Our Soul In God’s Light

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Daily Words for Zion’s Wayfarers

“But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light; for whatever does make manifest is light.” Ephesians 5:13

But everything exposed by the light becomes visible, Ephes. 5:13

Feeling is the first evidence of supernatural life; a feeling compounded of two distinct sensations, one referring to God, and the other referring to self. The same ray of light has manifested two opposite things, “for that which makes manifest is light;” and the sinner sees at one and the same moment God and self, justice and guilt, power and helplessness, a holy law and a broken commandment, eternity and time, the purity of the Creator and the filthiness of the creature. And these things he sees, not merely as declared in the Bible, but as revealed in himself as personal realities, involving all his happiness or all his misery in time and in eternity.

Thus it is with him as though a new existence had been communicated, and as if for the first time he had found there was a God. One ray of supernatural light, penetrating through the veil spread over the heart, has revealed that dreadful secret–a just God, who will by no means clear the guilty. This piercing ray has torn away the bed too short, and stripped off the covering too narrow. A sudden, peculiar conviction has rushed into the soul. One absorbing feeling has seized fast hold of it, and well-near banished every other. “There is a God, and I am a sinner before him,” is written upon the heart by the same divine finger that traced those fatal letters on the palace wall of the king of Babylon, which made the joints of his loins to be loosed, and his knees to smite one against another (Dan. 5:5, 6).

“What shall I do? Where shall I go? What will become of me? Mercy, O God! Mercy, mercy! I am lost, ruined, undone! Fool, madman, wretch, monster that I have been! I have ruined my soul. O my sins, my sins! O eternity, eternity!” Such and similar cries and groans, though differing in depth and intensity, go up out of the new-born soul well-near day and night at the first discovery of God and of itself. These feelings have taken such complete possession of the heart that it can find no rest except in calling upon God. This is the first pushing of the young bud through the bark, the first formation of the green shoot, wrapped up as yet in its leaves, and not opened to view. These are the first pangs and throes of the new birth, before the tidings are brought, “A man-child is born.” “What shall I do to be saved?” cried the jailer. “God be merciful to me a sinner!” exclaimed the tax-collector. “Woe is me, for I am undone!” burst forth from the lips of Isaiah.

Our Daily Provision

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

“Jehoiachin changed his prison clothes—and he dined regularly in the presence of the king of Babylon for the rest of his life. As for his allowance, a regular allowance was given to him by the king, a portion for each day, for the rest of his life.” 2 Kings 25:29-30

Jehoiachin was not sent away from the king’s palace with a ‘supply’ to last him for months—but his provision was given him as a daily pension. Herein he well pictures the happy position of all the Lord’s people. A daily portion is all that a man really needs. We do not need tomorrow’s supplies; for that day has not yet dawned, and its needs are as yet unborn. The thirst which we may suffer in the month of June—does not need to be quenched in February, for we do not feel it yet. If we have enough for each day as the days arrive—we shall never know want. Sufficient for the day—is all that we can enjoy.

We cannot eat or drink or wear more than the day’s supply of food and clothing; the surplus gives us the care of storing it, and the anxiety of watching against a thief. One staff aids a traveler—but a bundle of staffs is a heavy burden. Enough is not only as good as a feast—but is all that the greatest glutton can truly enjoy. Enough is all that we should expect—a craving for more than this is ungrateful.

When our Father does not give us more—we should be content with His daily allowance.

Jehoiachin’s case is ours—we have a sure portion; a portion given to us by the king; a gracious portion; and a perpetual portion. Here is surely ground for thankfulness.

Beloved Christian reader, in matters of grace you need a daily supply. You have no store of grace. Day by day must you seek help from above. It is a very sweet assurance—that a daily portion is provided for you. In the Word, through the ministry, by meditation, in prayer, and waiting upon God—you shall receive renewed strength. In Jesus, all needful things are laid up for you. Then enjoy your continual allowance. Never go hungry—while the daily bread of grace is on the table of mercy! “Give us each day—our daily bread.” Luke 11:3

Our Only Hope – His Stripes

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

“Without the shedding of blood is no remission of sin.” Hebrews 9:22

This is the voice of unalterable truth. In none of the Jewish ceremonies, were sins, even typically, removed without blood-shedding. In no case, by no means—can sin be pardoned without atonement. It is clear, then, that there is no hope for me, outside of Christ; for there is no other blood-shedding which is worth a thought—as an atonement for sin. Am I, then, believing in Him? Is the blood of His atonement truly applied to my soul? All men are on a level—as to their need of Him. If we are ever so moral, generous, amiable, or patriotic—the rule will not be altered to make an exception for us. Sin will yield to nothing less potent—than the blood of Him whom God has set forth as an atoning sacrifice.

