Evening, June 12

Evening, June 12, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“Who saved us and called us to a holy calling.” — 2 Timothy 1:9

The apostle uses the perfect tense and says, “Who saved us.” Believers in Christ Jesus are saved. They are not looked upon as persons who are in a hopeful state, and may ultimately be saved, but they are already saved. Salvation is not a blessing to be enjoyed upon the death bed, and to be sung of in a future state above, but a matter to be obtained, received, promised, and enjoyed now. The Christian is perfectly saved in God’s purpose; God has ordained him to salvation, and that purpose is complete. He is saved also accordingly as to the price which has been paid for him: “It is finished” was the cry of the Savior before he died. The believer is also perfectly saved through his covenant with his Head, for as he fell in Adam, so he lives in Christ. This complete salvation is accompanied by a holy calling. Those whom the Savior saved upon the cross are in due time successfully called by the power of God the Holy Spirit to holiness: they leave their sins; they endeavor to be like Christ; they choose holiness, not out of any compulsion, but from the conforming to a new nature, which leads them to rejoice in holiness just as naturally as in times past they delighted in sin. God neither chose them nor called them because they were holy, but he called them that they might be holy, and holiness is the beauty produced by his workmanship in them. The excellent characteristics which we see in a believer are as much the work of God as the atonement itself. In this manner the fulness of the grace of God is brought out very beautifully. Salvation must be of grace, because the Lord is the author of it: and what motive but grace could move him to save the guilty? Salvation must be of grace, because the Lord works in such a manner that our righteousness is forever excluded. Such is the believer’s privilege—a present salvation; such is the evidence that he is called to it—a holy life.

Morning, June 12

Morning, June 12, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“You have been weighed in the balances and found wanting.” — Daniel 5:27

It is wise to frequently weigh ourselves in the scale of God’s Word. You will find it a holy exercise to read some psalm of David, and, as you meditate upon each verse, to ask yourself, “Can I say this? Have I felt as David felt? Has my heart ever been broken on account of my sin, as his was when he penned his psalms of repentance? Has my soul been full of sure confidence in the hour of difficulty, as his was when he sang of God’s mercies in the cave of Adullam, or in the holds of Engedi? Do I take the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord?” Then turn to the life of Christ, and as you read, ask yourselves how far you are conformed to his likeness. Endeavour to discover whether you have the meekness, the humility, the lovely spirit which he constantly instilled and displayed. Take then Paul’s epistles, and see whether you can go along with the apostle in what he said of his experience. Have you ever cried out as he did—”Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?” Have you ever felt his self-abasement? Have you considered yourself the chief of sinners, and less than the least of all saints? Have you known anything of his devotion? Could you join with him and say, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain?” If we accordingly read God’s Word as a test of our spiritual condition, we shall have good reason to stop many a time and say, “Lord, I feel I have never yet been here, O bring me here! Give me true repentance, such as this I read of. Give me real faith; give me warmer zeal; inflame me with more fervent love; grant me the grace of meekness; make me more like Jesus. Let me no longer be found wanting, when weighed in the balances of the sanctuary, lest I be found wanting in the scales of judgment.” Remember, “But if we judged ourselves rightly, we would not be judged.”

Evening, June 11

Evening, June 11, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“There he broke the flashing arrows, the shield, the sword, and the weapons of war.” — Psalm 76:3

Our Redeemer’s glorious cry of “It is finished,” was the death-knell of all the adversaries of his people, the breaking of “the flashing arrows, the shield, the sword, and the weapons of war.” Behold the hero of Golgotha using his cross as an anvil, and his woes as a hammer, dashing to splinters bundle after bundle of our sins, those poisoned “arrows of the bow;” trampling on every indictment, and destroying every accusation. What glorious blows the mighty Breaker gives with a hammer far more extraordinary than the fabled weapon of Thor! How the diabolical darts fly into fragments, and the infernal shields are broken like potters’ vessels! Behold, he draws from its sheath of hellish workmanship the dread sword of Satanic power! He snaps it across his knee, as a man breaks the dry wood of a stick, and casts it into the fire. Beloved, no sin of a believer can now be an arrow to wound him mortally, no condemnation can now be a sword to kill him, for the punishment of our sin was borne by Christ; a full atonement was made for all our iniquities by our blessed Substitute and Surety. Who now accuses? Who now condemns? Christ has died, yes, rather, has risen again. Jesus has emptied the quivers of hell, has quenched every fiery dart, and broken off the head of every arrow of wrath; the ground is strewn with the splinters and relics of the weapons of hell’s warfare, which are only visible to us to remind us of our former danger, and of our great deliverance. Sin has no more dominion over us. Jesus has made an end of it and put it away forever. O enemy, your destructive forces are come to a perpetual end. You who make mention of his name, talk of all the wondrous works of the Lord: do not be silent, neither by day, nor when the sun goes to his rest. Bless the Lord, O my soul.

Morning, June 11

Morning, June 11, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“We love because he first loved us.” — 1 John 4:19

There is no natural light on the planet except that which proceeds from the sun; and there is no true love to Jesus in the heart but that which comes from the Lord Jesus himself. From this overflowing fountain of the infinite love of God, all our love to God must spring. This must always be a great and absolute truth, that we love him for no other reason than because he first loved us. Our love to him is the pleasant offspring of his love to us. Anyone may have cold admiration, when studying the works of God, but the warmth of love can only be kindled in the heart by God’s Spirit. How great a wonder it is that we should ever have been brought to love Jesus at all! How marvelous it is that when we had rebelled against him, he should, by a display of such amazing love, seek to draw us back. Indeed, we never would have had a grain of love towards God unless it had been sown in us by the precious seed of his love to us. Love, then, has for its parent the love of God shed abroad in the heart: but after it is accordingly divinely born, it must be divinely nourished. Love is an exotic flower; it is not a plant which will flourish naturally in human soil, it must be watered from above. Love to Jesus is a flower of a delicate nature, and it would soon wither if it received no nourishment except that which could be drawn from the rock of our hearts. As love comes from heaven, so it must feed on heavenly bread. It cannot exist in the wilderness unless it be fed by manna from on high. Love must feed on love. The very soul and life of our love to God is his love to us.

“I love thee, Lord, but with no love of mine,

For I have none to give;

I love thee, Lord; but all the love is thine,

For by thy love I live.

I am as nothing, and rejoice to be

Emptied, and lost, and swallowed up in thee.”

Evening, June 10

Evening, June 10, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“It is these that testify about Me.” — John 5:39

Jesus Christ is the Alpha and Omega of the Bible. He is the constant theme of its sacred pages; from first to last they testify of him. At the creation we immediately discern him as one of the sacred Trinity; we catch a glimpse of him in the promise of the woman’s offspring; we see him modeled in the ark of Noah; we walk with Abraham, as he foresees Messiah’s day; we dwell in the tents of Isaac and Jacob, feeding upon the gracious promise; we hear the venerable Israel talking of Shiloh; and in the numerous types of the law, we find the Redeemer abundantly foreshadowed. Prophets and kings, priests and preachers, all look one way—they all stand as the cherubs did over the ark, desiring to look within, and to read the mystery of God’s great propitiation. Even more manifestly in the New Testament we find our Lord the one pervading subject. It is not an nugget here and there, or dust of gold thinly scattered, but here you stand upon a solid floor of gold; for the whole substance of the New Testament is Jesus crucified, and even its closing sentence is bejeweled with the Redeemer’s name. We should always read Scripture in this light; we should consider the word to be as a mirror into which Christ looks down from heaven; and then we, looking into it, see his face reflected as in a glass—darkly, it is true, but still in such a way as to be a blessed preparation for seeing him as we shall soon see him face to face. This volume contains Jesus Christ’s letters to us, perfumed by his love. These pages are the garments of our King, and they all smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia. Scripture is the royal chariot in which Jesus rides, and it is paved with love for the daughters of Jerusalem. The Scriptures are the swaddling clothes of the holy child Jesus; unroll them and you find your Savior. The quintessence of the word of God is Christ.

Editor’s note:  Propitiation: appeasement; or atonement; or, substitutionary sacrifice.

Morning, June 10

Morning, June 10, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

We live for the Lord.” — Romans 14:8

If God had willed it, each of us might have entered heaven at the moment of conversion. It was not absolutely necessary for our preparation for immortality that we should remain here. It is possible for a man to be taken to heaven, and to be found suitable to be a participant of the inheritance of the saints in light, though he has but just believed in Jesus. It is true that our sanctification is a long and continued process, and we shall not be perfected till we lay aside our bodies and enter within the veil; but nevertheless, had the Lord so willed it, he might have changed us from imperfection to perfection, and have taken us to heaven at once. Why then are we here? Would God keep his children out of paradise a single moment longer than was necessary? Why is the army of the living God still on the battlefield when one charge might give them the victory? Why are his children still wandering back and forth through a maze, when a solitary word from his lips would bring them into the center of their hopes in heaven? The answer is—they are here that they may “live for the Lord,” and may bring others to know his love. We remain on earth as sowers to scatter good seed; as plowmen to break up the fallow ground; as heralds publishing salvation. We are here as the “salt of the earth,” to be a blessing to the world. We are here to glorify Christ in our daily life. We are here as workers for him, and as “workers together with him.” Let us see that our life answers its end. Let us live earnest, useful, holy lives, to “the praise of the glory of his grace.” Meanwhile we long to be with him, and daily sing–

“My heart is with him on his throne,

And ill can brook delay;

Each moment listening for the voice,

Rise up, and come away.'”

