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.”

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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.

Evening, May 18

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

“Afterwards.” — Hebrews 12:11

How happy are tested Christians … afterwards. There is no calm more deep than that which follows a storm. Who has not rejoiced in clear skies and sunshine after rain? Well-exercised soldiers earn victorious banquets. After killing the lion, we eat the honey; after climbing Bunyan’s Hill Difficulty, we sit down in the arbor to rest; after traversing the Valley of Humiliation, after fighting with Apollyon, the shining one appears, with the healing branch from the tree of life. Our sorrows, like the passing keels of the vessels upon the sea, leave a silver line of holy light behind them, “afterwards.” It is peace, precious, deep peace, which follows the horrible turmoil which once reigned in our tormented, guilty souls. See, then, the happy fortune of a Christian! He has his best things last, and he therefore in this world receives his worst things first. But even his worst things are “afterward,” good things, with harsh tilling yielding joyful harvests. Even now he grows rich by his losses, he rises by his falls, he lives by dying, and becomes full by being emptied; if, then, his serious afflictions yield him so much peaceable fruit in this life, what shall be the full vintage of joy “afterwards” in heaven? If his dark nights are as bright as the world’s days, what shall his days be? If even his starlight is more splendid than the sun, what must his sunlight be? If he can sing in a dungeon, how melodiously will he sing in heaven! If he can praise the Lord in the fires, how much more will he exalt him before the eternal throne! If evil works out good in him now, what will the overflowing goodness of God be to him then? Oh, blessed “afterward!” Who would not be a Christian? Who would not bear the present cross for the crown which comes afterwards? But here is work for patience, for the rest is not for today, nor the triumph for the present, but “afterward.” Wait, O soul, and let patience have her perfect work.

Morning, May 18

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

“For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, and in Him you have been made complete.” — Colossians 2:9-10

All the attributes of Christ, as God and man, are at our disposal. All the fullness of Deity, the Godhead —whatever that marvelous term may comprehend — is ours to make us complete. He cannot endow us with the attributes of Deity; but he has done all that can be done, for he has made even his divine power and Godhead subservient to our salvation. His omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, immutability and infallibility, are all combined for our defense. Arise, believer, and behold the Lord Jesus fastening the whole of his divine Godhead to the chariot of salvation! How vast his grace, how firm his faithfulness, how unswerving his immutability, how infinite his power, how limitless his knowledge! All these are made the pillars of the temple of salvation by the Lord Jesus; and all, without any lessening of their infinity, are covenanted to us as our everlasting inheritance. Every drop of the fathomless love of the Savior’s heart is ours; every sinew in the arm of might, every jewel in the crown of majesty, the immensity of divine knowledge, and the sternness of divine justice, all are ours, and shall be employed for us. The whole of Christ, worthy of all adoration in his character as the Son of God, is by himself given over to us most richly to enjoy. His wisdom is our direction, his knowledge our instruction, his power our protection, his justice our guarantee, his love our comfort, his mercy our support, and his immutability our trust. He withholds no reserve, but opens the recesses of the Mountain of God and calls us to dig in its mines for the hidden treasures. “All, all, all are yours,” he says, “be satisfied with favor and full of the goodness of the Lord.” Oh! How precious therefore to behold Jesus, and to call upon him with the certain confidence that in seeking the intervention of his love or power, we are only asking for that which he has already faithfully promised.

Evening, May 17

Evening, May 17, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“You are My servant, I have chosen you and not rejected you.” — Isaiah 41:9

If we have received the grace of God in our hearts, its practical effect has been to make us God’s servants. We may be unfaithful servants; we certainly are unprofitable ones; but yet, thanks to his name, we are his servants, wearing his attire, feeding at his table, and obeying his commands. We were once the servants of sin, but he who made us free has now taken us into his family and taught us obedience to his will. We do not serve our Master perfectly, but we would if we could. As we hear God’s voice saying to us, “You are my servant,” we can answer with David, “I am your servant; you have set loose my bonds.” But the Lord calls us not only his servants, but his chosen ones—”I have chosen you.” We did not choose him first, but he has chosen us. If we are God’s servants now, we were not always so; the change must be attributed to sovereign grace. The eye of sovereignty singled us out, and the voice of unchanging grace declared, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” Long before time began or space was created God had written upon his heart the names of his elect people, had predestinated them to be conformed to the image of his Son, and ordained them as heirs of all the fulness of his love, his grace, and his glory. What comfort is here! Has the Lord loved us so long, that he would yet cast us away? He knew how stiff-necked we would be; he understood that our hearts were evil, and yet he made the choice. Ah! Our Savior is no fickle lover. He does not feel enchanted for a while with some gleams of beauty from his church’s eye, and then afterwards cast her off because of her unfaithfulness. No, he married her in eternity long ago; and it is written of Jehovah, “He hates putting away.” This eternal choice is a bond on our gratitude and on his faithfulness which neither can disown.

