Month April 2020
C. H. Spurgeon
This Morning’s Meditation
“Behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” Matthew 27:51
No small miracle was wrought in the rending of so strong and thick a veil; but it was not intended merely as a display of power—many lessons were herein taught us.
The old law of ordinances was put away, and like a worn-out vesture, rent and laid aside. When Jesus died, the sacrifices were all finished, because all fulfilled in Him, and therefore the place of their presentation was marked with an evident token of decay.
That rent also revealed all the hidden things of the old dispensation: the mercy-seat could now be seen, and the glory of God gleamed forth above it. By the death of our Lord Jesus we have a clear revelation of God, for He was “not as Moses, who put a veil over his face.” Life and immortality are now brought to light, and things which have been hidden since the foundation of the world are manifest in Him.
The annual ceremony of atonement was thus abolished. The atoning blood which was once every year sprinkled within the veil, was now offered once for all by the great High Priest, and therefore the place of the symbolical rite was broken up. No blood of bullocks or of lambs is needed now, for Jesus has entered within the veil with his own blood. Hence access to God is now permitted, and is the privilege of every believer in Christ Jesus. There is no small space laid open through which we may peer at the mercy-seat—but the tear reaches from the top to the bottom. We may come with boldness to the throne of the heavenly grace.
Shall we err if we say that the opening of the Holy of Holies in this marvelous manner by our Lord’s expiring cry, was the type of the opening of the gates of paradise to all the saints by virtue of the Passion? Our bleeding Lord has the key of heaven; He opens—and no man shuts; let us enter in with Him into the heavenly places, and sit with Him there, until our common enemies shall be made His footstool.
Our Beholding Of Jesus
J. C. Philpot
Today’s Daily Words for Zion’s Wayfarders
“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 3:18
A view of Christ’s glory, and a foretaste of the bliss and blessedness it communicates, has a transforming effect upon the soul. We are naturally proud, covetous, and worldly, often led aside by, and grievously entangled in various lusts and passions, prone to evil, averse to good, easily elated by prosperity, soon dejected by adversity, peevish under trials, rebellious under heavy strokes, unthankful for daily mercies of food and clothing, and in other ways ever manifesting our vile origin. To be brought from under the power of these abounding evils, and be made “fit for the inheritance of the saints in light,” we need to be “transformed by the renewing of our mind,” and conformed to the image of Christ.
Now this can only be by beholding his glory by faith, as the Apostle speaks, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” It is this believing view of the glory of Christ which supports under heavy TRIALS, producing meekness and resignation to the will of God. We are, therefore, bidden to “consider him who endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest we be wearied and faint in our minds;” and to “run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus.”
SICKNESSES, also, sometimes befall us, when we need special support; the sands of our time are fast running out, and there is no turning the glass; our “days are passing away as the swift ships, as the eagle that hastens to the prey;” and death and eternity are fast hastening on. When the body sinks under a load of pain and disease, and all sources of happiness and enjoyment from health and strength are cut off; when flesh and heart fail, and the eye-strings are breaking in death, what can support the soul or bear it safe through Jordan’s swelling flood, but those discoveries of the glory of Christ, that shall make it sick of earth, sin and self, and willing to lay the poor body in the grave, that it may be forever ravished with his glory and his love?
Thus we see how the glory of Christ is not only in heaven the unspeakable delight of the saints, whose glorified souls and bodies will then bear “an exceeding and eternal weight of glory;” but here on earth, in their days of tribulation and sorrow, this same glory, as revealed to their hearts, supports and upholds their steps, draws them out of the world, delivers them from the power of sin, gives them union and communion with Christ, conforms them to his image, comforts them in death, and lands them in glory.
We thus see Christ, like the sun, not only illuminating all heaven with his glory, the delight of the Father, the joy of the spirits of just men made perfect, and the adoration of all the angelic host, but irradiating also the path of the just on earth, casting his blessed beams on all their troubles and sorrows, and lighting up the way wherein they follow their Lord from the suffering cross to the triumphant crown.
J. C. Philpot
Today’s Words for Zion’s Wayfarers
“In the house of the righteous is much treasure–but in the revenues of the wicked is trouble.” Proverbs 15:6
How different is the estimate that faith makes of riches, honors, and comforts from that made by the world and the flesh! The world has no idea of riches but such as consist in gold and silver, in houses, lands, or other tangible property; no thought of honor, but such as man has to bestow; and no notion of comfort, except in “fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind.” But the soul that is anointed by an “unction from the Holy One,” takes a different estimate of these matters, and feels that the only true riches are those of God’s grace in the heart, that the only real honor is that which comes from God, and that the only solid comfort is that which is imparted by the Holy Spirit to a broken and contrite spirit. Now, just in proportion as we have the Spirit of God, shall we take faith’s estimate of riches, honor, and comfort; and just so much as we are imbued with the spirit of the world, shall we take the world’s estimate of these things.
When the eye of the world looked on the Apostles, it viewed them as a company of poor ignorant men, a set of wild enthusiasts, that traveled about the country preaching concerning one Jesus, who, they said, had been crucified, and was risen from the dead. The natural eye saw no beauty, no power, no glory in the truths they brought forth; nor did it see that the poor perishing tabernacles of these outcast men contained in them a heavenly treasure; and that they would one day shine as the stars forever and ever, while those who despised their word would sink into endless woe.
