Our Evening

C. H. Spurgeon

This Evening’s Meditation

“These all died in faith.” Hebrews 11:13

Behold the epitaph of all those blessed saints who fell asleep before the coming of our Lord! It matters nothing how they died, whether of old age, or by violent means; this one point, in which they all agree, is the most worthy of record, “they all died in faith.” In faith they lived—it was their comfort, their guide, their motive and their support; and in the same spiritual grace they died, ending their life-song in the sweet strain in which they had so long continued. They did not die resting in the flesh or upon their own attainments; they made no advance from their first way of acceptance with God—but held to the way of faith to the end. Faith is as precious to die by—as to live by.

Dying in faith has distinct reference to the past. They believed the promises which had gone before, and were assured that their sins were blotted out through the mercy of God.

Dying in faith has to do with the present. These saints were confident of their acceptance with God, they enjoyed the beams of His love, and rested in His faithfulness.

Dying in faith looks into the future. They fell asleep, affirming that the Messiah would surely come, and that when He would in the last days appear upon the earth, they would rise from their graves to behold Him.

To them the pains of death were but the birth-pangs of a better state. Take courage, my soul, as you read this epitaph. Your course, through grace, is one of faith—and sight seldom cheers you; this has also been the pathway of the brightest and the best. Faith was the orbit in which these stars of the first magnitude moved all the time of their shining here; and happy are you that it is yours. Look anew tonight to Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith, and thank Him for giving you like precious faith with souls now in glory.

Our Most Necessary Faith

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

“Strong in faith.” — Romans 4:20

Christian, take good care of your faith—for faith is the only way whereby you can obtain blessings. If we want blessings from God, nothing can fetch them down but faith. Prayer cannot draw down answers from God’s throne except it be the earnest prayer of the man who believes. Faith is the angelic messenger between the soul—and the Lord Jesus in glory. Let that angel be withdrawn, and we can neither send up prayer, nor receive the answers. Faith is the telegraph wire which links earth and heaven — on which God’s messages of love fly so fast, that before we call—He answers, and while we are yet speaking—He hears us. But if that telegraph wire of faith is snapped—how can we receive the promise?

Am I in trouble? — I can obtain help for trouble by faith. Am I beaten about by the enemy? — my soul on her dear Refuge leans by faith. But take faith away — in vain I call to God. There is no road between my soul and heaven—but faith. In the deepest wintertime, faith is the road on which the horses of prayer may travel — ay, and all the better for the biting frost; but blockade the road, and how can we communicate with the Great King? Faith links me with divinity. Faith clothes me with the power of God. Faith engages the omnipotence of Jehovah on my side. Faith insures every attribute of God in my defense. It helps me to defy the hosts of hell. It makes me march triumphant over the necks of my enemies. But without faith—how can I receive anything of the Lord? Let not him who wavers — who is like a wave of the sea — expect that he will receive anything from God! O, then, Christian, watch well your faith; for with it you can win all things, however poor you are—but without it you can obtain nothing. “If you can believe—all things are possible to him who believes.”

Even Our Little Faith

C. H. Spurgeon

This Evening’s Meditation

“She was healed immediately.” Luke 8:47

One of the most touching and teaching of the Savior’s miracles, is before us tonight. The woman was very ignorant. She imagined that virtue came out of Christ by a law of necessity, without His knowledge or direct will. Moreover, she was a stranger to the generosity of Jesus’ character, or she would not have gone behind to steal the cure which He was so ready to bestow. Misery should always place itself right in the face of mercy. Had she known the love of Jesus’ heart—she would have said, “I have but to put myself where He can see me—His omniscience will teach Him my case, and His love at once will work my cure.”

We admire her faith—but we marvel at her ignorance. After she had obtained the cure, she rejoiced with trembling. She was glad that the divine virtue had wrought a marvel in her; but she feared lest Christ should retract the blessing, and put a negative upon the grant of His grace. Little did she comprehend the fullness of His love!

