All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. John 6:37
Excerpted from Holiness by J. C. Ryle
Let all the world know that the Lord Jesus will not cast away His believing people because of shortcomings and infirmities. The husband does not put away his wife because he finds failings in her. The mother does not forsake her infant because it is weak, feeble and ignorant. And the Lord Christ does not cast off poor sinners who have committed their souls into His hands because He sees in them blemishes and imperfections. Oh, no! It is His glory to pass over the faults of His people, and heal their backslidings, to make much of their weak graces, and to pardon their many faults.
Who is there now among the readers of this paper that feels desires after salvation, but is afraid to become decided, lest by and by he should fall away? Consider, I beseech you, the tenderness and patience of the Lord Jesus, and be afraid no more. Fear not to take up the cross, and come out boldly from the world. That same Lord and Saviour who bore with the disciples is ready and willing to bear with you. If you stumble, He will raise you. If you err, He will gently bring you back. If you faint, He will revive you. He will not lead you out of Egypt, and then suffer you to perish in the wilderness. He will conduct you safe into the promised land. Only commit yourself to His guidance and then, my soul for yours, He shall carry you safe home. Only hear Christ’s voice, and follow Him, and you shall never perish.
Ryle, J. C.. Holiness (pp. 185-186). Heritage Bible Fellowship. Kindle Edition.
C. H. Spurgeon
This Evening’s Meditation
“Sing, O barren one!” Isaiah 54:1
Though we have brought forth some fruit unto Christ, and have a joyful hope that we are “plants of His own right hand planting,” yet there are times when we feel very barren. Prayer is lifeless, love is cold, faith is weak—each grace in the garden of our heart languishes and droops. We are like flowers in the hot sun, requiring the refreshing shower.
In such a condition what are we to do? The text is addressed to us in just such a state. “Sing, O barren one! Break forth into loud and joyful song.” But what can I sing about? I cannot talk about the present, and even the past looks full of barrenness. Ah! I can sing of Jesus Christ! I can talk of visits which the Redeemer has aforetimes paid to me; or if not of these, I can magnify the great love with which He loved His people—when He came from the heights of heaven for their redemption. I will go to the cross again. Come, my soul, heavy laden you were once—you lost your burden there. Go to Calvary again. Perhaps that very cross which gave you life—may give you fruitfulness.
What is my barrenness? It is the platform—for His fruit-creating power. What is my desolation? It is the black setting—for the sapphire of His everlasting love. I will go in poverty, I will go in helplessness, I will go in all my shame and backsliding, I will tell Him that I am still His child, and in confidence in His faithful heart, even I, the barren one, will sing and cry aloud!
Sing, believer, for it will cheer your own heart, and the hearts of other desolate ones. Sing on, for now that you are really ashamed of being barren, you will be fruitful soon; now that God makes you loath to be without fruit—He will soon cover you with clusters. The experience of our barrenness is painful—but the Lord’s visitations are delightful. A sense of our own poverty drives us to Christ, and that is where we need to be—for in Him is our fruit found!
I Need Thee Every Hour, Lyrics:Annie Sherwood Hawks (1836-1918); Chorus by Robert Lowry (1826-1899) Music:Robert Lowry (1826-1899)
Thank you for this exhortation!
In today’s self oriented society, it’s very easy to loose ourselves in our day to day lives. We feel like we barely have time to get things done and before we know it, we’ve left no time for God.
Funny thing is, we manage to find time for other things like TV and social media. Why is it so difficult to dedicate time to God? The simple answer: a tactical assault by the devil to distract us from developing a relationship with God.
How many of us would really be willing to wake up even and hour earlier than we normally would to make time for God? We must check ourselves, to make sure that our relationship with our Heavenly Father is more important and takes a higher priority than anything else.
So, I ask again, how much time do you give God?
C. H. Spurgeon
This Evening’s Meditation
“If you believe with all your heart—you may.” Acts 8:37
These words may answer your scruples, devout reader, concerning the ordinances. Perhaps you say, “I would be afraid to be baptized—it is such a solemn thing to avow myself to be dead with Christ, and buried with Him. I should not feel at liberty to come to the Master’s table—I would be afraid of eating and drinking damnation unto myself, not discerning the Lord’s body.”
