Spurgeon's Morning by Morning
"Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory." --Psalm 73:24
The Psalmist felt his need of divine guidance. He had just been discovering the foolishness of his own heart, and lest he should be constantly led astray by it, he resolved that God's counsel should henceforth guide him. A sense of our own folly is a great step towards being wise, when it leads us to rely on the wisdom of the Lord. The blind man leans on his friend's arm and reaches home in safety, and so would we give ourselves up implicitly to divine guidance, nothing doubting; assured that though we cannot see, it is always safe to trust the All-seeing God. "Thou shalt," is a blessed expression of confidence. He was sure that the Lord would not decline the condescending task. There is a word for thee, O believer; rest thou in it. Be assured that thy God will be thy counsellor and friend; He shall guide thee; He will direct all thy ways. In His written Word thou hast this assurance in part fulfilled, for holy Scripture is His counsel to thee. Happy are we to have God's Word always to guide us! What were the mariner without his compass? And what were the Christian without the Bible? This is the unerring chart, the map in which every shoal is described, and all the channels from the quicksands of destruction to the haven of salvation mapped and marked by one who knows all the way. Blessed be Thou, O God, that we may trust Thee to guide us now, and guide us even to the end! After this guidance through life, the Psalmist anticipates a divine reception at last--"and afterward receive me to glory." What a thought for thee, believer! God Himself will receive thee to glory--thee! Wandering, erring, straying, yet He will bring thee safe at last to glory! This is thy portion; live on it this day, and if perplexities should surround thee, go in the strength of this text straight to the throne.
Pathway in the Sea
Ever see a butterfly flutter by? John 3:7-8
Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known.
"The best way to show that a stick is crooked is not to argue about it or to spend time denouncing it, but to lay a straight stick along side it."
-D. L. Moody
Sunday, September 01, 2013
Sunday, June 16, 2013
Thy conquering Spirit give;
Make me an overcomer—
In power within me live. —Anon.
Spurgeon's Morning by Morning
"And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish." --John 10:28
The Christian should never think or speak lightly of unbelief. For a child of God to mistrust His love, His truth, His faithfulness, must be greatly displeasing to Him. How can we ever grieve Him by doubting His upholding grace? Christian! it is contrary to every promise of God's precious Word that thou shouldst ever be forgotten or left to perish. If it could be so, how could He be true who has said, "Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I never forget thee." What were the value of that promise--"The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but My kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of My peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee." Where were the truth of Christ's words--"I give unto My sheep eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father's hand." Where were the doctrines of grace? They would be all disproved if one child of God should perish. Where were the veracity of God, His honour, His power, His grace, His covenant, His oath, if any of those for whom Christ has died, and who have put their trust in Him, should nevertheless be cast away? Banish those unbelieving fears which so dishonour God. Arise, shake thyself from the dust, and put on thy beautiful garments. Remember it is sinful to doubt His Word wherein He has promised thee that thou shalt never perish. Let the eternal life within thee express itself in confident rejoicing.
"The gospel bears my spirit up:
A faithful and unchanging God
Lays the foundation for my hope,
In oaths, and promises, and blood."
Thursday, May 30, 2013
You ain't seen nothing yet.
John 1:48,50-51 (NIV) 48"How do you know me?" Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, "I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you."
50Jesus said, "You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You shall see greater things than that." 51He then added, "I tell you the truth, youshall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."
The Apostle John gives us a description of the other apostles' first encounters with Jesus. He describes how Philip invited Nathanael to "come and see". Philip was already using Jesus' words. Nathanael had a hard time believing the Messiah could come from Nazareth.
When he approached Jesus, Jesus said he was an Israelite in whom nothing false could be found. When Nathanael asked Jesus how he knew that, Jesus told him that He had seen him under the fig tree before Philip came to him. It seems that this was some kind of sign to Nathanael, because he immediately declared Jesus as the Son of God. The Holy Spirit must have revealed something to Jesus of a spiritual encounter under that fig tree. We would call it "a word of knowledge", but since Jesus is one with the Spirit, it would be more than that. Jesus can use the term "I saw you".
