold, I see Him drawing from its sheath of hellish workmanship the dread sword of hellish power. See, He snaps it across His knee, as a man breaks dry wood of kindling, and casts it into the fire. Like David, he cries, “He teaches my hands to war; so that a bow of steel is broken by my arms.” “I have pursued my enemies, and destroyed them; and turned not again until I had consumed them. And I have consumed them and wounded them, that they could not arise: yea, they are fallen under my feet…Then did I beat them as small as the dust of the earth; I did stamp them as the mire of the street.”

Beloved, no sin of a believer can now be an arrow to mortally wound him, no condemnation can now be a sword to kill him, for the punishment of our sin was borne by Christ, a full atonement has been made for all our iniquities by our blessed Substitute and Surety. Who now accuses? Who now condemns? Christ has died, yea, rather has risen again. Let hell, if it can, find a single arrow to shoot against the beloved of the Lord, they are all broken, not one of them is left. Christ has emptied the quivers of hell, has quenched every fiery dart, and broken off the head of every arrow of wrath, the ground is strewn with the splinters and relics of the weapons of hell’s warfare, which are only visible to us to remind us of our former danger, and of our great deliverance.

Sin has no more dominion over us. Jesus has made an end of it, and put it away forever. O you enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end. Talk you of all the wondrous works of the Lord, you who make mention of His name, keep not silent.

Our Champion

C. H. Spurgeon

Excerpt 1 from the sermon, The Arrows Of The Bow Broken In Zion.

“There broke he the arrows of the bow, the shield, and sword, and the battle.”

-Psalm 76:3

…he has fought victoriously FOR US. Our God has wrought for us great spiritual victories, by which all the ingenious weapons of our many adversaries have been snapped. Let me remind you, beloved, in the first place, of what the Lord our God did in the day of our redemption by the sufferings of Christ. Let us celebrate the triumphs of Cavalry. The Lord of angels descended from heaven, and left the glories of His Father’s throne to take upon Himself the form of a servant, and to be made in the likeness of man, throughout the whole of His life of humiliation He was attacked by the enemy, but He was victorious at every point. Hell strove to empty out all its quivers upon Him, and the sword of Satanic malice sought with its keenest edge to wound Him, but never was He staggered, or so much as scarred, He quenched every fiery dart and repelled every barbed arrow. The prince of this world watched Him with jealous eye, and scanned Him from head to foot, but found no place for the entrances of sin, nothing within His soul upon which evil could gain a footing. Jesus was unconquerable, to show us that in the power of grace manhood may overcome the sword of evil, and break the arrows of temptation.

At last the fullness of time ushered in that dreadful night when all the powers of darkness met, and collected all their infernal might for one last tremendous charge, buckler, and sword, and arrow, and every weapon of offense and defense were wielded by the leaguered hosts of hell, but all in vain. Our Champion was hard put to it, He sweat as it were great drops of blood, falling to the ground, He was numbered with the transgressors, He was led away like a malefactor, tried and condemned, the Lord JEHOVAH made to meet on Him the iniquity of us all, but in all and over all He was more than conqueror.

You never can forget, for it is written upon the fleshy tablets of your grateful hearts, how His enemies dragged Him to the mount of crucifixion, fastened Him to the accursed tree, lifted Him up all bleeding and suffering, exposed Him to the glare of the sun, dashed the cross into its place, dislocating all His bones, sat around and stared upon Him, and mocked His miseries, but in all this He remained invincible. These griefs, which were outward and conspicuous to our eyes, were but a small part of His agonies—the inward strife, the internal conflict, the soul-desertion and depression were heavier far, sin’s utmost weight, the fury of vengeance, the curse of the law, the sword of justice, the malice of Satan, the bitterness of death—all these He knew and more, and yet, single-handed, He sustained the fight and earned the crown.

That glorious cry of “It is finished,” was the death-knell of all the adversaries of His people, the breaking of “the arrows of the bow, the shield, and the sword, and the battle.”

Christ’s Presence Our Strength

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

“Put out into deep water—and let down the nets for a catch. Simon answered, ‘Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because You say so—I will let down the nets.'” Luke 5:4,5

We learn from this narrative, the necessity of human agency. The catch of fish was miraculous—yet neither the fisherman nor his boat, nor his fishing tackle were ignored; but all were used to take the fishes. Just so in the saving of souls—God works by means; and while the present economy of grace shall stand, God will be pleased by the foolishness of preaching to save those who believe. When God works without instruments, doubtless He is glorified; but He has Himself selected the plan of instrumentality as being that by which He is most magnified in the earth.

Means of themselves, are utterly unavailing. “Master, we have toiled all night—and have caught nothing!” What was the reason of this? Were they not fishermen plying their special vocation? Truly, they were no novices; they understood the work. Had they gone about the toil unskillfully? No! Had they lacked industry? No—they had toiled. Had they lacked perseverance? No—they had toiled all night. Was there a deficiency of fish in the sea? Certainly not, for as soon as the Master came, they swam to the net in shoals! What, then, is the reason? Is it because there is no power in the means of themselves, apart from the presence of Jesus!