Ah! poor trembler, Jesus has given you liberty, do not be afraid. If a stranger came to your house, he would stand at the door, or wait in the hall; he would not dream of intruding unbidden into your parlor—he is not at his home—but your child makes himself very free about the house; and so is it with the child of God. A stranger may not intrude—where a child may venture. When the Holy Spirit has given you to feel the spirit of adoption, you may come to Christian ordinances without fear.
The same rule holds good of the Christian’s inward privileges. You think, poor seeker, that you are not allowed to rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory; if you are permitted to get inside Christ’s door, or sit at the bottom of His table—you will be well content. Ah! but you shall not have less privileges than the very greatest. God makes no difference in His love to His children. A child is a child to Him; He will not make him a hired servant; but he shall feast upon the fatted calf, and shall have the music and the dancing—as much as if he had never gone astray. When Jesus comes into the heart, He issues a general licence to be glad in the Lord. No chains are worn in the court of King Jesus. Our admission into full privileges may be gradual—but it is sure.
Perhaps our reader is saying, “I wish I could enjoy the promises, and walk at liberty in my Lord’s commands.” “If you believe with all your heart—you may.” Loose the chains of your neck, O captive daughter, for Jesus makes you free!
C. H. Spurgeon
This Morning’s Meditation
“The Breaker has gone up before them. He will bring you through the gates of your cities of captivity, back to your own land. Your King will lead you; the Lord Himself will guide you!” Micah 2:13
Inasmuch as Jesus has gone before us, things do not remain as they would have been, had He never passed that way. He has conquered every foe that obstructed the way. Cheer up O faint-hearted warrior. Not only has Christ traveled the road—but He has slain your enemies!
Do you dread sin? He has nailed it to His cross!
Do you fear death? He has been the death of death!
Are you afraid of hell? He has barred it against the entrance of any of His children; they shall never see the gulf of perdition!
Whatever foes may be before the Christian—they are all overcome! There are lions—but their teeth are broken! There are serpents—but their fangs are extracted! There are rivers—but they are bridged or fordable! There are flames—but we wear that matchless garment which renders us invulnerable to fire!
The sword that has been forged against us—is already blunted; the instruments of war which the enemy is preparing, have already lost their point.
The Breaker, Christ—has taken away all the power that anything can have to hurt us. Well then, the army may safely march on, and you may go joyously along your journey, for all your enemies are conquered beforehand! What shall you do—but march on to take the prey? They are beaten, they are vanquished; all you have to do is to divide the spoil. You shall, it is true, often engage in combat; but your fight shall be with a vanquished foe! His head is broken—he may attempt to injure you—but his strength shall not be sufficient for his malicious design. Your victory shall be easy, and your treasure shall be beyond all count!
“Proclaim aloud the Savior’s fame,
Who bears the Breaker’s wondrous name;
Sweet name; and it befits Him well,
Who breaks down earth, sin, death, and hell!”
C. H. Spurgeon
This Morning’s Meditation
“He who waters—shall be watered also himself.” Proverbs 11:25
We are here taught the great lesson, that to get—we must give; that to accumulate—we must scatter; that to make ourselves happy—we must make others happy; and that in order to become spiritually vigorous—we must seek the spiritual good of others. In watering others—we are ourselves watered. How?
Our efforts to be useful—bring out our powers for usefulness. We have latent talents and dormant faculties, which are brought to light by exercise. Our strength for labor is hidden even from ourselves—until we venture forth to fight the Lord’s battles, or to climb the mountains of difficulty. We do not know what tender sympathies we possess—until we try to dry the widow’s tears, and soothe the orphan’s grief.
We often find in attempting to teach others—that we gain instruction for ourselves. Oh, what gracious lessons some of us have learned at sick beds! We went to teach the Scriptures, we came away blushing that we knew so little of them. In our converse with poor saints, we are taught the way of God more perfectly for ourselves and get a deeper insight into divine truth. So that watering others makes us humble. We discover how much grace there is where we had not looked for it; and how much the poor saint may outstrip us in knowledge.