Morning, May 17

Morning, May 17, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“Walk in the same manner as He walked.” — 1 John 2:6

Why should Christians imitate Christ? They should do it for their own sakes. If they desire to be in a healthy state of soul—if they would escape the sickness of sin, and enjoy the vigor of growing grace, let Jesus be their model. For their own happiness’ sake, if they would drink refined, aged, wine; if they would enjoy holy and happy communion with Jesus; if they would be lifted up above the cares and troubles of this world, then let them walk even as he walked. There is nothing which can so assist you to walk towards heaven with good speed, as wearing the image of Jesus on your heart to rule all its motions. It is when, by the power of the Holy Spirit, you are enabled to walk with Jesus in his very footsteps, that you are most happy, and most known to be the sons of God. Even Peter when afar off is both unsafe and uneasy. Next, for Christianity’s sake, strive to be like Jesus. Ah! Poor Christianity, you have been greatly shot at by cruel foes, but you have not been wounded one-half so dangerously by your enemies as by your friends. Who made those wounds in the fair hand of Godliness? The professing Christian who used the dagger of hypocrisy. The man who with pretentions, enters the fold, being nothing but a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and worries the flock more than the lion outside. There is no weapon half so deadly as a Judas-kiss. Inconsistent professors injure the gospel more than the sneering critic or the atheist. But, especially for Christ’s own sake, imitate his example. Christian, do you love your Savior? Is his name precious to you? Is his cause dear to you? Would you see the kingdoms of the world become his? Is it your desire that he should be glorified? Are you longing that souls should be won to him? If so, imitate Jesus; be an “epistle of Christ, known and read of all men.”

Evening, May 16

Evening, May 16, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“He said, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Make this valley full of trenches.’ For thus says the Lord, ‘You shall not see wind nor shall you see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, so that you shall drink, both you and your cattle and your beasts.” — 2 Kings 3:16-17

The armies of the three kings were dying for lack of water; God was about to send it, and in these words the prophet announced the upcoming blessing. Here was a case of human helplessness: not a drop of water could all the valiant men procure from the skies or find in the wells of earth. Thus, often the people of the Lord are at their wits’ end; they see the futility of man’s strength, and learn experientially where their help is to be found. Still the people were to make a preparation, believing for the divine blessing; they were to dig the trenches in which the precious liquid would be held. The church must by her varied agencies, efforts, and prayers, make herself ready to be blessed; she must make the pools, and the Lord will fill them. This must be done in faith, in the full assurance that the blessing is about to descend. In due course there was a extraordinary delivery of the needed blessing. The shower did not pour from the clouds as in Elijah’s case, but in a silent and mysterious manner the pools were filled. The Lord has his own sovereign modes of action: he is not tied to manner and time as we are, but does as he pleases among the sons of men. Thankfully, it is ours to receive from him, and not to dictate to him. We must also notice the remarkable abundance of the supply—there was enough for the need of everyone. And so it is in the gospel blessing; all the wants of the congregation and of the entire church shall be met by the divine power in answer to prayer; and above all this, victory shall be speedily given to the armies of the Lord.

What am I doing for Jesus? What trenches am I digging? O Lord, make me ready to receive the blessing which you are so willing to grant.

Morning, May 16

Morning, May 16, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“Who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.” — 1 Timothy 6:17

Our Lord Jesus is always giving, and does not for a solitary instant withdraw his hand. As long as there is a vessel of grace not yet full to the brim, the oil shall not be held back. He is a sun ever shining; he is manna always falling round the camp; he is a rock in the desert, forever sending out streams of life from his slashed side; the rain of his grace is always dropping; the river of his benefits is ever-flowing, and the wellspring of his love is constantly overflowing. As the King can never die, so his grace can never fail. Daily we pluck his fruit, and daily his branches bend down to our hand with a fresh store of mercy. There are seven feast days in his weeks, and as many as are the days, so many are the banquets in his years. Who has ever returned from his door unblessed? Who has ever risen from his table unsatisfied, or from his embrace untouched by paradise? His mercies are new every morning and fresh every evening. Who can know the number of his benefits, or recount the list of all he supplies? Every sand which drops from the glass of time is but the tardy follower of a myriad of mercies. The wings of our hours are covered with the silver of his kindness, and with the yellow gold of his affection. The river of time bears from the mountains of eternity the golden sands of his favor. The countless stars are but as the standard bearers of a more innumerable host of blessings. Who can count the dust of the benefits which he bestows on Jacob, or tell of but a fraction of his mercies towards Israel? How shall my soul praise him who daily heaps upon us benefits, and who crowns us with loving kindness? O that my praise could be as ceaseless as his supply of all I need! O miserable tongue, how can you be silent? Wake up, I pray you, unless I call you my shame, and not my glory. “Awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awaken the dawn early.”

