Aiding the Helpless, Part 1

Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.

– Matthew 18:10

In The San Fransicso Call, Sunday, March 7, 1895, appears a story of neglected children. There is no doubt that similar cases (many much worse) have occured within the span of our shared human history, and the evidence would convict our world that it continues this evil even in this time of supposed enlightenment.

What are the factors in play here? A husband and father who completely disregards his duties and obligations. We don’t know how his actions might have led to his wife’s demise and downward spiral into the chasm of alchohol abuse, but she obviously lost every worldly thing as a result.

And so who is left to attend to the needs of the helpless?

One of the biggest challenges in this life for me is to understand that God, for his purposes, allows situations to play themselves out to a certain point. If this weren’t the case, then we would never read stories like the one below.

In this case there was, in accord with God’s timetable, a report to an organization founded to address just such situations as this. And then there was an honorable officer who immediately recognized the need to remove the children from their home. And lastly, there were structures in place to house and care for the children once removed from their home.

I think it goes without saying that there are at present many children who are living in similar or worse situations. What God likely looks down upon in sadness, anger,  compassion, or a combination of all three is something that should not fail to gain and keep our attention. Even though we might not have first hand knowledge of any particular situation, we should still maintain an awareness that there are children in desparate circumstances through absolutely no fault of their own.

And so I encourage you to seek God’s will on how he would make use of your time, efforts, and prayers on behalf of neglected, abused and mistreated children.

In a future post I will provide some information about the organization mentioned in this article, the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children. It is still in operation today, but until I read this article I had never heard of it. If you are thinking that its name is similar to that of an organization dedicated to preventing cruelty to animals you might be surprised to learn that this similarity is not a matter of chance.

Here’s the article:

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Our Enemy, Our War, and Our Assured Victory

C. H. Spurgeon

This Evening’s Meditation

“Michael and his angels fought against the dragon—and the dragon and his angels fought back.” Revelation 12:7

War always will rage between the two great sovereignties—until one or other is crushed. Peace between good and evil is an impossibility; the very pretense of it would, in fact, be the triumph of the powers of darkness. Michael will always fight; his holy soul is vexed with sin, and will not endure it. Jesus will always be the dragon’s foe, and that not in a quiet sense—but actively, vigorously, with full determination to exterminate evil.

All His servants, whether angels in heaven or messengers on earth, will and must fight; they are born to be warriors! At the cross, they enter into covenant never to make truce with evil; they are a warlike company, firm in defense and fierce in attack. The duty of every soldier in the army of the Lord—is daily, with all his heart, and soul, and strength—to fight against the dragon. The dragon and his angels will not decline the affray; they are incessant in their onslaughts, sparing no weapon, fair or foul.

We are foolish if we expect to serve God without opposition—the more zealous we are, the more sure are we to be assailed by the myrmidons of hell. The church may become slothful—but not so her great antagonist; his restless spirit never allows the war to pause; he hates the woman’s seed, and would gladly devour the church if he could. The servants of Satan partake much of the old dragon’s energy, and are usually an active race.

War rages all around, and to dream of peace—is dangerous and futile. Glory be to God, we know the end of the war. The great dragon shall be cast out and forever destroyed, while Jesus and those who are with Him shall receive the crown. Let us sharpen our swords tonight, and ask the Holy Spirit to strengthen our arms for the conflict. Never a battle so important; never a crown so glorious. Every man to his post, O warriors of the cross, and may the Lord tread Satan under your feet shortly!

Our Witness To The Truth

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. 3 John 3, 4

The truth was in Gaius—and Gaius walked in a the truth.

If the first had not been the case—the second could never have occurred. If the second could not be said of him—the first would have been a mere pretense. Truth must enter into the soul, penetrate and saturate it—or else it is of no value. Doctrines held as a matter of mere creed—are like bread in the hand, which ministers no nourishment to the body. But doctrine accepted by the heart, is as food digested, which, by assimilation, sustains and builds up the body.

Truth must be a living force in us, an active energy, an indwelling reality, a part of the woof and warp of our being. If truth is in us, we cannot henceforth part with it. A man may lose his garments or his limbs—but his inward parts are vital, and cannot be torn away without absolute loss of life. A Christian can die—but he cannot deny the truth.

It is a rule of nature—that the inward affects the outward, as light shines from the center of the lantern through the glass. When, therefore, the truth is kindled within, its brightness soon beams forth in the outward life and conversation.

It is said that the food of certain silkworms, colors the cocoons of silk which they spin—and just so the nutriment upon which a man’s inward nature lives—gives a tinge to every word and deed proceeding from him.

To walk in the truth, imports a life of integrity, holiness, faithfulness, and simplicity—the natural product of those principles of truth which the gospel teaches, and which the Spirit of God enables us to receive. We may judge of the secrets of the soul—by their manifestation in the man’s life. Be it ours today, O gracious Spirit, to be ruled and governed by Your divine authority, so that nothing false or sinful may reign in our hearts, lest it extend its malignant influence to our daily walk among men.

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.”