THE GOD WHO TAKES AWAY

THE GOD WHO TAKES AWAY

C.H. Spurgeon

“Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD!” [Job 1:21]

Let us now think, for a while, of the Lord’s hand taking away from us as well as giving to us. Job said, “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away.” Some of you have come to this service very sad and heavy of heart because that dear child of yours is dead. Well, I do not blame you for sorrowing over your loss, but I pray you also to remember that it is the LORD who hath taken your child away from you.

You say that it was the fever that took away your dear one, and perhaps that was the immediate cause of your child’s death; but if you can realize that the fever was only the instrument in God’s hand to remove the dear little one from your care to His own, surely you will dry your tears. And as for that substance of yours, which has almost melted away under the fiery trial to which it has been subjected, so that poverty now stares you in the face, you will be able to bear even that when you remember that it is the Lord’s hand that has taken away what His hand had first given.

So long as we look at the secondary causes of our trouble, we have reasons for sorrow; but when our faith can pierce the veil, and see the Great First Cause, THEN our comfort begins. If you strike a dog with a stick, he will try to bite the stick, because he is a dog; but if he knew better, he would try to bite YOU, and not the stick. Yet THAT is the way that we often act with the troubles that come to us; we fly at the second causes, and so are angry and petulant with them; but if we would always recollect that it is GOD who taketh away, as well as God who gives; — that He is at the back of all our trials and troubles; — that His hand weighs out our share of grief, and measures our portion of pain, then we should not dare to rebel and bewail; but, like David, we should say, “I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; because Thou didst it!” [Psalm 39:9] even if we could not go up higher still, and say, with Job, “The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

GOD DOES NOT DO A THING BECAUSE IT IS RIGHT, BUT THE THING IS RIGHT BECAUSE GOD DOES IT!

Further, when once we know that God has done anything, that fact forbids any question concerning it. It must be right because He did it. I may not be able to tell why, but God knows why He did it. He may not tell me the reason; but He HAS a reason, for the Lord never acted unreasonably. There never was any action of His, however sovereign or autocratic it might appear to be, but was done “after the counsel of His own will.” Infinite wisdom dictates what absolute sovereignty decrees. God is never arbitrary, or tyrannical. He does as He wills, but He always wills to do that which is not only most, for His own glory, but also most for OUR REAL GOOD! How dare we question ANYTHING that God does?

My dear sister, rest assured that it is better that you should be a widow, and seek to glorify God in your widowhood. My dear young friend, believe that it is better that you should be an orphan; otherwise, God would not have taken away your parents. It is better that you, dear friends, should lose your eyes; it is better that you should be poor, or diseased, or else the Lord would not let you be so, for “no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.” If health and wealth were good things for you, God would let you have them. If it were a good thing for saints never to die, they never would die. If it were a good thing for them to go to heaven at once, they would go there at once. If you are walking uprightly, you may know that you have all things, which, all things considered, would be good for you. Some things, which might be good in themselves, or good for others, might not be good for YOU; and, therefore, the Lord in love withholds them from you. But, whatever He gives, or takes away, or withholds, raise no questions concerning it, but let it be sufficient for you that the Lord hath done it.

Besides, when we know that the Lord takes away our possessions, the knowledge that they are His effectually prevents us from complaining. Suppose you are a steward to a certain nobleman, and that his lordship has been pleased to entrust you with ten thousand pounds of his money. By-and-by, he withdraws it from your charge, and invests it somewhere else. Well, it never was your money; you might have complained if it had been. But you are only a steward, and if your Lord pleases to withdraw His own money, are you going to be out of temper with your Master because He does what He wills with His own?