Without Him—we can do nothing.” But with Christ—we can do all things. Christ’s presence confers success! Jesus sat in Peter’s boat, and His will, by a mysterious influence, drew the fish to the net. When Jesus is lifted up in His Church, His presence is the Church’s power! “I, if I am lifted up, will draw all men unto me.” Let us go out this morning on our work of soul-fishing, looking up in faith, and around us in solemn concern. Let us toil until night comes, and we shall not labor in vain; for He who bids us let down the net—will fill it with fish!

Our Eventide

I don’t know how a believer in their 20s or 30s, even 40s and 50s might respond to this morning’s devotional from Charles Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening, but at 64 years of age I can report that it strikes a chord in me. Even in the midst of many trials I find that God is always faithful to see me through them while calming my anxieties.

Having come to fullness of faith in my 40s, I can only speculate how it might have struck me if I had read it as a believer in my younger days.

I also cannot give a first-hand account of the light that comes at one’s hour of death, but in reading of the experiences of others who have passed through that period, I am confident that it will be a time of joyful experience.

Here’s this morning’s devotional:

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

“At evening time—it shall be light.” Zechariah 14:7

Oftentimes we look with forebodings to the time of old age, forgetful that at evening time—it shall be light. To many saints, old age is the choicest season in their lives. A balmier air fans the mariner’s cheek as he nears the shore of immortality, fewer waves ruffle his sea, quiet reigns—deep, still and solemn. From the altar of old age—the flashes of the fire of youth are gone—but the more real flame of earnest love to Jesus remains. The pilgrims have reached the land of Beulah, that happy country, whose days are as the days of heaven upon earth. Angels visit it, celestial gales blow over it, flowers of paradise grow in it, and the air is filled with seraphic music. Some dwell here for years, and others come to it but a few hours before their departure—but it is an Eden on earth.

We may well long for the time—when we shall recline in its shady groves and be satisfied with hope—until the time of fruition comes. The setting sun seems larger than when high in the sky, and a splendor of glory tinges all the clouds which surround its going down. Pain does not break not the calm of the sweet twilight of old age, for strength made perfect in weakness, bears up with patience under it all. Ripe fruits of choice experience are gathered as the rare meal of life’s evening, and the soul prepares itself for rest.

The Lord’s people shall also enjoy light in the hour of death. Unbelief laments; the shadows fall, the night is coming, existence is ending. “Ah no!” cries faith, “the night is far spent, the true day is at hand. Light is come, the light of immortality, the light of the Father’s countenance!”

Gather up your feet in the bed, see the waiting bands of spirits! Angels waft you away. Farewell, beloved one, you are gone—you wave your hand. Ah, now it is light. The pearly gates are open, the golden streets shine in the jasper light. We on earth, cover our eyes—but you behold the unseen! Adieu, brother, you have light at even-tide, such as we have not yet!

Our God, Our Lord, Our Father

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

“The Lord looks down from heaven; He observes all mankind.” Psalm 33:13

Perhaps no figure of speech represents God in a more gracious light—than when He is spoken of as stooping from His throne, and coming down from heaven to behold the woes—and to attend to the wants of mankind. We love Him, who, when Sodom and Gomorrah were full of iniquity, would not destroy those cities until He had made a personal visitation of them.

We cannot help pouring out our heart in affection for our Lord—who inclines His ear from the highest glory, and puts it to the lip of the dying sinner, whose failing heart longs after reconciliation. How can we but love Him—when we know that He numbers the very hairs of our heads, marks our path, and orders our ways!

Especially is this great truth brought near to our heart, when we recollect how attentive He is, not merely to the temporal interests of His creatures—but to their spiritual concerns. Though leagues of distance lie between the finite creature and the infinite Creator—yet there are links uniting both. When a tear is wept by you—God beholds it! “Like as a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him.”

Your sigh is able to move the heart of Jehovah; your whisper can incline His ear unto you; your prayer can stay His hand; your faith can move His arm. Do not think that God sits on high taking no account of you. However poor and needy you are—yet the Lord thinks upon you. For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect towards Him.

Our Amazing Identity

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

“The myrtle trees that were in the valley.” Zechariah 1:8

The vision in this chapter describes the condition of Israel in Zechariah’s day; but being interpreted in its aspect towards us, it describes the Church of God as we find it now in the world.

The Church is compared to a myrtle grove flourishing in a valley. It is hidden, unobserved, secreted; courting no honor and attracting no observation from the careless gazer. The Church, like her head, has a glory—but it is concealed from carnal eyes, for the time of her breaking forth in all her splendor has not yet come.