We sometimes wonder if God does see us in the secret place when we pour out our hearts to him. Perhaps Nathanael was asking God to give him a sign that his prayers were heard. We'll have to wait until heaven to find out. What we can know of a certainty is, Jesus sees us here and can let us know that He does.
Jesus then told Nathanael that seeing Him there was nothing compared to what Nathanael would see in the future. He was going to see the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man. That is a reference to Jacob's ladder. Jesus was saying that He is the ladder. The angels, messengers of God, go and come through Him. He is the connection between heaven and earth. The revelation of God and His work in the world comes through Jesus.
Consider: The answers you are searching for come via Jesus.
May 30 Evening
Sunday, May 26, 2013
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise. —Robinson
|"Spring up, O well; sing ye unto it" (Num. 21:17).|
This was a strange song and a strange well. They had been traveling over the desert's barren sands, no water was in sight and they were famishing with thirst. Then God spake to Moses and said:
"Gather the people together, and I will give them water," and this is how it came.
They gathered in circles on the sands. They took their staves and dug deep down into the burning earthand as they dug, they sang,
"Spring up, O well, sing ye unto it," and lo, there came a gurgling sound, a rush of water and a flowing stream which filled the well and ran along the ground.
When they dug this well in the desert, they touched the stream that was running beneath, and reached the flowing tides that had long been out of sight.
How beautiful the picture given, telling us of the river of blessing that flows all through our lives, and we have only to reach by faith and praise to find our wants supplied in the most barren desert.
How did they reach the waters of this well? It was by praise. They sang upon the sand their song of faith, while with their staff of promise they dug the well.
Our praise will still open fountains in the desert, when murmuring will only bring us judgment, and even prayer may fail to reach the fountains of blessing.
There is nothing that pleases the Lord so much as praise. There is no test of faith so true as the grace of thanksgiving. Are you praising God enough? Are you thanking Him for your actual blessings that are more than can be numbered, and are you daring to praise Him even for those trials which are but blessings in disguise? Have you learned to praise Him in advance for the things that have not yet come? --Selected
"Thou waitest for deliverance!
O soul, thou waitest long!
Believe that now deliverance
Doth wait for thee in song!
"Sigh not until deliverance
Thy fettered feet doth free:
With songs of glad deliverance
God now doth compass thee."
Spurgeon's Morning by Morning
"Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee." --Psalm 55:22
Care, even though exercised upon legitimate objects, if carried to excess, has in it the nature of sin. The precept to avoid anxious care is earnestly inculcated by our Saviour, again and again; it is reiterated by the apostles; and it is one which cannot be neglected without involving transgression: for the very essence of anxious care is the imagining that we are wiser than God, and the thrusting ourselves into His place to do for Him that which He has undertaken to do for us. We attempt to think of that which we fancy He will forget; we labour to take upon ourselves our weary burden, as if He were unable or unwilling to take it for us. Now this disobedience to His plain precept, this unbelief in His Word, this presumption in intruding upon His province, is all sinful. Yet more than this, anxious care often leads to acts of sin. He who cannot calmly leave his affairs in God's hand, but will carry his own burden, is very likely to be tempted to use wrong means to help himself. This sin leads to a forsaking of God as our counsellor, and resorting instead to human wisdom. This is going to the "broken cistern" instead of to the "fountain;" a sin which was laid against Israel of old. Anxiety makes us doubt God's lovingkindness, and thus our love to Him grows cold; we feel mistrust, and thus grieve the Spirit of God, so that our prayers become hindered, our consistent example marred, and our life one of self-seeking. Thus want of confidence in God leads us to wander far from Him; but if through simple faith in His promise, we cast each burden as it comes upon Him, and are "careful for nothing" because He undertakes to care for us, it will keep us close to Him, and strengthen us against much temptation. "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee."
Monday, April 01, 2013
Classics: Streams in the Desert
The public domain version of this classic devotional is the unabridged edition of Streams in the Desert. This first edition was published in 1925 and the wording is preserved as originally written. Connotations of words may have changed over the years and are not meant to be offensive.