Suppose you have a banker, — and we are, as it were, the Lord’s bankers, — and suppose that, a week or two ago, you paid into the bank a thousand pounds, or more, and the clerks or those in authority were pleased to take charge of your money. But suppose that you went to the bank today, and drew it all out; they did not get angry with you. You would not like to trust a banker who was only civil to you when you were paying in money; and if we are God’s bankers, He sometimes puts His treasure into our keeping, and sometimes takes it out; but it is not OUR treasure any more than our money is the banker’s when we entrust it to his care. It is on deposit with us, and we ought to be paying to God good interest upon it. Whatever God has given to us, He never gave it as our own freehold. ’ It was always on a lease; — a lease, too, that had to be renewed every moment; for, if God chose to cancel it, He could do so whenever He pleased. How dare we then complain?

To use another figure, our Position is like that of a nurse, into whose care a mother placed her babe, and the nurse dandled the child, and was glad to have the charge of it; but when she had to return it to its mother, she cried over the loss of the little darling. Yet it was not the nurse’s child, given to her to keep; it was only hers to nurse. So it was with your children whom God has taken home to himself; they were not yours to keep. The Lord put each one of them, for a while, into your charge, and said to you, “Christian mother, take this child, and nurse it for me, and I will pay thee thy wages;” so, when He called the child back to Himself, why should you complain as though He had wronged you?

Or, to use another illustration, which has been frequently employed in this connection, — a gardener had been specially careful in tending one particular rose, which was yet fair to look upon; but, when he went, one morning, to his favorite rose-bush, he found that the flower, of which he had taken such care, was gone. He was very vexed, for he thought that some bad boy had stolen into the garden, and taken away his best flower. He was complaining very bitterly of his loss, when someone said, “The master has been down in the garden this morning, and he has been admiring this rose-bush, and he has taken away that fine bud of which you were so proud.” Then the gardener was delighted that he had been able to grow a flower that had attracted his master’s notice; and, instead of mourning any longer, he began to rejoice.

So, should it be with anything upon which we have set our hearts. Let each one of us say to our Master, “My Lord, if it pleases Thee to take it, it pleases me to lose it Why should I complain because Thou hast taken from me, what is really Thine own?

“If Thou shouldst call me to resign what most I prize, — it ne’er was mine; I only yield Thee what was Thine: Thy will be done!”

“Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD!” [Job 1:20,21]

A REMINDER ON THIS SO CALLED ‘EARTH-DAY’

A REMINDER ON THIS SO CALLED ‘EARTH-DAY’

C.H. Spurgeon

“The earth is the LORD’S, and the fullness thereof!” [Psalm 24:1]

And therefore it is also the believer’s. The real fullness of the earth belongs to the Christian. “The meek shall inherit the earth.”
“The world, and they that dwell there in. For He hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.” [Psalms 24:1-2.]

So, child of God, you are in your Father’s house even while you are down here on earth. Still, that question in the next verse is very suggestive. Albeit that the earth is the Lord’s, yet we do not want to stop in it for ever.

“Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord?” [Psalms 24:3]
This is the portion of the Lord’s people to ascend the hill of the Zion that is above, to enter the New Jerusalem, and to stand in the immediate presence of God. But who shall ever be able to do that?

“He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully; he shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the blood of his salvation.” [Psalms 24:4-5]

The man who will go to heaven is the clean man, the man who has been washed from his sins in the blood of the Lamb; and he is clean just where he was most likely to be foul, he has “clean hands.” Grace has enabled him to touch the things of the world without receiving a stain from them, and to touch holy things without defiling them. This expression — “clean hands “ — refers to his outward life; but he is also clean inside, for he has “a pure heart.”

If a man were clean as to his actions, but not clean as to his motives, he would not be fit to enter heaven, but the man described here is a true man. He has not followed after vanity, neither has he uttered a lie, but he has followed the truth, and he has spoken the truth. He is the man whom God will bless, but he has no righteousness of his own, so we read that “he shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.” So he needed to be saved, and he needed a righteousness better than his own, and THIS God will give him.

Thank you Lord Jesus!

I CAN’T PAY YOU BACK LORD!

I CAN’T PAY YOU BACK LORD!

