Joshua’s Obedience

C. H. Spurgeon

Excerpted from his sermon, Joshua’s Obedience

…if we get no outward prosperity here, I trust you and I, if we love Christ, and are filled with His Spirit, can do without it. Well, if we must be poor, it will soon be over, and in heaven there shall be no poverty. Well, if we must fight for it, in order to maintain our conscience, we did not expect to come into this world that we might—

“Be carried to the skies
On flowery beds of ease.”

If it must come to this, that we must suffer hunger and even nakedness itself, we shall not be worse off than the apostles—better men than we, we shall not be brought lower than the martyrs—with whose names we are not worthy to have ours coupled. Let us, then, run all risks for Christ. He is no soldier who cannot die for his country, he is no Christian who cannot lose his life for Christ. We must be willing to give up all things rather than sell the truth or sell the right, and if we come to this, we shall have such courage within our spirits, such a quiet consciousness of the presence of God the Holy Spirit, and such sweet smiles from the once suffering, but now reigning Savior, that we shall have to bless God all our days for these light afflictions, which are but for a moment, which shall work out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.

I may not have spoken much to the comfort of God’s people, but I shall be glad if I have said only half a word that may tend to nurture in the midst of our church earnest obedience, practical piety, real positive godliness carried out in ordinary life. We have plenty of doctrine, plenty of thinking, plenty of talking, but oh, for more holy acting! It is sickening to see the inconsistencies of some professors. It is enough, indeed, to make the world ridicule the church to see how many profess to follow Christ, and then keep any rule rather than God’s rule, and obey anybody sooner than the Lord Jesus Christ.

Brethren, let us pray to God that our hearts may be sincere in the Lord’s ways, and that we may be guided by His Spirit even to the end.

Our Expression of God’s Love

Lord, is there an opportunity for me today in which I might deprive myself for the good of another?

Please guide me.

Lord, is there an opportunity for me today in which I might make myself lesser that you might become greater?

Please guide me.

Lord, is there an opportunity for me today in which I might demonstrate your love?

Please guide me.

(Video note:  My apologies for the ad, can skip after 5 seconds.)

Our Witness

C. H. Spurgeon

This Evening’s Meditation

“And you shall be My witnesses.” Acts 1:8

In order to learn how to discharge your duty as a witness for Christ—look at His example. He is always witnessing—by the well of Samaria, or in the Temple of Jerusalem—by the lake of Gennesaret, or on the mountain’s brow. He is witnessing night and day; His mighty prayers are as vocal to God—as His daily services. He witnesses under all circumstances; Scribes and Pharisees cannot shut His mouth; even before Pilate He witnesses a good confession. He witnesses so clearly, and distinctly—that there is no mistake in Him.

Christian, make your life a clear testimony. Be as the clear brook wherein you may see every stone at the bottom—not as the muddy creek, of which you only see the surface—but clear and transparent, so that your heart’s love to God and man may be visible to all. You need not say, “I am true!” Be true! Boast not of integrity—but be upright. So shall your testimony be such that men cannot help seeing it.

Never, for fear of feeble man, restrain your witness. Your lips have been warmed with a coal from off the altar; let them speak as heaven-touched lips should speak. “In the morning sow your seed, and in the evening withhold not your hand.” Watch not the clouds, consult not the wind—in season and out of season—witness for the Savior, and if it shall come to pass that for Christ’s sake and the gospel’s you shall endure suffering in any shape, shrink not—but rejoice in the honor thus conferred upon you, that you are counted worthy to suffer with your Lord. Rejoice also in this—that your sufferings, your losses, and persecutions shall make a platform—from which the more vigorously and with greater power you shall witness for Christ Jesus. Study your great Exemplar, and be filled with His evangelistic spirit. Remember that you need much teaching, much upholding, much grace, and much humility—if your witnessing is to be to your Master’s glory!

Our Necessary Weakness

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

A primary qualification for serving God with any amount of success, and for doing God’s work well and triumphantly, is a sense of our own weakness.

When the Christian warrior marches forth to battle, strong in his own might, when he boasts, “I know that I shall conquer, my own right arm and my conquering sword shall get unto me the victory!” then defeat is not far distant. God will not go forth with that man who marches in his own strength. He who reckons on victory by his own strength—has reckoned wrongly, for “it is not by might, nor by power—but by My Spirit, says the Lord Almighty.” They who go forth to fight, boasting of their prowess—shall return with their mirthful banners trailing in the dust, and their armor stained with disgrace.

