Our Increasing Strength

C. H. Spurgeon

This  Morning’s Meditation

“They go from strength to strength.” Psalm 84:7

There are various renderings of these words—but all of them contain the idea of progress. “They go from strength to strength.” That is, they grow stronger and stronger. Usually, if we are walking, we go from strength to weakness; we start fresh and in good order for our journey—but by-and-by the road is rough, and the sun is hot; we sit down by the wayside, and then again painfully pursue our weary way. But the Christian pilgrim having obtained fresh supplies of grace, is as vigorous after years of toilsome travel and struggle—as when he first set out! He may not be quite so elated and buoyant, nor perhaps quite so hot and hasty in his zeal as he once was—but he is much stronger in all that constitutes real power, and travels, if more slowly—far more surely.

Some gray-haired veterans have been as firm in their grasp of truth, and as zealous in diffusing it, as they were in their younger days; but, alas, it must be confessed it is often otherwise, for the love of many waxes cold and iniquity abounds—but this is their own sin and not the fault of the promise, which still holds good, “The youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall—but those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint!”

Fretful spirits sit down and trouble themselves about the future. “Alas!” say they, “we go from affliction to affliction.” Very true, O you of little faith—but then you go from strength to strength also. You shall never find a bundle of affliction which has not bound up in the midst of it sufficient grace. God will give the strength of ripe manhood—with the burden allotted to full-grown shoulders.

The High Mountain

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

“Get up into the high mountain.” Isaiah 40:9

Each believer should be thirsting for God, for the living God—and longing to climb the hill of the Lord, and see Him face to face. We ought not to rest content in the mists of the valley—when the summit of Tabor awaits us. My soul thirsts to drink deep of the cup which is reserved for those who reach the mountain’s brow, and bathe their brows in heaven. How pure are the dews of the hills, how fresh is the mountain air, how rich the fare of the dwellers aloft, whose windows look into the New Jerusalem!

Many saints are content to live like men in coal mines—who do not see the sun; they eat dust like the serpent—when they might taste the ambrosial food of angels; they are content to wear the miner’s garb—when they might put on king’s robes; tears mar their faces—when they might anoint them with celestial oil. Many a believer pines in a dungeon—when he might walk on the palace roof, and view the goodly land and Lebanon. Rouse yourself, O believer, from your low condition! Cast away your sloth, your lethargy, your coldness, or whatever interferes with your chaste and pure love to Christ, your soul’s Husband. Make Him the source, the center, and the circumference of all your soul’s range of delight.

What enchants you into such folly, as to remain in a pit—when you may sit on a throne? Do not live in the lowlands of bondage, now that mountain liberty is conferred upon you. Rest no longer satisfied with your dwarfish attainments—but press forward to things more sublime and heavenly. Aspire to a higher, a nobler, a fuller life! Upward to heaven! Nearer to God!

Our Walk With The Lord

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Daily Portion

“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Amos 3:3

There was a time, child of God, when the world held the chief place in your heart. God was not supreme in your heart. You and he were therefore at variance. But now, through grace, you are brought to make eternity your chief concern. You and God are agreed there; for in the mind of God, eternity as much outweighs time as the stars in the midnight sky outweigh a grain of dust. There was a time when you loved the world and the things of time and sense; and earth and earthly things were your element and home. You and God disagreed upon that matter; because the Lord saw that the world was full of evil, while you saw it full of good. The Lord saw the world under his curse, and you loved its favor and its blessing–seeking madly and wickedly to enjoy that which God had denounced; therefore you could not agree.

Thus you see that in order to be agreed with God, we must have God’s thoughts in our heart, God’s ways in our soul, and God’s love in our affections. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord.” But they must become such; and when once God’s thoughts become our thoughts and God’s ways our ways; when once we have the mind of Christ and see with the eyes of God, then God and we become agreed, and being agreed, we can walk together.