C.H. Spurgeon

“What shall I render unto the LORD for all His benefits toward me? I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the Name of the LORD.” [Psalm 116:12,13]

I will take the cup of salvation. “I will take” is a strange answer to the question, “What shall I render?” and yet it is the wisest reply that could possibly be given.

“The best return for one like me,
So wretched and so poor,
Is from His gifts to draw a plea
And ask Him still for more.”

To take the cup of salvation was in itself an act of worship, and it was accompanied with other forms of adoration, hence the Psalmist says, and call upon the name of the LORD. He means that he will utter blessings and thanksgivings and prayers, and then drink of the cup which the Lord had filled with His saving grace. What a cup this is! Upon the table of infinite love stands the cup full of blessing; it is ours by faith to take it in our hand, make it our own, and partake of it, and then with joyful hearts to laud and magnify the gracious One who has filled it for our sakes that we may drink and be refreshed.

We can do this figuratively at the sacramental table, and we can do it spiritually every time we grasp the golden chalice of the covenant, realizing the fulness of blessing which it contains, and by faith receiving its divine contents into our inmost soul. Beloved reader, let us pause here and take a long and deep draught from the cup which Jesus filled, and then with devout hearts let us worship God.

Let God’s afflictions be what they can be, yet I will always acknowledge they can never be in any degree so great as His benefits: and oh, that I could think of something that I might render to Him for all his benefits: for shall I receive such great, such infinite benefits from Him, and shall I render nothing to Him by way of gratefulness? But, alas, WHAT HAVE I TO RENDER? ALL MY RENDERING TO HIM WILL BE BUT TAKING MORE FROM HIM: for all I can do is but to take the cup of salvation, and call upon His Name, and what rendering is there in this taking?

If I could take the cup of tribulation, and drink it off for His sake, this might be a rendering of some value; but this, God knows, is no work for me to do. It was His work, who said, “Can ye drink of the cup, of which I shall drink?” Indeed, HE drank of the cup of tribulation, to the end that WE might take the cup of salvation; but then in taking it we must call upon His name; UPON HIS NAME AND UPON NO OTHER; or else we shall make it a CUP OF CONDEMNATION, seeing there is NO OTHER NAME UNDER HEAVEN, IN WHICH WE MAY BE SAVED, BUT ONLY THE NAME OF JESUS!

CAN THE ETHIOPIAN CHANGE HIS SKIN?

CAN THE ETHIOPIAN CHANGE HIS SKIN?

 C.H. SPURGEON

“Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil”! [Jer 13:23]

Let us go at once to our text and notice that it contains a question which admits of only one answer— “Can the Ethiopian change his skin?” Of course he cannot! And this fact suggests to us a spiritual question—Can a man who is accustomed to do evil, so change himself as to do good? Of course he cannot, any more than the Ethiopian can change his skin! When we have talked over that question which admits of only one answer, I shall put another question which admits of the opposite reply.  In that latter part of our subject may the Lord be pleased to send comfort to those who are despairing and who know that they can no more change their own nature than the Ethiopian can change his skin, or the leopard his spots!

There are some things that men can do. A white man may be made almost black, as far as his skin is concerned. There are certain medicines that operate upon the skin and give it a very strange color— you may have seen a few such cases in your lifetime. But, though you can put the color in, you cannot take it out. The man who is white, or the woman who is very fair, may, either of them, sit in the sun till they become browned so that they might almost say with the spouse in the Song of Solomon, “I am black because the sun has looked upon me.” But you could not turn a black man, white, though you can turn a white man black. You can do what you please by way of spoiling, but you can do nothing by way of mending.

You can make yourself filthy by sin, but you cannot make yourself spiritually clean, do what you will! There is an ease about going down—you can jump down a precipice quickly enough, but who could stand at the bottom of a high cliff and leap to the top at one bound? Man can come down against his will, but he cannot go up even with his will. You can do evil all too readily—you can do it with both hands, greedily, and do it again and again and not grow weary of it—but to return to the right path, this is the difficulty!

