Speaking To Our Love For the Lost

C. H. Spurgeon

This Evening’s Meditation

“It is time to seek the Lord!” Hosea 10:12

This month of April is said to derive its name from the Latin verb aperio, which signifies to open, because all the buds and blossoms are now opening, and we have arrived at the gates of the flowery year.

Reader, if you are yet unsaved, may your heart, in accord with the universal awakening of nature, be opened to receive the Lord. Every blossoming flower warns you that it is time to seek the Lord; do not be out of tune with nature—but let your heart bud and bloom with holy desires.

Do you tell me that the warm blood of youth leaps in your veins? Then, I entreat you—give your vigor to the Lord. It was my unspeakable happiness to be called in early youth, and I could sincerely praise the Lord every day for it. Salvation is priceless, let it come when it may—but oh! an early salvation has a double value in it. Young men and maidens, since you may perish before you reach your prime, “It is time to seek the Lord!” You who feel the first signs of decay—quicken your pace! That hollow cough, that hectic flush—are warnings which you must not trifle with—with you it is indeed time to seek the Lord.

Did I observe a little grey mingled with your once luxurious tresses? Years are stealing on apace, and death is drawing nearer by hasty marches—let each return of spring arouse you to set your house in order. Dear reader, if you are now advanced in life, let me entreat and implore you to delay no longer. There is a day of grace for you now—be thankful for that—but it is a limited season and grows shorter every time that clock ticks!

Here in this silent chamber, on this first night of another month, I speak to you as best I can by paper and ink, and from my inmost soul, as God’s servant, I lay before you this warning, “It is time to seek the Lord!” Slight not that work, it may be your last call from destruction, the final syllable from the lip of grace.

This month of April is said to derive its name from the Latin verb aperio, which signifies to open, because all the buds and blossoms are now opening, and we have arrived at the gates of the flowery year.

Reader, if you are yet unsaved, may your heart, in accord with the universal awakening of nature, be opened to receive the Lord. Every blossoming flower warns you that it is time to seek the Lord; do not be out of tune with nature—but let your heart bud and bloom with holy desires.

Do you tell me that the warm blood of youth leaps in your veins? Then, I entreat you—give your vigor to the Lord. It was my unspeakable happiness to be called in early youth, and I could sincerely praise the Lord every day for it. Salvation is priceless, let it come when it may—but oh! an early salvation has a double value in it. Young men and maidens, since you may perish before you reach your prime, “It is time to seek the Lord!” You who feel the first signs of decay—quicken your pace! That hollow cough, that hectic flush—are warnings which you must not trifle with—with you it is indeed time to seek the Lord.

Did I observe a little grey mingled with your once luxurious tresses? Years are stealing on apace, and death is drawing nearer by hasty marches—let each return of spring arouse you to set your house in order. Dear reader, if you are now advanced in life, let me entreat and implore you to delay no longer. There is a day of grace for you now—be thankful for that—but it is a limited season and grows shorter every time that clock ticks!

Here in this silent chamber, on this first night of another month, I speak to you as best I can by paper and ink, and from my inmost soul, as God’s servant, I lay before you this warning, “It is time to seek the Lord!” Slight not that work, it may be your last call from destruction, the final syllable from the lip of grace.

Understanding Our Life After Salvation

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Daily Words for Zion’s Wayfarers

“O Israel, you have destroyed yourself; but in me is your help.” Hosea 13:9

God is all-wise, and therefore takes no rash, precipitate steps. As the original plan of salvation was devised by infinite wisdom, so all the successive steps of the execution of that plan are directed by the same boundless wisdom also. “Wherein he has abounded towards us,” says Paul (Eph.1:8), “in all wisdom and prudence.” Thus, in his dealings with his people, God does not put them at once into possession of all the blessings which he has laid up for them.