What is it to walk together? Why, it is to enjoy union, communion, fellowship, and friendship. Now as we are brought to agree with God, we walk with God. He has set up a mercy-seat on high, and when they thus agree, God and man may meet at the mercy-seat of the Redeemer. As the eyes are enlightened to see the truth of God; as the heart is touched to feel the power of God; and as the affections are drawn forth to love the things of God, we meet at the mercy-seat. It is sprinkled with blood; it contains and hides from view the broken tables of the law. There God meets man in gracious friendship, and enables him to pour out his soul before him and to tell him his troubles, trials, and temptations. And every now and then he sweetly relieves by dropping in a gracious promise, applying some portion of his sacred truth, encouraging him to believe in his dear Son, and still to hope in his mercy.

Our Meditation

C. H. Spurgeon

Today’s Morning Meditation

“I will meditate on Your precepts.” Psalm 119:15

There are times when solitude is better than society; and silence is wiser than speech. We would be better Christians—if we were more alone, waiting upon God, and gathering spiritual strength for labor in His service, through meditation on His Word. We ought to muse upon the things of God, because we thus get the real nutriment out of them.

Truth is something like the cluster of the vine—if we would have wine from it, we must bruise it; we must press and squeeze it many times. The bruiser’s feet must come down joyfully upon the clusters, or else the juice will not flow; and they must carefully tread the grapes, or else much of the precious liquid will be wasted. So we must, by meditation, tread the clusters of truth—if we would get the wine of consolation from them.

Our bodies are not supported by merely taking food into the mouth—but the process which really supplies the muscle, and the nerve, and the sinew, and the bone—is the process of digestion. It is by digestion, that the food becomes assimilated with the inner life.

Just so, our souls are not nourished merely by listening awhile to this, and then to that, and then to the other part of divine truth. Hearing, reading, and learning—all require inward digesting to complete their usefulness, and the inward digesting of the truth lies for the most part in meditating upon it.

Why is it that some Christians, although they hear many sermons—make but slow advances in the divine life? Because they neglect their closets—and do not thoughtfully meditate on God’s Word. They love the wheat—but they do not grind it; they would have the corn—but they will not go forth into the fields to gather it; the fruit hangs upon the tree—but they will not pluck it; the water flows at their feet—but they will not stoop to drink it. From such folly deliver us, O Lord, and be this our resolve this day, “I will meditate on Your precepts!”

Praying in the Holy Spirit

C. H. Spurgeon

This Evening’s Meditation

“Praying in the Holy Spirit.” Jude 20

Mark the grand characteristic of true prayer—it is “in the Holy Spirit.” The seed of acceptable devotion, must come from heaven’s storehouse. Only the prayer which comes from God—can go to God. We must shoot the Lord’s arrows back to Him! Only that desire which He writes upon our heart—will move His heart and bring down a blessing—but the desires of the flesh have no power with Him.

Praying in the Holy Spirit is praying in fervency. Cold prayers—ask the Lord not to hear them. Those who do not plead with fervency—do not plead at all. As well speak of lukewarm fire—as of lukewarm prayer. It is essential that prayer be red hot!

Praying in the Holy Spirit is praying perseveringly. The true suppliant gathers force as he proceeds, and grows more fervent—when God delays to answer. The longer the gate is closed, the more vehemently does he use the knocker! The longer the angel lingers—the more resolved is he who he will never let him go without the blessing. Tearful, agonizing, unconquerable, importunate prayer—is beautiful in God’s sight!

Praying in the Holy Spirit means praying humbly, for the Holy Spirit never puffs us up with pride. It is His office to convince of sin, and so to bow us down in contrition and brokenness of spirit. We shall never pray acceptably, unless we cry to God out of the depths of contrite hearts.

Praying in the Holy Spirit is loving prayer. Prayer should be perfumed with love, saturated with love—love to our fellow saints, and love to Christ.

Moreover, it must be a prayer full of faith. A man prevails—only as he believes. The Holy Spirit is the author of faith, and strengthens it, so that we pray believing God’s promise.