But remember, dear Friends, that, even if an Ethiopian could change his skin, that would be a far smaller difficulty than the one with which a sinner has to deal, FOR IT IS NOT HIS SKIN, BUT HIS HEART WHICH HAS TO BE CHANGED. There are some creatures in which, if they lose a limb, it will grow again, or another will come in its place, but there is no creature living that could lose its heart and then grow another. There is a tree of a certain sort and you can, if you please, graft upon it and it will produce a different kind of fruit. Or you can take off one limb of a tree and another branch may grow—but you cannot change the tree’s heart.

Even if it were possible for the Ethiopian to change his skin, that would be a change, as we say, only skin-deep, and that is no parallel to the sinner and his sin—the leprosy lies deep within. It is the heart that is “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.” It is the center and source of thought and action which is polluted and a change must be worked there. “Can the Ethiopian change his skin?” No, but if he could do so, could a sinner change his heart? ASSUREDLY NOT!

Let me try to set forth, in some small measure, the difficulty of this business. The first difficulty is because the evil that man has is in his nature. If sin were merely an accident, then it might be prevented. But it is not so. If sheep were to fall down into the mud, they might soon be up again, and it would be possible to keep them from falling. But when the swine go down into the mud, they roll in it because they delight in wallowing! As long as there is any mire about and the sow can get there, she will return to her wallowing as long as she remains a sow, for the filthiness is in her nature as well as in that which surrounds her! And it is so with us so far as sin is concerned.

The Ethiopian could wash himself clean, but the blackness of his skin is a part of his Ethiopian nature and he cannot get rid of that. The leopard’s spots are not accidental to it, but it has spots BECAUSE IT IS A LEOPARD.

So, sin is not accidental to human nature, but it is part and parcel of ourselves. When you see a man, you see a sinner! And if you could look into his heart, you would see the seed-plot of all manner of mischief which only needs congenial surroundings to fully develop itself. How can a man change his own nature? I do not suppose that, by any possibility, I could ever become an Ethiopian. I do not think that if I were to set my mind to the task, I could ever, by any possibility, turn into a Dutchman because I was not born so—it is not according to my nature. I must remain an Englishman, Essex-born, as long as I live. Only a miracle could make me anything different from that!

And the sinner is a sinner right through. Wherever you look at him, he is a sinner, and so he always will be UNLESS A SUPERIOR POWER SHALL INTERVENE TO CHANGE HIM.

Alas also, this evil nature of man brings with it the fact that his will is altogether perverted. A man will not cease to do evil and learn to do well because he has no heart to do it. Sinners do not want to be saved. “Oh,” says one, “I do!” But do you understand what it is to be saved?

EVERY SINNER WOULD LIKE TO ESCAPE FROM GOING TO HELL, BUT THAT IS NOT WHAT IS MEANT BY SALVATION.

To be saved means to be saved from loving evil, from seeking after it and living in it. Do you want to be saved from that? Do you want to be saved from falsehood, saved from the indulgence of your passions, saved from strong drink, saved from pride, saved from covetousness? The most of men have not a heart inclined to that—there is some sweet sin of theirs which they would like to sip, at least now and then upon the sly. That is to say, evil, as evil, is not abhorrent to the natural will, but the natural will of man goes after that which is evil as surely as ever children seek after that which is sweet!

Sin is sweet to man and he will have it if he can. How, then, can his nature be changed while he has no will to it? The will is, as it were, the rudder of the ship. My Lord Will-be-Will, according to John Bunyan, is the Lord Mayor of the town of Mansoul. And so he is, and he carries it in a very lordly way. He will have this and he will have that—and he will not have the other—and he is the master of the man.

Till the will is changed, till what is called, “free will,” is made, in truth, to be free will—free from the chains of evil and the love of sin—the man cannot rise to happiness and God any more than the Ethiopian can change his skin!