Those who serve God—must serve Him in His own way, and in His strength, or He will never accept their service. God will never own that man who works, unaided by divine strength. The mere fruits of the earth—He casts away; He will only reap that grain, the seed of which was sown from heaven, watered by grace, and ripened by the sun of divine love. God will empty out all that you have—before He will put His own into you; He will first clean out your granaries—before He will fill them with the finest of the wheat. The river of God is full of water—but not one drop of it flows from earthly springs. God will have no strength used in His battles—but the strength which He Himself imparts.

Are you mourning over your own weakness? Take courage, for there must be a consciousness of weakness before the Lord will give you victory. Your emptiness—is but the preparation for your being filled; and your casting down—is but the making ready for your lifting up!

The Reigning Power of Our Ever Loving Savior

C. H. Spurgeon

Excerpt 3 from the sermon, The Arrows of the Bow Broken in Zion.

“There broke he the arrows of the bow, the shield, and sword, and the battle.”
– Psalm 76:3

Jesus is now exalted far above all principalities and powers, and every name that is named, but the enemy of our souls, though defeated, continues maliciously to attempt our destruction. Satan’s head is bruised, but he still lives, and continues perpetually to assault the saints of God. We seldom stand before the angel without Satan coming forward as our accuser. The accuser of the brethren unceasingly clamors against the saints, but here is our joy—whatever may be the arrows of Satan’s bow, whatever sword he may wield against us, there He stands, our great Captain, our Shield and the Lord’s Anointed, and as fast as the arrows are shot He breaks them, and as often as the sword is drawn, He turns aside its edge.

Courage, Christian! Your foes may be unceasing in their attacks, but Jesus Christ is unfailing in your protection. For Zion’s sake He does not hold His peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake He does not rest, but His intercession comes up perpetually before the eternal throne, and the constant presentation of His omnipotent merit evermore preserves the tempted, succors the needy, and upholds those that are ready to fall. Let us be of good cheer, for there, in the New Jerusalem to which our laboring souls aspire, the intercession of Jesus breaks “the arrows of the bow, the shield, and the sword, and the battle.”

Nor does it end there, for here below our exalted Lord is Master over all events, providence is ruled and guided by the Man whose head was surrounded with the crown of thorns—

“Lo! in His hands the sovereign keys
Of heaven, and death, and hell.”

To this hour the adversaries of truth seek the overthrow of the church of God. We may be sometimes idle, but they are always diligent. “The enemy goes about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” He assails the people of God in successive ages from different points of the compass with cunning and fury, and we should have poor hope, we who are like a few lambs in the midst of wolves, if it were not that our Master is present by His eternal Spirit, and rules all things by His providential government.

He can make those wheels which are so high that they are terrible, so to revolve that the greatest enemies of the church shall be cut off or shall be converted, and He can raise up from the dunghill men that shall be princes in the midst of Israel, to be defenders of the truth, and shepherds to His people. He can cause to be born in a humble cottage in the wood a Luther, who shall shake off the fetters from the nations, He can bring forth from the wildest village of France a Calvin, whose words shall be as nails fastened by the master of assemblies, and He can raise a flaming Knox, and nourish his fiery spirit in Geneva till Scotland needs him, or raise up in the quiet parsonage of Lutterworth a Wickliffe, to shine as the morning star of the Reformation in England.

God is never short of men. He never has to bethink Himself of means. He knows no difficulties or dilemmas. If His church needed it, He could tomorrow make emperors repent of their sins, and doff their crowns to become ministers of the Word, and compel the most violent persecutors of the church to crouch at her feet, and lick the dust. Let us be confident in the reigning power of our ever loving Savior, let us be reassured by the history of the church in the past, and expect to see divine interpositions in our own day. Fear not, for still it shall be said of Zion, “There broke He the arrows of the bow, the shield, and the sword, and the battle.”

Our Victory in Christ

C. H. Spurgeon

Excerpt from the sermon, The Arrows of the Bow Broken in Zion.

“There broke he the arrows of the bow, the shield, and sword, and the battle.”
– Psalm 76:3

That glorious cry of “It is finished,” was the death-knell of all the adversaries of His people, the breaking of “the arrows of the bow, the shield, and the sword, and the battle.” I think I see before me the hero of Golgotha using His cross as an anvil, and His woes as a hammer, and dashing to shivers bundle after bundle of our sins, those poisoned “arrows of the bow,” trampling on every charge, and destroying every accusation. What glorious blows the mighty breaker gives! How the weapons fly to fragments, beaten small as the dust of the threshing floor!