O that this blessed combination of excellent graces, priceless and sweet as the spices of the merchant, might be fragrant within us because the Holy Spirit is in our hearts! Most blessed Comforter, exert Your mighty power within us, helping our infirmities in prayer!

Our Prayer Answering God

C. H. Spurgeon

Today’s Evening Meditation

“Seven times Elijah told him to go and look—and seven times he went.” 1 Kings 18:43

Success is certain when the Lord has promised it. Although you may have pleaded month after month without evidence of answer, it is not possible that the Lord should be deaf when His people are earnest in a matter which concerns His glory. The prophet on the top of Carmel continued to wrestle with God, and never for a moment gave way to a fear that he should not be received in Jehovah’s courts. Six times the servant returned—but on each occasion no word was spoken but “Go again.” We must not dream of unbelief—but hold to our faith even to seventy times seven. Faith sends expectant hope to look from Carmel’s brow, and if nothing is beheld, she sends again and again.

So far from being crushed by repeated disappointment, faith is animated to plead more fervently with her God. She is humbled—but not abashed—her groans are deeper, and her sighings more vehement—but she never relaxes her hold or stays her hand. It would be more agreeable to flesh and blood to have a speedy answer—but believing souls have learned to be submissive, and to find it good to wait for as well as upon the Lord.

Delayed answers often set the heart searching itself, and so lead to contrition and spiritual reformation—deadly blows are thus struck at our corruption, and the chambers of imagery are cleansed. The great danger is lest men should faint—and miss the blessing. Reader, do not fall into that sin—but continue in prayer and watching.

At last the little cloud was seen—the sure forerunner of torrents of rain, and even so with you, the token for good shall surely be given, and you shall rise as a prevailing prince to enjoy the mercy you have sought. Elijah was a man of like passions with us—his power with God did not lie in his own merits. If his believing prayer availed so much, why not yours? Plead the precious blood with unceasing importunity, and it shall be with you according to your desire!

Courage!

C. H. Spurgeon

Today’s Morning Meditation

“He shall not be afraid of evil tidings.” Psalm 112:7

Christian, you ought not to dread the arrival of evil tidings; because if you are distressed by them—how are you different than men of the world? Other men have not your God to fly to; they have never proved His faithfulness as you have done, and it is no wonder if they are bowed down with alarm and cowed with fear. But you profess to be of another spirit; you have been begotten again unto a lively hope, and your heart lives in heaven and not on earthly things; now, if you are seen to be as anxious as other men—what is the value of that grace which you profess to have received? Where is the dignity of that new nature which you claim to possess?

Again, if you should be filled with alarm, as others are, you would, doubtless, be led into the sins so common to others under trying circumstances. The ungodly, when they are overtaken by evil tidings, rebel against God; they murmur, and think that God deals harshly with them. Will you fall into that same sin? Will you provoke the Lord as they do? Moreover, unconverted men often run to wrong means in order to escape from difficulties, and you will be sure to do the same if your mind yields to the present pressure.

Trust in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. Your wisest course is to do as Moses did at the Red Sea, “Stand still and see the salvation of God!” For if you give way to fear when you hear of evil tidings, you will be unable to meet the trouble with that calm composure which nerves for duty, and sustains under adversity. How can you glorify God—if you play the coward? Saints have often sung God’s high praises in the fires—but will your doubting and desponding, as if you had none to help you, magnify the Most High? Then take courage, and relying in sure confidence upon the faithfulness of your covenant God, “let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Our Walk in this World

C. H. Spurgeon

This Evening’s Meditation

“Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness because of my enemies.” Psalms 5:8

Very bitter is the enmity of the world against the people of Christ. Men will forgive a thousand faults in others—but they will magnify the most trivial offence in the followers of Jesus. Instead of vainly regretting this, let us turn it to account, and since so many are watching for our halting, let this be a special motive for walking very carefully before God. If we live carelessly, the lynx-eyed world will soon see it, and with its hundred tongues—it will spread the story, exaggerated and emblazoned by the zeal of slander. They will shout triumphantly. “Aha! So would we have it! See how these Christians act! They are all hypocrites!” Thus will much damage be done to the cause of Christ, and much insult offered to His name.