What is to be done with a man like that? He is determined to go over hedge and ditch to Hell. His father, a dear gray-headed old saint, has blocked the way, but he has pushed him aside. His mother has come and said, “My Boy, do not ruin yourself,” and she has hung about his neck and tried to keep him from sin. But he has shaken her off. In spite of wife, child, and friends, he is determined to destroy himself! And do you tell me that such a man is able to change himself? Yes, when Ethiopians change their skins and when leopards change their own spots, then will it be done, but not till then! THE CASE IS HOPELESS IF IT REMAINS WITH THE MAN, HIMSELF—THE WORK CANNOT BE ACCOMPLISHED.

What can he do by which he can change his nature and make a new man of himself? All outward means are unavailing. He may go and hear sermons. Well, I know that sermons of my preaching will never turn a heart of stone into flesh. Without the Spirit of God there will be no result whatever produced! The man may be christened, or he may be baptized, but what is there in water drops or water floods that can alter his sinful nature? Why, there have been villains upon earth who have gone through every religious ceremony and yet have ended at the gallows!

You may scrub an Ethiopian till you scrub his skin away, but he will be as black as ever when you have done with him. So is it with the sinner. You may put him through every form and ceremony of the church—and you may make him think that he has accepted the orthodox creed and you may even alter his outward life to a considerable extent—yet, WHEN IT IS ALL DONE, NOTHING AT ALL WILL REALLY HAVE BEEN DONE TOWARDS HIS SOUL’S SALVATION!

Somebody, perhaps, asks, “Why, then, do you preach to these people?”

Well, I do it principally because I am sent to do it. You see, if God were to send me to preach to the mountains and to bid them move, I would go and do it—and expect to see them move! If He were to bid me go and stand on the shore, and say to the salt sea waves, “Turn into fresh water,” I would do it, not because I think the sea, which is salt, can make itself fresh, but because my Lord never sent me on a fool’s errand and He will honor the message He tells me to deliver!

I heard somebody say that to tell a dead sinner to live was as if you were to stand at a grave and bid a dead body live. That is exactly it, my dear Friends, and you say it is ridiculous. Yes, it is very ridiculous if you leave God out of it, but as we are told to do it, we leave the responsibility of it with the Lord—and we intend to go on with this thing which men call ridiculous! Like Ezekiel, we are commanded to say, “O you dry bones, hear the Word of the Lord.” Somebody objects that dry bones cannot hear—that does not matter to us—we are bid to tell them to hear and WE EXPECT THAT THE LORD WILL ENABLE THEM TO HEAR WHAT HE HAS COMMANDED US TO SAY TO THEM!

CHRIST THE FAIREST AMONG TEN THOUSAND

CHRIST THE FAIREST AMONG TEN THOUSAND

C.H. Spurgeon

“I am the Rose of Sharon, and the Lily of the valleys.” [SoS 2:1]

Whatever there may be of beauty in the material world, Jesus Christ possesses all that in the spiritual world in a tenfold degree! Amongst flowers the rose is deemed the sweetest, but Jesus is infinitely more beautiful in the garden of the soul than the rose can be in the gardens of earth! He takes the first place as the fairest among ten thousand!

He is the sun, and all others are the stars; the heavens and the day are dark in comparison with Him, for the King in His beauty transcends all. “I am the rose of Sharon!” This was the best and rarest of roses. Jesus is not “the rose” alone, He is “the rose of Sharon,” just as He calls His righteousness “gold,” and then adds, “the gold of Ophir” – the best of the best. He is positively lovely, and superlatively the loveliest!

There is variety in His charms. The rose is delightful to the eye, and its scent is pleasant and refreshing; so each of the senses of the soul, whether it be the taste or feeling, the hearing, the sight, or the spiritual smell, finds appropriate gratification in Jesus. Even the recollection of His love is sweet. Take the rose of Sharon, and pull it leaf from leaf, and lay by the leaves in the jar of memory, and you shall find each leaf fragrant long afterwards, filling the house with perfume. Christ satisfies the highest taste of the most educated spirit to the very full.

