Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Charles Spurgeon’

God has spoken to us, let us speak to God  (1)

While you will always hear more from listening, those who love you want to know what is on your heart.

Praying is letting God know what is on your heart.

When I counsel couples whose marriages are in trouble, I am amazed at how much pain each person bears silently.  Anger is easily expressed, but hurt, pain, longing, the emotions which lay heavy the heart, are often suppressed.

Oh, but what a blessing when someone speaks from the heart, pouring out their longing and grief, not in rage, but in tears.  Whole marriages change in these precious moments.

I marvel at the tenderness offered when a spouse speaks from the heart.  The harsh words of anger and blame are covered and washed away with the soothing oil of compassionate words and consolation.

Speaking to God from the heart, praying, allows us to hear tender words of grace, forgiveness, and love from God.

If we want to hear the whispers of God’s love, we must speak to Him from  our heart.

What a privilege is intimate communion with the Father of our spirits! (1)

What a shame that so many of us turn from this privilege.

Pray to God and your soul will grow rich.

Pray and He will speak to you.  He will tell you of His love.  He will guide you through the valley.  He will lead you to still water.

There is nothing more precious than the whispers of lovers.

“Pray without ceasing.” Ephesians 6:18

+++

  1. Charles H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening : Daily Readings, Complete and unabridged; New modern edition. (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2006).
Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Give us this day our daily bread.

Matthew 6:11

Which of these options would you choose, if you had the opportunity: 1.) Save as much money as you could for retirement and hope it will last, or; 2.) Accept God’s promise to provide what you need each day for the rest of your life.

Considering the performance of my investments the past three years, the current value of these investments, and my potential retirement income, the latter of the two options is more appealing everyday.

While I have more than 95% of the rest of the world and perhaps more than many in America, I spend excessive time worrying about my future finances.  I have a roof over my head, clothes on my back, and food in the pantry, yet I drain today in worry for the future.

Why am I worried?

Isn’t a daily portion is all that a person really needs?

Hasn’t God provided the ways and means for me this far?  Won’t He continue to do so into His eternity?

Charles Spurgeon wrote:

“We do not need tomorrow’s supplies; that day has not yet dawned, and its wants are as yet unborn.  Sufficient for the day is all that we can enjoy.

One staff aids a traveller, but a bundle of staves is a heavy burden. 

Enough is not only as good as a feast, but is all that the greatest glutton can truly enjoy.

We have a sure portion, a portion given us of the King, a gracious portion, and a perpetual portion. Here is surely ground for thankfulness.” (1)

Too frequently, we burden ourselves with worry for tomorrow, when God has proven His daily provision for today.  We do this naturally because we can never guarantee our tomorrow no matter how much we have in our storehouse.

The only security we can have is that which is secured by the grace of God.

You will never go hungry when you sit at the table of God’s mercy, where He provides you the daily bread of His eternal grace.

“God shall supply all your need according to His riches”

Philippians 4:19

+++++

(1)  Charles H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening : Daily Readings, Complete and unabridged; New modern edition. (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2006).

Read Full Post »

This is the day the Lord has made, 

let us rejoice and be glad in it.  

Psalm 118:24

How is it with your heart this morning? (1)

When I wake up my mind is either racing ahead through the day’s agenda or still in a daze wondering how the night slipped by so quickly.  I cannot remember ever assessing the state of my heart when the alarm goes off.

Would my day be any different, if I imagined God asking me this question when I arose, “Rus, how is it with your heart this morning?”

If I answered:

  • “Lord, my heart is anxious for the day …..
  • “Lord, my heart is weary from burdens ….
  • “Lord, my heart is troubled by yesterday’s news ….

Wouldn’t God respond with these words?

  • “Seek me first …
  • “Come to me all you who are weary ….
  • “Be still and know that I am God ….

I believe He would.

His words, His presence, His compassion would fill my heart.  Then my day would be different because it began with words from my Lord.

Joseph Parker once wrote, “The face is made every day by its morning prayer.” (2)

—-

(1) Charles H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening. (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2006).
(2) Samuel G. Hardman and Dwight Lyman Moody, Thoughts for the Quiet Hour (Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing, 1998).