The spirit of the world, and the views that the flesh takes are not altered now. Nature ever remains the same, and can never understand or love the things of eternity; it can only look to, and can only rest upon, the poor perishing things of time and sense.
By this test, therefore, we may in a measure try our state. What, for instance, are our daily and hourly feelings about the things of time and sense, and what about the things of eternity? Which of the two press with more power on our minds, which occupy more of our thoughts, which are laid up more warmly in our affections? And just in proportion as the solemn things of eternity, or the things of time and sense, occupy our mind; just so much as our hearts are fixed upon heaven or earth; just so much as we are living to God, or to ourselves, in the same degree is the strength of our faith, and the depth of the work of grace upon our conscience.
Praying for the Lord’s Return
C. H. Spurgeon
This Evening’s Meditation
“He shall see His seed; He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.” Isaiah 53:10
Plead for the speedy fulfillment of this promise, all you who love the Lord. It is easy work to pray when we are grounded and bottomed, as to our desires, upon God’s own promise. How can He who gave the Word refuse to keep it? Immutable veracity cannot demean itself by a lie, and eternal faithfulness cannot degrade itself by neglect. God must bless His Son, His covenant binds Him to it. That which the Spirit prompts us to ask for Jesus, is that which God decrees to give Him.
Whenever you are praying for the kingdom of Christ, let your eyes behold the dawning of the blessed day which draws near, when the Crucified One shall receive His coronation in the place where men rejected Him. Courage, you who prayerfully work and toil for Christ with success of the very smallest kind, it shall not be so always; better times are before you. Your eyes cannot see the blissful future: borrow the telescope of faith; wipe the misty breath of your doubts from the glass; look through it and behold the coming glory.
Reader, let us ask, do you make this your constant prayer? Remember that the same Christ who tells us to say, “Give us this day our daily bread,” had first given us this petition, “Hallowed be Your name; Your kingdom come; Your will be done in earth as it is in heaven.” Let not your prayers be all concerning your own sins, your own needs, your own imperfections, your own trials—but let them climb the starry ladder, and get up to Christ Himself, and then, as you draw near to the blood-sprinkled mercy-seat, offer this prayer continually, “Lord, extend the kingdom of Your dear Son!” Such a petition, fervently presented, will elevate the spirit of all your devotions. Mind that you prove the sincerity of your prayer by laboring to promote the Lord’s glory.
Thoughts on this world
We are instructed by God to not love the things of this world. Over the past 20 years, but especially the last 3 weeks, He has been steadily working in my heart and mind to enable me to obey this command.
But as this process unfolds, a realization emerges that separates the things that we experience from what the world offers us. And chief among those experiences are the ones that involve relationships with people.
The people in our lives assemble a tapestry that will endure throughout eternity. Jesus tells us that we will remember the times when we assisted those who were in need.
This last three weeks has been a time of reflection for me. I have pondered with gratitude the unlikely reality that at a time when I was not seeking Him, God called me; and through His love He brought me out of a dark existence and delivered me into His amazing light.
Regardless of how one interprets the current situation viz. the “virus”, it would seem apparent that God has determined that this nation’s corruption, immorality, and denial of His sovereign and righteous reign have reached the point where He will not allow the situation to continue unabated.
When I consider all that is contained in the idea of being a witness to God’s judgement on our nation it is overwhelming. I’m sure that the last three weeks have been an emotional roller coaster ride for most, if not all, people in this land. I’ve experienced fear, anger, and sadness in varying combinations and degrees.
Throughout, I never doubted that the God who was at work in this situation is a God who is faithful to His people. And so even when I was in the depths I knew that God had placed His care on those who fear Him.
If there are particularly difficult days in your life during this season I’m moved to remind you that God is already, through His Spirit, teaching you about the glory that will ultimately be revealed to you in its fullness.
For me, I am happy to report that I’ve made significant strides in letting go of the things of this world. It’s not a finished work but I thank God for the progress that I’ve seen. As for those things in this world that are lasting, and I’m speaking only of heart matters here, the music videos below captures a small bit of my past life and brings to mind some of the people that I’ve known. And while no nation is without sin, I believe that for much or even most of our country’s history there was an abundance of goodness throughout this land. It’s plainly apparent in my memory and I think also wonderfully so in the videos.
Through Much Tribulation
J. C. Philpot
Today’s Morning Thought
“I have chosen you in the furnace of affliction.” –Isaiah 48:10
According to God’s own testimony, it is “through much tribulation” that we are to enter into the kingdom; and therefore there is no entering into the kingdom of grace here, or the kingdom of glory hereafter, without it. But let this be ever borne in mind, that whatever affliction befalls the saints, it is laid upon them by the hand of God, and that for the express purpose of putting them into a situation and of making them capable of receiving those comforts which God only can bestow.
None but Jesus himself and the Father can comfort a truly afflicted heart. And he can and does from time to time comfort his dear people by a sense of his presence; by a word of power from his gracious lips; by the light of his countenance; by the balm of his atoning blood and dying love; and by the work and witness of the Spirit within. And as they receive this consolation from the mouth of God, their hearts are comforted. How good the Lord is of his own free grace to bestow such blessings upon his redeemed family! May he give us much of them! And may he, wherever he has bestowed upon any of us everlasting consolation, or even a good hope through grace, comfort our hearts as we journey through this valley of tears, and may our consolations be neither few nor small.