The greatest amateur in perfumes is quite satisfied with the rose: and when the soul has arrived at her highest pitch of true taste, she shall still be content with Christ, nay, she shall be the better able to appreciate Him. Heaven itself possesses nothing which excels the rose of Sharon. What emblem can fully set forth His beauty? Human speech and earth-born things fail to tell of him. Earth’s choicest charms commingled, feebly picture His abounding preciousness. Blessed rose, bloom in my heart forever! Amen!

THE OX KNOWETH HIS OWNER

 

THE OX KNOWETH HIS OWNER

C.H. Spurgeon notes

“The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib; but Israel doth not know, My people doth not consider,” [Isaiah 1:3]

The Spirit of God can make use of any agency to bring sinners to repentance and faith in the Redeemer. Commenting once upon the words, “The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib; but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider,” [Isaiah 1:3] the speaker sought to impress upon his people how strangely guilty the human heart is, despising the goodness of God, and forgetting his very existence.

Three or four days after, a farmer, who had been present, was giving provender to his cattle, when one of his oxen, evidently grateful for his care, fell to licking his bare arm. Instantly, with this simple incident, the Holy Spirit flashed conviction on the farmer’s mind. He burst into tears, and exclaimed, “Yes, it is all true. How wonderful is God’s word! This poor dumb brute is really more grateful to me than I am to God, and yet I am in debt to him for everything. What a sinner I am! ” The lesson had found its way to his heart, and wrought there effectually to lead him to Christ.

Praise the Lord!

THE CHRISTIAN’S CROWN TRULY BELONGS TO THE LORD WHO GAVE IT

THE CHRISTIAN’S CROWN TRULY BELONGS TO THE LORD WHO GAVE IT

C.H. Spurgeon

Will you wear a crown, believer? Will you accept one jot or tittle of the glory? O no, you will each of you disown anything like the Arminian’s proud boast of free selfwill! It will be grace, grace, divine grace, alone, in heaven! There will be no division and no discord in that eternal hymn. We will cast our crowns at once before Him, and we will say, “Not unto us, not unto us, but unto Thy name be all the praise.” [Psalm 115:1] Before the Throne of our Sovereign God our gratitude is mingled with humility.

It is said they cast their crowns before the Throne. They know where they got them, and they know to whom to ascribe the praise. Their crowns are their own, and, therefore, they wear them on their heads. Their crowns were Jesus’ gift, and, therefore, they cast them at His feet. They wear their crown, for He has made them kings, and they cannot refuse the dignity; but they cast the crown at His feet, for they are only kings by right received from Him, and acknowledge Him thus to be King of kings, and Lord of lords.

It was a custom, you know, in imperial Rome, for those kings who held dominion under the emperor, on certain occasions, to take off their crowns and lay them down before the emperor, so that when he bade them put them on again, they had fully recognized that their rights of kingship flowed only through him. So do they who are before the throne of God! With what rapture, with what joy, with what delight, do they cast their crowns there! To think they have a crown, and a crown to cast before Him!

Brothers and sisters, I am afraid when you and I get any graces, or have been made useful in Christ’s cause, we are glad for the thing’s sake; but we are not right, if so; we should be glad because we have something to cast at His feet. Have you faith? I must thank Him for faith, I must lay it at His feet and say, “Jesus, use my faith for Your glory, for You are its author and finisher.” If you and I shall, by divine grace, persevere to the end, and shall arrive at heaven, it will be a joy to think that we are saved, but we will lay it all at the door of divine love!

Why, then, you ask now, do they cast their crowns at the foot of the Throne? There are four answers which may very properly be given.