Evening, June 9

Evening, June 9, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“Search the Scriptures.” — John 5:39

The Greek word here rendered search signifies a strict, close, diligent, curious search, such as men make when they are seeking gold, or hunters when they are in earnest pursuing after game. We must not rest content with having given a superficial reading to a chapter or two, but with the candle of the Spirit we must deliberately seek out the hidden meaning of the word. Holy Scripture requires searching—much of it can only be learned by careful study. There is milk for babes, but also meat for strong men. The rabbis wisely say that a mountain of matter hangs upon every word, yes, even upon every title of Scripture. Tertullian exclaims, “I adore the fulness of the Scriptures.” No man who merely skims the book of God can profit in so doing; we must dig and mine until we obtain the hidden treasure. The door of the word only opens to the key of diligence. The Scriptures demand searching. They are the writings of God, bearing the divine stamp and endorsement—who shall dare to treat them with levity? He who despises them despises the God who wrote them. God forbid that any of us should let our Bibles become swift witnesses against us in the great day of account. The word of God will repay searching. God does not call us to sift a mountain of chaff with here and there a grain of wheat in it, but the Bible is winnowed wheat—we have only but to open the granary door and find it. Scripture grows upon the student. It is full of surprises. Under the teaching of the Holy Spirit, to the searching eye it glows with splendor of revelation, like a vast temple paved with wrought gold, and roofed with rubies, emeralds, and all manner of gems. No merchandise is like the merchandise of Scriptural truth. Lastly, the Scriptures reveal Jesus: “It is these that testify about Me.” No more powerful motive can be urged upon Bible readers than this: he who finds Jesus finds life, heaven, and all things. Happy is he who, searching his Bible, discovers his Savior.

Morning, June 9

Morning, June 9, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad.” — Psalm 126:3

Some Christians, sadly, are prone to look on the dark side of everything, and to dwell more upon what they have gone through than upon what God has done for them. Ask for their impression of the Christian life, and they will describe their continual conflicts, their deep afflictions, their sad adversities, and the sinfulness of their hearts, yet with scarcely any reference to the mercy and help which God has bestowed them. But a Christian whose soul is in a healthy state will come forward joyously, and say, “I will speak, not about myself, but to the honor of my God. He has brought me up out of an horrible pit, and out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my paths: and he has put a new song in my mouth, even praise to our God. The Lord has done great things for me, whereof I am glad.” Such a summary of experience as this is the very best that any child of God can present. It is true that we endure trials, but it is just as true that we are delivered out of them. It is true that we have our corruptions, and mournfully do we know this, but it is quite as true that we have an all-sufficient Savior, who overcomes these corruptions, and delivers us from their dominion. In looking back, it would be wrong to deny that we have been in the Slough of Despond, and have crept along the Valley of Humiliation, but it would be equally wicked to forget that we have been through them safely and profitably; we have not remained in them, thanks to our Almighty Helper and Leader, who has brought us “out into a wealthy place.” The deeper our troubles, the louder our thanks to God, who has led us through all, and preserved us until now. Our griefs cannot mar the melody of our praise, we reckon them to be the bassline of our life’s song, “The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad.”

Evening, June 8, Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

Evening, June 8, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“Now you shall see whether My word will come true for you or not.” — Numbers 11:23

God had made a positive promise to Moses that for the space of a whole month he would feed the vast multitude in the wilderness with meat. Moses, being overtaken by a fit of unbelief, looks to the outward methods, and is at a loss to know how the promise can be fulfilled. He looked to the creature instead of the Creator. But does the Creator expect the creature to fulfil his promise for him? No—he who makes the promise always fulfils it by his own unaided omnipotence. If he speaks, it is done—done by himself. His promises do not depend for their fulfilment upon the cooperation of the puny strength of man. We can at once perceive the mistake which Moses made. And yet how commonly we do the same! God has promised to supply our needs, and we look to the creature to do what God has promised to do; and then, because we perceive the creature to be weak and ineffective, we indulge in unbelief. Why look we to that quarter at all? Will you look to the north pole to gather fruits ripened in the sun? Truly, this is no more foolish than when you look to the weak for strength, and to the creature to do the Creator’s work. Let us, then, put the question on the right footing. The grounds for faith are not the sufficiency of the visible means for the performance of the promise, but the all-sufficiency of the invisible God, who will most surely do as he has said. If after clearly seeing that the onus lies with the Lord and not with the creature, we still dare to indulge in mistrust, the question of God comes home mightily to us: “Is the LORD’S power limited?” May it happen that in his mercy, the question there may be answered in our souls with that blessed declaration, “Now you shall see whether My word will come true for you or not.”

Morning, June 8, Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

Morning, June 8, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“For many fell slain, because the war was of God.”— Chronicles 5:22

Observe this verse with holy joy, you warrior fighting under the banner of the Lord Jesus, for it is now as it was in the days of old; if the war is of God the victory is sure. The sons of Reuben, and the Gadites, and the half tribe of Manasseh could barely muster forty-five thousand fighting men, and yet in their war with the Hagarites, they slew a hundred thousand men, “for they cried out to God in the battle, and He answered their prayers because they trusted in Him.” The Lord saves not by many nor by few; it is our duty to go forth in Jehovah’s name even if we are only a handful of men, for the Lord of Hosts is with us for our Captain. They did not neglect shield, and sword, and bow, neither did they place their trust in these weapons; we must use all appropriate means, but our confidence must rest in the Lord alone, for he is the sword and the shield of his people. The great reason of their extraordinary success lay in the fact that “the war was of God.” Beloved, in fighting with sin without and within, with error doctrinal or practical, with spiritual wickedness in high places or low places, with devils and the devil’s allies, you are waging Jehovah’s war, and unless he himself can be bested, you need not fear defeat. Do not quail before superior numbers, do not shrink from difficulties or impossibilities, do not flinch at wounds or death; strike with the two-edged sword of the Spirit, and the slain shall lie in heaps. The battle is the Lord’s and he will deliver his enemies into our hands. With steadfast foot, strong hand, dauntless heart, and flaming zeal, rush to the conflict, and the hosts of evil shall fly like chaff before the gale.

Stand up! stand up for Jesus! The strife will not be long;

This day the noise of battle, The next the victor’s song:

To him that overcometh, A crown of life shall be;

He with the King of glory Shall reign eternally.

Evening, June 7, Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

Evening, June 7, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“Be zealous.” — Revelation 3:19

If you wish to see souls converted, if you desire to hear the cry that “the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ;” if you would place crowns upon the head of the Savior, and see his throne lifted high, then be filled with zeal. For, under God, the way of the world’s conversion must be by the zeal of the church. Every form of grace shall achieve exploits, but this one shall be first; prudence, knowledge, patience, and courage will follow in their places, but zeal must lead at the forefront. It is not the extent of your knowledge, though that is useful; it is not the extent of your talent, though that is not to be despised; it is your zeal that shall achieve exploits. This zeal is the fruit of the Holy Spirit: it draws its vital force from the continued operations of the Holy Spirit in the soul. If our inner life dwindles, if our heart beats slowly before God, we shall not experience zeal; but if all is strong and vigorous within us, then we cannot help but feel a loving anxiety to see the kingdom of Christ come, and his will done on earth, even as it is in heaven. A deep sense of gratitude will nourish Christian zeal. Looking to the hole of the pit from where we were dug, we find abundant reason why we should spend and be spent for God. And zeal is also stimulated by the thought of the eternal future. It looks with tearful eyes down to the flames of hell, and it cannot slumber: it looks up with anxious gaze to the glories of heaven, and it cannot help but rouse itself. It feels that time is short compared with the work to be done, and therefore it devotes all that it has to the cause of its Lord. And it is forever strengthened by the remembrance of Christ’s example. He was clothed with zeal as with a cloak. How swift the chariot wheels of duty went with him! He knew no loitering along the way. Let us prove that we are his disciples by manifesting the same spirit of zeal.

Morning, June 7, Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

Morning, June 7, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“Hate evil, you who love the Lord.” — Psalm 97:10

You have good reason to “hate evil;” only consider what harm it has already brought you. Oh, what a world of mischief sin has brought into your heart! Sin blinded you so that you could not see the beauty of the Savior; it made you deaf so that you could not hear the Redeemer’s tender invitations. Sin turned your feet into the path of death and poured poison into the very fountain of your being; it tainted your heart, and made it “more deceitful than all else and desperately sick.” Oh, what a creature you were when evil had done its utmost with you, before divine grace intervened! You were an heir of wrath even as others; you “followed the masses in doing evil.” Such were all of us; but Paul reminds us, “you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” We have good reason, indeed, for hating evil when we look back and trace its deadly workings. Such mischief did evil do to us, so much so that our souls would have been lost had not omnipotent love intervened to redeem us. Even now it is an active enemy, always watching to do us harm, and to drag us to perdition. Therefore “hate evil,” O Christians, unless you desire trouble. If you would strew your path with thorns, and plant thistles in your deathbed’s pillow, then neglect to “hate evil:” but if you would live a happy life, and die a peaceful death, then walk in all the ways of holiness, hating evil, even to the end. If you truly love your Savior, and would honor him, then “hate evil.” We know of no cure for the love of evil in a Christian like abundant interaction with the Lord Jesus. Dwell often with him, and it is impossible for you to be at peace with sin.

“Order my footsteps by thy Word,

And make my heart sincere;

Let sin have no dominion, Lord,

But keep my conscience clear.”