Behold, I see Him drawing from its sheath of hellish workmanship the dread sword of hellish power. See, He snaps it across His knee, as a man breaks dry wood of kindling, and casts it into the fire. Like David, he cries, “He teaches my hands to war; so that a bow of steel is broken by my arms.” “I have pursued my enemies, and destroyed them; and turned not again until I had consumed them. And I have consumed them and wounded them, that they could not arise: yea, they are fallen under my feet…Then did I beat them as small as the dust of the earth; I did stamp them as the mire of the street.”

Beloved, no sin of a believer can now be an arrow to mortally wound him, no condemnation can now be a sword to kill him, for the punishment of our sin was borne by Christ, a full atonement has been made for all our iniquities by our blessed Substitute and Surety. Who now accuses? Who now condemns? Christ has died, yea, rather has risen again. Let hell, if it can, find a single arrow to shoot against the beloved of the Lord, they are all broken, not one of them is left. Christ has emptied the quivers of hell, has quenched every fiery dart, and broken off the head of every arrow of wrath, the ground is strewn with the splinters and relics of the weapons of hell’s warfare, which are only visible to us to remind us of our former danger, and of our great deliverance.

Sin has no more dominion over us. Jesus has made an end of it, and put it away forever. O you enemy, destructions are come to a perpetual end. Talk you of all the wondrous works of the Lord, you who make mention of His name, keep not silent.

Our Champion

C. H. Spurgeon

Excerpt 1 from the sermon, The Arrows Of The Bow Broken In Zion.

“There broke he the arrows of the bow, the shield, and sword, and the battle.”

-Psalm 76:3

…he has fought victoriously FOR US. Our God has wrought for us great spiritual victories, by which all the ingenious weapons of our many adversaries have been snapped. Let me remind you, beloved, in the first place, of what the Lord our God did in the day of our redemption by the sufferings of Christ. Let us celebrate the triumphs of Cavalry. The Lord of angels descended from heaven, and left the glories of His Father’s throne to take upon Himself the form of a servant, and to be made in the likeness of man, throughout the whole of His life of humiliation He was attacked by the enemy, but He was victorious at every point. Hell strove to empty out all its quivers upon Him, and the sword of Satanic malice sought with its keenest edge to wound Him, but never was He staggered, or so much as scarred, He quenched every fiery dart and repelled every barbed arrow. The prince of this world watched Him with jealous eye, and scanned Him from head to foot, but found no place for the entrances of sin, nothing within His soul upon which evil could gain a footing. Jesus was unconquerable, to show us that in the power of grace manhood may overcome the sword of evil, and break the arrows of temptation.

At last the fullness of time ushered in that dreadful night when all the powers of darkness met, and collected all their infernal might for one last tremendous charge, buckler, and sword, and arrow, and every weapon of offense and defense were wielded by the leaguered hosts of hell, but all in vain. Our Champion was hard put to it, He sweat as it were great drops of blood, falling to the ground, He was numbered with the transgressors, He was led away like a malefactor, tried and condemned, the Lord JEHOVAH made to meet on Him the iniquity of us all, but in all and over all He was more than conqueror.

You never can forget, for it is written upon the fleshy tablets of your grateful hearts, how His enemies dragged Him to the mount of crucifixion, fastened Him to the accursed tree, lifted Him up all bleeding and suffering, exposed Him to the glare of the sun, dashed the cross into its place, dislocating all His bones, sat around and stared upon Him, and mocked His miseries, but in all this He remained invincible. These griefs, which were outward and conspicuous to our eyes, were but a small part of His agonies—the inward strife, the internal conflict, the soul-desertion and depression were heavier far, sin’s utmost weight, the fury of vengeance, the curse of the law, the sword of justice, the malice of Satan, the bitterness of death—all these He knew and more, and yet, single-handed, He sustained the fight and earned the crown.

That glorious cry of “It is finished,” was the death-knell of all the adversaries of His people, the breaking of “the arrows of the bow, the shield, and the sword, and the battle.”

Christ’s Presence Our Strength

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

“Put out into deep water—and let down the nets for a catch. Simon answered, ‘Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because You say so—I will let down the nets.'” Luke 5:4,5

We learn from this narrative, the necessity of human agency. The catch of fish was miraculous—yet neither the fisherman nor his boat, nor his fishing tackle were ignored; but all were used to take the fishes. Just so in the saving of souls—God works by means; and while the present economy of grace shall stand, God will be pleased by the foolishness of preaching to save those who believe. When God works without instruments, doubtless He is glorified; but He has Himself selected the plan of instrumentality as being that by which He is most magnified in the earth.