The first, no doubt, is for the reason of solemn reverence. They see more of God than we do, therefore are they more filled with awe and thrilled with admiration. From what we—who worship, as it were, in His outer courts and get but distant glimpses of His majesty and His mercy—from what we at present know of God we should be constrained to say, “Not unto us, not unto us, but unto Your name give glory for Your mercy and Your Truth’s sake.” But where God more gloriously reveals Himself and where His attributes are more clearly seen, no doubt there is more overwhelming emotion and more intense reverence—therefore at once, and of spontaneous impulse—the soul pays all the homage that it can before the Throne of God.

I think it would seem to them as though it could not be that they could sit with crowned heads in the Presence of the King of kings! That head that once was crowned with thorns, when we see it adorned with the royal diadem, surely we should not bear to be crowned in the Presence of such an One! For what are we, and what is our Father’s house? God has done all He can for us, yet what shall we be as compared with Him, the Infinite and Eternal! And as compared with Christ, the ever-blessed who died for us? O, our reverence will always make us feel in the lowest state of self-abasement at the foot of the Throne!

Moreover, they are, no doubt, actuated by sincere humility. Reverence to God always brings a humble opinion of one’s own self. Here below, Beloved, we sometimes murmur at the Divine will when His appointments cross and foil our inclinations. Were we more humble and less self-opinionated we should utterly distrust ourselves and put implicit confidence in Him. We should at once cast our wills at the Lord’s feet. Here we set up our own opinion in opposition to the revealed will of God. We would not do that if we knew ourselves, but we should lay our judgment at the foot of the Throne. But up there they judge righteous judgments and, knowing God and beholding His Glory, they shrink into nothing and lay themselves at His feet—much more do they renounce their will.

They feel, they know, they confess that any honor or desert they have has been obtained through the Grace of God— that they must fully, heartily, unreservedly ascribe to Grace that which they dare not arrogate to themselves. Doubtless, also, they do this for another reason, namely, because of their profound gratitude. They bless God that they are where they are and what they are. If you ask those before the Throne, they will tell you that not only do they owe their crowns to Grace, but every single gem in their crowns. They have not one single star in their diadem but what the Lord put there and there is not a single sparkle of any crystal sapphire that is in their coronet but what they may trace the flashing gleam to the Sovereign Grace of God.

Therefore, how could they keep anything to themselves? Gratitude constrains them to lay their crowns where their crowns came from. And, above all, they are actuated by intense affection. They love their Lord, and loving their Lord they do anything to adore Him. Self-denial is the name we give on earth to that Grace which not only ignores but consumes one’s self in the fervor of zeal, in the passion of love. What word would answer for the like?—Though the greater vehemence of those in Heaven I cannot tell. They are glad to fling their richest goods, their choicest trophy, their most cherished treasure at His feet—they love Him so. Here we love ourselves and cherish some fond attachment to our fellow creatures, also. And our hearts are stolen away by some earthly object. But there they love God intensely, continually, undividedly, without a flaw—and consequently they cast everything down before Him—and they lay their crowns at His feet.

As we see what they do, let us consider what we should do, and anticipate what we shall do when we join that august assembly. I would like to have a bright crown, bright with many gems of souls turned to righteousness, for they that turn many to righteousness shall shine as stars forever. But I think the sweetness will be to have a bright crown to lay at His feet, not for the sake of wearing it but giving it, if thereby a saved one might give honor to His Savior. You will notice they do not attempt to put the crown upon the Lord’s head. No, we cannot add to His splendor! He is infinitely glorious! Without creatures, without servants, without saints He is glorious—we cannot add to His Glory—we can but lay our crowns at His feet. We cast them at the feet though we cannot put them on the monarch’s head.

And would not we wish to have as bright a crown as possible for the sake of placing it there? O, fight, you soldier of Christ, and bear hardness that your crown may be a precious one! Pray, minister of God, that you may preach with all your heart and soul and strength, that your diadem may be a sparkling one! Dear Sister in your tent, or dear Brother out in the battle, be valiant for God, for we all agree in this, that whatever the crown shall be, at His dear feet we cast it! 