The cross of Christ is in itself an offence to the world; let us take heed that we add no offence of our own. It is “to the Jews a stumbling block”—let us mind that we put no stumbling blocks where there are enough already. “To the Greeks it is foolishness”—let us not add our folly to give point to the scorn with which the worldly-wise deride the gospel. How jealous should we be of ourselves! How rigid with our consciences! In the presence of adversaries who will misrepresent our best deeds, and impugn our motives where they cannot censure our actions, how circumspect should we be!

Pilgrims travel as suspected people through Vanity Fair. Not only are we under surveillance—but there are more spies than we reckon of. The espionage is everywhere, at home and abroad. If we fall into the enemies’ hands—we may sooner expect generosity from a wolf, or mercy from a fiend, than anything like patience with our infirmities from men who spice their infidelity towards God, with scandals against His people. O Lord, lead us ever, lest our enemies trip us up!

Light’s Effects

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

“That you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like lights in the universe.” Philippians 2:15

We use lights to make manifest. A Christian man should so shine in his life, that a person could not live with him a week, without knowing the gospel. His conversation should be such that all who are about him should clearly perceive whose he is, and whom he serves; and should see the image of Jesus reflected in his daily actions.

Lights are intended for guidance. We are to help those around us who are in the dark. We are to hold forth to them the Word of life. We are to point sinners to the Savior, and the weary to a divine resting-place. Men sometimes read their Bibles, and fail to understand them; we should be ready, like Philip, to instruct the inquirer in the meaning of God’s Word, the way of salvation, and the life of godliness.

Lights are also used for warning. On our rocks and shoals a light-house is sure to be erected. Christian men should know that there are many false lights shown everywhere in the world, and therefore the right light is needed. The wreckers of Satan are always abroad, tempting the ungodly to sin under the name of pleasure; they hoist the wrong light, be it ours to put up the true light upon every dangerous rock, to point out every sin, and tell what it leads to—that so we may be clear of the blood of all men, shining as lights in the world.

Lights also have a very cheering influence, and so have Christians. A Christian ought to be a comforter, with kind words on his lips, and sympathy in his heart; he should carry sunshine wherever he goes, and diffuse happiness around him.

Living in an Ungodly World

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

“Woe is me—that I dwell among these scoundrels of Meshech! It pains me—to live with these people from Kedar!” Psalm 120:5

As a Christian, you have to live in the midst of an ungodly world, and it is of little use for you to cry, “Woe is me!”

Jesus did not pray, “O that you should be taken out of the world!” And what He did not pray for—you need not desire. Better far in the Lord’s strength—to meet the difficulty, and glorify Him in it.

The enemy is ever on the watch to detect inconsistency in your conduct; be therefore very holy. Remember that the eyes of all people are upon you—and that more is expected from you, than from others! Strive to give no occasion for blame. Let your goodness and piety be the only faults which they can discover in you. Like Daniel, compel them to say of you, “We will never find any charge against this man—unless we find something against him concerning the law of his God!”

Seek to be useful—as well as consistent. Perhaps you think, “If I were in a more favorable position, I might be able to serve the Lord’s cause. But I cannot do any good where I am!” But the worse the people are among whom you live—the more need they have of your exertions! If they are crooked—the more necessity that you should set them straight! If they are perverse—the more need have you to turn their proud hearts to the truth. Where should the physician be—but where there are many sick? Where is honor to be won by the soldier—but in the hottest fire of the battle?

When weary of the strife and sin which meets you on every hand, consider that all the saints have endured the same trial! They were not carried on beds of down to heaven—and you must not expect to travel more easily than they! They had to hazard their lives unto the death, in the midst of the battlefield—and you will not be crowned—until you also have endured hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Therefore, “Be courageous! Be strong!” 1 Corinthians 16:13