Our own comfort is also increased—by our working for others. We endeavor to cheer them—and the consolation gladdens our own heart. Like the two men in the snow; one chafed the other’s limbs to keep him from dying, and in so doing kept his own blood in circulation, and saved his own life. The poor widow of Sarepta gave from her scanty store, a supply for the prophet’s needs, and from that day she never again knew what poverty was. Give then, and it shall be given unto you—good measure, pressed down, and running over!
C. H. Spurgeon
This Morning’s Meditation
“The sweet psalmist of Israel.” 2 Samuel 23:1
Among all the saints whose lives are recorded in Holy Writ, David possesses an experience of the most striking, varied, and instructive character. In his history we meet with trials and temptations not to be discovered, as a whole, in other saints of ancient times, and hence he is all the more suggestive a type of our Lord.
David knew the trials of all ranks and conditions of men. Kings have their troubles—and David wore a crown; the peasant has his cares—and David handled a shepherd’s crook; the wanderer has many hardships—and David abode in the caves of Engedi; the captain has his difficulties—and David found the sons of Zeruiah too hard for him.
The psalmist was also tried in his friends, his counselor Ahithophel forsook him, “He who eats bread with me—has lifted up his heel against me.” His worst foes were they of his own household—his children were his greatest affliction.
The temptations of poverty and wealth, of honor and reproach, of health and weakness—all tried their power upon him. He had temptations from without to disturb his peace, and from within to mar his joy. David no sooner escaped from one trial—than he fell into another; no sooner emerged from one season of despondency and alarm—than he was again brought into the lowest depths—and all God’s waves and billows rolled over him!
It is probably from this cause, that David’s psalms are so universally the delight of experienced Christians. Whatever our frame of mind, whether ecstasy or depression, David has exactly described our emotions. He was an able master of the human heart, because he had been tutored in the best of all schools—the school of heart-felt, personal experience. As we are instructed in the same school, as we grow matured in grace and in years, we increasingly appreciate David’s psalms, and find them to be “green pastures.” My soul, let David’s experience cheer and counsel you this day!
“In a clock, stop but one wheel and you stop every wheel, because they are dependent upon one other. So when God has ordered a thing for the present to be thus and thus, how do you know how many things depend upon this thing? God may have some work to do twenty years hence that depends on this passage of providence that falls out this day or this week.”
― Jeremiah Burroughs,
J. C. Philpot
Today’s Words For Zion’s Wayfarers
“He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that rules his spirit than he that takes a city.” Proverbs 16:32
What a foe to one’s peace is one’s own spirit! And what shall I call it? It is often an infernal spirit. Why? Because it bears the mark of Satan upon it. The pride of our spirit, the presumption of our spirit, the hypocrisy of our spirit, the intense selfishness of our spirit are often hidden from us. This wily devil, SELF, can wear such masks and assume such forms; this serpent, SELF, can so creep and crawl, can so twist and turn, and can disguise itself under such false appearances, that it is hidden often from ourselves.
Who is the greatest enemy we have to fear? We all have our enemies. But who is our greatest enemy? He that you carry in your own bosom; your daily, hourly, and momently companion, that entwines himself in nearly every thought of your heart; that suggests well near every motive; that sometimes puffs up with pride, sometimes inflames with lust, sometimes inflates with presumption, and sometimes works under feigned humility and fleshly holiness.
Now this SELF must be overcome; for if SELF overcomes us eventually, we shall perish in the condemnation of SELF. God is determined to stain the pride of human glory. He will never let self, (which is but another word for the creature,) wear the crown of victory. It must be crucified, denied, and mortified; it must be put off, so that Jesus may be put on; that in the denying of SELF, Jesus may be believed in; and that in the crucifixion of SELF, there may be a solemn spiritual union with Him who was crucified on Calvary.
Now, are we overcoming SELF? Are we buffeted? What says SELF? “Buffet back.” Are we despised? What says SELF? “Despise back; retort angry look for angry look, and hasty word, for hasty word; an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.” But what says the Spirit of God in a tender conscience? “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”
The way to overcome self is by looking out of self to Him who was crucified upon Calvary’s tree; to receive his image into our heart; to be clothed with his likeness; to drink into his spirit; and “receive out of his fullness grace for grace.”