Evening, June 6

Evening, June 6, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“Are they Israelites? So am I.” — 2 Corinthians 11:22

We have here a personal claim, and one that demands proof. The apostle knew that his claim was indisputable, but there are many persons who claim to belong to the Israel of God yet have no right to the title. If we are declaring with confidence, “So am I also an Israelite,” let us only say it after having searched our heart as in the presence of God. But if we can give proof that we are following Jesus, if we can from the heart say, “I trust him wholly, trust him only, trust him simply, trust him now, and trust him always,” then the position which the saints of God hold belongs to us—all their enjoyments are our possessions; we may be the very least in Israel, “the very least of all saints,” yet since the mercies of God belong to the saints as humble saints, and not as advanced saints, or well-taught saints, we may put in our appeal, and say, “Are they Israelites? so am I; therefore the promises are mine, grace is mine, glory will be mine.” The claim, rightfully made, is one which will yield tremendous comfort. When God’s people are rejoicing that they are his, what joy they have if they can say, “So am I!” When they speak of being pardoned, and justified, and accepted in the Beloved, how joyful to respond, “Through the grace of God, so am I.” But this claim not only has its enjoyments and privileges, but also its conditions and duties. We must share with God’s people in storm and shadow as well as in sunshine. When we hear them spoken of with contempt and ridicule for being Christians, we must come boldly forward and say, “So am I.” When we see them working for Christ, giving their time, their talent, their whole heart to Jesus, we must be able to say, “So do I.” O, let us prove our gratitude by our devotion, and live as those who, having claimed a privilege, are willing to take the responsibility connected with it.

Morning, June 6

Morning, June 6, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“Behold, I am vile.” (KJV) — Job 40:4

One encouraging word for you, poor lost sinner! You think you cannot come to God because you are vile. Now, there is not a saint living on earth that has not felt that he is vile. If Job, and Isaiah, and Paul were all obliged to say, “I am vile,” oh, poor sinner, will you be ashamed to join in the same confession? If divine grace does not eradicate all sin from the believer, how do you hope to do it yourself? And if God loves his people while they are still vile, do you think your vileness will prevent his loving you? Believe on Jesus, you outcast of the world’s society! Jesus calls you, and just as you are.

“Not the righteous, not the righteous;

Sinners, Jesus came to call.”

Even now say, “You have died for sinners; I am a sinner, Lord Jesus, sprinkle your blood on me;” if you will confess your sin you shall find pardon. If, now, with all your heart, you will say, “I am vile, wash me,” you shalt be washed now. If the Holy Spirit shall enable you from your heart to cry,

“Just as I am, without one plea

But that thy blood was shed for me,

And that thou bidd’st me come to thee,

O Lamb of God, I come,”

you shall rise from reading this morning’s portion with all your sins pardoned; and though you woke this morning with every sin that man has ever committed on your head, you shall rest tonight accepted in the Beloved; though once degraded with the rags of sin, you shalt be adorned with a robe of righteousness, and appear white as the angels are. For “now,” mark it, “Now is the accepted time.” If you “believe on him who justifies the ungodly you are saved.” Oh! May the Holy Spirit give you saving faith in him who receives the vilest.

Evening, June 5

Evening, June 5, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“The one who does not love does not know God.” — 1 John 4:8

The distinguishing mark of a Christian is his confidence in the love of Christ, and the yielding of his affection to Christ in return. First, faith sets her seal upon the man by enabling the soul to say with the apostle, “Christ loved me and gave himself for me.” Then love gives the countersign, and stamps gratitude and love to Jesus upon the heart  in return. “We love him because he first loved us.” In the early church age, which is the heroic period of the Christian religion, this double mark was clearly to be seen in all believers in Jesus; they were men who knew the love of Christ, and rested upon it as a man leans upon a staff whose reliability he has tested. The love which they felt towards the Lord was not a quiet emotion which they hid within themselves in the secret chamber of their souls. It was not love only spoken of in their private assemblies when they met on the first day of the week, and when they sang hymns in honor of Christ Jesus the crucified; it was a passion with them of such a vehement and all-consuming energy that it was visible in all their actions, spoken in their everyday talk, and looked out of their eyes even in their common glances. Love to Jesus was a flame which fed upon the core and heart of their being; and, therefore, from its own force it burned its way into the outer man and shone there. Zeal for the glory of King Jesus was the seal and mark of all genuine Christians. Because of their dependence upon Christ’s love they risked much, and because of their love to Christ they did much, and it is the same now. The children of God are ruled in their inmost dominions by love—the love of Christ controls them; they rejoice that divine love is set upon them, they feel it being shed abroad in their hearts by the Holy Spirit, which is given to them, and then by force of gratitude they love the Savior with a pure heart, passionately. My reader, do you love him? Before you sleep give an honest answer to a weighty question!

Morning, June 5

Morning, June 5, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“The Lord closed it [the door of the ark] behind him.” — Genesis 7:16

Noah was shut in away from all the world by God’s hand of divine love. The door of divine purpose interposes itself between us and the world, which lies in the grip of the wicked one. We are not of the world even as our Lord Jesus was not of the world. Into the sin, the partying, the pursuits of the multitude we cannot enter; we cannot play in the streets of Vanity Fair with the children of darkness, for our heavenly Father has shut us in. Noah was shut in with his God. “Enter the ark,” was the Lord’s invitation, and he clearly showed that he himself intended to dwell in the ark with his servant and his family. Therefore, all the chosen dwell in God and God in them. They are happy people to be enclosed in the same circle which contains God in the Trinity of his persons, Father, Son, and Spirit. Let us never be inattentive to that gracious call, “Come, my people, enter into your rooms and close your doors behind you; hide for a little while until indignation runs its course.” Noah was so shut in that no evil could reach him. Floods did nothing but lift him heavenward, and winds did nothing but waft him on his way. Outside of the ark all was ruin, but inside all was rest and peace. Without Christ we perish, but in Christ Jesus there is perfect safety. Noah was so shut in that he could not even desire to come out, and those who are in Christ Jesus are in him forever. They shall go no more out forever, for eternal faithfulness has shut them in, and hellish malice cannot drag them out. The Prince of the house of David shuts and no man opens; and when in the last days, as Master of the house he shall rise up and shut the door, it will be useless for those who profess Christ in word only to knock, and cry Lord, Lord open to us; for that same door which shuts in the wise virgins will shut out the foolish forever. Lord, shut me in by your grace.

Evening, June 4

Evening, June 4, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“Taken up in glory.” — 1 Timothy 3:16

We have seen our cherished Lord in the days of his humanity, humiliated and sorely tormented; for he was “despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” He wore the sackcloth of sorrow as his daily dress, he whose brightness is as the morning: shame was his cloak, and reproach was his clothing. Yet now, in so much as he has triumphed over all the powers of darkness upon the bloody tree, our faith beholds our King returning with dyed garments from Edom, robed in the splendor of victory. How glorious must he have been in the eyes of seraphim, when a cloud received him out of mortal sight, and he ascended up to heaven! Now he wears the glory which he had with God before the earth began, and yet another glory above all—that one which he has well earned in the fight against sin, death, and hell. As victor he wears the illustrious crown. Hear how the song raises high! It is a new and pleasing song: “Worthy are You who was slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation!” He wears the glory of an Intercessor who can never fail, of a Prince who can never be defeated, of a Conqueror who has vanquished every foe, of a Lord who has the heart’s allegiance of every subject. Jesus wears all the glory which the splendor of heaven can bestow upon him, which ten thousand times ten thousand angels can minister to him. You cannot conceive of his surpassing greatness with your utmost stretch of imagination; yet there will be a further revelation of it when he shall descend from heaven in great power, with all the holy angels; “Then He will sit on His glorious throne.” Oh, the splendor of that glory! It will overwhelm his people’s hearts. Nor is this the conclusion, for eternity shall sound his praise, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever!” Reader, if you would rejoice in Christ’s glory for all time, he must be glorious in your sight now. Is he so?

Morning, June 4

Morning, June 4, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“The kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind.” — Titus 3:4

How wonderful it is to witness the Savior communing with his own beloved people! There can be nothing more delightful than, by the Divine Spirit, to be led into this fertile field of delight. Let the mind for an instant consider the history of the Redeemer’s love, and a thousand captivating acts of affection will suggest themselves, all of which have for their design the weaving of the heart into Christ, and the intertwisting of the thoughts and emotions of the renewed soul with the mind of Jesus. When we meditate upon this amazing love and behold the all-glorious Kinsman of the Church endowing her with all his ancient wealth, our souls may well faint for joy. Who is he that can endure such a weight of love? The Holy Spirit is sometimes pleased to afford a partial sense of it, which is more than the soul can contain; how thrilling must be a complete view of it! When the soul shall have understanding to discern all the Savior’s gifts, wisdom by which to estimate them, and time in which to meditate upon them—such as the world to come will afford us—we shall then commune with Jesus in a nearer manner than at present. But who can imagine the wonder of such fellowship? It must be one of the things “which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love him.” Oh, to see the doors of our Joseph’s storehouses burst open and see the abundance which he has stored up for us! This will overwhelm us with love. By faith we see now the reflected image of his unbounded treasures, as in a glass dimly, but when we shall actually see the heavenly things themselves, with our own eyes, how deep will be the stream of fellowship in which our soul shall bathe itself! Until then our loudest praise shall be reserved for our loving benefactor, Jesus Christ our Lord, whose love to us is wonderful, passing the love of women.

Evening, June 3

Evening, June 3, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“He humbled himself.” — Philippians 2:8

Jesus is the great teacher of meekness of heart. We need to learn from him daily. See the Master taking a towel and washing his disciples’ feet! Follower of Christ, will you not humble yourself? See him as the Servant of servants, and surely you cannot be proud! Is not this the summary of his biography: “He humbled himself?” On earth was he not always stripping off first one robe of honor and then another, until, naked, he was fastened to the cross, and when there did he not empty out his inmost self, pouring out his life-blood, giving up for all of us, until they laid him penniless in a borrowed grave? How low was our dear Redeemer brought! How then can we be proud? Stand at the foot of the cross, and count the purple drops by which you have been cleansed; see the crown of thorns; note his scourged shoulders, still gushing with crimson streams; see his hands and feet given up to the rough iron, and his whole being to mockery and scorn; see the bitterness, and the pangs, and the throes of inward grief, showing themselves in his outward frame; hear the terrible shriek, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And if you do not lie prostrate on the ground before that cross, you have never seen it: if you are not humbled in the presence of Jesus, you do not know him. You were so lost that nothing could save you but the sacrifice of God’s only begotten son. Think of that, and as Jesus stooped for you, bow yourself in humility at his feet. A sense of Christ’s amazing love to us has a greater tendency to humble us than even a consciousness of our own guilt. May the Lord bring us in contemplation to Calvary; then our position will no longer be that of the self-important man of pride, but we shall take the humble place of one who loves much because much has been forgiven him. Pride cannot live beneath the cross. Let us sit there and learn our lesson, and then rise and carry it into practice.

