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Life Theology

Work Hard, Sleep Well, and Know that God’s Got it Under Control

Let us fight as if it all depended upon us, but let us look up and know that all depends on Him.

– Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening (April 20, evening)

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Theology

Seeing Your Sorry State Before You Get Saved

Before someone can come to Christ, they must understand that they need Christ.  Jesus saves people from sin, and if someone does not understand the gravity of their sin, they will not go to him.  They will not understand the call of Jesus when he says, “Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).  What is he promising rest from?  The struggles of daily life?  Stress at work from your boss?  Financial problems?  Physical ailments?  No.  Jesus promises rest from the burden of sin and the labor of works righteousness.  He calls believers and non-believers alike to come to him.

Remember Christian in The Pilgrim’s Progress?  His famous line is, “I’m trying to get rid of this great burden on my back.”  His burden was his own sin.  And he didn’t know he needed the Savior until he realized he had a need.  He was tired of carrying around his own burden and so he made it his pursuit to go to Jesus.  So we see that seeing and understanding your state as a sinner is a prerequisite to receiving Christ.

Charles Spurgeon puts it this way:

Stripping comes before clothing; digging out the foundation is the first thing in building — and a thorough sense of sin is one of the earliest works of grace in the heart.  O thou poor leprous sinner, utterly destitute of a sound spot, take heart from the text, and come as thou art to Jesus.

And Jonathan Edwards writes:

And that it is God’s manner of dealing with men, to “lead them into a wilderness, before he speaks comfortably to them,” and so to order it that they shall be brought into distress, and made to see their own helplessness and absolute dependence on His power and grace, before He appears to work any great deliverance for them, is abundantly manifest by the Scripture.

There are too many examples in the Bible to talk about here (see Lev. 13:45; Deut. 8:2, 16; 32:36-37; Jer. 3:23-25; Luke 8:43-44; 2 Cor. 1:8-10), so let’s consider the disciples in the boat when the storm came (Matt. 8:23-27).  They saw the wind and waves.  They understood the terribleness of the situation.  They knew they were going to die, so they went to Jesus.  He stopped the storm.  He saved them.  If there was nothing wrong with the weather, they wouldn’t have gone to Jesus.

Understanding your sin doesn’t save you.  That would be salvation by works.  But as Spurgeon said, seeing your sorry state is one of the earliest works of God’s grace in a person’s heart..  God gives grace to reveal sin.  He gives grace so that we can repent.  He gives grace so that we can come to Jesus.  We know this is true because Jesus said, “No one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father” (John 6:65).

If you see your sin and hate it and know it is a defilement of God’s glory and are seeking to repent, be comforted.  That’s one of the great signs that you are true, genuine, and are following hard after Jesus.

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Life

Weekly Spurgeon

From Morning and Evening

“Have faith in God.”
– Mark 11:22

Faith is the foot of the soul by which it can march along the road of the commandments. Love can make the feet move more swiftly; but faith is the foot which carries the soul. Faith is the oil enabling the wheels of holy devotion and of earnest piety to move well; and without faith the wheels are taken from the chariot, and we drag heavily. With faith I can do all things; without faith I shall neither have the inclination nor the power to do anything in the service of God. If you would find the men who serve God the best, you must look for the men of the most faith. Little faith will save a man, but little faith cannot do great things for God. Poor Little Faith could not have fought “Apollyon;” it needed “Christian” to do that. Poor Little Faith could not have slain “Giant Despair;” it required “Great Heart’s” arm to knock that monster down. Little faith will go to heaven most certainly, but it often has to hide itself in a nut shell, and it frequently loses all but its jewels. Little Faith says, “It is a rough road, beset with sharp thorns, and full of dangers; I am afraid to go;” but Great Faith remembers the promise, “Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; as thy days, so shall thy strength be:” and so she boldly ventures. Little Faith stands desponding, mingling her tears with the flood; but Great Faith sings, “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee:” and she fords the stream at once. Would you be comfortable and happy? Would you enjoy religion? Would you have the religion of cheerfulness and not that of gloom? Then “have faith in God.” If you love darkness, and are satisfied to dwell in gloom and misery, then be content with little faith; but if you love the sunshine, and would sing songs of rejoicing, covet earnestly this best gift, “great faith.”

Categories
Life Theology

Weekly Spurgeon

From Morning and Evening:

“To him be glory both now and for ever.”
– 2 Peter 3:18

Heaven will be full of the ceaseless praises of Jesus. Eternity! thine unnumbered years shall speed their everlasting course, but for ever and for ever, “to him be glory.” Is he not a “Priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek?” “To him be glory.” Is he not king for ever? –King of kings and Lord of lords, the everlasting Father? “To him be glory for ever.” Never shall his praises cease. That which was bought with blood deserves to last while immortality endures. The glory of the cross must never be eclipsed; the lustre of the grave and of the resurrection must never be dimmed. O Jesus! thou shalt be praised for ever. Long as immortal spirits live–long as the Father’s throne endures–for ever, for ever, unto thee shall be glory. Believer, you are anticipating the time when you shall join the saints above in ascribing all glory to Jesus; but are you glorifying him now? The apostle’s words are, “To him be glory both now and for ever.” Will you not this day make it your prayer? “Lord, help me to glorify thee; I am poor, help me to glorify thee by contentment; I am sick, help me to give thee honour by patience; I have talents, help me to extol thee by spending them for thee; I have time, Lord, help me to redeem it, that I may serve thee; I have a heart to feel, Lord, let that heart feel no love but thine, and glow with no flame but affection for thee; I have a head to think, Lord, help me to think of thee and for thee; thou hast put me in this world for something, Lord, show me what that is, and help me to work out my life purpose: I cannot do much, but as the widow put in her two mites, which were all her living, so, Lord, I cast my time and eternity too into thy treasury; I am all thine; take me, and enable me to glorify thee now, in all that I say, in all that I do, and with all that I have.”

Categories
Life

Weekly Spurgeon

From Morning and Evening

“And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house.”
– 2 Samuel 11:2

At that hour David saw Bathsheba. We are never out of the reach of temptation. Both at home and abroad we are liable to meet with allurements to evil; the morning opens with peril, and the shades of evening find us still in jeopardy. They are well kept whom God keeps, but woe unto those who go forth into the world, or even dare to walk their own house unarmed. Those who think themselves secure are more exposed to danger than any others. The armour bearer of Sin is Self-confidence.

David should have been engaged in fighting the Lord’s battles, instead of which he tarried at Jerusalem, and gave himself up to luxurious repose, for he arose from his bed at eventide. Idleness and luxury are the devil’s jackals, and find him abundant prey. In stagnant waters noxious creatures swarm, and neglected soil soon yields a dense tangle of weeds and briars. O for the constraining love of Jesus to keep us active and useful! When I see the King of Israel sluggishly leaving his couch at the close of the day, and falling at once into temptation, let me take warning, and set holy watchfulness to guard the door.

Is it possible that the king had mounted his housetop for retirement and devotion? If so, what a caution is given us to count no place, however secret, a sanctuary from sin! While our hearts are so like a tinderbox, and sparks so plentiful, we had need use all diligence in all places to prevent a blaze. Satan can climb housetops, and enter closets, and even if we could shut out that foul fiend, our own corruptions are enough to work our ruin unless grace prevent. Reader, beware of evening temptations. Be not secure. The sun is down but sin is up. We need a watchman for the night as well as a guardian for the day. O blessed Spirit, keep us from all evil this night. Amen.