Seek the Lord by C. H. Spurgeon
|"He shall see His seed; He shall prolong His days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand."--Isaiah 53:10|
Plead for the speedy fulfillment of this promise, all ye who love the Lord. It is easy work to pray when we are grounded and bottomed, as to our desires, upon God's own promise. How can He that gave the word refuse to keep it? Immutable veracity cannot demean itself by a lie, and eternal faithfulness cannot degrade itself by neglect. God must bless His Son, His covenant binds Him to it. That which the Spirit prompts us to ask for Jesus, is that which God decrees to give Him. Whenever you are praying for the kingdom of Christ, let your eyes behold the dawning of the blessed day which draweth near, when the Crucified shall receive His coronation in the place where men rejected Him. Courage, you that prayerfully work and toil for Christ with success of the very smallest kind, it shall not be so always; better times are before you. Your eyes cannot see the blissful future: borrow the telescope of faith; wipe the misty breath of your doubts from the glass; look through it and behold the coming glory.
Reader, let us ask, do you make this your constant prayer? Remember that the same Christ who tells us to say, "Give us this day our daily bread," had first given us this petition, "Hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven." Let not your prayers be all concerning your own sins, your own wants, your own imperfections, your own trials, but let them climb the starry ladder, and get up to Christ Himself, and then, as you draw nigh to the blood-sprinkled mercy-seat, offer this prayer continually, "Lord, extend the kingdom of Thy dear Son." Such a petition, fervently presented, will elevate the spirit of all your devotions. Mind that you prove the sincerity of your prayer by labouring to promote the Lord's glory.
Thursday, March 07, 2013
He satisfies, joy He supplies;
Life would be worthless without Him,
All things in Jesus I find. —Loes
|Trust in the Lord by C. H. Spurgeon|
|"It is better to trust in the Lord, than to put confidence in man."--Psalm 118:8|
Doubtless the reader has been tried with the temptation to rely upon the things which are seen, instead of resting alone upon the invisible God. Christians often look to man for help and counsel, and mar the noble simplicity of their reliance upon their God. Does this evening's portion meet the eye of a child of God anxious about temporals, then would we reason with him awhile. You trust in Jesus, and only in Jesus, for your salvation, then why are you troubled? "Because of my great care." Is it not written, "Cast thy burden upon the Lord"? "Be careful for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication make known your wants unto God." Cannot you trust God for temporals? "Ah! I wish I could." If you cannot trust God for temporals, how dare you trust Him for spirituals? Can you trust Him for your soul's redemption, and not rely upon Him for a few lesser mercies? Is not God enough for thy need, or is His all-sufficiency too narrow for thy wants? Dost thou want another eye beside that of Him who sees every secret thing? Is His heart faint? Is His arm weary? If so, seek another God; but if He be infinite, omnipotent, faithful, true, and all-wise, why gaddest thou abroad so much to seek another confidence?
Why dost thou rake the earth to find another foundation, when this is strong enough to bear all the weight which thou canst ever build thereon? Christian, mix not only thy wine with water, do not alloy thy gold of faith with the dross of human confidence. Wait thou only upon God, and let thine expectation be from Him. Covet not Jonah's gourd, but rest in Jonah's God. Let the sandy foundations of terrestrial trust be the choice of fools, but do thou, like one who foresees the storm, build for thyself an abiding place upon the Rock of Ages.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Nina and I spent this past President's Day Weekend along the Mendocino Coast. One of my goals for the trip was to take pictures for subject matter for my oil painting hobby. While taking pictures along the Navarro River...
Update: February 22, 2013. Today, I cleared a call on Colby St. in Oakland (a not too common location for my company to send me) and was put on lunch so I punched up Tara’s Organic Ice Cream, Berkeley in Google maps. It was TWO BLOCKS away.
So I went on over, ordered the Sunflower Butter and had the Rosemary Pear at the server's suggestion in the $3.25 size cup. NICE PEARING. After the aromatically nuanced Rosemary Pear, the Sunflower Butter flavor (an exotic riff on the more pedestrian but justly popular peanut butter) baptizes your tastebuds in the better angels of salted sunflower seeds. The pricing and serving size lend themselves to moderation in the consumption of these miraculous concoctions, but I think that adds value to the experience. End of update.