Our Confidence in a Strong God

C. H. Spurgeon

This Evening’s Meditation

“Ah Lord God, behold, You have made the heaven and the earth by your great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for You.” Jeremiah 32:17

At the very time when the Chaldeans surrounded Jerusalem, and when the sword, famine and pestilence had desolated the land, Jeremiah was commanded by God to purchase a field, and have the deed of transfer legally sealed and witnessed. This was a strange purchase for a rational man to make. Prudence could not justify it, for it was buying with scarcely a probability that the person purchasing could ever enjoy the possession. But it was enough for Jeremiah that his God had bidden him, for well he knew that God will be justified of all His children.

He reasoned thus, “Ah, Lord God! You can make this plot of ground of use to me; You can rid this land of these oppressors; You can make me yet sit under my vine and my fig-tree in the heritage which I have bought; for You did make the heavens and the earth, and there is nothing too hard for You.”

This gave a majesty to the early saints, that they dared to do at God’s command, things which carnal reason would condemn. Whether it is a Noah who is to build a ship on dry land, an Abraham who is to offer up his only son, or a Moses who is to despise the treasures of Egypt, or a Joshua who is to besiege Jericho seven days, using no weapons but the blasts of rams’ horns—they all act upon God’s command, contrary to the dictates of carnal reason; and the Lord gives them a rich reward as the result of their obedient faith. Would to God we had in the religion of these modern times, a more potent infusion of this heroic faith in God. If we would venture more upon the naked promise of God, we would enter a world of wonders to which as yet we are strangers. Let Jeremiah’s place of confidence be ours—nothing is too hard for the God who created the heavens and the earth!

Our Climb of Discovery

C. H. Spurgeon

This Evening’s Meditation

“Get up into the high mountain.” Isaiah 40:9

Our knowledge of Christ is somewhat like climbing one of our Welsh mountains. When you are at the base, you see but little—the mountain itself appears to be but one-half as high as it really is. Confined in a little valley, you discover scarcely anything but the rippling brooks as they descend into the stream at the foot of the mountain. Climb the first rising knoll, and the valley lengthens and widens beneath your feet. Go higher, and you see the country for four or five miles round, and you are delighted with the widening prospect. Mount still, and the scene enlarges; until at last, when you are on the summit, and look east, west, north, and south—you see almost all England lying before you. Yonder is a forest in some distant county, perhaps two hundred miles away, and here the sea, and there a shining river and the smoking chimneys of a manufacturing town, or the masts of the ships in a busy port. All these things please and delight you, and you say, “I could not have imagined that so much could be seen at this elevation.”

Now, the Christian life is of the same order. When we first believe in Christ—we see but little of Him. The higher we climb—the more we discover of His beauties. But who has ever gained the summit? Who has known all the heights and depths of the love of Christ, which passes knowledge? Paul, when grown old, sitting grey-haired, shivering in a dungeon in Rome, could say with greater emphasis than we can, “I know whom I have believed,” for each experience had been like the climbing of a hill, each trial had been like ascending another summit, and his death seemed like gaining the top of the mountain, from which he could see the whole of the faithfulness and the love of Him to whom he had committed his soul. Get up, dear friend, into the high mountain!

Our Future Joy and Gladness

Octavius Winslow

Today’s Evening Thought

“And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” Isaiah 35:10

The absence of all evil will be an eminent feature of the coming glory. Take the long catalogue of ills we suffer here—the cares that corrode, the anxieties that agitate, the sorrows that depress, the bereavements that wound, the diseases that waste, the temptations that assail—in a word, whatever pains a sensitive mind, or wounds a confiding spirit; the rudeness of some, the coldness of others, the unfaithfulness and heartlessness of yet more; and as you trace the sad list, think of glory as the place where not one shall enter. All, all are entirely and eternally absent. “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”

The presence of all good will take the place of the absence of all evil. And in the foreground of this picture of glory we place the full, unclouded vision of Jesus. This is the Sun that will bathe all other objects in its beams. We see Him now through faith’s telescope, and how lovely does He appear! Distant and dim as is the vision, yet so overpowering is its brightness, as for a moment to eclipse every other object. How near He is brought to us, and how close we feel to Him! Encircled and absorbed by His presence, all other beings seem an intrusion, and all other joys an impertinence. Reposing upon His bosom, how sweetly sounds His voice, and how winning His language: “O my dove, that are in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see your countenance, let me hear your voice; for sweet is your voice, and your countenance is lovely.”

These are happy moments. But how transient, and how brief their stay! Some earthly vapor floats athwart our glass, and the bright and blissful vision is gone—veiled in clouds, it has disappeared from our view! But not lost is that vision; not withdrawn is that object. As stars that hide themselves awhile, then appear again in brighter, richer luster, so will return each view we have had of Christ. The eye that has once caught a view of the Savior shall never lose sight of Him forever. Long and dreary nights may intervene; the vision may tarry as though it would never come again, yet those nights shall pass away, that vision shall return, and “we shall see Him as He is.” And if the distant and fitful glimpses of the glorified Christ are now so ravishing, what will the ecstatic and overpowering effect of the full unclouded vision be, when we shall see Him face to face?