Evening, May 15

Evening, May 15, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“Made perfect.” — Hebrews 12:23

Remember that there are two kinds of perfection which the Christian needs—the perfection of justification in the person and sacrifice of Jesus, and the perfection of sanctification fashioned in him by the Holy Spirit. At present, corruption still remains even in the hearts of the regenerated—experience soon teaches us this. Within us still are lusts and evil thoughts. But I rejoice to know that the day is coming when God shall finish the work which he has begun; and he shall present my soul, not only perfect in Christ, but perfect through the Spirit, without spot or blemish, or any such thing. Can it be true that this poor sinful heart of mine is to become holy even as God is holy? Can it be that this spirit, which often cries, “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death,” shall get rid of sin and death—that I shall have no evil things to aggravate my ears, and no unholy thoughts to disturb my peace? Oh, happy hour! May it be hastened! When I cross the Jordan, the work of sanctification will be finished; but not until that moment shall I even claim perfection in myself. Then my spirit shall have its last baptism in the Holy Spirit’s fire. I think I long to die to receive that last and final purification which shall usher me into heaven. No angel shall be more pure than I, for I shall be able to say, in a dual sense, “I am clean:” through Jesus’ blood, and through the Spirit’s work. Oh, how should we exalt the power of the Holy Spirit in thus making us fit to stand before our Father in heaven! Yet do not let the hope of future perfection make us content with imperfection now. If it does this, our hope cannot be genuine; for a good hope is a purifying thing, even now. The work of grace must be abiding in us now or it cannot be perfected then. Let us pray to “be filled with the Spirit,” that we may increasingly bring forth the fruits of righteousness.

Morning, May 15

Morning, May 15, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“Through Him everyone who believes is freed [justified] from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses.” — Acts 13:39

The believer in Christ receives freedom from the penalty of sin now — a present justification. Faith does not produce this fruit eventually, but now. So far as justification is the result of faith, it is given to the soul in the moment when it closes with Christ, and accepts him as its all in all. Are they who stand before the throne of God justified now?  So are we, as truly and as clearly justified as they who walk in white and sing melodious praises to celestial instruments. The thief upon the cross was justified the moment that he turned the eye of faith to Jesus; and Paul, when aged, after years of service, was not more justified than was the thief with no service at all. We are today accepted in the Beloved, today absolved from sin, today acquitted at the judgment court of God. Oh! Soul transporting thought! There are some clusters of Eshcol’s vine which we shall not be able to gather until we enter heaven; but this is a bough which reaches over the wall. This is not as the food of the land, which we can never eat until we cross the Jordan; but this is part of the manna in the wilderness, a portion of our daily nutrition with which God supplies us in our journeying back and forth. We are now—even now pardoned; even now are our sins put away; even now we stand in the sight of God accepted, as though we had never been guilty. “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” There is not a sin charged in the Book of God, even now, against one of his people. Who dares to lay anything to their charge? There is neither speck, nor spot, nor wrinkle, nor any such thing remaining upon any one believer in the matter of justification in the sight of the Judge of all the earth. Let our present privilege awaken us to present duty, and now, while life lasts, let us spend and be spent for our precious Lord Jesus.

Evening, May 14

Evening, May 14, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“In His arm He will gather the lambs and carry them in His bosom.” — Isaiah 40:11

Who is the one of whom such gracious words are spoken? He is the Good Shepherd. Why does he carry the lambs in his embrace? Because He has a tender heart, and any weakness at once melts his heart. The sighs, the ignorance, the feebleness of the little ones of his flock draw forth his compassion. It is his office, as a faithful High Priest, to consider the weak. Besides, he purchased them with blood and they are his property; he must and will care for that which cost him so dear. Then he is responsible for each lamb, bound by covenant obligation not to lose one. Moreover, they are all a part of his glory and reward.