Morning, June 3

Morning, June 3, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“These were the potters and the inhabitants of Netaim and Gederah; they lived there with the king for his work.” — 1 Chronicles 4:23

Potters were not the very highest grade of workers, but “the king” needed potters, and therefore they were in royal service, although the material upon which they worked was nothing but clay. We, too, may be engaged in the most menial part of the Lord’s work, but it is a great privilege to do anything for “the king;” and therefore we will work and rest in our calling, hoping that, “when you lie down among the sheepfolds (pots, KJV), you are like the wings of a dove covered with silver, And its pinions with glistening gold.” These were laborers who dwelt among plants and hedges, having rough, rustic hedging and ditching work to do. They may have desired to live in the city, amid its life, society, and refinement, but they kept their appointed places, for they also were doing the king’s work. The place of our habitation is fixed, and we are not to depart from it out of whim and impulse, but seek to serve the Lord in it, by being a blessing to those among whom we reside. These potters and gardeners had royal company, for they dwelt “with the king” and although among hedges and plants, they dwelt with the king there. No lawful place, or gracious occupation, however lowly, can exclude us from communion with our divine Lord. In visiting shacks, crowded lodging-houses, bunkhouses, or jails, we may go with the king. In all works of faith we may count upon Jesus’ fellowship. It is when we are in his work that we may be sure of  his smile. You unknown workers who are occupied for your Lord amid the dirt and wretchedness of the lowest of the low, be of good cheer, for jewels have been found upon dunghills before now, earthen pots have been filled with heavenly treasure, and foul weeds have been transformed into precious flowers. Dwell with the King for his work, and when he writes his chronicles your name shall be recorded.

Evening, June 2

Evening, June 2, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“Good Master. “(KJV) — Matthew 19:16

If the young man in the gospel used this title in speaking to our Lord, how much more fittingly may I therefore address him! He is indeed my Master in both senses, a ruling Master and a teaching Master. I delight to run to do his errands, and to sit at his feet. I am both his servant and his disciple and count it my highest honor to own the double character. If he should ask me why I call him “good,” I should have a ready answer. It is true that “there is none good but one, that is, God,” but then he is God, and all the goodness of Deity shines forth in him. In my experience, I have found him good, so good, indeed, that all the good I have has come to me through him. He was good to me when I was dead in sin, for he raised me by his Spirit’s power; he has been good to me in all my needs, trials, struggles, and sorrows. There could never be a better Master, for his service is freedom, his rule is love: I wish I were one thousandth part as good a servant. When he teaches me as my Rabbi, he is unspeakably good, his doctrine is divine, his manner is down to my level, his spirit is gentleness itself. No error mingles with his instruction— the golden truth which he brings forth is pure, and all his teachings lead to goodness, sanctifying as well as edifying the disciple. Angels find him a good Master and delight to pay their homage at his footstool. The ancient saints proved him to be a good Master, and each of them rejoiced to sing, “I am your servant, O Lord!” My own humble testimony must certainly be to the same effect. I will bear this witness before my friends and neighbors, for possibly they may be led by my testimony to seek my Lord Jesus as their Master. O that they would do so! They would never regret so wise a deed. If they would only take his easy yoke, they would find themselves in such royal a service that they would enlist in it forever.

Morning, June 2

Morning, June 2, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh.” — Galatians 5:17

In every believer’s heart there is a constant struggle between the old nature and the new. The old nature is very active, and loses no opportunity of exercising all the weapons of its deadly armory against newborn grace; while on the other hand, the new nature is ever on the watch to resist and destroy its enemy. Grace within us will employ prayer, and faith, and hope, and love, to cast out the evil; it uses with it the “whole armor of God,” and wrestles earnestly. These two opposing natures will never cease to struggle so long as we are in this world. The battle of “Christian” with “Apollyon” in Pilgrim’s Progress lasted three hours, but the battle of Christian with himself lasted all the way from the Wicket Gate to the river Jordan. The enemy is so securely entrenched within us that he can never be driven out while we are in this body: but although we are directly assailed, and often in difficult conflict, we have an Almighty helper, even Jesus, the Captain of our salvation, who is always with us, and who assures us that we shall eventually succeed as more than conquerors through Him. With such assistance the newborn nature is more than a match for its foes. Are you fighting with the adversary today? Are Satan, the world, and the flesh, all against you? Do not be discouraged nor dismayed. Fight on! For God Himself is with you; Jehovah Nissi is your banner, and Jehovah Rophi is the healer of your wounds. Fear not, you shall overcome, for who can defeat Omnipotence? Fight on, “looking to Jesus;” and though the conflict will be long and stern, the victory will be sweet, and the promised reward glorious.

“From strength to strength go on;

Wrestle, and fight, and pray,

Tread all the powers of darkness down,

And win the well-fought day.”

Evening, June 1

Evening, June 1, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“And her wilderness He will make like Eden.” — Isaiah 51:3

I envision a howling wind in a wilderness, a great and terrible desert, likened to the Sahara. I perceive nothing in it to relieve the eye; all around I am wearied with a vision of hot and arid sand, strewn with ten thousand bleaching skeletons of wretched men who have expired in anguish, having lost their way in the unforgiving wasteland. What an appalling sight! How horrible! A sea of sand without bounds, and without an oasis, a cheerless graveyard for a forlorn race ! But behold and wonder! Springing up suddenly from the scorching sand I see a plant of distinction; and as it grows it buds, the bud expands—it is a rose, and at its side a lily bows its modest head; and, miracle of miracles, as the fragrance of those flowers is diffused the wilderness is transformed into a fruitful field! Everything around it blossoms extraordinarily, the glory of Lebanon is given to it, and the excellency of Carmel and Sharon. Do not call it Sahara, call it Paradise. Do not speak of it any longer as the valley of death and shadows, for where before the skeletons lay bleaching in the sun, now behold a resurrection is proclaimed, and up spring the dead, a mighty army, full of immortal life. Jesus is that plant of distinction, and his presence makes all things new. Nor is the wonder less in each individual’s salvation. Far away, dear reader, I behold you cast out, an infant, uncovered, unwashed, defiled with your own blood, left to be food for beasts of prey. But look, a jewel has been thrown into your being by a divine hand, and for its sake you have been pitied and tended by divine providence; you are washed and cleansed from your defilement, you are adopted into heaven’s family, the fair seal of love is upon your forehead, and the ring of faithfulness is on your hand—you are now a prince of God, though you were once cast away, an orphan. O exceedingly prize the matchless power and grace which changes deserts into gardens and makes the barren heart to sing for joy!

Morning, June 1

Morning, June 1, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.” — Genesis 1:5

Was it so, even in the beginning? Did light and darkness divide the realm of time in the first day? Then it is of little wonder if I have also changes in my circumstances from the sunshine of prosperity to the midnight of adversity. It will not always be the blaze of noon even concerning my soul; I must expect in some seasons to mourn the absence of my former joys, and seek my Beloved in the night. Nor am I alone in this, for all the Lord’s beloved ones have had to sing the mingled song of judgment and of mercy, of trial and deliverance, of mourning and of delight. It is one of the arrangements of Divine wisdom that day and night shall not cease either in the spiritual or natural creation until we reach the land of which it is written, “there is no night there.” What our heavenly Father ordains is wise and good.

What, then, my soul, is it best for you to do? First learn to be content with this divine order, and be willing, with Job, to receive evil from the hand of the Lord as well as good. Study next, to rejoice in the goings on of the morning and the evening. Praise the Lord for the sun of joy when it rises, and for the gloom of evening as it falls. There is beauty both in sunrise and sunset; sing of it, and glorify the Lord. Like the nightingale, pour forth your notes at all hours. Believe that the night is as useful as the day. The dew of grace falls heavily in the night of sorrow. The stars of promise shine forth gloriously amid the darkness of grief. Continue your service under all changes. If in the day your watchword is labor, at night exchange it for watch. Every hour has its duty, so continue in your calling as the Lord’s servant until he shall suddenly appear in his glory. My soul, your evening of old age and death is drawing near; do not dread it, for it is part of the day; and the Lord has said He “shields him all the day.”

Evening, May 31

Evening, May 31, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“Who heals all your diseases. ” — Palm 103:3

Though the statement is humbling, the fact is certain that we are all more or less suffering under the disease of sin. What a comfort to know that we have a great Physician who is both able and willing to heal us! Let us think of him for awhile tonight. His cures are very speedy—there is life in his glance; his cures are radical—he strikes at the center of the disease; and therefore, his cures are sure and certain. He never fails, and the disease never returns. There is no relapse where Christ heals; no fear that his patients should be merely patched up for a season; he makes new men of them: he also  gives them a new heart, and he puts a steadfast spirit within them. He is well skilled in all diseases. Physicians generally have some specialty. Although they may know a little about many of our pains and ills, there is usually one disease which they have studied above all others; but Jesus Christ is thoroughly acquainted with the whole of human nature. He is as much at home with one sinner as with another, and never yet did he meet with an out-of-the-way case that was difficult to him. He has had extraordinary complications of strange diseases to deal with, but he has known exactly with one glance of his eye how to treat the patient. He is the only comprehensive doctor; and the medicine he gives is the only universal remedy—healing in every instance. Whatever our spiritual malady may be, we should apply at once to this Divine Physician. There is no brokenness of heart which Jesus cannot bind up. “His blood cleanses from all sin.” We have only to think of the myriads who have been delivered from all sorts of diseases through the power and virtue of his touch, and we shall joyfully put ourselves in his hands. We trust him, and sin dies; we love him, and grace lives; we wait for him and grace is strengthened; we see him as he is, and grace is perfected forever.