Means of themselves, are utterly unavailing. “Master, we have toiled all night—and have caught nothing!” What was the reason of this? Were they not fishermen plying their special vocation? Truly, they were no novices; they understood the work. Had they gone about the toil unskillfully? No! Had they lacked industry? No—they had toiled. Had they lacked perseverance? No—they had toiled all night. Was there a deficiency of fish in the sea? Certainly not, for as soon as the Master came, they swam to the net in shoals! What, then, is the reason? Is it because there is no power in the means of themselves, apart from the presence of Jesus!

Without Him—we can do nothing.” But with Christ—we can do all things. Christ’s presence confers success! Jesus sat in Peter’s boat, and His will, by a mysterious influence, drew the fish to the net. When Jesus is lifted up in His Church, His presence is the Church’s power! “I, if I am lifted up, will draw all men unto me.” Let us go out this morning on our work of soul-fishing, looking up in faith, and around us in solemn concern. Let us toil until night comes, and we shall not labor in vain; for He who bids us let down the net—will fill it with fish!

Our Eventide

I don’t know how a believer in their 20s or 30s, even 40s and 50s might respond to this morning’s devotional from Charles Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening, but at 64 years of age I can report that it strikes a chord in me. Even in the midst of many trials I find that God is always faithful to see me through them while calming my anxieties.

Having come to fullness of faith in my 40s, I can only speculate how it might have struck me if I had read it as a believer in my younger days.

I also cannot give a first-hand account of the light that comes at one’s hour of death, but in reading of the experiences of others who have passed through that period, I am confident that it will be a time of joyful experience.

Here’s this morning’s devotional:

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

“At evening time—it shall be light.” Zechariah 14:7

Oftentimes we look with forebodings to the time of old age, forgetful that at evening time—it shall be light. To many saints, old age is the choicest season in their lives. A balmier air fans the mariner’s cheek as he nears the shore of immortality, fewer waves ruffle his sea, quiet reigns—deep, still and solemn. From the altar of old age—the flashes of the fire of youth are gone—but the more real flame of earnest love to Jesus remains. The pilgrims have reached the land of Beulah, that happy country, whose days are as the days of heaven upon earth. Angels visit it, celestial gales blow over it, flowers of paradise grow in it, and the air is filled with seraphic music. Some dwell here for years, and others come to it but a few hours before their departure—but it is an Eden on earth.

We may well long for the time—when we shall recline in its shady groves and be satisfied with hope—until the time of fruition comes. The setting sun seems larger than when high in the sky, and a splendor of glory tinges all the clouds which surround its going down. Pain does not break not the calm of the sweet twilight of old age, for strength made perfect in weakness, bears up with patience under it all. Ripe fruits of choice experience are gathered as the rare meal of life’s evening, and the soul prepares itself for rest.

The Lord’s people shall also enjoy light in the hour of death. Unbelief laments; the shadows fall, the night is coming, existence is ending. “Ah no!” cries faith, “the night is far spent, the true day is at hand. Light is come, the light of immortality, the light of the Father’s countenance!”

Gather up your feet in the bed, see the waiting bands of spirits! Angels waft you away. Farewell, beloved one, you are gone—you wave your hand. Ah, now it is light. The pearly gates are open, the golden streets shine in the jasper light. We on earth, cover our eyes—but you behold the unseen! Adieu, brother, you have light at even-tide, such as we have not yet!

Our God, Our Lord, Our Father

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

“The Lord looks down from heaven; He observes all mankind.” Psalm 33:13

Perhaps no figure of speech represents God in a more gracious light—than when He is spoken of as stooping from His throne, and coming down from heaven to behold the woes—and to attend to the wants of mankind. We love Him, who, when Sodom and Gomorrah were full of iniquity, would not destroy those cities until He had made a personal visitation of them.

We cannot help pouring out our heart in affection for our Lord—who inclines His ear from the highest glory, and puts it to the lip of the dying sinner, whose failing heart longs after reconciliation. How can we but love Him—when we know that He numbers the very hairs of our heads, marks our path, and orders our ways!

Especially is this great truth brought near to our heart, when we recollect how attentive He is, not merely to the temporal interests of His creatures—but to their spiritual concerns. Though leagues of distance lie between the finite creature and the infinite Creator—yet there are links uniting both. When a tear is wept by you—God beholds it! “Like as a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him.”

Your sigh is able to move the heart of Jehovah; your whisper can incline His ear unto you; your prayer can stay His hand; your faith can move His arm. Do not think that God sits on high taking no account of you. However poor and needy you are—yet the Lord thinks upon you. For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect towards Him.