But how may we understand the expression, “He will carry them?” Sometimes he carries them by not permitting them to endure much trial. In gentle wisdom he deals tenderly with them. Often, they are “carried” by being filled with an unusual degree of love, so that they bear up under trials and stand fast. Though their knowledge may not be deep, they have great freshness in what they do know. Frequently he “carries” them by giving them a very simple faith, which takes the promise just as it stands, and believing, runs with every trouble straight to Jesus. The simplicity of their faith gives them an unusual degree of confidence, which carries them above the world.

“He carries the lambs in his bosom.” Here is boundless affection. Would he put them in his embrace if he did not love them much? Here is tender nearness: so near are they, that they could not possibly be nearer. Here is sacred familiarity: there are precious passages of love between Christ and his weak ones. Here is perfect safety: in his embrace who can hurt them? They must hurt the Shepherd first. Here is perfect rest and sweetest comfort. Surely, we are not sufficiently aware of the infinite tenderness of Jesus!

Morning, May 14

Morning, May 14, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“Fellow heirs with Christ.” — Romans 8:17

The boundless realms of his Father’s universe are Christ’s by longstanding right. As “heir of all things,” he is the sole proprietor of the vast creation of God, and he has welcomed us to claim the whole as ours, by virtue of that deed of joint-heirship which the Lord has ratified with his chosen people. The golden streets of paradise, the pearly gates, the river of life, the transcendent ecstasy, and the indescribable glory, are, by our blessed Lord, given over to us for our everlasting possession. All that he has he shares with his people. The royal crown he has placed upon the head of his Church, appointing her a kingdom, and calling her sons a royal priesthood, a generation of priests and kings. He uncrowned himself that we might have a coronation of glory; he would not sit upon his own throne until he had procured a place upon it for all who overcome by his blood. Crown the head and the whole body shares the honor. Behold here the reward of every Christian conqueror! Christ’s throne, crown, scepter, palace, treasure, robes, and heritage are yours. Far superior to the jealousy, selfishness, and greed, which allow no participation of their advantages, Christ deems his happiness completed by his people sharing it. “I have given them the glory you have given me, so that they may be one as we are one.” “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” The smiles of his Father are all the more precious to him, because his people share them. The honors of his kingdom are more pleasing, because his people appear with him in glory. His conquests are more valuable to him, since they have taught his people to overcome. He delights in his throne, because there is a place for them on it. He rejoices in his royal robes, since they spread over his people. He delights even more in his joy, because he calls them to enter into it.

Evening, May 13

Evening, May 13, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“The Lord is my portion.” — Psalm 119:57

Look at your possessions, O believer, and compare your portion with the lot of your fellowmen. Some of them have their portion in the field; they are rich, and their harvests yield them a golden increase; but what are harvests compared with your God, who is the God of harvests? What are bursting storehouses compared with him, who is the Husbandman, and feeds you with the bread of heaven? Some have their portion in the city; their wealth is abundant, and flows to them in constant streams, until they become a very reservoir of gold; but what is gold compared with your God? You could not live on it; your spiritual life could not be sustained by it. Put it on a troubled conscience, and could it relieve its pangs? Apply it to a despairing heart, and see if it could stop a solitary groan, or give one less grief? But you have God, and in him you have more than gold or riches ever could buy. Some have their portion in that which most men love—applause and fame; but ask yourself, is not your God more to you than that? What if countless trumpets should sound a loud ovation to you, would this prepare you to pass the Jordan, or cheer you in prospect of judgment? No, there are griefs in life which wealth cannot alleviate; and there is the deep need in a dying hour, for which no riches can provide. But when you have God for your portion, you have more than all else put together. In him every want is met, whether in life or in death. With God for your portion you are rich indeed, for he will supply your need, comfort your heart, assuage your grief, guide your steps, be with you in the dark valley, and then take you home, to enjoy him as your portion forever. “I have enough,” said Esau; this is the best thing a worldly man can say, but Jacob replies, “I have all things,” which is a message too lofty for self-centered minds.

Morning, May 13

Morning, May 13, edited from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening

“Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning.” — Psalm 30:5

Christian! If you are in a night of trial, think of the morning; cheer up your heart with the thought of the coming of your Lord. Be patient, for

“Lo! He comes with clouds descending.”

Be patient! The Husbandman waits until he reaps his harvest. Be patient; for you know who has said, “Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to render to every man according to what he has done.” If you have never been so miserable as now, remember

“A few more rolling suns, at most,

Will land thee on fair Canaan’s coast.”