Morning, May 31

Morning, May 31, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“The king also crossed the Kidron Valley.” — 2 Samuel 15:23

David passed though that gloomy valley and vile brook with his sorrowful company when flying from his traitor son. The man after God’s own heart was not exempt from trouble; indeed, his life was full of it. He was both the Lord’s Anointed, and the Lord’s Afflicted. Why then should we expect to escape? At sorrow’s gates the noblest of our race have waited with ashes on their heads; then for what reason should we complain as though some strange thing had happened to us?

The King of kings himself was not favored with a more happy or royal road. He passed over the filthy ditch of Kidron, through which the filth of Jerusalem flowed. God had one Son without sin, but not a single child without the rod. It is a great joy to believe that Jesus has been tempted in all points like as we are. What is our Kidron this morning? Is it a faithless friend, a sad bereavement, a slanderous reproach, a dark foreboding? The King has passed over all these. Is it bodily pain, poverty, persecution, or contempt? Over each of these Kidrons the King has gone before us. “In all our affliction he was afflicted.” The idea of distinctiveness in our trials must be banished at once and forever, for he who is the Head of all saints, knows by experience the grief which we think so unique. All the citizens of Zion must be of the Free and Honorable Company of Mourners, of which the Prince Immanuel is Head and Captain.

In spite of the abasement of David, he yet returned in triumph to his city, and David’s Lord arose victorious from the grave; let us then be of good courage, for we also shall win the day. We shall yet with joy draw water out of the wells of salvation, though now for a season we have to pass by the noxious streams of sin and sorrow. Courage, soldiers of the Cross, the King himself triumphed after going over Kidron, and so shall you.

Evening, May 30

Evening, May 30, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“That we should no longer be slaves to sin.” — Romans 6:6

Christian, what have you to do with sin? Has it not cost you enough already? Burned child, will you play with the fire? What! When you have already been between the jaws of the lion, will you step a second time into his den? Have you not had enough of the old serpent? Did he not poison all your veins once, and will you play upon the hole of the viper, and put your hand upon the adder’s den a second time? Oh, do not be so mad! Do not be so foolish! Did sin ever yield you real pleasure? Did you find solid satisfaction in it? If so, go back to your old drudgery, and wear the chain again, if it delights you. But inasmuch as sin never did give you what it promised to bestow, but deluded you with lies, do not be a snared second time by the old fowler—be free, and let the memory of your ancient bondage forbid you to enter the net again! It is contrary to the designs of eternal love, all of which have an eye to your purity and holiness; therefore do not run counter to the purposes of your Lord. Another thought should restrain you from sin. Christians can never sin cheaply; they pay a heavy price for iniquity. Transgression destroys peace of mind, obscures fellowship with Jesus, hinders prayer, brings darkness over the soul; therefore, do not be the servant and bondman of sin. There is yet a higher argument: each time you serve sin you “again crucify the Son of God and put Him to open shame.” Can you bear that thought? Oh! If you have fallen into any special sin during this day, it may be that my Master has sent this admonition this evening, to bring you back before you have backslidden very far. Turn to Jesus afresh; he has not forgotten his love to you; his grace is still the same. With weeping and repentance, come to his footstool, and you shall be once more received into his heart; you shalt be set upon a rock again, and your goings forth shall be established.

Morning, May 30

Morning, May 30, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“Take us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines.” — Song of Solomon 2:15

A little thorn may cause much suffering. A little cloud may hide the sun. Little foxes spoil the vines; and little sins do mischief to the tender heart. These little sins burrow in the soul, and make it so full of that which is hateful to Christ, that he will hold no comfortable fellowship and communion with us. A great sin cannot destroy a Christian, but a little sin can make him miserable. Jesus will not walk with his people unless they drive out every known sin. He says, “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” Some Christians very seldom enjoy their Savior’s presence. How is this? Surely it must be a hardship for a tender child to be separated from his father. Are you a child of God, and yet satisfied to go on without seeing your Father’s face? What! You, the spouse of Christ, and yet content without his company! Surely, you have fallen into a sad state, for the pure spouse of Christ mourns like a dove without her mate, when he has left her. Ask, then, the question, what has driven Christ from you? He hides his face behind the wall of your sins. That wall may be built up of little pebbles, as easily as of great stones. The sea is made of drops; the rocks are made of grains of sand: and the sea which divides you from Christ may be filled with the drops of your little sins; and the reef which has nearly wrecked your ship, may have been made by the daily working of the coral polyps of your little sins. If you would live with Christ, and walk with Christ, and see Christ, and have fellowship with Christ, take heed of the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes. Jesus invites you to go with him and take them. He will surely, like Samson, take the foxes at once and easily. Go with him on the hunt.

Evening, May 29

Evening, May 29, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“Cursed before the Lord is the one who undertakes to rebuild this city, Jericho.” — Joshua 6:26

Since men would be cursed who rebuilt Jericho, how much more the men who labor to restore a religion lacking the Gospel message among us. In our fathers’ days the gigantic walls of institutional religion fell by the power of the reformer’s faith, the perseverance of their efforts, and the blast of their gospel trumpets; and now there are some who would rebuild that accursed system upon its old foundation. O Lord, be pleased to thwart their unrighteous endeavors, and pull down every stone which they build. It should be a serious business with us to be thoroughly purged of every error which may have a tendency to foster the spirit of empty religion, and when we have made a clean sweep at home we should seek in every way to oppose its all too rapid spread abroad in the church and in the world. This last can be done in secret by fervent prayer, and in public by unfaltering testimony. We must warn with judicious boldness those who are inclined towards the errors of churches that ignore Scripture; we must instruct the young in gospel truth and tell them of the black doings of religion without Christ in ancient times. We must aid in spreading the light more thoroughly through the land, for godless leaders, like owls, hate daylight. Are we doing all we can for Jesus and the gospel? If not, our negligence plays into the hands of the false teacher. What are we doing to spread the Bible, which is the bane and poison of Antichrist? Are we casting abroad good, sound gospel writings? Luther once said, “The devil hates goose quills” and, doubtless, he has good reason, for ready writers, by the Holy Spirit’s blessing, have done his kingdom much damage. If the thousands who will read this short word this night will do all they can to hinder the rebuilding of this accursed Jericho, the Lord’s glory shall speed among the sons of men. Reader, what can you do? What will you do?

Editors note: Who is the Antichrist? What is the spirit of Antichrist? In Spurgeon’s day it was recognized as the Catholic Church, and his commentary here was focused on it. In our day? Islam is the chief opponent of the Gospel message around the world…

Morning, May 29

Morning, May 29, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“You… hated wickedness.” — Psalm 45:7

“Be angry, and yet do not sin.” There can hardly be any good in a man if he is not angry at sin; he who loves truth must hate every false way. How our Lord Jesus hated it when the temptation came! Three times it assailed him in different forms, but he always met it with, “Get behind me, Satan.” He hated it in others, and none the less fervently even though he showed his hate more often in tears of pity than in words of rebuke; yet what language could be more stern, more Elijah-like, than the words, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers.” He hated wickedness, indeed, so much that he bled to wound it to the heart; he died that it might die; he was buried that he might bury it in his tomb; and he rose that he might forever trample it beneath his feet. Christ is in the Gospel, and that Gospel is opposed to wickedness in every shape. Wickedness arrays itself in attractive garments, and imitates the language of holiness; but the precepts of Jesus, like his famous scourge of cords, chase it out of the temple, and will not tolerate it in the Church. So, too, in the heart where Jesus reigns, there is a great war between Christ and Belial! And when our Redeemer shall come to be our Judge, those thundering words, “Depart from Me, accursed ones,” which are, indeed, but a continuation of his life-teaching concerning sin, shall make plain his loathing of iniquity. As warm as is his love to sinners, his hatred of sin is hot; as perfect as his righteousness is, so complete shall be the destruction of every form of wickedness. O you glorious champion of right, and destroyer of wrong, for this cause has God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.

Evening, May 28

Evening, May 28, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“This I recall to my mind; therefore I have hope.” — Lamentations 3:21

Memory is frequently the bondslave of hopelessness. Despairing minds call to remembrance every dark foreboding event in the past, and amplify every gloomy feature in the present; thus memory, clothed in sackcloth, presents to the mind a cup of mingled vinegar and bitterness. There is, however, no necessity for this. Wisdom can readily transform memory into an angel of comfort. That same recollection which in its left hand brings so many gloomy omens, may be trained to bear in its right hand a wealth of hopeful signs. She need not wear a crown of iron, she may encircle her brow with a circlet of gold, all spangled with stars. Thus it was in Jeremiah’s experience: in the previous verse memory had brought him to a deep humiliation of soul: “Surely my soul remembers and is bowed down within me;” and now this same memory restored him to life and comfort. “This I recall to my mind; therefore I have hope.” Like a two-edged sword, his memory first killed his pride with one edge, and then slew his despair with the other. As a general principle, if we would exercise our memories more wisely, we might, in our very darkest distress, strike a match which would instantaneously kindle the lamp of comfort. There is no need for God to create a new thing upon the earth in order to restore believers to joy; if they would prayerfully rake the ashes of the past, they would find light for the present; and if they would turn to the book of truth and the throne of grace, their candle would soon shine as in the past. Let our part be to remember the lovingkindness of the Lord, and to review his deeds of grace. Let us open the volume of recollection which is so richly illuminated with memorials of mercy, and we shall soon be happy. Thus, memory may be, as Coleridge calls it, “the bosom-spring of joy,” and when the Divine Comforter bends it to his service, it may be foremost among earthly comforters.