Read Full Post »

“Confession is one of God’s ways

of strengthening us in our faith.” (1)

I have always found confession to be a humbling experience.  Thus, when I read Hannah Smith’s declaration that confession strengthens our faith, I took pause.

My aversion to confession is natural, as I assume it is for all.  Three childhood sins remain vivid in my memory.

I forged a school note, twice, once with my Dad’s signature and then with my Mom’s.  After the second attempt at my crime, the school called home.  Since Dad was at work and Mom could not hear, my oldest brother had the delight of reporting the news of my sin to Mom.  I still remember my tears and shame when I had to confess to Mom face-to-face.  She responded with tender grace.

After a heated discussion with my other brother, I accidentally caused a sharp object to tear through a painting my Mom had been working on for months.  I waited in wretched fear of having to tell my Mom what happened.  To have died first would have been easier.  Surprisingly, she was thrilled to hear the news.  The painting had been a pain-in-the-_____ to her and she was glad to be done with it.  At least that is what she told me.

The third sin has yet to be confessed, unless a childhood buddy broke our blood-vow not of silence.  I was for confession, but my buddies were not.  Even then I knew secret sins eventually became known.  The sin?  My buddies and I caused a fire inside of a friend’s playhouse, burning the furnishings.  My buddies lived in fear that if we confessed, we would have been dead meat.  Thus the blood-vow which, I confess I just broke.

My Mom covered my sin and shame with her grace.  It was not what expected.  I still carry the shame of the third sin. Perhaps this is why I now more easily confess my sins.

I prefer grace to shame, even punishment is better than shame.

In his first letter, John writes:

“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (2)

God greets our confessed sin with grace.

Confession does not lessen the severity of sin, but it does lighten the load of sin.  God, in His grace, removes the dead weight of our sin and restores us to life, temporal and eternal.

Sin does affects us, as this bit of poetry suggests:

Sin has been hammering my heart

Unto a hardness, void of love … (3)

Hannah Smith knew what she is talking about.  Sin confessed in shame finds strength when it is placed on the cross of God’s grace.

——-

(1) Hannah Smith, The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life  (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).
(2)  The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), 1 Jn 1:8–9.
(3)  Charles H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening : Daily Readings, Complete and unabridged; New modern edition. (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2006).

Read Full Post »

Touch Fouls

All sin and fall short of the glory of God

Romans 3:23

The Lord has been teaching me about my utter weakness in the presence of temptation. I have grown significantly in knowledge, but I have not grown in grace and feel that I actually don’t have any more power over sin than when I was first converted.

Hannah Smith, The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).

Is Hannah Smith alluding to the fact that she is committing a growing number of hideous sins?  I doubt it.  Most likely, she has recognized that despite her best effort to be a faithful Christian, she still sins on a regular basis.  Her sins, rather than hideous and blatant, would be best described as touch fouls in a basketball game.

Touch fouls are those minor bumps between basketball players, while technically a foul, do not affect the play of the game.  This is why commentators refer to them as play on fouls – no harm, no whistle, keep playing.

Every Christian, no matter how devout, commits touch foul sins daily.  If we remember Romans 3:23, then we should not be surprised by them.  Neither should they frighten us.

Charles Spurgeon wrote: “Once saved, sin will never get the upper hand so as to be absolute monarch of our nature.”  (Morning and Evening: Daily Readings, Peabody, MA, Hendrickson Publishers, 2006)

If we are committing flagrant fouls over and over, then we should be alarmed that sin, not God, has dominion over us.

Hannah Smith is correct, we do not have power over sin.  But God does.  This is why Christians pray, “Lead us not into temptation.”  We deal with sin by calling upon God’s power, rather than relying upon our own.

If Jesus reigns in your heart, your sin is on-the-ropes.


Read Full Post »

I pray that you, being rooted and established in love

may grasp the love of Christ. 

Ephesians 3:17, 18

Love is the very heart and essence of God, not only for the lovely but for the vilest of sinners.  If the New Testament teaches us anything, it teaches us about God’s love in searching for lost men.