Your head may be crowned with thorny troubles now, but it shall wear a starry crown before long; your hand may be filled with cares—it shall sweep the strings of the harp of heaven soon. Your garments may be soiled with dust now; they shall be white in due course. Wait a little longer. Ah! How much below contempt our troubles and trials will seem when we look back upon them! Looking at them here in the point of view, they seem immense; but when we get to heaven we shall then

“With transporting joys recount,

The labours of our feet.”

Our trials will then seem momentary, light afflictions. Let us go on boldly; if the night is never so dark, the morning comes, which is more than they can say who are shut up in the darkness of hell. Do you know what it is therefore to live in the future—to live in expectation—before going to heaven? Be happy, believer, to have so sure, so comforting a hope. It may be all dark now, but it will soon be light; it may be all trial now, but it will soon be all happiness. What matters though if “weeping may last for a night,” when “a shout of joy comes in the morning?”

Evening, May 12

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

“He said, “I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you a great nation there.  I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again.” — Genesis 46:3-4

Jacob must have shuddered at the thought of leaving the land of his father’s sojournds, and dwelling among godless strangers. It was a new scenario, and likely to be a trying one: who shall venture among couriers of a foreign monarch without anxiety? Yet the way was evidently appointed for him, and therefore he resolved to go. This is frequently the position of believers now—they are called to perils and temptations altogether untried; in such seasons let them imitate Jacob’s example by offering sacrifices of prayer to God, and seeking his direction. They should not take a step until they have waited upon the Lord for his blessing: then they will have Jacob’s companion to be their friend and helper. How blessed to feel assured that the Lord is with us in all our ways, and lowers himself to come down into our humiliation and exile with us! Even beyond the ocean our Father’s love beams like the sun in its strength. We cannot hesitate to go where Jehovah promises his presence; even the valley of death’s shade grows bright with the radiance of his assurance. Marching onwards with faith in their God, believers shall have Jacob’s promise. They shall be brought up again, whether it be from the troubles of life or the chambers of death. Jacob’s seed came out of Egypt in due time, and so shall all the faithful pass unscathed through the tribulation of life, and the terror of death. Let us exercise confidence like Jacob’s. “Fear not,” is the Lord’s command and his divine encouragement to those who at his bidding are launching upon new seas; the divine presence and promise of preservation do not permit so much as one unbelieving fear. Without our God we should fear to move; but when he bids us to, it would be dangerous to stay put. Reader, go forward, and fear not.

Morning, May 12

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

“And will disclose myself to him.” — John 14:21

The Lord Jesus gives special revelations of himself to his people. Even if Scripture did not declare this, there are many of the children of God who could testify the truth of it from their own experience. They have had manifestations of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in a distinctive manner, such ones as no mere reading or hearing could offer. In the biographies of eminent saints, you will find many instances recorded in which Jesus has been pleased, in a very special manner to speak to their souls, and to unfold the wonders of his person; indeed, so have their souls been steeped in happiness that they have thought themselves to be in heaven. Although they were not there, they were nearly on the threshold of it—for when Jesus manifests himself to his people, it is heaven on earth; it is paradise in an embryonic state; it is ecstasy begun. Special manifestations of Christ exercise a holy influence on the believer’s heart. One effect will be humility. If a man says, “I have had such-and-such spiritual communications, I am a great man,” he has never had any communion with Jesus at all; for “He regards the lowly, But the haughty He knows from afar.” He does not need to come near the proud to know them, and will never visit them with his love. Another effect will be happiness; for in God’s presence there are pleasures forevermore. Holiness will be sure to follow. A man who has no holiness has never had this manifestation. Some men profess great experiences; but we must not believe any one unless we see that his deeds answer to what he says. “Do not be deceived; God is not mocked.” He will not bestow his favors upon the wicked: for while he will not cast away a man of integrity, neither will he respect an evildoer. Thus, there will be three effects of nearness to Jesus—humility, happiness, and holiness. May God give them to you, Christian!