Morning, May 28

Morning, May 28, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“These whom He justified, He also glorified.” — Romans 8:30

Here is a precious truth for you, believer. You may be poor, or in suffering, or unknown, but for your encouragement take a review of your “calling” and the consequences that flow from it, and especially that blessed result noted above. As surely as you are God’s child today, so surely shall all your trials soon be at an end, and you shall be rich to all the meanings of happiness. Wait awhile, and that weary head shall wear the crown of glory, and that hand that labored shall grasp the palm-branch of victory. Do not grieve over your troubles, but rather rejoice that before long you will be where “there shall be neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain.” The chariots of fire are at your door, and a moment will suffice to bear you to join the glorified. The everlasting song is almost on your lip. The portals of heaven stand open for you. Do not think that you can fail of entering into rest. If he has called you, nothing can divide you from his love. Distress cannot sever the bond; the fire of persecution cannot burn the link; the hammer of hell cannot break the chain. You are secure; that voice which called you at first, shall call you yet again from earth to heaven, from death’s dark gloom to immortality’s unspeakable splendors. Rest assured, the heart of him who has justified you beats with infinite love towards you. You shall soon be with the glorified, where your portion is; you are only waiting here to be made ready for the inheritance, and that done, the wings of angels shall carry you far away, to the mount of peace, and joy, and blessedness, where:

“Far from a world of grief and sin,

With God eternally shut in,”

thou shalt rest forever and ever.

Evening, May 27

Evening, May 27, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“What is your servant, that you should regard a dead dog like me?” — 2 Samuel 9:8

If Mephibosheth was so humbled by David’s kindness, what shall we be in the presence of our gracious Lord? The more grace we have, the less we shall think of ourselves, for grace, like light, reveals our impurity. Eminent saints have scarcely known to what to compare themselves, their sense of unworthiness has been so clear and keen. “I am,” says Samuel Rutherford, “a dry and withered branch, a piece of dead carcass, dry bones, and not able to step over a straw.” In another place he writes, that except for a few occasions, he lacked no sin that Judas and Cain had. The lowest objects in nature appear to the humbled mind to have a preference above itself, because they have never contracted sin: a dog may be greedy, fierce, or filthy, but it has no conscience to violate, no Holy Spirit to resist. A dog may be a worthless animal, and yet by a little kindness it is soon moved to love its master, and is faithful to death; but we forget the goodness of the Lord, and do not follow his call at all. The term “dead dog” is the most expressive of all terms of contempt, but it is none too strong to express the self-abhorrence of illuminated believers. They do not pretend mock modesty, they mean what they say, they have weighed themselves in the balances of the sanctuary, and found out the vanity of their nature. At best, we are but clay, animated dust, mere walking mounds; but viewed as sinners, we are monsters indeed. Let it be published in heaven as a wonder, that the Lord Jesus should set his heart’s love upon such as we are. Dust and ashes though we may be, we must and will “magnify the exceeding greatness of his grace.” Could not his heart find rest in heaven? Did he need to come to these tents of Kedar for a spouse, and choose a bride upon whom the sun had looked? O heavens and earth, break forth into a song, and give all glory to our precious Lord Jesus.

Morning, May 27

Morning, May 27, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“And Mephibosheth lived in Jerusalem, because he always ate at the king’s table; he was lame in both feet. — 2 Samuel 9:13

Mephibosheth was no great ornament to a royal table, yet he had a continual place at David’s, because the king could see in his face the features of the beloved Jonathan. Like Mephibosheth, we may cry unto the King of Glory, “What is your servant, that you should notice a dead dog like me?” Still, however, the Lord indulges us with personal communion with himself, because he sees in our countenances the remembrance of his dearly-beloved Jesus. The Lord’s people are dear for another’s sake. Such is the love which the Father bears to his only begotten, that for his sake he raises his lowly brethren from poverty and banishment, to companionship in the royal court, noble rank, and royal provision. Their deformity shall not rob them of their privileges. Lameness is no bar to sonship; the cripple is as much the heir as if he could run like Asahel. Our right does not limp, though our might may. A king’s table is a noble hiding place for lame legs, and at the gospel feast we learn to glory in infirmities, because the power of Christ rests upon us. Yet grievous disability may mar the persons of the best-loved saints. Here is one feasting with David, and yet so lame in both his feet that he could not go up with the king when he fled from the city, and was therefore maligned and injured by his servant Ziba. Saints whose faith is weak, and whose knowledge is slight, are great losers; they are exposed to many enemies, and cannot follow the king wherever he goes. Disease like that of Mephibosheth frequently arises from falls. Bad nursing in their spiritual infancy often causes converts to fall into a despondency from which they never recover, and sin in other cases brings broken bones. Lord, help the lame to leap like a hart, and satisfy all your people with the bread of your table!

Evening, May 26

Evening, May 26, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“Continue in the faith.” — Acts 14:22

Perseverance is the badge of true saints. The Christian life is not a beginning only in the ways of God, but also a continuation in the same as long as life lasts. It is with a Christian as it was with the great Napoleon: he said, “Conquest has made me what I am, and conquest must maintain me.” So, under God, dear brother in the Lord, conquest has made you what you are, and conquest must sustain you. Your motto must be, “My Goal is Higher.” Only he who continues until war’s trumpet is blown no more is a true conqueror, and shall be crowned at the last. Perseverance is, therefore, the target of all our spiritual enemies. The world does not object to your being a Christian for a time, if she can but tempt you to cease your pilgrimage, and settle down to buy and sell with her in Vanity Fair. Your human desires will seek to ensnare you, and to prevent your pressing on to glory. “It is weary work being a pilgrim; come, give it up. Am I always to be mortified? Am I never to be indulged? Give me at least a furlough from this constant warfare.” Satan will make many fierce attacks on your perseverance; it will be the target for all his arrows. He will strive to hinder you in service; he will insinuate that you are doing no good, and that you want rest. He will endeavor to make you weary of suffering; he will whisper, “Curse God, and die.” Or he will attack your steadfastness: “What is the good of being so passionate? Be quiet like the rest; sleep as do others, and let your lamp go out as the other virgins do.” Or he will assail your doctrinal convictions: “Why do you hold to these foundational creeds? Sensible men are getting more liberal; they are removing the old landmarks: fall in with the times.”Therefore wear your shield, Christian; close up your armor, and cry mightily to God, that by his Spirit you may endure to the end.

Morning, May 26

Morning, May 26, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“Cast your burden upon the Lord, and he will sustain you.” — Psalm 55:22

Concern, even though focused upon legitimate objects, if carried to excess has in it the nature of sin. The precept to avoid anxious concern is earnestly instilled by our Savior, again and again; it is reiterated by the apostles; and it is one which cannot be neglected without involving transgression. The very essence of anxiety is imagining that we are wiser than God, and thrusting ourselves into his place to do for him that which he has undertaken to do for us. We start to believe that he will forget those things for which we have concern; we labor 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 jurisdiction, is all sinful. Yet more than this, anxious concern 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 the 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 counted against Israel of old. Anxiety makes us doubt God’s lovingkindness, and therefore our love for 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 self-seeking. Therefore, lack of confidence in God leads us to wander far from him; but if through simple faith in his promise we cast upon him each burden as it comes, and are “anxious for nothing” because he undertakes to care for us, it will keep us close to him, and strengthen us against much temptation. “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You.”

Evening, May 25

Evening, May 25, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“And they got up that very hour and returned to Jerusalem, and began to relate their experiences on the road and how He was recognized by them.” — Luke 24:33-35

When the two disciples had reached Emmaus, and were refreshing themselves at the evening meal, the mysterious stranger who had so enchanted them upon the road took bread and broke it, made himself known to them, and then vanished out of their sight. They had urged him to abide with them, because the day was nearly over; but now, although it was much later, their love was a lamp to their feet, and yes, wings also; they forgot the darkness, their weariness was all gone, and immediately they journeyed back the seven miles to tell the cheering news of a risen Lord, who had appeared to them by the way. They reached the Christians in Jerusalem, and were received by a burst of joyful news before they could tell their own tale. These early Christians were all on fire to speak of Christ’s resurrection, and to proclaim what they knew of the Lord; they made common property of their experiences. This evening let their example impress us deeply. We too must bear our witness concerning Jesus. John’s account of the sepulcher needed to be supplemented by Peter; and Mary could speak of something further still; combined, we have a full testimony from which nothing can be spared. We have each of us particular gifts and special expressions; but the one object God has in view is the perfecting of the whole body of Christ. We must, therefore, bring our spiritual possessions and lay them at the apostle’s feet, and make distribution to all of what God has given to us. Do not keep back any part of the precious truth, but speak what you know, and testify what you have seen. Do not let the labor or darkness, or possible unbelief of your friends, weigh one moment in the scale. Get up, marching to the place of duty, and there tell what great things God has shown to your soul.

Morning, May 25

Morning, May 25, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“Do not forsake me, O Lord.” — Psalm 38:21

Frequently we pray that God would not forsake us in the hour of trial and temptation, but we often forget  that we need to use this prayer at all times. There is no moment of our life, however holy, in which we can do without his constant upholding. Whether in light or in darkness, in communion or in temptation, we alike need the prayer, “Do not forsake me, O Lord.” “Uphold me that I may be safe.” A little child, while learning to walk, always needs the parent’s aid. The ship left by the pilot drifts at once from her course. We cannot do without continued aid from above; let it then be your prayer today, “Do not forsake me.” Father, do not forsake your child, lest he fall by the hand of the enemy. Shepherd, do not forsake your lamb, lest he wander from the safety of the fold. Great Husbandman, do not forsake your plant, lest it wither and die. Do not forsake me, O Lord, now; and do not forsake me at any moment of my life. Do not forsake me in my joys, lest they grip my heart. Do not forsake me in my sorrows, lest I complain against you. Do not forsake me in the day of my repentance, lest I lose the hope of pardon, and fall into despair; and do not forsake me in the day of my strongest faith, lest faith degenerate into presumption. Do not forsake me, for without you I am weak, but with you I am strong. Do not forsake me, for my path is dangerous, and full of snares, and I cannot do without your guidance. The hen does not forsakes her brood; so also then forever cover me with your feathers, and permit me to find my refuge under your wings. Do not be far from me, O Lord, for trouble is near, for there is none to help. “Do not abandon me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation!'”

