Grace and Glory

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Daily Words for Zion’s Wayfarers

“The Lord will give grace and glory.” Psalm 84:11

Wherever the Lord gives grace, he in and with that grace gives glory. We, therefore, read, “Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called; and whom he called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” Thus he has already made them, even while on earth, partakers of his glory; and this by making them partakers of his grace; for as in the bud is the bloom, and in the bloom the fruit, so in budding grace is blooming glory–grace being but glory begun, and glory being but grace finished.

But what is “glory?” Viewed as future, in its full consummation, it is to be with Jesus in realms of eternal bliss, where tears are wiped from off all faces; it is to see him as he is; to be conformed to his glorious likeness; to be delivered from all sin and sorrow; to be perfectly free from all temptations, trials, burdens, and exercises, and to dwell forever in that happy land, “the inhabitants of which shall not say, I am sick;” where a weary body, a burdened conscience, a troubled heart, a faint and weary mind, are utterly and forever unknown.

In a word, it is to have a glorified body re-united to a glorified soul, and for both to be as full of happiness and holiness, bliss and blessedness, as an immortal spirit can hold, and an immortal frame can endure, drinking in to the full, with unutterable satisfaction but without satiety, the pleasures that are at God’s right hand for evermore.

But no human heart can conceive, nor human tongue unfold in what the nature and fullness of this glory consist; for “eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love him.” Yet all this glory will the Lord give to those upon whom he has already bestowed his grace. He gives them grace now, to bring them through this wilderness world, this valley of tears, this scene of temptation, sin, and sorrow; and when he lands them on that happy shore, he gives them there the fullness of his glory. Then will be fully accomplished the Redeemer’s prayer and will–“Father, I will that they also, whom you have given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which you have given me; for you loved me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24).

Their right and title to the enjoyment of this predestinated inheritance are securely lodged in the hands of their covenant Head; and he living at God’s right hand to save them to the uttermost, all their temptations, enemies, sins, and sorrows can never hinder them from reaching the shore on which God has decreed they shall safely land. Satan may spread a thousand snares to entangle their feet; not a day or scarcely an hour may pass that they are not burdened with indwelling sin; a myriad of lusts may start up in arms from the depths of their carnal mind; and many a pang of guilt and chill of despair may seem at times wholly to cut them off from eternal life. But yet, where the Lord has given grace he will give glory; for when he gives grace with the left hand, he gives glory with the right; yes, we may say that with both hands he gives at once both grace and glory; for as grace and glory flow out of the same loving heart, and are given by the same loving God, they may be said to be given by both hands at one and the same time. A portion or foretaste of this glory is given on earth in every discovery of the glory of Christ; as the Lord speaks, “And the glory which you gave me I have given them”–already given them; and this he did when “he manifested forth his glory, and his disciples believed on him” (John 17:22; 2:11).

On Ending Our Winter, Beginning Our Spring

C. H. Spurgeon

This Evening’s Meditation

“Can you bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?”

— Job 38:31

If inclined to boast of our abilities, the grandeur of nature may soon show us how puny we are. We cannot move the least of all the twinkling stars, or quench so much as one of the beams of the morning. We speak of power—but the heavens laugh us to scorn. When the Pleiades shine forth in spring with joy—we cannot restrain their influences; and when Orion reigns aloft, and the year is bound in winter’s fetters, we cannot relax the icy bands. The seasons revolve according to the divine appointment, neither can the whole race of men effect a change therein. Lord, what is man!

In the spiritual, as in the natural world, man’s power is limited on all hands. When the Holy Spirit sheds abroad His delights in the soul—none can disturb; all the cunning and malice of men are ineffectual to stay the genial quickening power of the Comforter. When He deigns to visit a church and revive it—the most inveterate enemies cannot resist the good work; they may ridicule it—but they can no more restrain it than they can push back the spring when the Pleiades rule the hour. God wills it—and so it must be.

On the other hand, if the Lord in sovereignty, or in justice—binds up a man so that he is in soul bondage, who can give him liberty? God alone can remove the winter of spiritual death from an individual, or a people. He looses the bands of Orion—and none but He. What a blessing it is that He can do it. O that He would perform the wonder tonight.

Lord, end my winter, and let my spring begin. I cannot with all my longings raise my soul out of her death and dullness—but all things are possible with You. I need celestial influences, the clear shinings of Your love, the beams of Your grace, the light of Your countenance, these are the Pleiades to me. I suffer much from sin and temptation, these are my wintry signs, my terrible Orion. Lord, work wonders in me, and for me! Amen.