He has pardoned, for instance, their sins; but he does not immediately, when he calls them by his grace, put them into possession of this blessing. He has first to teach them their need of it. He has to prepare their heart for the right reception of it. It is no common gift, and he has to teach them how to value it. They are saved from wrath and eternal misery, from his dreadful displeasure and ever-burning indignation against sin. They have need to be shown, and made deeply to feel, from what they are saved, as well as to what they are saved. And as the oak does not grow to its full stature in a day, but needs years of sunshine and storm, of beating winds and howling tempests, to give it strength and constancy, a deep and wide root, as well as a lofty and branching stem, so do God’s children need months and years of trial and temptation, that they may push a deep root downwards, and shoot up healthy and vigorous upwards.

Thus, before the soul can know anything about salvation, it must learn deeply and experimentally the nature of sin, and of itself, as stained and polluted thereby. It is proud, and needs to be humbled; careless, and needs to be awakened; alive, and needs to be killed; full, and requires to be emptied; whole, and needs to be wounded; clothed, and requires to be stripped. It is, by nature, self-righteous and self-seeking; is buried deep in worldliness and carnality; is utterly blind and ignorant; is filled with presumption, arrogance, conceit, and enmity, and hates all that is heavenly and spiritual. Sin, in all its various forms, is its natural element. “The Ethiopian cannot change his skin, nor the leopard his spots.” To make man the direct opposite of what he originally is; to make him love God instead of hating him; fear, instead of mocking him; obey, instead of rebelling against him; and to tremble at his terrible majesty, instead of running upon the thick bosses of his shield;–to do this mighty work, and to effect this wonderful change, requires the implantation of a new nature by the immediate hand of God himself.

Our Savior’s Love, Demonstrated

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!

Our Sanctification

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Daily Words for Zion’s Wayfarers

“For by one offering he has perfected forever those who are sanctified.” Hebrews 10:14

To be “sanctified” is to be made a partaker of that holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord; to be made a new creature; to “put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness;” in a word, to be “made a partaker of the divine nature,” and thus have the holiness of God breathed into and communicated to the soul. Without this inward sanctification, none can enter the gates of heaven. To be made fit, therefore, for the heavenly inheritance, you must have a heavenly heart and a praising, adoring, loving spirit; you must delight yourself in the Lord as being so holy and yet so gracious, so pure and yet so loving, so bright and glorious and yet so condescending and sympathizing.

Now this fitness for the holiness, happiness, and employments of heaven is communicated at regeneration, in which the new man of grace, though weak, is still perfect. Look at the thief upon the cross–what an instance is he how the Spirit of God can in a moment make a man fit for heaven! Here was a vile malefactor, whose life had been spent in robbery and murder, brought at last to suffer the just punishment of his crimes; and as we are told that “they who were crucified with him reviled him,” we have reason to believe that at first he joined his fellow malefactor in blaspheming the Redeemer. But sovereign grace, and what but sovereign grace? touched his heart, brought him to see and feel what he was as a ruined sinner, opened his eyes to view the Son of God bleeding before him, raised up faith in his soul to believe in his name, and created a spirit of prayer that the Lord of heaven and earth would remember him when he came into his kingdom–perhaps the greatest act of faith we have recorded in all Scripture, almost equal if not superior to the faith of Abraham when he offered up Isaac on the altar.

The dying Redeemer heard and answered his cry, and said to him, “Today shall you be with me in paradise.” Spirit and life accompanied the words, and raised up at once in his soul a fitness for the inheritance, and before the shadows of night fell, his happy spirit passed into paradise, where he is now singing the praises of God and of the Lamb. Many a poor child of God has gone on almost to his last hours on earth without a manifestation of pardoning love and the application of atoning blood; but he has not been allowed to die without the Holy Spirit revealing salvation to his soul, and attuning his heart to sing the immortal anthem of the glorified spirits before the throne.

Grace and Glory

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Daily Words for Zion’s Wayfarers

“The Lord will give grace and glory.” Psalm 84:11

Wherever the Lord gives grace, he in and with that grace gives glory. We, therefore, read, “Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called; and whom he called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” Thus he has already made them, even while on earth, partakers of his glory; and this by making them partakers of his grace; for as in the bud is the bloom, and in the bloom the fruit, so in budding grace is blooming glory–grace being but glory begun, and glory being but grace finished.