“O ever in our cleansed breast,

Bid thine Eternal Spirit rest;

And make our secret soul to be

A temple pure and worthy thee.”

Evening, May 24

Evening, May 24, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“Only conduct yourselves (let your conversation be, KJV) in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.”  — Philippians 1:27

The word “conversation” does not merely mean our talk and discussion with one another, but the whole course of our life and behavior in the world. The Greek word signifies the actions and the privileges of citizenship: and therefore, we are commanded to let our actions, as citizens of the New Jerusalem, be such as that which complements the gospel of Christ. What sort of conversation is this? In the first place, the gospel is very simple. So, Christians should be simple and plain in their habits. There should be that simplicity which is the very soul of beauty, about our manner, our speech, our dress, our whole behavior. The gospel is preeminently true, it is gold without dross; and the Christian’s life will be lusterless and valueless without the jewel of truth. The gospel is a very fearless gospel, it boldly proclaims the truth, whether men like it or not: we must be equally faithful and unflinching. But the gospel is also very gentle. Mark this spirit in its Founder: “a bruised reed he will not break.” Some professing believers are sharper than a hedge of thorns; such men are not like Jesus. Let us seek to win others by the gentleness of our words and acts. The gospel is very loving. It is the message of the God of love to a lost and fallen race. Christ’s last command to his disciples was, “Love one another.” O for more real, hearty union and love to all the saints; for more tender compassion towards the souls of the worst and vilest of men! We must not forget that the gospel of Christ is holy. It never excuses sin: it pardons it, but only through an atonement. If our life is to resemble the gospel, we must shun, not merely the fouler vices, but everything that would hinder our perfect conformity to Christ. For his sake, for our own sakes, and for the sakes of others, we must strive day by day to let our conversation be more in accordance with his gospel.

Morning, May 24

Morning, May 24, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“Blessed be God, who has not turned away my prayer.” — Psalm 66:20

In looking back upon the character of our prayers—if we do it honestly—we shall be filled with wonder that God has ever answered them. There may be some who think their prayers worthy of acceptance—as the Pharisee did—but the true Christian, in a more enlightened retrospect, weeps over his prayers, and if he could retrace his steps he would desire to pray more earnestly. Remember, Christian, how cold your prayers have been. When in your prayer closet you should have wrestled as Jacob did; but instead, your appeals there have been faint and few—far removed from that humble, believing, persevering faith, which cries, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” Yet, wonderful to say, God has heard these cold prayers of yours, and not only heard, but answered them. Reflect also on how infrequent your prayers have been, unless you have been in trouble, and then you have gone often to the mercy-seat: but when deliverance has come, where has your constant supplication been? Yet, even though you have ceased to pray as you once did, God has not ceased to bless. When you have neglected the mercy-seat, God has not deserted it, but the bright light of the Shekinah has always been visible between the wings of the cherubim. Oh! It is marvelous that the Lord should regard those intermittent spasms of fervency in prayer which come and go with our necessities. What a God he is, therefore, to hear the prayers of those who come to him when they have pressing needs, but neglect him when they have received mercy; who approach him when they are forced to come, but who almost forget to address him when blessings are plentiful and sorrows are few. Let his gracious kindness in hearing such prayers touch our hearts, so that we may from this day forward be found “with all prayer and petition praying at all times in the Spirit.”

Evening, May 23

Evening, May 23, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

You have not bought Me sweet cane with money.” — Isaiah 43:24

Worshippers at the temple were accustomed to bringing presents of sweet perfumes like calamus to be burned upon the altar of God: but Israel, in the time of her backsliding, became stingy, and made only a few votive offerings to her Lord: this was an evidence of coldness of heart towards God and his house. Reader, does this ever occur with you? Might not the complaint of the text be occasionally, if not frequently, brought against you? Those who are poor in pocket, if rich in faith, will be accepted none the less because their gifts are small; but, poor reader, do you give in fair proportion to the Lord, or is the widow’s mite kept back from the sacred treasury? The rich believer should be thankful for the wealth entrusted to him, but should not forget his large responsibility, for where much is given much will be required; but, rich reader, are you mindful of your obligations, and rendering to the Lord according to the benefit received? Jesus gave his blood for us, what shall we give to him? We are his, and all that we have, for he has purchased us for  himself—can we act as if we were our own? O for more consecration! And to this end, O for more love! Blessed Jesus, how good it is of you to accept our incense bought with money! Nothing is too costly as a tribute to your unrivalled love, and yet you do receive with favor the smallest sincere token of affection! You receive our poor forget-me-nots and tokens of love as though they were intrinsically precious, though indeed they are but as the bunch of wild flowers which the child brings to its mother. Never may we grow ungenerous towards you, and from this hour never may we hear you complain of us again for withholding the gifts of our love. We will give you the first fruits of our increase, and pay you tithes of all, and then we will confess “of your own we have given you.”

Morning, May 23

Morning, May 23, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“The Lord will accomplish what concerns me.” — Psalm 138:8

Most strikingly, the confidence which the Psalmist here expressed was a divine confidence. He did not say, “I have grace enough to accomplish that which concerns me—my faith is so steady that it will not stagger—my love is so warm that it will never grow cold—my resolution is so firm that nothing can move it;” no, his dependence was on the Lord alone. If we indulge in any confidence which is not grounded on the Rock of Ages, our confidence is worse than a dream; it will fall upon us, and cover us with its ruins, to our sorrow and confusion. All that Nature weaves, time will unravel, to the eternal confusion of all who are clothed by anything not woven by God. The Psalmist was wise, he rested upon nothing short of the Lord’s work. It is the Lord who has begun the good work within us; it is he who has carried it on; and if he does not finish it, it never will be complete. If there is one stitch in the celestial garment of our righteousness which we are to insert ourselves, then we are lost; but this is our confidence, the Lord who began will accomplish. He has done it all, must do it all, and will do it all. Our confidence must not be in what we have done, nor in what we have resolved to do, but entirely in what the Lord will do. Unbelief insinuates: “You will never be able to stand. Look at the evil of your heart, you can never conquer sin; remember the sinful pleasures and temptations of the world that beset you, you will be certainly allured by them and led astray.” Ah, yes! We should indeed perish if left to our own strength. If we had to navigate our frail vessels over so rough a sea alone, we might as well give up the voyage in despair; but, thanks be to God, he will accomplish that which concerns us, and bring us to the desired haven. We can never be too confident when we confide in him alone, and never be too much concerned when we have such a trust.

Evening, May 22

Evening, May 22, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“How handsome you are, my beloved, and so pleasant.” — Song of Solomon 1:16

From every point of view our Well-beloved is pleasant. Our various experiences are meant by our heavenly Father to furnish fresh standpoints from which we may view the loveliness of Jesus; how agreeable are our trials when they carry us aloft where we may gain clearer views of Jesus than ordinary life could afford us! We have seen him from the top of Mount Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, and he has shone upon us as the sun in his strength; but we have seen him also “from the dens of lions, from the mountains of leopards,” and he has lost none of his loveliness. From the suffering of a sick bed, from the borders of the grave, we have turned our eyes to our soul’s spouse, and he has never been anything other than “so pleasant.” Many of his saints have looked upon him from the gloom of dungeons, and from the red flames of the stake, yet have they never uttered an ill word of him, but have died praising his surpassing charms. Oh, noble and pleasant is our occupation to be forever gazing at our sweet Lord Jesus! Is it not unspeakably delightful to view the Savior in all his offices, and to perceive him matchless in each? Or to shift the kaleidoscope, as it were, and to find fresh combinations of his peerless graces? In the manger and in eternity, on the cross and on his throne, in the garden and in his kingdom, among thieves or in the midst of cherubim, he is everywhere “altogether lovely.” Examine carefully every little act of his life, and every trait of his character, and he is as lovely in the microscopic as in the majestic. Judge him as you will, you cannot censure; weigh him as you please, and he will not be found wanting. Eternity shall not discover the shadow of a spot in our Beloved, but rather, as ages revolve, his hidden glories shall shine forth with yet more inconceivable splendor, and his indescribable loveliness shall more and more overwhelm all celestial minds.

Morning, May 22

Morning, May 22, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

He led them also by a straight way.” — Psalm 107:7

A change in our experience often leads the anxious believer to inquire “Why is it happening this way with me?” I looked for light, but lo, darkness came; for peace, but behold, trouble. I said in my heart, my mountain stands firm; I shall never be moved. Lord, you do hide your face, and I am troubled. It was only yesterday that I could read my situation clearly; today my confidence is dimmed, and my hopes are clouded. Yesterday, I could climb to Mount Pisgah’s top, and view over the landscape, and rejoice with confidence in my future inheritance; today, my spirit has no hopes, but many fears; no joys, but much distress. Is this part of God’s plan with me? Can this be the way in which God would bring me to heaven?

Yes, it is even so. The eclipse of your faith, the darkness of your mind, the fainting of your hope, all these things are but parts of God’s method of making you ripe for the great inheritance upon which you shall soon enter. These trials are for the testing and strengthening of your faith—they are waves that wash you further upon the rock—they are winds which drive your ship the more swiftly towards the desired haven. According to David’s words, so it might be said of you, “So he brings them to their desired haven.” By honor and dishonor, by evil report and by good report, by plenty and by poverty, by joy and by distress, by persecution and by peace, by all these things is the life of your souls maintained, and by each of these are you helped on your way. Oh, do not think, believer, that your distresses are out of God’s plan; they are necessary parts of it. “Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.” Learn, then, even to “consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials.”