Our Most Necessary Faith

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

“Strong in faith.” — Romans 4:20

Christian, take good care of your faith—for faith is the only way whereby you can obtain blessings. If we want blessings from God, nothing can fetch them down but faith. Prayer cannot draw down answers from God’s throne except it be the earnest prayer of the man who believes. Faith is the angelic messenger between the soul—and the Lord Jesus in glory. Let that angel be withdrawn, and we can neither send up prayer, nor receive the answers. Faith is the telegraph wire which links earth and heaven — on which God’s messages of love fly so fast, that before we call—He answers, and while we are yet speaking—He hears us. But if that telegraph wire of faith is snapped—how can we receive the promise?

Am I in trouble? — I can obtain help for trouble by faith. Am I beaten about by the enemy? — my soul on her dear Refuge leans by faith. But take faith away — in vain I call to God. There is no road between my soul and heaven—but faith. In the deepest wintertime, faith is the road on which the horses of prayer may travel — ay, and all the better for the biting frost; but blockade the road, and how can we communicate with the Great King? Faith links me with divinity. Faith clothes me with the power of God. Faith engages the omnipotence of Jehovah on my side. Faith insures every attribute of God in my defense. It helps me to defy the hosts of hell. It makes me march triumphant over the necks of my enemies. But without faith—how can I receive anything of the Lord? Let not him who wavers — who is like a wave of the sea — expect that he will receive anything from God! O, then, Christian, watch well your faith; for with it you can win all things, however poor you are—but without it you can obtain nothing. “If you can believe—all things are possible to him who believes.”

Our Increasing Strength

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Daily Thought

“To those who have no might he increases strength.” –Isaiah 40:29

The Lord’s people are often in this state, that they “have no might.” All their power seems exhausted, and their strength completely drained away; sin appears to have gotten the mastery over them; and they feel as if they had neither will nor ability to run the race set before them, or persevere in the way of the Lord. Yet, even then, they have strength; for it says, “he increases strength.” It does not say, ‘he gives, bestows, communicates strength;’ but “he increases strength.” How can this be?

We must have power to feel our weakness. God must put forth his power to enable us to fall down into nothingness and helplessness. It therefore says, “he increases strength.” As though it would imply, ‘Is not the very power to sink down into creature weakness, helplessness, and nothingness, strength?’ It is so in God’s mysterious dealings. And, therefore, “to those who have no might” (in other words, those who are sensible in their own consciences that they have no power at all, who are completely exhausted of nature’s strength and wisdom), to these “he increases strength.”

Now the Lord “increases strength” in a very mysterious way. He often drops strength stilly and secretly into the soul. We are not always to expect very great manifestations. This is not the way in which the Lord usually increases strength. His visits to the soul are often better known by their fruits and effects, and by looking back upon them when they are past, than by any immediate impulse. The strength given is more easily felt than the hand seen which communicates it. In this respect it much resembles the new birth, of which the Lord says, “The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound thereof, but can not tell whence it comes, and where it goes” (John 3:8).

Our Fellowship With Jesus Christ

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Daily Thought

“God is faithful, by whom you were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” –1 Corinthians 1:9

When God calls his people by his grace, it is to make them partakers of the highest bliss and the greatest glory that he could confer upon the sons of men. And this not only in eternity, but in time; not only beyond, but this side of the grave. He appeals, therefore, to them by his prophet. “Have I been a wilderness unto Israel? a land of darkness?” (Jer. 2:31.) When the Lord calls his people out of earthly pleasures, is it for no other purpose than to lead them into paths of affliction and sorrow? Does he make them leave the flesh-pots of Egypt to starve them in a waste howling wilderness? This was the complaint of the ancient murmurers, that Moses had brought them up out of Egypt to kill them with thirst (Exod. 17:3). Does he take them from earthly delights to abandon them to misery and despair?

O no! He calls them even in this time state to the greatest privilege and highest favor that his everlasting love could confer upon them, which is no less than “the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,” that they may have union and communion with the Son of God by grace here, and be partakers of his glory hereafter. God’s dear Son is, and always has been, the object of his eternal delight. To glorify him has been from all eternity his fixed, his settled purpose; and in pursuance of this settled purpose, he gave him a people whom he formed for himself, that they might show forth his praise. Thus, therefore, the Redeemer addressed his heavenly Father–“And all mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I am glorified in them.”