But what is “glory?” Viewed as future, in its full consummation, it is to be with Jesus in realms of eternal bliss, where tears are wiped from off all faces; it is to see him as he is; to be conformed to his glorious likeness; to be delivered from all sin and sorrow; to be perfectly free from all temptations, trials, burdens, and exercises, and to dwell forever in that happy land, “the inhabitants of which shall not say, I am sick;” where a weary body, a burdened conscience, a troubled heart, a faint and weary mind, are utterly and forever unknown.

In a word, it is to have a glorified body re-united to a glorified soul, and for both to be as full of happiness and holiness, bliss and blessedness, as an immortal spirit can hold, and an immortal frame can endure, drinking in to the full, with unutterable satisfaction but without satiety, the pleasures that are at God’s right hand for evermore.

But no human heart can conceive, nor human tongue unfold in what the nature and fullness of this glory consist; for “eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for those who love him.” Yet all this glory will the Lord give to those upon whom he has already bestowed his grace. He gives them grace now, to bring them through this wilderness world, this valley of tears, this scene of temptation, sin, and sorrow; and when he lands them on that happy shore, he gives them there the fullness of his glory. Then will be fully accomplished the Redeemer’s prayer and will–“Father, I will that they also, whom you have given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which you have given me; for you loved me before the foundation of the world” (John 17:24).

Their right and title to the enjoyment of this predestinated inheritance are securely lodged in the hands of their covenant Head; and he living at God’s right hand to save them to the uttermost, all their temptations, enemies, sins, and sorrows can never hinder them from reaching the shore on which God has decreed they shall safely land. Satan may spread a thousand snares to entangle their feet; not a day or scarcely an hour may pass that they are not burdened with indwelling sin; a myriad of lusts may start up in arms from the depths of their carnal mind; and many a pang of guilt and chill of despair may seem at times wholly to cut them off from eternal life. But yet, where the Lord has given grace he will give glory; for when he gives grace with the left hand, he gives glory with the right; yes, we may say that with both hands he gives at once both grace and glory; for as grace and glory flow out of the same loving heart, and are given by the same loving God, they may be said to be given by both hands at one and the same time. A portion or foretaste of this glory is given on earth in every discovery of the glory of Christ; as the Lord speaks, “And the glory which you gave me I have given them”–already given them; and this he did when “he manifested forth his glory, and his disciples believed on him” (John 17:22; 2:11).

On Ending Our Winter, Beginning Our Spring

C. H. Spurgeon

This Evening’s Meditation

“Can you bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?”

— Job 38:31

If inclined to boast of our abilities, the grandeur of nature may soon show us how puny we are. We cannot move the least of all the twinkling stars, or quench so much as one of the beams of the morning. We speak of power—but the heavens laugh us to scorn. When the Pleiades shine forth in spring with joy—we cannot restrain their influences; and when Orion reigns aloft, and the year is bound in winter’s fetters, we cannot relax the icy bands. The seasons revolve according to the divine appointment, neither can the whole race of men effect a change therein. Lord, what is man!

In the spiritual, as in the natural world, man’s power is limited on all hands. When the Holy Spirit sheds abroad His delights in the soul—none can disturb; all the cunning and malice of men are ineffectual to stay the genial quickening power of the Comforter. When He deigns to visit a church and revive it—the most inveterate enemies cannot resist the good work; they may ridicule it—but they can no more restrain it than they can push back the spring when the Pleiades rule the hour. God wills it—and so it must be.

On the other hand, if the Lord in sovereignty, or in justice—binds up a man so that he is in soul bondage, who can give him liberty? God alone can remove the winter of spiritual death from an individual, or a people. He looses the bands of Orion—and none but He. What a blessing it is that He can do it. O that He would perform the wonder tonight.

Lord, end my winter, and let my spring begin. I cannot with all my longings raise my soul out of her death and dullness—but all things are possible with You. I need celestial influences, the clear shinings of Your love, the beams of Your grace, the light of Your countenance, these are the Pleiades to me. I suffer much from sin and temptation, these are my wintry signs, my terrible Orion. Lord, work wonders in me, and for me! Amen.

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.”