On Becoming Fit For Heaven

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

“He shall build the temple of the Lord; and He shall bear the glory.” Zechariah 6:13

Christ Himself is the builder of His spiritual temple, and He has built it on the mountains of His unchangeable love, His omnipotent grace, and His infallible truthfulness. But as it was in Solomon’s temple, so in this; the materials need making ready. There are the “Cedars of Lebanon,” but they are not framed for the building; they are not cut down, and shaped, and made into those planks of cedar, whose odoriferous beauty shall make glad the courts of the Lord’s house in Paradise. There are also the rough stones still in the quarry, they must be hewn thence, and squared. All this is Christ’s own work. Each individual believer is being prepared, and polished, and made ready for his place in the temple; but Christ’s own hand performs the preparation-work.

Afflictions cannot sanctify, excepting as they are used by Him to this end. Our prayers and efforts cannot make us ready for heaven, apart from the hand of Jesus, who fashions our hearts aright. As in the building of Solomon’s temple, “there was neither hammer, nor axe, nor any tool of iron, heard in the house,” because all was brought perfectly ready for the exact spot it was to occupy—so is it with the temple which Jesus builds; the making ready is all done on earth. When we reach heaven, there will be no sanctifying us there, no squaring us with affliction, no planing us with suffering. No, we must be made fit here—all that Christ will do beforehand; and when He has done it, we shall be ferried by a loving hand across the stream of death, and brought to the heavenly Jerusalem, to abide as eternal pillars in the temple of our Lord.

“Beneath His eye and care,
The edifice shall rise,
Majestic, strong, and fair,
And shine above the skies.”

God’s Word

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Daily Words for Zion’s Wayfarers

“Your word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105

O what a change takes place in the soul’s feelings toward the word of God when God is pleased to quicken it into divine life! Nor, indeed, need we wonder why there is such a marked revolution in our feelings toward it; for it is by the power of God’s word upon the heart that this wondrous change is effected. “Of his own will he begat us with the word of truth” (James 1:18). Other books may instruct or amuse; they may feed the intellect, charm the imagination, and cultivate the mind. But what more can they do? I do not mean by this to despise or set aside every other book but the Bible, for without books society itself, as at present constituted, could not exist; and to burn every book would be to throw us back into the barbarism of the Middle Ages. Let, then, books have their place as regards this life; but what can they do for us as regards the life to come? What can our renowned authors, our choice classics, our learned historians, our great dramatists, or our eloquent poets do for the soul in seasons of affliction and distress? How powerless all human writings are in these circumstances. Is it not as Deer well says–

“What balm could wretches ever find

In wit, to heal affliction?

Or who can cure a troubled mind

With all the pomp of diction?”

Now here is the blessedness of the word of God, that when everything else fails, that comes to our aid under all circumstances, so that we can never sink so low as to get beyond the reach of some promise in the word of truth. We may come, and most probably shall come, to a spot where everything else will fail and give way but the word of God which forever is settled in heaven. Then the word of grace and truth which reaches down to the lowest case, the word of promise upon which the Lord causes the soul to hope, will still turn towards us a friendly smile, and still encourage us under all circumstances to call upon the name of the Lord, and to hang upon his faithfulness who has said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”

Thus, under circumstances the most trying to flesh and blood, where nature stands aghast and reason fails, there the word of God will come in as a counselor to drop in friendly advice, as a companion to cheer and support the mind by its tender sympathy; and as a friend to speak to the heart with a loving, affectionate voice. We need not wonder, then, how the word of God has been prized in all ages by the family of God; for it is written with such infinite wisdom, that it meets every case, suits every circumstance, fills up every aching void, and is adapted to every condition of life and every state both of body and soul.

Our Preservation on the Threshing Floor

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

“For I will give the command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as grain is sifted in a sieve—yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.” Amos 9:9

Every sifting comes by divine command and permission. Satan must ask permission before he can lay a finger upon Job. Nay, more, in some sense our siftings are directly the work of heaven, for the text says, “I will sift the house of Israel.” Satan, like a drudge, may hold the sieve, hoping to destroy the grain; but the overruling hand of the Master is accomplishing the purity of the grain by the very process which the enemy intended to be destructive.

Precious—but much sifted grain of the Lord’s floor—be comforted by the blessed fact that the Lord directs both flail and sieve to His own glory, and to your eternal profit. The Lord Jesus will surely use the fan which is in His hand, and will divide the precious from the vile. All are not Israel that are of Israel; the heap on the barn floor is not clean provender, and hence the winnowing process must be performed. In the sieve true weight alone has power. Husks and chaff being devoid of substance, must fly before the wind—and only solid grain will remain.

Observe the complete safety of the Lord’s wheat; even the least grain has a promise of preservation. God Himself sifts, and therefore it is just and effectual work; He sifts them in all places, “among all nations”; He sifts them in the most effectual manner, “like as grain is sifted in a sieve”; and yet for all this, not the smallest, lightest, or most shriveled grain, is permitted to fall to the ground.

