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 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!

For your name’s sake, O LORD, pardon my iniquity; for it is great. – Psalm 25:1

Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.

– Psalm 119:133

And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue;

– 2 Peter 1:5a

Follower of Jesus, be encouraged to:

  1. Praise God and thank Him for enabling you to continuously overcome certain sins through faith in Him and in His strength.
  2. Confess your ongoing sins to God, knowing that you are already forgiven, and ask for that he would fill you with the desire and ability to repent from those sins.
  3. Pray that God would reveal to you those sins which you are not aware of so that you might live more fully in Jesus’ righteousness, with which he has clothed you.

 

All scripture KJV.

Invitation to the Ordinances Through Our Faith

C. H. Spurgeon

This Evening’s Meditation

“If you believe with all your heart—you may.” Acts 8:37

These words may answer your scruples, devout reader, concerning the ordinances. Perhaps you say, “I would be afraid to be baptized—it is such a solemn thing to avow myself to be dead with Christ, and buried with Him. I should not feel at liberty to come to the Master’s table—I would be afraid of eating and drinking damnation unto myself, not discerning the Lord’s body.”

Ah! poor trembler, Jesus has given you liberty, do not be afraid. If a stranger came to your house, he would stand at the door, or wait in the hall; he would not dream of intruding unbidden into your parlor—he is not at his home—but your child makes himself very free about the house; and so is it with the child of God. A stranger may not intrude—where a child may venture. When the Holy Spirit has given you to feel the spirit of adoption, you may come to Christian ordinances without fear.

The same rule holds good of the Christian’s inward privileges. You think, poor seeker, that you are not allowed to rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory; if you are permitted to get inside Christ’s door, or sit at the bottom of His table—you will be well content. Ah! but you shall not have less privileges than the very greatest. God makes no difference in His love to His children. A child is a child to Him; He will not make him a hired servant; but he shall feast upon the fatted calf, and shall have the music and the dancing—as much as if he had never gone astray. When Jesus comes into the heart, He issues a general licence to be glad in the Lord. No chains are worn in the court of King Jesus. Our admission into full privileges may be gradual—but it is sure.

Perhaps our reader is saying, “I wish I could enjoy the promises, and walk at liberty in my Lord’s commands.” “If you believe with all your heart—you may.” Loose the chains of your neck, O captive daughter, for Jesus makes you free!

Our Invincibility in Following After Jesus

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

The Breaker has gone up before them. He will bring you through the gates of your cities of captivity, back to your own land. Your King will lead you; the Lord Himself will guide you!” Micah 2:13

Inasmuch as Jesus has gone before us, things do not remain as they would have been, had He never passed that way. He has conquered every foe that obstructed the way. Cheer up O faint-hearted warrior. Not only has Christ traveled the road—but He has slain your enemies!

Do you dread sin? He has nailed it to His cross!

Do you fear death? He has been the death of death!

Are you afraid of hell? He has barred it against the entrance of any of His children; they shall never see the gulf of perdition!

Whatever foes may be before the Christian—they are all overcome! There are lions—but their teeth are broken! There are serpents—but their fangs are extracted! There are rivers—but they are bridged or fordable! There are flames—but we wear that matchless garment which renders us invulnerable to fire!

The sword that has been forged against us—is already blunted; the instruments of war which the enemy is preparing, have already lost their point.

The Breaker, Christ—has taken away all the power that anything can have to hurt us. Well then, the army may safely march on, and you may go joyously along your journey, for all your enemies are conquered beforehand! What shall you do—but march on to take the prey? They are beaten, they are vanquished; all you have to do is to divide the spoil. You shall, it is true, often engage in combat; but your fight shall be with a vanquished foe! His head is broken—he may attempt to injure you—but his strength shall not be sufficient for his malicious design. Your victory shall be easy, and your treasure shall be beyond all count!

“Proclaim aloud the Savior’s fame,
Who bears the Breaker’s wondrous name;
Sweet name; and it befits Him well,
Who breaks down earth, sin, death, and hell!”

Blessing Others in God’s Economy

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

“He who waters—shall be watered also himself.” Proverbs 11:25

We are here taught the great lesson, that to get—we must give; that to accumulate—we must scatter; that to make ourselves happy—we must make others happy; and that in order to become spiritually vigorous—we must seek the spiritual good of others. In watering others—we are ourselves watered. How?

Our efforts to be useful—bring out our powers for usefulness. We have latent talents and dormant faculties, which are brought to light by exercise. Our strength for labor is hidden even from ourselves—until we venture forth to fight the Lord’s battles, or to climb the mountains of difficulty. We do not know what tender sympathies we possess—until we try to dry the widow’s tears, and soothe the orphan’s grief.

We often find in attempting to teach others—that we gain instruction for ourselves. Oh, what gracious lessons some of us have learned at sick beds! We went to teach the Scriptures, we came away blushing that we knew so little of them. In our converse with poor saints, we are taught the way of God more perfectly for ourselves and get a deeper insight into divine truth. So that watering others makes us humble. We discover how much grace there is where we had not looked for it; and how much the poor saint may outstrip us in knowledge.

Our own comfort is also increased—by our working for others. We endeavor to cheer them—and the consolation gladdens our own heart. Like the two men in the snow; one chafed the other’s limbs to keep him from dying, and in so doing kept his own blood in circulation, and saved his own life. The poor widow of Sarepta gave from her scanty store, a supply for the prophet’s needs, and from that day she never again knew what poverty was. Give then, and it shall be given unto you—good measure, pressed down, and running over!

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.”

Our Efforts

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

“Make every effort to add to your faith, goodness; and to goodness, knowledge;
and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance;
and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness;
and to brotherly kindness, love.”

2 Peter 1:5-7

If you would enjoy the eminent grace of the full assurance of faith, under the blessed Spirit’s influence, and assistance, do what the Scripture tells you, “Make every effort.” Take care that your faith is of the right kind—that it is not a mere belief of doctrine—but a simple faith, depending on Christ, and on Christ alone. Give diligent heed to your courage. Plead with God that He would give you the face of a lion, that you may, with a consciousness of right, go on boldly. Study well the Scriptures, and get knowledge; for a knowledge of doctrine will tend very much to confirm faith. Try to understand God’s Word; let it dwell in your heart richly.

When you have done this, “Add to your knowledge self-control.” Take heed to your body—be temperate without. Take heed to your soul—be temperate within. Get temperance of lip, life, heart, and thought. Add to this, by God’s Holy Spirit, patience; ask Him to give you that patience which endures affliction, which, when it is tried, shall come forth as gold. Array yourself with patience, that you may not murmur nor be depressed in your afflictions.

When that grace is won—look to godliness. Godliness is something more than external religion. Make God’s glory your object in life; live in His sight; dwell close to Him; seek for fellowship with Him; and you have “godliness”.

And to that add brotherly love. Have a love to all the saints—and add to that a charity, which opens its arms to all men, and loves their souls. When you are adorned with these jewels, and just in proportion as you practice these heavenly virtues—will you come to know by clearest evidence, “your calling and election.” “Make every effort,” if you would get assurance, for lukewarmness and doubting very naturally go hand in hand.