GIVE GOD A CALL

GIVE GOD A CALL

C.H. Spurgeon

No matter WHERE you are or HOW you’re feelin’ you can call upon your God and He has promised to answer you!

“Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things,which thou knowest not.”— Jer 33:3
GOD encourages us to PRAY. They tell us that PRAYER is a pious exercise which has no influence except upon the mind engaged in it. We know better. Our experience gives the lie a thousand times over to this infidel assertion. Here Jehovah, the living God, distinctly promises to answer the PRAYER of His servant. Let us CALL UPON Him again and admit no doubt upon the question of His hearing us and answering us. He that made the ear, shall He not hear? He that gave parents a love to their children, will He not listen to the cries of His own sons and daughters?

God will answer His PLEADING people in their anguish. He has wonders in store for them. What they have never seen, heard of, or dreamed of, He will do for them. He will invent new blessings if needful. He will ransack sea and land to feed them: He will send every angel out of heaven to succor them, if their distress requires it. He will astound us with His grace and make us feel that it was never before done in this fashion. All He asks of us is that we will CALL UPON Him. He cannot ask less of us. Let us cheerfully render Him our PRAYERS at once.

GOD’S COMFORT COMPARED TO A MOTHER’S COMFORT

GOD’S COMFORT COMPARED TO A MOTHER’S COMFORT

C.H. Spurgeon

“As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you.” (Isaiah 66:13)

A mother’s comfort! Ah, this is tenderness itself. How she enters into her child’s grief! How she presses him to her bosom and tries to take all his sorrow into her own heart! He can tell her all, and she will sympathize as nobody else can. Of all comforters the child loves best his mother, and even full-grown men have found it so.

Does Jehovah condescend to act the mother’s part? This is goodness indeed. We readily perceive how He is a father; but will He be as a mother also? Does not this invite us to holy familiarity, to unreserved confidence, to sacred rest? When God Himself becomes “the Comforter,” no anguish can long abide. Let us tell out our trouble, even though sobs and sighs should become our readiest utterance. He will not despise us for our tears; our mother did not.

He will consider our weakness as she did, and He will put away our faults, only in a surer, safer way than our mother could do. We will not try to bear our grief alone; that would be unkind to one so gentle and so kind. Let us begin the day with our loving God, and wherefore should we not finish it in the same company, since mothers weary not of their children?

THE GOD WHO TEACHES YOU TO FLY

THE GOD WHO TEACHES YOU TO FLY

C.H. Spurgeon

“Underneath are the Everlasting Arms.” [Deut 33:27]

This short passage is found in the midst of a mass of gold—sentences containing the richest treasures of the Truth of God. All this spiritual wealth is the heritage of the people of God—not only of His typical people to whom these words were spoken, but to His real people, the true seed of Abraham, those who are the believing children of the Father of all Believers.

If you are trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ, you may take these precious words home to yourself—and you may live upon them—you may eat the fat, drink the sweet and rejoice in all the refreshment that they bring to your spirit! In the four verses, from the 26th to the 29th, notice how near God is said to be to His people. He is described as being above us, arching us over with His Divine Power—“There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in His excellency on the sky. .” Faith can hear the trump of the celestial cavalry above our heads!

We who trust in the Lord are always safe, for the angels of God are looking down upon us from the battlements of Heaven, ready to show themselves strong on our behalf as soon as their presence is needed by us. Then, our text tells us of God beneath us. As He is above us in the heavens, so underneath us are the everlasting arms. The next sentence shows us God before us—“and He shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.”

And the remaining verses of the chapter represent Him as being all around us, so that we are encompassed with God—not only with His Presence, with which He fills Heaven, earth and all deep places—but with the glorious Presence of His mighty love. He is above, beneath, before, and all around us! He never forsakes us, for in Him we live, move, and have our being. Let us rejoice, therefore, in our Lord’s nearness!