We have not so clear a view of Him as we could wish; we know not the heights and depths of His love; but we surely know that He is too good to withdraw from a trembling soul—the gift which it has been able to obtain. But here is the marvel of it—as little as was her knowledge; her faith, because it was real faith, saved her, and saved her at once. There was no tedious delay—faith’s miracle was instantaneous. If we have faith as a grain of mustard seed, salvation is our present and eternal possession.

If in the list of the Lord’s children—we are written as the feeblest of the family—yet, being heirs through faith, no power, human or devilish, can expel us from salvation. If we dare not lean our heads upon His bosom with John—yet if we can venture in the press behind Him, and touch the hem of his garment—we are made whole. Courage, timid one! your faith has saved you—go in peace! “Being justified by faith—we have peace with God.”

The Trial of our Faith

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Daily Portion

“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:7

Trials and temptations are the means which God employs to manifest to the soul the reality and strength of the faith which he bestows upon it; for there is in every trial and temptation opposition made to the faith that is in the heart; and every trial and temptation, so to speak, threaten the life of faith. And they threaten it in this way–Under the trial God for the most part hides himself. He puts forth, indeed, a secret power whereby the soul is held up, or otherwise it would sink into utter despair, and be overcome and swallowed up by the power of unbelief. Hence comes the conflict between the trial that fights against the faith and the faith which fights against or rather under the trial.

Now, when in this trial, in this sharp conflict, in this hot furnace, faith does not give way, is not burned up, is not destroyed, but keeps its firm hold upon the promise and the faithfulness of him who has given it, this trial of faith becomes very precious. It is precious to the soul when God again smiles upon it, and becomes thus manifest as genuine. It is precious in the sight of God’s people, who see it and derive strength and comfort from what they witness in the experience of a saint thus tried and blessed; and it is precious also in the sight of God himself, who crowns it with his own manifest approbation, and puts upon it the attesting seal of his own approving smile. But above all things, it will be found precious at the appearing of Jesus Christ, and that not only in his various appearings in grace, but in his final appearance in glory, for of that the Apostle mainly speaks when he says that “it may be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.”

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.”

Live!

C. H. Spurgeon

This Evening’s Meditation

“When I passed by you, I said unto you—LIVE!” Ezekiel 16:6

Saved one, consider gratefully, this mandate of mercy.

Note that this fiat of God is majestic. In our text, we perceive a sinner with nothing in him but sin, expecting nothing but wrath; but the eternal Lord passes by in His glory; He looks. He pauses, and He pronounces the solitary but royal word, “LIVE!” There speaks a God! Who but He could venture thus to deal with life, and dispense it with a single syllable?

Again, this fiat is manifold. When He says “Live!” it includes many things. Here is judicial life. The sinner is ready to be condemned—but the mighty One says, “Live,” and he rises pardoned and absolved. It is spiritual life. We knew not Jesus—our eyes could not see Christ, our ears could not hear His voice—Jehovah said “Live!” and we who were dead in trespasses and sins—were quickened. Moreover, it includes glory life, which is the perfection of spiritual life. “I said unto you, Live!” and that word rolls on through all the years of time, until death comes, and in the midst of the shadows of death, the Lord’s voice is still heard, “Live!” In the morning of the resurrection it is that self-same voice which is echoed by the arch-angel, “Live!” and as holy spirits rise to heaven to be blessed forever in the glory of their God, it is in the power of this same word, “Live!”

Note again, that it is an irresistible mandate. Saul of Tarsus is on the road to Damascus to arrest the saints of the living God. A voice is heard from heaven and a light is seen above the brightness of the sun, and Saul is crying out, “Lord, what will you have me to do?”

This mandate is a mandate of free grace. When sinners are saved, it is only and solely because God will do it to magnify His free, unpurchased, unsought grace. Christians, see your position, debtors to grace; show your gratitude by earnest, Christlike lives, and as God has bidden you live—see to it that you live in earnest!

Hold Fast to God’s Testimony

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Daily Words for Zion’s Wayfarers

“I hold fast to your testimonies–O Lord, put me not to shame.” Psalm 119:31

In whatever state or stage of experience you are, it will be your wisdom and your mercy to hold fast to God’s testimony. Has the Lord just begun a work of grace in your heart? Is he showing to you what you are by nature, and bringing before your eyes the sins of your youth, and plunging you in deep convictions? It will be your wisdom, and it will be your mercy, to hold fast to that testimony; not to be driven from your standing into despair, nor pushed forward into fleshly confidence; but to hold fast to that testimony which God himself has implanted.