Evening, May 11

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

“Only be strong and very courageous.” — Joshua 1:7

Our God’s tender love for his servants makes him concerned for the state of their inward feelings. He desires them to be courageous. Some consider it a inconsequential thing for a believer to be vexed with doubts and fears, but God does not think so. From this text it is plain that our Master would not have us entangled with fears. He would have us without worry, without doubt, without cowardice. Our Master does not think so lightly of our unbelief as we do. When we are despondent we are subject to a serious malady, not one to be trifled with, but to be carried at once to the beloved Physician. Our Lord does not want to see our countenance sad. It was a law of Ahasuerus that no one should come into the king’s court dressed in mourning: this is not the law of the King of kings, for we may come as we are, even if mourning ; but still he would have us put off the spirit of heaviness, and put on the garment of praise, for there is much reason to rejoice. The Christian man ought to be of a courageous spirit, in order that he may glorify the Lord by enduring trials in a heroic manner. If he is fearful and fainthearted, it will dishonor his God. Besides, what a bad example it is. This disease of doubtfulness and discouragement is an epidemic which soon spreads amongst the Lord’s flock. One downcast believer makes twenty others sad. Furthermore, unless your courage is kept up, Satan will be too much for you. Let your spirit be joyful in God your Savior; the joy of the Lord shall be your strength, and no fiend of hell shall make headway against you; but cowardice throws down the banner. Moreover, labor is easy to a man of a cheerful spirit; and success waits upon cheerfulness. The man who works hard, rejoicing in his God, believing with all his heart, has success guaranteed. He who sows in hope shall reap in joy; therefore, dear reader, “be strong, and very courageous.”

Morning, May 11

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

“I am with you always.” — Matthew 28:20

It is good that there is One who is forever the same, and who is forever with us. It is good that there is one stable rock amidst the breakers of the sea of life. O my soul, do not set your affections upon rusting, crumbling, decaying treasures, but set your heart upon him who abides forever faithful to you. Do not build your house upon the moving quicksand of a deceitful world, but settle your hope upon this rock, which, amid descending rain and roaring floods, shall stand immovably secure. My soul, I charge you, store your treasure in the only secure place; store your jewels where you can never lose them. Put everything you have in Christ; set all your affection on his person, all your hope in his merit, all your trust in his beneficial blood, all your joy in his presence, and so you may laugh at loss, and defy destruction. Remember that all the flowers in the world’s garden fade by turns of time, and the day will come when nothing will be left but the black, cold earth. Death’s black extinguisher must soon put out your candle. Oh! How sweet to have sunlight when the candle is gone! The dark flood must soon roll between you and all you have; then unite your heart to him who will never leave you; trust yourself with him who will go with you through the black and surging current of death’s stream, and who will land you safely on the celestial shore, and make you sit with him in heavenly places forever. Go, sorrowing son of affliction, tell your secrets to the Friend who sticks closer than a brother. Trust all your concerns with him who never can be taken from you, who will never leave you, and who will never let you leave him, even “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” “Lo, I am with you always,” is enough for my soul to live upon, despite any others who will forsake me.

Evening, May 10

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

“The only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” — John 1:14

Believer, you can share your testimony that Christ is the only begotten of the Father, as well as the first begotten risen from the dead. You can say, “He is divine to me, even if he would be human to all the world beside. He has done for me that which none but a God could do. He has subdued my stubborn will, melted a heart of the hardest stone, opened gates of brass, and snapped bars of iron. He has turned my mourning into laughter, and my desolation into joy; he has led my captivity captive, and made my heart rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. Let others think of him as they will, to me he must be the only begotten of the Father: blessed be his name. And he is full of grace. Ah! Had he not been grace personified, I should never have been saved. He drew me when I struggled to escape from his grace; and when at last I came trembling like a condemned criminal to his mercy seat, he said, “Your many sins are all forgiven you: be of good cheer.” And he is full of truth. His promises have been true, not one has failed. I bear witness that never has a servant had such a master as I have; never has a brother had such a kinsman as he has been to me; never has a spouse had such a husband as Christ has been to my soul; never a sinner a better Savior; never a mourner a better comforter than Christ has been to my spirit. I want no one beside him. In life he is my life, and in death he shall be the death of my death; in poverty Christ is my riches; in sickness he makes my bed; in darkness he is my star, and in brightness he is my sun; he is the manna of the camp in the wilderness, and he shall be the new food of the host when they come to the heavenly Canaan. Jesus is to me all grace and no wrath, all truth and no falsehood: and of truth and grace he is full, infinitely full. My soul, this night, bless with all your might the only Begotten.'”

