All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. John 6:37
Excerpted from Holiness by J. C. Ryle
Let all the world know that the Lord Jesus will not cast away His believing people because of shortcomings and infirmities. The husband does not put away his wife because he finds failings in her. The mother does not forsake her infant because it is weak, feeble and ignorant. And the Lord Christ does not cast off poor sinners who have committed their souls into His hands because He sees in them blemishes and imperfections. Oh, no! It is His glory to pass over the faults of His people, and heal their backslidings, to make much of their weak graces, and to pardon their many faults.
Who is there now among the readers of this paper that feels desires after salvation, but is afraid to become decided, lest by and by he should fall away? Consider, I beseech you, the tenderness and patience of the Lord Jesus, and be afraid no more. Fear not to take up the cross, and come out boldly from the world. That same Lord and Saviour who bore with the disciples is ready and willing to bear with you. If you stumble, He will raise you. If you err, He will gently bring you back. If you faint, He will revive you. He will not lead you out of Egypt, and then suffer you to perish in the wilderness. He will conduct you safe into the promised land. Only commit yourself to His guidance and then, my soul for yours, He shall carry you safe home. Only hear Christ’s voice, and follow Him, and you shall never perish.
Ryle, J. C.. Holiness (pp. 185-186). Heritage Bible Fellowship. Kindle Edition.
2018 Together For The Gospel
The Message of the Cross presented by HG Charles
C. H. Spurgeon
This Evening’s Meditation
“The flowers appear in the countryside. The time of singing has come, and the turtledove’s cooing is heard in our land.” Song of Solomon 2:12
Sweet is the season of Spring. The long and dreary winter helps us to appreciate its genial warmth, and its promise of summer enhances its present delights. After periods of depression of spirit, it is delightful to behold again the light of the Sun of Righteousness; then our slumbering graces rise from their lethargy, like the crocus and the daffodil from their beds of earth; then is our heart made merry with delicious notes of gratitude, far more melodious than the warbling of birds—and the comforting assurance of peace, infinitely more delightful than the turtledove’s cooing, is heard within the soul.
Now is the time for the soul to seek communion with her Beloved; now must she rise from her native sordidness, and come away from her old associations. If we do not hoist the sail when the breeze is favorable, we shall be blameworthy; times of refreshing ought not to pass over us, unimproved. When Jesus Himself visits us in tenderness, and entreats us to arise, can we be so base as to refuse His request? He has Himself risen—that He may draw us after Him. He now by His Holy Spirit has revived us—that we may, in newness of life, ascend into the heavenlies, and hold communion with Himself.
Let our wintry state suffice us for coldness and indifference; when the Lord creates a spring within, let our sap flow with vigor, and our branch blossom with high resolve. O Lord, if it is not spring time in my chilly heart, I pray You make it so, for I am heartily weary of living at a distance from You. Oh! the long and dreary winter, when will You bring it to an end? Come, Holy Spirit, and renew my soul! Quicken me! Restore me, and have mercy on me! This very night I would earnestly implore the Lord to take pity upon His servant—and send me a happy revival of spiritual life!
J. C. Philpot
Today’s Daily Portion
“And has put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that fills all in all.”
– Ephesians 1:22, 23
In the mind of God, and as chosen in Christ, the Church is a perfect body. It is, therefore, the fullness of Christ. Just as our head and members, in their union with each other, form one perfect harmonious body, so it is with Christ and the Church. As the natural head would be incomplete without the body, as the body would be incomplete without the head, so it is with Christ mystical, and his body the Church. Each needs the other, and the union of both makes the whole complete.
The Son of God, by becoming incarnate, needed a body of which he should be the Head. Without it, he would be as a bridegroom without the bride, a shepherd without the sheep, a foundation without the building, a vine without the branches. He did not need the Church as the Son of God, but he needed her as the Son of man. In her all his love is complete, his work complete, his grace complete, his glory complete; and when she is brought home to be forever with him in glory, then all the purposes of God, all his eternal counsels of wisdom and grace, will be complete. In this sense we may understand the expression, “the fullness of him that fills all in all.” What a wonderful thought it is that he who, as the Son of God, fills all in all–fills all places with his omnipresence–should yet stoop to have a relative fullness in his body the Church!
C. H. Spurgeon
This Morning’s Meditation
“With His stripes we are healed.” — Isaiah 53:5
Pilate delivered our Lord to the lictors to be scourged. The Roman scourging was a most dreadful instrument of torture. It was made of the sinews of oxen, and sharp bones were inter-twisted among the sinews; so that every time the lash came down—these pieces of bone inflicted fearful laceration, and tore off the flesh from the victim. The Savior was, no doubt, bound to the pillar, and thus beaten. He had been beaten before; but this scourging of the Roman lictors—was probably the most severe of His flagellations.
My soul, stand here and weep over His poor stricken body. Believer in Jesus, can you gaze upon Him without tears, as He stands before you—thepicture of agonizing love? He is at once as white as the lily for innocence, and as red as the rose with the crimson of His own blood. As we feel the sure and blessed healing which His stripes have wrought in us—does not our heart melt at once with love and grief? If ever we have loved our Lord Jesus—surely we must feel that affection glowing now within our bosoms.
“See how the patient Jesus stands,
Insulted in His lowest case!
Sinners have bound the Almighty’s hands,
And spit in their Creator’s face!
With thorns His temples gored and gashed
Send streams of blood from every part;
His back’s with knotted scourges lashed.
But sharper scourges tear His heart!”
We would sincerely go to our chambers and weep; but since our business calls us away, we will first pray our Beloved to print the image of His bleeding self—upon the tablets of our hearts all the day; and at nightfall we will return to commune with Him, and sorrow that our sin should have cost Him so dear!
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
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!
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.”
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.”