Has God made you to sigh and cry from the depths of a broken heart–to fall down before his truth? Hold fast to that testimony; he will not put you to shame. Again, if the Lord has done a little more for you, shown you the least glimpse of mercy and favor, and given you some little testimony of your saving interest in the blood of the Lamb, it will be your wisdom, and it will be your mercy, to hold fast to that testimony too. You will find those who would push you presumptuously forward; you will find those who would drive you despairingly backward; you will find those who would pull you down into those doubts and fears that their own minds are exercised with, and you will find those who would draw you aside into the vain confidence in which they themselves are standing. It will be your wisdom and mercy to abide by the testimony which God himself has revealed; and he can work in your soul that faith whereby you can and will hold fast to his testimony.

But some may say, “How do I know that I am holding fast to God’s testimonies?” I would ask, what are the feelings of your hearts towards them? Is there godly fear? Is there holy reverence? Is there trembling awe? Is there any exercise of soul? any pouring out of the heart before God? any realizing of his presence? any trembling lest you should offend him? any desire after him? any solemn feelings whereby your soul is exercised upon his perfections? Then there is reason to believe there is some testimony of God in your conscience, and that you are holding fast to it.

But if your religion be such as leads to vain confidence, to self-righteousness, to presumption, to false security, and to a careless, light, trifling spirit, depend upon it–you are not holding fast to God’s testimony, or else you have no testimony from God to hold fast unto. But if the Lord is bringing into your soul some sense of his displeasure; if you have trifled with him, and brought guilt into your soul and trouble into your mind, it will be your wisdom, and it will be your mercy to do, as the Lord speaks in Leviticus 26:41, “accept the punishment of your iniquity;” to put your mouth in the dust, and confess that you are vile; not to turn aside to presumptuous confidence as though you would blunt the edge of God’s sword in your soul, but to receive it in your heart, embrace it in your conscience, and to cleave to it as the testimony of God himself. “I have held fast unto your testimonies.” To cleave to everything which God makes known in the conscience, be it judgment, be it mercy, be it a smile, be it a frown, be it a testimony for, be it a testimony against, whatever it be that comes with power, and is brought to the soul by the application of the Spirit–to cleave to it, keeps the soul in a safe and blessed spot.

While We Were Yet Sinners,

Octavius Winslow

Today’s Morning Thought

“Those who are whole have no need of the physician, but those who are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Mark 2:17

The Spirit glorifies Christ by revealing what Christ is to an emptied, lowly, penitent soul. And this He does by unfolding the great truth of the Bible- that Jesus died for sinners. Not for the righteous, not for the worthy, but for sinners, as sinners; for the unrighteous, for the unworthy, for the guilty, for the lost. Precious moment, when the Eternal Spirit, the great Glorifier of Jesus, brings this truth with power to the heart!

“I had believed,” exclaims the transported soul, “that Jesus died only for those who were worthy of so rich a sacrifice, of such immense love. I thought to bring some price of merit in my hands, some self-preparation, some previous fitness, something to render my case worthy of His notice, and to propitiate His kind regard. But now I see His salvation is for the vile, the poor, the penniless. I read that ‘when we were without strength, Christ died for the ungodly,’ that ‘while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us,’  that ‘when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son,’ that ‘it is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners,’  that it is ‘without money and without price,’ that it is ‘by grace we are saved,’ and that it is ‘of faith, that it might be by grace.'”

This good news, these joyful tidings, this glorious message of free mercy for the vilest of the vile, believed, received, welcomed, in a moment the clouds all vanish, the fogs all disappear, the face of God beams in mild and softened luster, and, amid light and joy, gladness and praise, the jubilee of the soul is ushered in. Oh, what glory now encircles the Redeemer! That soul venturing upon Him with but the faith of reliance, traveling to Him in all weakness, and in the face of all opposition, brings more glory to His name than all the hallelujahs of the heavenly minstrelsy ever brought.