Our Friend, Our Comfort

C. H. Spurgeon

This Evening’s Meditation

“I have chosen you in the furnace of affliction.” — Isaiah 48:10

Comfort yourself, tried believer, with this thought—God says, “I have chosen you in the furnace of affliction.” Let affliction come—God has chosen me. Poverty, you may stride in at my door—but God is in the house already, and He has chosen me. Sickness, you may intrude—but I have a balsam ready—God has chosen me. Whatever befalls me in this valley of tears, I know that He has “chosen” me.

If, believer, you require still greater comfort, remember that you have the Jesus with you in the furnace. In that silent chamber of yours, there sits by your side One whom you have not seen—but whom you love; and ofttimes when you know it not, He makes all your bed in your affliction, and smooths your pillow for you. You are in poverty; but the Lord of life and glory is a frequent visitor to you. He loves to come into these desolate places, that He may visit you. Your Friend sticks closely to you. You cannot see Him—but you may feel the pressure of His hands. Do you not hear His voice? Even in the valley of the shadow of death He says, “Fear not, I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God.”

Fear not, Christian—Jesus is with you! In all your fiery trials, His presence is both your comfort and safety. He will never leave one whom He has chosen for His own. “Fear not—for I am with you,” is His sure Word of promise to His chosen ones in the “furnace of affliction.” Will you not, then, take fast hold of Christ, and say, “Through floods and flames, if Jesus leads—I’ll follow where He goes.”

C. H. Spurgeon Quote

“On Christ, and what he has done, my soul hangs for time and eternity. And if your soul also hangs there, it will be saved as surely as mine shall be. And if you are lost trusting in Christ, I will be lost with you and will go to hell with you. I must do so, for I have nothing else to rely upon but the fact that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, lived, died, was buried, rose again, went to heaven, and still lives and pleads for sinners at the right hand of God.”

~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Our Good Shepherd

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

“Abel was a keeper of sheep.” Genesis 4:2

As a shepherd, Abel sanctified his work to the glory of God, and offered a sacrifice of blood upon his altar, and the Lord had respect unto Abel and his offering. This early type of our Lord is exceedingly clear and distinct. Like the first streak of light which tinges the east at sunrise—it does not reveal everything—but it clearly manifests the great fact that the sun is coming.

As we see Abel, a shepherd and yet a priest, offering a sacrifice of sweet smell unto God—we discern our Lord, who brings before His Father a sacrifice to which Jehovah ever has respect. Abel was hated by his brother—hated without a cause; and even so was the Savior. The natural and carnal man hated the accepted man in whom the Spirit of grace was found, and rested not until his blood had been shed. Abel fell, and sprinkled his altar and sacrifice with his own blood, and therein sets forth the Lord Jesus slain by the enmity of man while serving as a priest before the Lord.

“The good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.” Let us weep over Him as we view Him slain by the hatred of mankind, staining the horns of His altar with His own blood. Abel’s blood speaks. “The Lord said unto Cain—The voice of your brother’s blood cries unto Me from the ground.” The blood of Jesus has a mighty tongue, and the import of its prevailing cry is not vengeance—but mercy. It is precious beyond all preciousness to stand at the altar of our good Shepherd! to see Him bleeding there as the slaughtered priest, and then to hear His blood speaking peace to all His flock, peace in our conscience, peace between man and his offended Maker, peace all down the ages of eternity for blood-washed men. Abel is the first shepherd in order of time—but our hearts shall ever place Jesus first in order of excellence. Great Keeper of the sheep, we the people of Your pasture bless You with our whole hearts—when we see You slain for us!

Our Mighty Saviour

Octavius Winslow

Today’s Morning Thought

“Mighty to save.” Isaiah 63:1.

Let us glance at the authoritative manner with which He executes His mighty acts of grace. Mark His deportment. Was there anything that betrayed the consciousness of an inferior, the submission of a dependant, the weakness of a mortal, or the imperfection of a sinner?

Did not the God shine through the man with majestic awe, when to the leper He said, “I will, be clean;”- to the man with the withered hand, “Stretch forth your hand;”- to the blind man, “Receive your sight;”- to the dead man, “I say unto you, Arise;”- and to the tumultuous waves, “Peace, he still”?