Morning, May 10

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

“But now Christ has been raised from the dead.” — 1 Corinthians 15:20

The whole system of Christianity rests upon the fact that “Christ has been raised from the dead;” for, “if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain.” The divinity of Christ finds its surest proof in his resurrection, since he was “declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” It would not be unreasonable to doubt his deity if he had not risen. Furthermore, Christ’s sovereignty depends upon his resurrection, “for this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.” Again, our justification, that special blessing of the covenant, is linked with Christ’s triumphant victory over death and the grave; for He “was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.” And even more, our very regeneration is connected with his resurrection, for we are “born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” And most certainly our ultimate resurrection rests here, for, “if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” If Christ is not risen, then we shall not rise; but if he is risen then they who are asleep in Christ have not perished, but in their body shall surely behold their God. Thus, the silver thread of resurrection runs through all the believer’s blessings, from his regeneration onwards to his eternal glory, and binds them together. This will be important then, this glorious fact in the believer’s view, and how greatly will he rejoice that beyond a doubt it is established, that “now Christ has been raised from the dead!”

“The promise is fulfill’d,

Redemption’s work is done,

Justice with mercy’s reconciled,

For God has raised his Son.”

Evening, May 9

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

“Come, my beloved, let us go out into the country … Let us see whether the vine has budded.” — Song of Solomon 7:11-12

The church was about to engage in earnest labor, and desired her Lord’s company in it. She does not say, “I will go,” but “let us go.” It is a blessing, working when Jesus is at our side! It is the business of God’s people to be trimmers of God’s vines. Like our first parents, we are put into the garden of the Lord for usefulness; let us therefore go forth into the field. Observe that the church, when she is in her right state of mind, desires to enjoy communion with Christ in all her many labors. Some imagine that they can have fellowship with him when they do not serve Christ actively; they are mistaken. It is doubtless very easy to squander away our inward life in outward exercises, and come to complain with the spouse, “They made me keeper of the vineyards; but my own vineyard have I not kept;” but there is no reason why this should be the case except from our own foolishness and neglect. It is certainly the case that a professing believer may do nothing, and yet grow quite as lifeless in spiritual things as those who are most busy. Mary was not praised for sitting still; but for her sitting at Jesus’ feet. Even so, Christians are not to be praised for neglecting duties under the pretense of having secret fellowship with Jesus: it is not sitting, but sitting at Jesus’ feet which is commendable. Do not think that activity is in itself an evil; it is a great blessing, and a method of receiving grace to us. Paul felt to be allowed to preach was grace given to him; and every form of Christian service may become a personal blessing to those engaged in it. Those who have the most fellowship with Christ are not recluses or hermits, who have much time to spare, but unfaltering laborers who are toiling for Jesus, and who, in their toil, have him side by side with them, so that they are workers together with God. Let us remember then, in anything we have to do for Jesus, that we can do it, and should do it in close communion with him.

Morning, May 9

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

“Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing.” — Ephesians 1:3

All the goodness of the past, the present, and the future, Christ grants to his people. In the mysterious ages of the past the Lord Jesus was his Father’s first elect, and in his election he gave us a stake, for we were chosen in him from before the foundation of the world. He had from all eternity the prerogatives of Sonship, as his Father’s only-begotten and well-beloved Son, and he has, in the riches of his grace, by adoption and regeneration, elevated us to sonship also, so that to us he has given “the right to become children of God.” The eternal covenant, based upon a guarantee obtained by blood and confirmed by oath, is ours, for our great comfort and security. In the everlasting reconciliation of predestinating wisdom and omnipotent declaration, the eye of the Lord Jesus was ever fixed on us; and we may rest assured that in the whole account of destiny there is not a line which counts against the interests of his redeemed. The great betrothal of the Prince of Glory is ours, for it is to us that he is made our fiancé, as the sacred marriage shall forever long declare to an assembled universe. The marvelous incarnation of the God of heaven, with the amazing descension and humiliation which attended it, is ours. The bloody sweat, the scourge, the cross, are ours forever. Whatever delightful consequences flow from perfect obedience, finished atonement, resurrection, ascension, or intercession, all are ours by his own gift. Upon his breastplate he is now bearing our names; and in his authoritative intervention at the throne he remembers our persons and pleads our cause. He employs his dominion over principalities and powers, and his absolute majesty in heaven,  for the benefit of them who trust in him. His high domain is as much at our service as was his condition of abasement. He who gave himself for us in the depths of woe and death, does not withdraw the grant now that he is enthroned in the highest heavens.