Every individual believer is precious in the sight of the Lord, a shepherd would not lose one sheep, nor a jeweler one diamond, nor a mother one child, nor a man one limb of his body, nor will the Lord lose one of His redeemed people. However little we may be, if we are the Lord’s—we may rejoice that we are preserved in Christ Jesus.

Buddy – Answered Prayer for Closure

A week ago at this time I was sitting where I am sitting this morning. At that time I was waiting for nine o’clock to arrive when I would be able to call our veterinarian about taking Buddy in for surgery. The events that followed on that day are recorded here:  My Times Are in Your Hands

During the past week I have struggled without success to find closure on the death of this companion who I often referred to as Mr. Bud.  I have been praying throughout the days for something, exactly what I did not know, but something that would allow me to experience one final burst of emotion followed by a confident peace. Continue reading “Buddy – Answered Prayer for Closure”

Our Full and Complete Pardon

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Daily Words for Zion’s Wayfarers

“In those days, and in that time, says the Lord, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found–for I will pardon them whom I reserve.” Jeremiah 50:20

Some have feared lest in the great day their sins should be brought to light, and they put to shame by the exposure of their crimes to open view. But that will not be the case with the dear family of God. We read indeed that “many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake;” and while some awake “to everlasting life,” others will awake “to shame and everlasting contempt,” because their sins will be remembered and brought against them as evidences of their just condemnation. But the wise, who “shall shine as the brightness of the skies,” will rise to glory and honor and immortality, and not one of their sins will be remembered, charged, or brought against them. They will stand arrayed in Christ’s perfect righteousness and washed in his blood, and will appear before the throne of God without spot or blemish.

We can scarcely bear the recollection of our sins now. But what would become of us if the spirit of one unburied sin could flit before our eyes in the day when the Lord makes up his jewels? If any one sin of the Lamb’s wife could be remembered or brought against her, where would be the voice which John heard in Revelation, as “the voice of a great multitude, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia; for the Lord God omnipotent reigns?” Now what was this voice? “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife has made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white–for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints” (Rev. 19:7, 8).

But suppose that any of the past transgressions of the Lamb’s wife could be brought against her on that marriage day, any one instance of unfaithfulness to her plighted troth, would it not be sufficient to prevent the marriage, mar the wedding supper, and drive the bride away for very shame? No, there is no truth in God’s word more certain than the complete forgiveness of sins, and the presentation of the Church to Christ at the great day faultless before the presence of his glory, with exceeding joy.

Our Renewal in the Lord

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Daily Words for Zion’s Travelers

“But those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.” Isaiah 40:31

How different the religion of a living soul is from the religion of a dead professor! The religion of a dead professor begins in self, and ends in self; begins in his own wisdom, and ends in his own folly; begins in his own strength, and ends in his own weakness; begins in his own righteousness, and ends in his own damnation! There is in him never any going out of soul after God, no secret dealings with the Lord, no actings of faith upon the divine perfections.

But the child of God, though he is often faint, weary, and exhausted with many difficulties, burdens and sorrows; yet when the Lord does show himself, and renews his strength, he soars aloft, and never ceases to mount up on the wings of faith and love until he penetrates into the very sanctuary of the most High. A living soul never can be satisfied except in living union and communion with the Lord of life and glory. Everything short of that leaves it empty. All the things of time and sense leave a child of God unsatisfied. Nothing but vital union and communion with the Lord of life, to feel his presence, taste his love, enjoy his favor, see his glory–nothing but this will ever satisfy the desires of ransomed and regenerated souls. This the Lord indulges his people with.

“They shall renew their strength.” They shall not be always lying groaning on the ground, not always swooning away through the wounds made by sin, not always chained down by the fetters of the world, not always hunted in their souls like a partridge upon the mountains. There shall be a renewal of their strength; and in their renewal, “they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

My Times Are In Your Hands

My times are in your hands.

Psalm 31:15a

I experienced a slight detachment from reality as I listened to Dr. Stewart describe the picture that the x-rays painted. Our family dog Buddy, at eleven yeas old, was experiencing internal bleeding resulting in a pooling of blood and possibly other fluids in his abdominal cavity.



Our visit to our veterinarian yesterday came at the end of a week in which our previously healthy and active canine companion progressed from sluggishness to lethargy.  Dr. Stewart was clear in presenting the only option for treating the condition. We would need to run him down to the emergency animal surgical center in Fort Pierce and spend the night testing, prepping, and submitting Buddy to abdominal surgery.  He advised us that, because of his age, surgery would tax Buddy’s system and that recovery would be longer than would be the case for a younger dog.

Referring us to the x-rays, he pointed out the large mass in Buddy’s abdomen and told us that it could be the spleen, the liver, or just a large tumor. He told us that Buddy’s low platelet count indicated that there was also internal bleeding.

Feeling overwhelmed, my mind quickly found refuge in the thought that this was an occasion which seemed to point to only one end. That end being to euthanize Buddy. It was difficult to process that thought, but it seemed to be the only way to avoid subjecting our beloved family member to a difficult and in no way guaranteed operation. Continue reading “My Times Are In Your Hands”