The idea of tranquil security is also suggested to us—for the myrtle grove in the valley is still and calm, while the storm sweeps over the mountain summits. Tempests spend their force upon the craggy peaks of the Alps—but down yonder where the stream flows which makes glad the city of our God—the myrtle trees flourish by the still waters, all unshaken by the impetuous wind. How great is the inward tranquility of God’s Church! Even when opposed and persecuted, she has a peace which the world gives not, and which, therefore, it cannot take away! The peace of God which passes all understanding, keeps the hearts and minds of God’s people.

Does not the metaphor forcibly picture the peaceful, perpetual growth of the saints? The myrtle tree does not shed her leaves—she is always green. Just so, the Church in her worst time—still has a blessed verdure of grace about her; nay, she has sometimes exhibited most verdure when her winter has been sharpest. She has prospered most, when her adversities have been most severe.

Hence the text hints at victory. The myrtle is the emblem of peace, and a significant token of triumph. The wreaths of conquerors were bound with myrtle and with laurel; and is not the Church ever victorious? Is not every Christian more than a conqueror through Him who loved him? Living in peace—all the saints fall asleep in the arms of victory!

Our Necessary Poverty

J. C. Philpot

 

Today’s Daily Portion

“The poor have the gospel preached to them.” Matthew 11:5

What is the gospel? Is not the gospel a proclamation of pure mercy, of super-abounding grace? Does it not declare the loving-kindness of God in sending his only-begotten Son to bleed and die, and, by his obedience, blood, and merit, to bring in a salvation without money and without price? Is not this the gospel? Not clogged by conditions, nor crippled by anything that the creature has to perform; but flowing freely forth as the air in the skies?

The poor to whom the gospel is preached, value it; it is suitable to them; it is sweet and precious when the heart is brought down. But if I stand up in religious pride, if I rest upon my own righteousness, if I am not stripped of everything in the creature, what is the gospel to me? I have no heart to receive it; there is no place in my soul for a gospel without money and without price.

But when I sink into the depth of creature poverty, when I am nothing and have nothing but a mass of sin and guilt, then the blessed gospel, pardoning my sins, covering my naked soul, shedding abroad the love of God, guiding me into everything good, and leading me up into enjoyment with a Three-One God, becomes prized.

When such a pure, such a blessed gospel comes into my heart and conscience, has not my previous poverty of spirit prepared me for it? Has not my previous beggary and necessity made a way for it, made it suitable to me, and when it comes, makes it precious to me? We must, then, sink into poverty of spirit, that painful place, in order to feel the preciousness, and drink into the sweetness and blessedness of the gospel of the grace of God.

Our Rest

Octavius Winslow

Today’s Morning Thought

“Come unto me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

With what brightness does the truth appear, written with beams of heavenly light–Jesus, the Rest of the weary!

“Come unto me.”

The Father has made His Son the resting-place of His Church. He Himself has vested His whole glory in Christ. He knew what Christ was capable of sustaining. He knew that as His fellow–one equal with Himself–He could with safety embark the honor of His government in the hands of His Son. He confided therein Himself! His government, and His Church–all in Christ.

To this “tried stone” He would now bring His people. He found it strong enough for Himself, and He knows it to be strong enough for them, and with confidence He invites the weary to come and repose upon it. Jesus but echoes the heart of the Father when he says, “Come unto me–I will give you rest.”

Never did the tongue of Jesus utter words more learned, more eloquent, more persuasive. Just the word we need. By nature, we seek rest everywhere, and in everything, but in Jesus. We seek it in the sensual world, we seek it in the moral world, we seek it in the religious world–we find it not. We seek it in conviction, we seek it in ordinances, we seek it in doing the works of the law, and still it evades us. We go from place to place, from means to means, from minister to minister, and still the burden presses, and the guilt remains, and we find no rest.

No; and never will we find it, until it is sought and found solely, wholly, exclusively, and entirely in Jesus. Rest for the sin-weary soul is only to be met with in Him who bore the curse for man’s transgression. Here God rests, and here the sinner must rest. Here the Father rests, and here the child may rest. Jesus is the great burden-bearer, for God and for man. Listen again to the melody of His words: “Come unto me–I will give you rest.” See, how He invites you, without one solitary condition. He makes no exception to your guilt and unworthiness. The word is, “Come unto me;” in other words, believe in me.

To “come” is simply and only to believe. And oh! how can we fully set forth the “rest” to be found it Jesus? Let those testify who took their guilt to His blood, their vileness to His righteousness, their sins to His grace, their burdens to His arm, their sorrows to His heart. Let them tell how, in a moment, their sense of weariness fled, and rest, sweet, soothing rest to their soul succeeded. Are you, my reader, a sin-weary soul? Then, to you is this invitation addressed: “Come unto me–to me, a Savior whose willingness is equal to my ability. To me, who never rejected a single soul that sought salvation and heaven at my hands. Come unto me–I will give you rest.”