Our Increasing Strength

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Daily Thought

“To those who have no might he increases strength.” –Isaiah 40:29

The Lord’s people are often in this state, that they “have no might.” All their power seems exhausted, and their strength completely drained away; sin appears to have gotten the mastery over them; and they feel as if they had neither will nor ability to run the race set before them, or persevere in the way of the Lord. Yet, even then, they have strength; for it says, “he increases strength.” It does not say, ‘he gives, bestows, communicates strength;’ but “he increases strength.” How can this be?

We must have power to feel our weakness. God must put forth his power to enable us to fall down into nothingness and helplessness. It therefore says, “he increases strength.” As though it would imply, ‘Is not the very power to sink down into creature weakness, helplessness, and nothingness, strength?’ It is so in God’s mysterious dealings. And, therefore, “to those who have no might” (in other words, those who are sensible in their own consciences that they have no power at all, who are completely exhausted of nature’s strength and wisdom), to these “he increases strength.”

Now the Lord “increases strength” in a very mysterious way. He often drops strength stilly and secretly into the soul. We are not always to expect very great manifestations. This is not the way in which the Lord usually increases strength. His visits to the soul are often better known by their fruits and effects, and by looking back upon them when they are past, than by any immediate impulse. The strength given is more easily felt than the hand seen which communicates it. In this respect it much resembles the new birth, of which the Lord says, “The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound thereof, but can not tell whence it comes, and where it goes” (John 3:8).

Our Fellowship With Jesus Christ

J. C. Philpot

Today’s Daily Thought

“God is faithful, by whom you were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” –1 Corinthians 1:9

When God calls his people by his grace, it is to make them partakers of the highest bliss and the greatest glory that he could confer upon the sons of men. And this not only in eternity, but in time; not only beyond, but this side of the grave. He appeals, therefore, to them by his prophet. “Have I been a wilderness unto Israel? a land of darkness?” (Jer. 2:31.) When the Lord calls his people out of earthly pleasures, is it for no other purpose than to lead them into paths of affliction and sorrow? Does he make them leave the flesh-pots of Egypt to starve them in a waste howling wilderness? This was the complaint of the ancient murmurers, that Moses had brought them up out of Egypt to kill them with thirst (Exod. 17:3). Does he take them from earthly delights to abandon them to misery and despair?

O no! He calls them even in this time state to the greatest privilege and highest favor that his everlasting love could confer upon them, which is no less than “the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,” that they may have union and communion with the Son of God by grace here, and be partakers of his glory hereafter. God’s dear Son is, and always has been, the object of his eternal delight. To glorify him has been from all eternity his fixed, his settled purpose; and in pursuance of this settled purpose, he gave him a people whom he formed for himself, that they might show forth his praise. Thus, therefore, the Redeemer addressed his heavenly Father–“And all mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I am glorified in them.”

Our Pilgrimage

C. H. Spurgeon

This Morning’s Meditation

“I am a stranger with you.” — Psalm 39:12

Yes, O Lord, with You—but not to You. All my natural alienation from You—Your grace has effectually removed; and now, in fellowship with Yourself, I walk through this sinful world as a pilgrim in a foreign country. You are a stranger in Your own world. Man forgets You, dishonors You, sets up new laws and alien customs, and knows You not. When Your dear Son came unto His own, His own received Him not. He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. Never was a foreigner so speckled a bird among the inhabitants of any land—as Your beloved Son among His mother’s brethren. It is no marvel, then, if I who live the life of Jesus, should be unknown and a stranger here below.

Lord, I would not be a citizen where Jesus was an alien. His pierced hand has loosened the cords which once bound my soul to earth—and now I find myself a stranger in the land. My speech seems to these Babylonians among whom I dwell—an outlandish tongue; my manners are singular; and my actions are strange. I could never be at home in the haunts of sinners.

But here is the sweetness of my lot—”I am a stranger with You.” You are my fellow-sufferer, my fellow-pilgrim. Oh, what joy to wander in such blessed society! My heart burns within me by the way, when you speak to me, and though I am a sojourner, I am far more blessed than those who sit on thrones, and far more at home than those who dwell in their ivory palaces.