Editor’s note: “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren.” — Romans 8:29

Evening, May 8

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

“Yield now and be at peace with Him.” — Job 22:21

If we would rightly acquaint ourselves with God, and be at peace, we must know him as he has revealed himself, not only in the unity of his essence and existence, but also in the plurality of his persons. God said, “Let us make man in our own image”—let not man be content until he knows something of the “us” from whom his being was derived. Endeavour to know the Father; bury your head in his embrace in deep repentance, and confess that you are not worthy to be called his son; receive the kiss of his love; let the ring which is the token of his eternal faithfulness be on your finger; sit at his table and let your heart make merry in his grace. Then press forward and seek to know much of the Son of God who is the brightness of his Father’s glory, and yet in an unbelievable, humble descent of grace became man for our sakes; know him in the extraordinary complexity of his nature: eternal God, and yet suffering, finite man; follow him as he walks upon the waters with the steps of deity, and as he sits upon the well in the weariness of humanity. Do not be satisfied until you know much of Jesus Christ as your Friend, your Brother, your Husband, your all. Do not forget the Holy Spirit; endeavor to obtain a clear view of his nature and character, his attributes, and his works. Behold that Spirit of the Lord, who first of all moved upon chaos, and brought forth order; who now visits the chaos of your soul and creates the order of holiness. Behold him as the Lord and giver of spiritual life, the Illuminator, the Instructor, the Comforter, and the Sanctifier. Behold him as, like a holy anointing, he descends upon the head of Jesus, and then afterwards rests upon you who are as the skirts of his garments. Such an intelligent, scriptural, and experiential belief in the Trinity in Unity is yours if you truly know God; and such knowledge brings peace indeed.

Morning, May 8

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

“But the man who was healed did not know who it was.” — John 5:13

Years go by quickly to the happy and healthy; but thirty-eight years of disease must have dragged a very weary length along the life of the poor handicapped man. When Jesus, therefore, healed him with a word, while he lay at the pool of Bethesda, he was delightfully aware of a change. Even so it is with the sinner who has for weeks and months been paralyzed with despair, and has wearily sighed for salvation; he is very conscious of the change when the Lord Jesus speaks the word of power, and receives joy and peace in believing. The evil removed is too great to be removed without our discerning it; the life imparted is too remarkable to be possessed and remain inoperative; and the change produced is too marvelous not to be perceived. Yet the poor man was ignorant of the author of his cure; he did not know the holiness of his person, the offices which he held, or the errand which brought him among men. Much ignorance of Jesus may remain even in hearts which feel the power of his blood. We must not hastily condemn men for lack of knowledge; but where we can see the faith which saves the soul, we must believe that salvation has been granted. The Holy Spirit makes men repentant long before he makes them holy; and he who believes what he knows, shall soon know more clearly what he believes. Ignorance is, however, a hindrance; for this poor man was much tormented by the Pharisees, and was quite unable to cope with them. It is good to be able to answer dissenters; but we cannot do so if we do not know the Lord Jesus clearly and with understanding. The cure of his ignorance, however, soon followed the cure of his infirmity, for he was visited by the Lord in the temple; and after that gracious manifestation, he was found testifying that “it was Jesus who had made him whole.” Lord, if you have saved me, show me yourself, that I may declare you to the sons of men.

Evening, May 7

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

“Get up, pick up your pallet and walk.” — John 5:8

Like many others, the handicapped man had been waiting for a wonder to be accomplished, and a sign to be given. He wearily watched the pool, but no angel came, or, at least, not for him; yet, thinking it to be his only chance, he still waited, and did not know that there was One near him whose word could heal him in a moment. Many are in the same plight: they are waiting for some particular emotion, remarkable impression, or celestial vision; they wait in vain and watch for naught. Even supposing that in a few cases remarkable signs are seen, it is certain these are rare, and in any case no man has a right to expect them; especially, no man who feels his inability to avail himself of the moving of the water even if it came. It is a very sad reflection that tens of thousands are now waiting in the use of methods, and regulations, and vows, and resolutions, and have so waited for time immemorial, in vain, utterly in vain. Meanwhile these poor souls forget the present Savior, who bids them to look to him and be saved. He could heal them at once, but they prefer to wait for an angel and a wonder. To trust him is the sure way to every blessing, and he is worthy of the most implicit confidence; but unbelief makes them prefer the cold porches of Bethesda to the warm embrace of his love. O that the Lord may turn his eye upon the multitudes who are in this situation tonight; may he forgive the slights which they put upon his divine power, and call them by that sweet constraining voice, to rise from the bed of despair, and in the energy of faith take up their bed and walk. O Lord, hear our prayer for all such at this calm hour of sunset, and before the day breaks may they look and live.

Dear reader, is there anything in this portion for you?