Evening, December 18, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“Know well the condition of your flocks, and pay attention to your herds.” — Proverbs 27:23

Every wise merchant will occasionally hold an inventory, when he will look up his accounts, examine what he has on hand, and ascertain decisively whether his trade is prosperous or declining. Every man who is wise in the kingdom of heaven, will cry, “Search me, O God, and try me,” and he will frequently set apart special seasons for self-examination, to discover whether things are right between God and his soul. The God whom we worship is a great heart-searcher; and of old his servants knew him as “the Lord which searches the heart and tries the reins of the children of men.” Let me stir you up in his name to make a diligent search and solemn evaluation of your state, in case you come short of the promised rest. That which every wise man does, that which God himself does with us all, I exhort you to do with yourself this evening. Let the oldest believer look clearly to the fundamentals of his virtue, for grey heads may cover black hearts: and do not let the young professor despise the word of warning, for the freshness of youth may be joined to the rottenness of hypocrisy. Every now and then a cedar falls into our midst. The enemy still continues to sow tares among the wheat. It is not my aim to introduce doubts and fears into your mind —certainly not—but I shall hope rather that the rough wind of self-examination may help to drive them away. It is not security, but worldly security, which we would kill; not confidence, but self-confidence, which we would overthrow; not peace, but false peace, which we would destroy. By the precious blood of Christ—which was not shed to make you a hypocrite, but that sincere souls might show forth his praise—I beseech you: Search and look, for fear that at the last it be said of you, “Mene, Mene, Tekel: You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.”