What a blessing that there is the one way of pardon! Why should we seek another? People of merely formal religion cannot understand how we can rejoice that all our sins are forgiven us for Christ’s sake. Their works, and prayers, and ceremonies, give them very poor comfort; and well may they be uneasy, for they are neglecting the one great salvation, and endeavoring to get remission of sin—without blood.

My soul, sit down, and behold the justice of God as bound to punish sin! See that punishment all executed upon your Lord Jesus—and fall down in humble joy, and kiss the dear feet of Him whose blood has made atonement for you! It is in vain when conscience is aroused to fly to feelings and evidences for comfort—this is a habit which we learned in the Egypt of our legal bondage. The only restorative for a guilty conscience—is a sight of Jesus suffering on the cross! “The blood is the life thereof,” says the Levitical law, and let us rest assured, that it is the life of faith and joy and every other holy grace. “Oh! how sweet to view the flowing Of my Savior’s precious blood—with divine assurance knowing He has made my peace with God.”

Our Peace

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Daily Words for Zion’s Wayfarers

“The Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.” Numbers 6:26

When we offend a person, his face is not toward us as at other times. It was so with Laban towards Jacob; and if we have in any way incurred a friend’s or superior’s displeasure, we watch instinctively his countenance. Is it down or up? Does it wear a frown or a smile? Is it looking upon us with the eye of affection, or are the eyes averted? We can tell in a moment if we know the countenance. Thus is the blessing asked, “The Lord lift up his countenance upon you,” as a kind and affectionate parent upon an obedient child, as a fond husband upon a loving, devoted wife; for such is God to his children–Father and Husband.

And do we not, as children, often provoke him to look upon us with frowning brow, or rather, not to look upon us at all, to “hide his face,” as we read, “that we cannot see him?” The prayer then is, “The Lord lift up his countenance upon you,” with a smile upon it; free, open, forgiving, merciful, and mild, that you may advance to him. When a disobedient child comes home and sees its father’s face not towards it as before, it shrinks away; there is no pressing forward to get upon the knee, no throwing the little arms round the neck and snatching a kiss, but a shrinking away through guilt and shame. So it is in the things of God. When conscience tells us how in this and that instance we have disobeyed, been inconsistent, transgressed, and done amiss, when we go into God’s presence there is a hanging back, a shrinking away, through fear of an ill reception.

But oh, the change in the child when the frown disappears and the smile comes; when the little one is taken once more into the arms and the tears are kissed away! How much more so in the things of God when he kisses away the tears of the disobedient child, as in the case of the returning prodigal! There are no kisses like those kisses of forgiveness, of mercy, and of restoring grace.

“And give you peace.” Oh, what a blessing! As Deer says, “I’ll lay me down and sweetly sleep, for I have peace with God.” It is this that makes the pillow easy in life, and will alone make that pillow easy in death–peace with God through Jesus Christ, peace through the reconciliation, peace through the blood of sprinkling, “the peace of God which passes all understanding.” Many covet great things, high things. But what said the Lord to Baruch? “Do you seek you great things for yourself? seek them not.” Ministers often seek great gifts, great eloquence, great knowledge of mysteries, great congregations, great popularity and influence. They are wrong in seeking these so-called great things. Let them rather seek real things, gracious things, things that will make their souls blessed here and hereafter.

The blessing that the gracious soul most earnestly covets is peace; for this is the sweetest honey-drop in God’s cup. It is true that it does not make the heart overflow like joy, nor to dance with exultation like the first beaming in of the rays of hope, nor melt it down like the visits of love; but it is in some respects sweeter than all, because it so settles down the soul into sweet assurance; it is the realization of the Savior himself, for “he is our peace,” and may thus be called the crowning blessing.

Our Immeasurable Riches In Christ

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

“Though He was rich—yet for your sakes He became poor.” 2 Corinthians 8:9

The Lord Jesus Christ was eternally rich, glorious, and exalted; but “though He was rich—yet for your sakes He became poor.” As the rich saint cannot be true in his communion with his poor brethren—unless of his substance he ministers to their necessities; so (the same rule holding with the head as between the members), it is impossible that our Divine Lord could have had fellowship with us—unless He had imparted to us of His own abounding wealth, and had become poor—to make us rich. Had He remained upon His throne of glory, and had we continued in the ruins of the fall without receiving His salvation, communion would have been impossible on both sides.

Our position by the fall, apart from the covenant of grace, made it as impossible for fallen man to communicate with God—as it is for Belial to be in concord with Christ. In order, therefore, that communion might be compassed, it was necessary that the rich Kinsman should bestow his estate upon his poor relatives; that the righteous Savior should give to His sinning brethren of His own perfection; and that we, the poor and guilty—should receive of His fullness grace for grace; that thus in giving and receiving, the One might descend from the heights, and the other ascend from the depths, and so be able to embrace each other in true and hearty fellowship.