Dear reader, are you an experimental believer in Jesus? Then this omnipotent Christ is wedded to your best interests. He is omnipotent to save- omnipotent to protect- omnipotent to deliver- omnipotent to subdue all your iniquities, to make you humble, holy, and obedient. All power resides in Him. “It pleased the Father that in Him”- in Him as the Mediator of His Church- “all fullness should dwell.” Not a corruption, but He is omnipotent to subdue it: not a temptation, but He is omnipotent to overcome it: not a foe, but He is omnipotent to conquer it: not a fear, but He is omnipotent to quell it. “All power,” is His own consoling language, “all power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.”

Our Shepherd

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

“Israel worked to get a wife—and to pay for her he tended sheep.” Hosea 12:12

Jacob, while expostulating with Laban, thus describes his own toil, “This twenty years have I been with you. I did not bring you animals torn by wild beasts; I bore the loss myself. And you demanded payment from me for whatever was stolen by day or night. This was my situation: The heat consumed me in the daytime and the cold at night, and sleep fled from my eyes.”

Even more toilsome than this, was the life of our Savior here below. He watched over all His sheep until He gave in as His last account, “Of all those whom You have given me I have lost none.” His hair was wet with dew, and His locks with the drops of the night. Sleep departed from His eyes, for all night He was in prayer wrestling for His people. One night Peter must be pleaded for; anon, another claims His tearful intercession. No shepherd sitting beneath the cold skies, looking up to the stars, could ever utter such complaints because of the hardness of his toil—as Jesus Christ might have brought, if He had chosen to do so, because of the sternness of His service in order to procure His spouse!

It is sweet to dwell upon the spiritual parallel of Laban having required all the sheep at Jacob’s hand. If they were torn of beasts, Jacob must make it good; if any of them died, he must stand as surety for the whole. Was not the toil of Jesus for His Church the toil of one who was under suretyship obligations to bring every believing one safe to the hand of Him who had committed them to His charge? Look upon toiling Jacob—and you see a representation of Him of whom we read, “He shall feed His flock like a shepherd.”

Our Receiving of Christ Jesus

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

“As you have received Christ Jesus the Lord.” Colossians 2:6

The life of faith is represented as receiving—an act which implies the very opposite of anything like merit. It is simply the acceptance of a gift. As the earth drinks in the rain, as the sea receives the streams, as the day receives the sunlight—so we, giving nothing, partake freely of the grace of God. The saints are not, by nature, wells or streams; they are but cisterns into which the living water flows; they are empty vessels into which God pours His salvation.

The idea of receiving implies a sense of realization, making the matter a reality. One cannot very well receive a shadow; we receive that which is substantial—so is it in the life of faith, Christ becomes real to us. While we are without faith, Jesus is a mere name to us—a person who lived a long while ago—so long ago that His life is only a history to us now! By an act of faith—Jesus becomes a real person in the consciousness of our heart.

But receiving also means grasping or getting possession of. The thing which I receive, becomes my own—I appropriate to myself that which is given. When I receive Jesus, He becomes my Savior, so mine that neither life nor death shall be able to rob me of Him.

All this is to receive Christ—to take Him as God’s free gift; to realize Him in my heart, and to appropriate Him as mine.

Salvation may be described as the blind receiving sight, the deaf receiving hearing, the dead receiving life; but we have not only received these blessings, we have received Jesus Himself. It is true that He gave us life from the dead. He gave us pardon of sin; He gave us imputed righteousness. These are all precious things—but we are not content with them; we have received Christ Himself. The Son of God has been poured into us, and we have received Him, and appropriated Him. What a heartful Jesus must be—for heaven itself cannot contain Him!

Knowing Our Christ in His Fullness

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Daily Words for Zion’s Wayfarers

“And you are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s.” 1 Corinthians 3:23

“Christ is God’s.” These are remarkable words, and need to be carefully and reverently opened up. The fullness of the mystery is beyond our grasp. Still, we may attempt to look at it in faith and godly fear. How, then, is Christ God’s? First, he is God’s SON–not a Son by covenant or by office; in other words, not a nominal, but a true and proper Son–a Son by nature, by his eternal mode of subsistence as a Person in the Godhead. “This is my beloved Son” was twice proclaimed by God the Father with an audible voice from heaven.