Our Pilgrimage

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

“I am a stranger with you.” — Psalm 39:12

Yes, O Lord, with You—but not to You. All my natural alienation from You—Your grace has effectually removed; and now, in fellowship with Yourself, I walk through this sinful world as a pilgrim in a foreign country. You are a stranger in Your own world. Man forgets You, dishonors You, sets up new laws and alien customs, and knows You not. When Your dear Son came unto His own, His own received Him not. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. Never was a foreigner so speckled a bird among the inhabitants of any land—as Your beloved Son among His mother’s brethren. It is no marvel, then, if I who live the life of Jesus, should be unknown and a stranger here below.

Lord, I would not be a citizen where Jesus was an alien. His pierced hand has loosened the cords which once bound my soul to earth—and now I find myself a stranger in the land. My speech seems to these Babylonians among whom I dwell—an outlandish tongue; my manners are singular; and my actions are strange. I could never be at home in the haunts of sinners.

But here is the sweetness of my lot—”I am a stranger with You.” You are my fellow-sufferer, my fellow-pilgrim. Oh, what joy to wander in such blessed society! My heart burns within me by the way, when you speak to me, and though I am a sojourner, I am far more blessed than those who sit on thrones, and far more at home than those who dwell in their ivory palaces.

Our Name, “Sought Out”

C. H. Spurgeon

Today’s Evening Meditation

“You shall be called, Sought out.” — Isaiah 62:12

The surpassing grace of God is seen very clearly, in that we were not only sought—but sought out. Men seek for a thing which is lost upon the floor of the house—but in such a case there is only seeking, not seeking out. The loss is more perplexing and the search more persevering, when a thing is sought out. We were mingled with the mire—we were as when some precious jewel falls into the sewer, and men gather out and carefully inspect a mass of abominable filth, and continue to stir and rake, and search among the heap until the treasure is found. Or, to use another figure, we were lost in a labyrinth; we wandered hither and there, and when mercy came after us with the gospel, it did not find us at the first coming, it had to search for us and seek us out; for we as lost sheep, were so desperately lost, and had wandered into such a strange country, that it did not seem possible that even the Good Shepherd should track our devious roamings. Glory be to unconquerable grace, we were sought out! No gloom could hide us, no filthiness could conceal us, we were found and brought home! Glory be to infinite love, God the Holy Spirit restored us!

The lives of some of God’s people, if they could be written—would fill us with holy astonishment. Strange and marvelous are the ways which God used in their case to find His own. Blessed be His name, He never relinquishes the search—until the chosen are sought out effectually. They are not a people sought today and cast away tomorrow. Almightiness and wisdom combined will make no failures, they shall be called, “Sought out!” That any should be sought out is matchless grace—but that we should be sought out—is grace beyond degree! We can find no reason for it—but God’s own sovereign love; and can only lift up our heart in wonder, and praise the Lord that this night we wear the name of “Sought out.”

Our Friend, Our Comfort

C. H. Spurgeon

This Evening’s Meditation

“I have chosen you in the furnace of affliction.” — Isaiah 48:10

Comfort yourself, tried believer, with this thought—God says, “I have chosen you in the furnace of affliction.” Let affliction come—God has chosen me. Poverty, you may stride in at my door—but God is in the house already, and He has chosen me. Sickness, you may intrude—but I have a balsam ready—God has chosen me. Whatever befalls me in this valley of tears, I know that He has “chosen” me.

If, believer, you require still greater comfort, remember that you have the Jesus with you in the furnace. In that silent chamber of yours, there sits by your side One whom you have not seen—but whom you love; and ofttimes when you know it not, He makes all your bed in your affliction, and smooths your pillow for you. You are in poverty; but the Lord of life and glory is a frequent visitor to you. He loves to come into these desolate places, that He may visit you. Your Friend sticks closely to you. You cannot see Him—but you may feel the pressure of His hands. Do you not hear His voice? Even in the valley of the shadow of death He says, “Fear not, I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God.”

Fear not, Christian—Jesus is with you! In all your fiery trials, His presence is both your comfort and safety. He will never leave one whom He has chosen for His own. “Fear not—for I am with you,” is His sure Word of promise to His chosen ones in the “furnace of affliction.” Will you not, then, take fast hold of Christ, and say, “Through floods and flames, if Jesus leads—I’ll follow where He goes.”