Poverty must be enriched by Him in whom are infinite treasures—before it can venture to commune; and guilt must lose itself in imputed and imparted righteousness, before the soul can walk in fellowship with purity. Jesus must clothe His people in His own garments—or He cannot admit them into His palace of glory! And He must wash them in His own blood—or else they will be too defiled for the embrace of His fellowship. O believer, herein is love! For your sake the Lord Jesus “became poor” that He might lift you up into communion with Himself!

The Blessing of God’s Convicting Spirit

C. H. Spurgeon

Today’s Morning Meditation

“The priest is to examine him, and if the leprosy has covered his whole body—he shall pronounce that person clean.” Leviticus 13:13

This morning it may be well for us to see the typical teaching of so singular a rule. We, too, are lepers, and may read the law of the leper as applicable to ourselves. When a man sees himself to be altogether lost and ruined, covered all over with the defilement of sin, and no part free from pollution; when he disclaims all righteousness of his own, and pleads guilty before the Lord—then is he clean through the blood of Jesus, and the grace of God. Hidden, unfelt, unconfessed iniquity is the true leprosy—but when sin is seen and felt—it has received its death blow, and the Lord looks with eyes of mercy upon the soul afflicted with it.

Nothing is more deadly than self-righteousness, or more hopeful than contrition. We must confess that we are “nothing else but sin,” for no confession short of this will be the whole truth. If the Holy Spirit is at work with us, convincing us of sin, there will be no difficulty about making such an acknowledgment—it will spring spontaneously from our lips.

What comfort does the text afford to those under a deep sense of sin! Sin mourned and confessed, however black and foul, shall never shut a man out from the Lord Jesus. Whoever comes unto Him, He will never cast out. Though dishonest as the thief, though unchaste as the harlot, though fierce as Saul of Tarsus, though cruel as Manasseh, though rebellious as the prodigal son—the great heart of love will look upon the man who feels himself to have no soundness in him, and will pronounce him clean, when he trusts in Jesus crucified. Come to Him, then, poor heavy-laden sinner! Come needy, come guilty, come loathsome and bare! You can’t come too filthy—come just as you are!

Evidence of the Work of Grace in Our Heart

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Daily Words for Zion’s Wayfarers

“But my eyes are unto you, O God the Lord–in you is my trust; leave not my soul destitute.” Psalm 141:8

The very cry is a pledge that the Lord will not leave the soul destitute. Strange though it be to us; it is the light that shows darkness; it is life that makes us feel deadness; no, more, it is fertility and fruitfulness that make us feel barrenness; it is riches that make us feel poverty; it is God’s teaching and presence that make us feel destitution. This very mourning over our barrenness; this very feeling of our inability to do good, is a proof of the life of God in the soul, an evidence of the work of grace in the heart.

“Leave not my soul destitute.” This is something genuine; this is heart-work; these are the footsteps of the flock; these are the leadings and teachings of God the Spirit in the hearts of the redeemed. These things are saving; these things will lead the soul to eternal glory. And he that knows any of these things by personal experience will one day see the glory of the Lord face to face.

What do we, then, know of these things? Can we lay our experience side by side with this experience of the Psalmist, and say, “My eyes are unto you, O God the Lord; in you is my trust; leave not my soul destitute?” Wherever that prayer is, it will bring an answer; and wherever that answer is, there will be matter for everlasting praise. Blessed are the souls that know these things from genuine heartfelt experience. They will shine forth as stars forever and ever; and when the Lord of life and glory comes a second time without sin unto salvation, then shall they also appear with him in glory.

Our Cry, “Grace, grace”

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Daily Portion

“Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain–and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.” Zechariah 4:7

If the literal temple had been built up without any trouble whatever; if all had gone on smooth and easy, there would not have been any shouting of “Grace, grace,” when it was finished. But when it was seen how the Lord had brought a few feeble exiles from Babylon; how he had supported them amid and carried them through all their troubles; and how he that laid the foundation had brought forth the head-stone, all that stood by could say, “Grace, grace unto it.” It was these very perplexities and trials that made them join so cheerily in the shout, and made the heart and soul to leap with the lips, when they burst forth with “Grace, grace unto it.” And who will shout the loudest hereafter?

He that has known and felt the most of the aboundings of sin to sink his soul down into grief and sorrow, and most of the super-aboundings of grace over sin to make him triumph and rejoice. Who will have most reason to sing, “Grace, grace?” The lost and ruined wretch, who has feared that he would go to hell a thousand times over, and yet has been delivered thence by sovereign grace, and brought to the glory and joy of heaven. No other person is fit to join in that song; and I am sure no other will join in it but he who has known painfully and experimentally the bitterness of sin and the evil of a depraved heart; and yet has seen and felt that grace has triumphed over all, in spite of the devil, in spite of the world, and in spite of himself, and brought him to that blessed place where many times he was afraid he would never come.