Second, but he is also God’s SERVANT. “Behold my servant whom I uphold” (Isaiah 42:1). “It is a light thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob” (Isaiah 49:6), and this he was as Messiah. But because he is by office God’s servant, he is not less by nature God’s Son.

Here, however, he is spoken of as the God-man MEDIATOR, the Son of the Father in truth and love, the great High Priest over the house of God; and especially what he is as viewed in union with the Church, the Bridegroom with the bride, the Vine with the branches, the Shepherd with the sheep, the living foundation with the living stones built into and upon it. Christ, therefore, in our text is said to be God’s not only as the only-begotten Son of God, but as “the HEAD of the body, the Church” (Col. 1:18); for, says the Apostle, “We are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones” (Ephes. 5:30). Christ, then, is God’s, with all those that belong to him–he as much as they, they as much as he. Look, then, at these glorious truths. “You are Christ’s” because by donation, purchase, and possession you are members of his body. “Christ is God’s” as Son, as Servant, as Mediator, as Head of the Church. Then you too are God’s, because you are Christ’s; for the members are one with their covenant Head.

To Be Near Jesus

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

“Make this promise to me, O women of Jerusalem! If you find my Beloved One—tell Him that I am sick with love!” Song of Solomon 5:8

Such is the language of the believer panting after present fellowship with Jesus, he is love-sick for his Lord. Gracious souls are never perfectly at ease—except they are in a state of nearness to Christ; for when they are away from Him—they lose their peace. The nearer to Him—the nearer to the perfect calm of heaven; the nearer to Him—the fuller the heart is, not only of peace—but of life, and vigor, and joy—for these all depend on constant fellowship with Jesus.

What the sun is to the day, what the moon is to the night, what the dew is to the flower—such is Jesus Christ to us. What bread is to the hungry, clothing to the naked, the shadow of a great rock to the traveler in a weary land—such is Jesus Christ to us. Therefore, if we are not consciously one with Him, little marvel if our spirit cries in the words of the Song, “Make this promise to me, O women of Jerusalem! If you find my Beloved One—tell Him that I am sick with love!”

This earnest longing after Jesus, has a blessing attending it, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness”; and therefore, supremely blessed are they who thirst after the Righteous One. Blessed is that hunger, since it comes from God—if I may not have the full-blown blessedness of being filled, I would seek the same blessedness in its sweet bud—pining in emptiness and eagerness until I am filled with Christ. If I may not feed on Jesus, it shall be next door to heaven to hunger and thirst after Him. There is a hallowedness about that hunger, since it sparkles among the beatitudes of our Lord. But the blessing involves a promise. Such hungry ones “shall be filled” with what they are desiring. If Christ thus causes us to long after Himself, He will certainly satisfy those longings. And when He does come to us, as come He will—oh, how sweet it will be!

Our Remembrances

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

“And when he thought thereon, he wept.” Mark 14:72

It has been thought by some that as long as Peter lived, the fountain of his tears began to flow whenever he remembered his denying his Lord. It is likely that it was so, (for his sin was very great, and grace in him had afterwards a perfect work). This same experience is common to all the redeemed family according to the degree in which the Spirit of God has removed the natural heart of stone. We, like Peter, remember our boastful promise, “Though all men shall forsake You—yet I will not.” We eat our own words—with the bitter herbs of repentance. When we think of what we vowed we would be, and of what we have been—we may weep whole showers of grief.

Peter thought on his denying his Lord. The place in which he did it, the little cause which led him into such heinous sin, the oaths and blasphemies with which he sought to confirm his falsehood, and the dreadful hardness of heart which drove him to do so again and yet again.

Can we, when we are reminded of our sins, and their exceeding sinfulness, remain stolid and stubborn? Will we not make our house a Bochim, and cry unto the Lord for renewed assurances of pardoning love? May we never take a dry-eyed look at sin, lest before long we have a tongue parched in the flames of hell.

Peter also thought upon his Master’s look of love. The Lord followed up the rooster’s warning voice with an admonitory look of sorrow, pity, and love. That glance was never out of Peter’s mind so long as he lived. It was far more effectual than ten thousand sermons would have been without the Spirit. The penitent apostle would be sure to weep—when he recollected the Savior’s full forgiveness, which restored him to his former place. To think that we have offended so kind and good a Lord—is more than sufficient reason for being constant weepers. Lord, smite our rocky hearts, and make the waters flow!