Knowing Oneself

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.”

Trusting in God

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

“We know that all things work together for good—to those who love God.” Romans 8:28

The believer is absolutely sure, that an invisible hand is always on the world’s helm, and that wherever providence may drift, Jehovah steers it. That reassuring knowledge prepares him for everything. He looks over the raging waters—and sees Jesus treading the billows; and he hears a voice saying, “It is I, do not be afraid!” He knows also, that God is always wise, and, knowing this, he is confident that there can be no accidents, no mistakes; that nothing can occur—which ought not to arise. He can say, “If I should lose all I have, it is better that I should lose than have—if God so wills. The worst calamity is the wisest and the kindest thing that could befall to me—if God ordains it.”

“We know that all things work together for good—to those who love God.” The Christian does not merely hold this as a theory—but he knows it as a matter of fact. Everything has worked for good as yet; the poisonous drugs mixed in fit proportions, have worked the cure; the sharp cuts of the lancet, have cleansed out the proud flesh and facilitated the healing. Every event as yet has worked out the most divinely blessed results; and so, believing that God rules all, that He governs wisely, that He brings good out of evil—the believer’s heart is assured, and he is enabled calmly to meet each trial as it comes. The believer can in the spirit of true resignation pray, “Send me what you will, my God—so long as it comes from You! A bad portion never came from Your table—to any of Your children.”