“O let my trembling soul be still,

And wait thy wise, thy holy will!

I cannot, Lord, thy purpose see,

Yet all is well since ruled by thee.”

Evening, May 21

Evening, May 21, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“There is grain in Egypt.” — Genesis 42:2

Famine drained all the nations, and it seemed inevitable that Jacob and his family should suffer great hunger; but the God of foreseeing care, who never forgets the chosen objects of his love, had stored a granary for his people by giving the Egyptians warning of the scarcity, and leading them to treasure up the grain of the years of plenty. Jacob expected little of deliverance from Egypt, but there was the grain in store for him. Believer, though all things are apparently against you, rest assured that God has made a reservation on your behalf; in the listing of your sorrows there is a saving clause. Somehow, he will deliver you, and somewhere he will provide for you. The quarter from which your rescue shall arise may be a very unexpected one, but help will assuredly come at the end of your resources, and you shall magnify the name of the Lord. If men do not feed you, ravens shall; and if earth does not yield wheat, heaven shall drop manna on you. Therefore, be of good courage, and rest quietly in the Lord. God can make the sun rise in the west if he pleases, and make the source of distress the channel of delight. The grain in Egypt was completely in the hands of the beloved Joseph; he opened or closed the granaries at will. And so the riches of divine provision are all in the absolute power of our Lord Jesus, who will dispense them liberally to his people. Joseph was abundantly ready to aid his own family; and Jesus is unceasing in his faithful care for his brethren. Our business is to go after the help which is provided for us: we must not sit still despondently, but stir ourselves up. Prayer will bear us soon into the presence of our royal Brother: once before his throne we have only to ask and have: his stores are not exhausted; there is food still; his heart is not hard, he will give the wheat to us. Lord, forgive our unbelief, and this evening compel us to draw largely from your fulness and receive grace for grace.

 

Morning, May 21

Morning, May 21, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“If you have tasted the kindness of the Lord.” — 1 Peter 2:3

“If:”—then, this is not a matter to be taken for granted concerning every one of the human race.

“If:”—then there is a possibility and a probability that some may not have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

“If:”—then this is not a general but a special mercy; and it is needed that we inquire whether we know the grace of God by inward experience. There is no spiritual favor which may not be a matter for heart-searching.

But while this should be a matter of earnest and prayerful inquiry, no one ought to be content while there is any such question as an “if” about his having tasted that the Lord is gracious. A jealous and holy distrust of one’s self may give rise to the question even in the believer’s heart, but the continuance of such a doubt would be an evil indeed. We must not rest without a desperate struggle to clasp the Savior in the arms of faith, and say, “I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until that day.” Do not rest, O believer, until you have a full assurance of your interest in Jesus. Let nothing satisfy you until, by the infallible witness of the Holy Spirit bearing witness with your spirit, you have certified that you are a child of God. Oh, do not trifle here; let no “perhaps” and “very likely” and “if” and “maybe” satisfy your soul. Build on eternal truths, and truly build upon them. Get the sure mercies of David, and surely get them. Let your anchor be cast into that which is within the veil, and see to it that your soul be linked to the anchor by a cable that will not break. Advance beyond these dreary “ifs;” abide no more in the wilderness of doubts and fears; cross the Jordan of distrust, and enter the Canaan of peace, where the Canaanite still lingers, but where the land never ceases to flow with milk and honey.

Evening, May 20

Evening, May 20, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“I led them with cords of a man, with bands of love.” — Hosea 11:4

Our heavenly Father often draws us with the cords of love; but oh, how reticent we are to run towards him! How slowly we respond to his gentle impulses! He draws us to exercise a simpler faith in him; but we have not yet attained to Abraham’s confidence; we do not leave our worldly cares with God, but, like Martha, we encumber ourselves with much serving. Our meager faith brings leanness into our souls; we do not open our mouths wide, though God has promised to fill them. Does he not yet this evening draw us to trust him? Can we not hear him say, “Come, my child, and trust me. The veil is rent; enter into my presence, and approach boldly to the throne of my grace. I am worthy of your fullest confidence, cast your cares on me. Shake yourself from the dust of your cares and put on your beautiful garments of joy.” But, unfortunately, though called with melodies of love to the welcome exercise of this comforting grace, we will not come. At another time he draws us to closer communion with himself. We have been sitting on the doorstep of God’s house, and he bids us to advance into the banqueting hall and dine with him, but we decline the honor. There are secret rooms not yet opened to us; Jesus invites us to enter them, but we hold back. Shame on our cold hearts! We are only poor lovers of our sweet Lord Jesus, not fit to be his servants, much less to be his brides, and yet he has exalted us to be bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh, married to him by a glorious marriage covenant. Here is love! But it is love which accepts no denial. If we do not obey the gentle drawings of his love, he will send affliction to drive us into closer intimacy with himself. He will drive us nearer. What foolish children we are to refuse those bands of love, and so bring upon our backs that scourge of small cords, which Jesus knows how to use!

Morning, May 20

Morning, May 20, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“Wondrously show Your lovingkindness.” — Psalm 17:7

When we give our hearts with our monetary gifts, we give well, but we must often confess to a failure in this respect. Not so with our Master and our Lord. His favors are always performed with the love of his heart. He does not send to us the cold meat and the leftovers from the table of his luxury, but he shares our portion from his own dish, and seasons our provisions with the spices of his fragrant affections. When he puts the golden tokens of his grace into our palms, he accompanies the gift with such a warm pressure of our hand, that the manner of his giving is as precious as the gift itself. He will come into our houses upon his errands of kindness, and he will not act as some austere visitors do in the poor man’s cottage, but he sits by our side, not despising our poverty, nor blaming our weakness. Beloved, with what a smile does he speak! What golden sentences drop from his gracious lips! What embraces of affection does he confer upon us! If he had but given us pennies, the way of his giving would have gilded them; but as it is, the costly alms are set in a golden basket by his pleasant carriage. It is impossible to doubt the sincerity of his charity, for there is a bleeding heart stamped upon the face of all his benefactions. He gives to all generously and without reproach. There is not one hint that we are burdensome to him; not one cold look for his poor recipients; but he rejoices in his mercy, and presses us in his embrace while he is pouring out his life for us. There is a fragrance in his healing salve which nothing but his heart could produce; there is a sweetness in his honeycomb which could not be in it unless the very essence of his soul’s affection had been mingled with it. Oh! The rare communion which such extraordinary heartful care accomplishes! May we continually taste and know the sacredness of it!

Evening, May 19

Evening, May 19, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“And he requested for himself that he might die.” — 1 Kings 19:4

It was a remarkable thing that the man who was never to die, for whom God had ordained an infinitely better destiny, the man who would be carried to heaven in a chariot of fire, and be translated, that he should not see death—should so pray, “Let me die, I am no better than my fathers.” We have here a memorable proof that God does not always answer prayer in kind, though he always does in effect. He gave Elias something better than that which he asked for, and consequently really heard and answered him. It was strange that the lion-hearted Elijah should be so depressed by Jezebel’s threat as to ask to die, and blessedly kind was it on the part of our heavenly Father that he did not take his depressed servant at his word. There is a limit to the doctrine of the prayer of faith. We are not to expect that God will give us everything we choose to ask for. We know that we sometimes ask, and do not receive, because we ask amiss. If we ask for that which is not promised—if we run counter to the spirit which the Lord would have us cultivate—if we ask contrary to his will, or to the decrees of his wisdom—if we ask merely for the gratification of our own comfort, and without an eye on his glory, we must not expect that we shall receive. Yet, when we ask in faith, doubting nothing, if we do receive not the precise thing asked for, we shall receive an equivalent, and more than an equivalent for it. As one remarks, “If the Lord does not pay in silver, he will in gold; and if he does not pay in gold, he will in diamonds.” If he does not give you precisely what you ask for, he will give you that which is tantamount to it, and that which you will greatly rejoice to receive in its place. Then, dear reader, be much in prayer, and make this evening a season of earnest intercession, but take care what you ask.

Morning, May 19

Morning, May 19, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“I have seen slaves riding on horses and princes walking like slaves on the land.” — Ecclesiastes 10:7

Upstarts frequently seize the highest places, while the truly great languish in obscurity. This is a riddle in providence whose solution will one day gladden the hearts of the upright; but it is so common a fact, that none of us should complain if it should fall to our own lot. When our Lord was upon earth—although he is the Prince of the kings of the earth—he walked the path of weariness and service as the Servant of servants: what wonder is it if his followers, who are princes of the blood, should also be looked down upon as inferior and contemptible persons? The world is upside down, and therefore, the first are last and the last first. See how the subservient sons of Satan lord it in the earth! What a high horse they ride! How they lift up their horn on high! Haman is in the court, while Mordecai sits in the gate; David wanders on the mountains, while Saul reigns in state; Elijah is complaining in the cave while Jezebel is boasting in the palace; but who would wish to take the places of the proud, exalted rebels against God? And who, on the other hand, might not envy the despised saints? When the wheel turns, those who are lowest rise, and the highest sink. Patience, then, believer: eternity will right the wrongs of time.

Let us not fall into the error of letting our passions and appetite for the world ride in triumph, while our honorable strengths walk in the dust. Grace must reign as a prince and make the members of the body instruments of righteousness. The Holy Spirit loves order, and he therefore sets our powers and abilities in due rank and place, giving the highest room to those spiritual faculties which link us with the great King; do not let us disturb the divine arrangement, but ask for grace that we may discipline our body and bring it into subjection. We were not created anew to allow our passions to rule over us, but that we, as kings, may reign in Christ Jesus over the triple kingdom of spirit, soul, and body, to the glory of God the Father.