As we mature in the Christian faith, we begin to realize that every situation that comes our way is an opportunity for God’s love to be made more evident in our lives.

Kenneth W. Osbeck, Amazing Grace : 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Kregel Publications, 1990), 44.

God’s Redemptive Love vs Moral Love

When a merely moral man or woman comes in contact with baseness and immorality and treachery, the recoil is so desperately offensive to human goodness that the heart shuts up in despair. The marvel of the Redemptive Reality of God is that the worst and the vilest can never get to the bottom of His love.

Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest : Selections for the Year (Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers, 1993).

The Soul where Love Reigns

God’s love … causes us to act in respect to God continually, without hesitation, straight forward, without reflections; and supremely, without complicated intentions, motives or designs with a single eye to the good pleasure of God.

Love …  towards a neighbor, is to act with frankness, without affectation; with sincerity without disguise, and with liberty, without constraint. As an infant loves mother.

Hannah Whitall Smith and Melvin Easterday Dieter, The Christian’s Secret of a Holy Life : The Unpublished Personal Writings of Hannah Whitall Smith (Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997).

Love the World, for God

Love the world to do it good, giving your tears to its sufferings, your pity to its sorrows, your wealth to its wants, your prayers to its miseries, and to its fields of charity, and philanthropy, and Christian piety, your powers and hours of labor. You cannot live without affecting it, or being affected by it. You will make the world better, or it will make you worse.

God help you by His grace and Holy Spirit so to live in the world as to live above it, and look beyond it; and so to love it that when you leave it, you may leave it better than you found it.

Samuel G. Hardman and Dwight Lyman Moody, Thoughts for the Quiet Hour (Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing, 1998).

My Debt of Love is Paid from the Paid Debt of  My Sin

I am a debtor to God’s grace and forgiving mercy; but I am no debtor to his justice, for he will never accuse me of a debt already paid.

Christ, to the uttermost, has satisfied divine justice; the account is settled; the handwriting is nailed to the cross; the receipt is given, and we are debtors to God’s justice no longer.

Because we are not debtors to our Lord in that sense, we become ten times more debtors to God than we should have been otherwise. Thou art as deep in debt as thou canst be to every attribute of God. To God thou owest thyself, and all thou hast—yield thyself as a living sacrifice, it is but thy reasonable service.

Charles H. Spurgeon, Morning and Evening : Daily Readings, Complete and unabridged; New modern edition. (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2006).

Read Full Post »

Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen. 

2 Peter 3:18

My child, I have a message for you today. Let me whisper it in your ear so any storm clouds that may arise will shine with glory, and the rough places you may have to walk will be made smooth. It is only four words, but let them sink into your inner being, and use them as a pillow to rest your weary head. “This is my doing.” (1 Kings 12:24)  (For further reflection on this quote click here.)

Reimann, Jim; Cowman, Mrs. Charles E. (2008-09-02).

Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (p. 56).

Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

Follow me one step at a time. That is all I require of you. In fact, that is the only way to move through this space/time world.  Keep your mind on the present journey, enjoying My Presence. Walk by faith, not by sight, trusting Me to open up the way before you.

Young, Sarah (2004-10-12).

Jesus Calling: Seeking Peace in His Presence (p. 34).

Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.

Spurgeon writes: “A prayerless soul is a Christless soul. Prayer is the lisping of the believing infant, the shout of the fighting believer, the requiem of the dying saint falling asleep in Jesus.”

Dwight Lyman Moody,

Thoughts for the Quiet Hour

(Willow Grove, PA: Woodlawn Electronic Publishing, 1998).

A life devoid of Christ’s tender love for others, both fellow-believers and non-believers, can negate much of our Christian witness. Consciously leave time in your schedule to be responsive to the needs of another. Share Christ and His love with them.

Kenneth W. Osbeck,

Amazing Grace : 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions

(Grand Rapids, Mich.: Kregel Publications, 1990), 42.

Swimming lessons are better than a lifeline to the shore.  (For further reflection on this quote click here)

Lewis, C. S. (2009-03-17).

A Year with C. S. Lewis (p. 37).

Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: