C. H. Spurgeon
This Evening’s Meditation
“Sing, O barren one!” Isaiah 54:1
Though we have brought forth some fruit unto Christ, and have a joyful hope that we are “plants of His own right hand planting,” yet there are times when we feel very barren. Prayer is lifeless, love is cold, faith is weak—each grace in the garden of our heart languishes and droops. We are like flowers in the hot sun, requiring the refreshing shower.
In such a condition what are we to do? The text is addressed to us in just such a state. “Sing, O barren one! Break forth into loud and joyful song.” But what can I sing about? I cannot talk about the present, and even the past looks full of barrenness. Ah! I can sing of Jesus Christ! I can talk of visits which the Redeemer has aforetimes paid to me; or if not of these, I can magnify the great love with which He loved His people—when He came from the heights of heaven for their redemption. I will go to the cross again. Come, my soul, heavy laden you were once—you lost your burden there. Go to Calvary again. Perhaps that very cross which gave you life—may give you fruitfulness.
What is my barrenness? It is the platform—for His fruit-creating power. What is my desolation? It is the black setting—for the sapphire of His everlasting love. I will go in poverty, I will go in helplessness, I will go in all my shame and backsliding, I will tell Him that I am still His child, and in confidence in His faithful heart, even I, the barren one, will sing and cry aloud!
Sing, believer, for it will cheer your own heart, and the hearts of other desolate ones. Sing on, for now that you are really ashamed of being barren, you will be fruitful soon; now that God makes you loath to be without fruit—He will soon cover you with clusters. The experience of our barrenness is painful—but the Lord’s visitations are delightful. A sense of our own poverty drives us to Christ, and that is where we need to be—for in Him is our fruit found!
I Need Thee Every Hour, Lyrics:Annie Sherwood Hawks (1836-1918); Chorus by Robert Lowry (1826-1899) Music:Robert Lowry (1826-1899)
C. H. Spurgeon
This Morning’s Meditation
“They shall sing in the ways of the Lord.”
The time when Christians begin to sing in the ways of the Lord is when they first lose their burden at the foot of the Cross. Not even the songs of the angels seem so sweet as the first song of rapture which gushes from the inmost soul of the forgiven child of God. You know how John Bunyan describes it. He says when poor Pilgrim lost his burden at the Cross, he gave three great leaps, and went on his way singing–
“Blest Cross! blest Sepulchre! blest rather be
The Man that there was put to shame for me!”
Believer, do you recollect the day when your fetters fell off? Do you remember the place when Jesus met you, and said, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love; I have blotted out as a cloud thy transgressions, and as a thick cloud thy sins; they shall not be mentioned against thee any more forever.”
Oh! what a sweet season is that when Jesus takes away the pain of sin. When the Lord first pardoned my sin, I was so joyous that I could scarce refrain from dancing. I thought on my road home from the house where I had been set at liberty, that I must tell the stones in the street the story of my deliverance. So full was my soul of joy, that I wanted to tell every snow-flake that was falling from heaven of the wondrous love of Jesus, who had blotted out the sins of one of the chief of rebels.
But it is not only at the commencement of the Christian life that believers have reason for song; as long as they live they discover cause to sing in the ways of the Lord, and their experience of his constant lovingkindness leads them to say, “I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” See to it, brother, that thou magnifiest the Lord this day.
“Long as we tread this desert land,
New mercies shall new songs demand.”
C. H. Spurgeon
This Evening’s Meditation
“What think ye of Christ?”
The great test of your soul’s health is, What think you of Christ? Is he to you “fairer than the children of men”–“the chief among ten thousand”–the “altogether lovely”? Wherever Christ is thus esteemed, all the faculties of the spiritual man exercise themselves with energy.
I will judge of your piety by this barometer: does Christ stand high or low with you? If you have thought little of Christ, if you have been content to live without his presence, if you have cared little for his honour, if you have been neglectful of his laws, then I know that your soul is sick–God grant that it may not be sick unto death!
But if the first thought of your spirit has been, how can I honour Jesus? If the daily desire of your soul has been, “O that I knew where I might find him!” I tell you that you may have a thousand infirmities, and even scarcely know whether you are a child of God at all, and yet I am persuaded, beyond a doubt, that you are safe, since Jesus is great in your esteem.
I care not for thy rags, what thinkest thou of his royal apparel? I care not for thy wounds, though they bleed in torrents, what thinkest thou of his wounds? are they like glittering rubies in thine esteem?
I think none the less of thee, though thou liest like Lazarus on the dunghill, and the dogs do lick thee–I judge thee not by thy poverty: what thinkest thou of the King in his beauty? Has he a glorious high throne in thy heart? Wouldest thou set him higher if thou couldest? Wouldest thou be willing to die if thou couldest but add another trumpet to the strain which proclaims his praise? Ah! then it is well with thee. Whatever thou mayest think of thyself, if Christ be great to thee, thou shalt be with him ere long.
“Though all the world my choice deride,
Yet Jesus shall my portion be;
For I am pleased with none beside,
The fairest of the fair is he”
Acapella Arrangement by Sam Robson
Words & Music: Margaret J. Harris, 1898
When I saw the cleansing fountain
Open wide for all my sin,
I obeyed the Spirit’s wooing,
When He said, “Wilt thou be clean?”
I will praise Him! I will praise Him!
Praise the Lamb for sinners slain;
Give Him glory, all ye people,
For His blood can wash away each stain.
Though the way seems straight and narrow,
All I claimed was swept away;
My ambitions, plans and wishes,
At my feet in ashes lay.
Then God’s fire upon the altar
Of my heart was set aflame;
I shall never cease to praise Him
Glory, glory to His Name!
Blessèd be the Name of Jesus!
I’m so glad He took me in;
He’s forgiven my transgressions,
He has cleansed my heart from sin.
Glory, glory to the Father!
Glory, glory to the Son!
Glory, glory to the Spirit!
Glory to the Three in One!
I hope that you will be blessed by this song.