Grace Gems for FEBRUARY, 2023


Many times Jesus and His people pull against one another in prayer!

(Charles SpurgeonPlay Audio!  Download Audio

"Father, I will that those also whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am." John 17:24

O death! Why do you touch the tree beneath whose spreading branches, weariness has rest? Why do you snatch away the excellent of the earth, in whom is all Your delight? If you must use your ax, use it upon the trees which yield no fruit, you might be thanked then. But why will you strike down the goodly cedars of Lebanon? O stay your ax, and spare the righteous!

But no, it must not be! Death smites the goodliest of our friends! The most generous, the most prayerful, the most holy, the most devoted—must die. And why? It is through Jesus' prevailing prayer, "Father, I will that those also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am." It is Jesus' prayer which bears them on eagle's wings to heaven. Every time a believer mounts from this earth to paradise, it is an answer to Christ's prayer!

A good old divine remarks, "Many times Jesus and His people pull against one another in prayer."

You bend your knee in prayer and say 'Father, I will that Your saints be with me where I am.'

Christ says, 'Father, I will that those also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am.'

Thus the disciple is at cross-purposes with his Lord. The soul cannot be in both places; the beloved one cannot be with Christ, and with you too.

Now, which pleader shall win the day? If you had your choice; if the King should step from His throne, and say, "Here are two supplicants praying in opposition to one another—which shall be answered?" Oh! I am sure, though it were agony, you would start from your feet, and say, "Jesus, not my will, but may Yours be done!" You would give up your prayer for your loved one's life, if you could realize the thoughts that Christ is praying in the opposite direction, "Father, I will that those also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am."

Lord, You shall have them. By faith, I will let them go!

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The temptation and the opportunity

(James Smith Autobiography)  Play Audio!  Download Audio

I have just heard that an old friend, far advanced in life, has fallen into sin! May the Lord pardon and restore him.

In looking back, I wonder that I have not publicly fallen; for I have been powerfully tempted to other sins, equally as bad. I have regularly observed, that in my experience the Lord has not often allowed the temptation and the opportunity, to meet! And when they have, fear has worked powerfully and kept me back.

"But as for me, my feet were almost gone!
 My steps had well near slipped!" Psalm 73:2

Ah, how frequently have I been almost gone! I can call to mind places and times, when I have been in the very mouth of danger, on the brink of a fearful fall—and yet the Lord has held me up! But for special keeping, where would I have been this morning? And what would I be? Blessed be God, though it was almost, it was not fully. This word, almost, has been sweet to my soul.

Almost gone, but altogether saved—through God's most free, and all-glorious grace!

But I would not merely be kept from open sin, I desire to be so deeply sanctified, that my soul may . . .
  hate, abhor, and detest sin in every form,
  tremble at its approach, and
  flee from the very appearance of evil, to Jesus!

I find that my nature is still corrupt, depraved, and polluted; and that . . .
  the blood of Jesus,
  the restraining power of the Holy Spirit,
  and the forgiving grace of God,
are as necessary as ever!

"Hold me up, and I shall be safe!" Psalm 119:117

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An infant's breath might blow it out!

(Charles SpurgeonPlay Audio!  Download Audio

"He will not break a bruised reed, and He will not put out a smoldering wick." Matthew 12:20

What is weaker than the bruised reed, or the smoldering wick?

A reed that grows in the marsh—let but the wild duck land upon it, and it snaps.
Let but the foot of man brush against it, and it is bruised and broken.
Every wind that flits across the river, moves it to and fro.
You can conceive of nothing more frail or brittle, or whose existence is more in jeopardy—than a bruised reed.

Then look at the smoldering wick, what is it?
It has a spark within it, it is true; but it is almost smothered.
An infant's breath might blow it out!

Nothing has a more precarious existence than its flame.

Weak things are here described, yet Jesus says of them, "I will not break a bruised reed; I will not put out a smoldering wick."

Some of God's children are made strong to do mighty works for Him. God has His Samsons here and there, who can pull up Gaza's gates, and carry them to the top of the hill. He has a few mighties who are lion-like men.

But the majority of His people are a timid, trembling race. They are like starlings, frightened at every passer-by. They are a little fearful flock. If temptation comes, they are captured like birds in a snare. If trial threatens, they are ready to faint. Their frail skiff is tossed up and down by every wave; they drift along like a sea bird on the crest of the billows—weak things, without strength, without wisdom, without foresight.

Yet, as weak as they are, and because they are so weak—they have this promise made specially to them! Herein is grace and graciousness! Herein is love and loving-kindness! How it reveals the compassion of Jesus to us—so gentle, tender, considerate! We need never shrink back from His touch. We need never fear a harsh word from Him, though He might well chide us for our weakness. Bruised reeds shall have no blows from Him; and the smoldering wick, no damping frowns!

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The drop of water, and a giant being!

(Charles Spurgeon, "God's Estimate of Time" 1862)  Play Audio!  Download Audio

"Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales;
 He weighs the islands as though they were fine dust!"
Isaiah 40:15

Within the compass of a drop of water we are told that sometimes a thousand living creatures may be discovered; and to those diminutive creatures, no doubt, their size is something very important. There is a creature inside that drop which can only be seen by the strongest microscope, but it is a hundred times larger than its neighbor; and it feels, no doubt, that the difference is amazing and extraordinary.

But to you and to I, who cannot even see the largest of these creatures with the naked eye, the larger animalcule is as imperceptible as his dwarfish friend; they both seem so utterly insignificant that we squander whole millions of them, and are not very penitent if we destroy them by thousands.

But what would one of those little imperceptible animals say if some prophet of its own kind could tell them that there is a giant being living, that would reckon the 'whole world of a drop of water'—as nothing; and could take up ten thousand thousand of those drops and scatter them without exertion of half its power; that this 'giant being' would not be encumbered if it should carry on the tip of its finger all the thousands that live in that great world, a drop of water; that this 'giant being' would have no disturbance of heart, even if the great king of one of the empires in that drop should gather all his armies against it and lead them to battle!

Why, then the minuscule creatures would say: "How can this be? We can hardly grasp the idea?"

But when that microscopic philosopher could have gotten an idea of man, and of the utter insignificance of its own self, and of its own little narrow world—then it would have achieved an easy task, compared with that which lies before us when we attempt to get an idea of our great God. 

We think of the infinite nature of God in being able to marshal all the stars, and govern all the orbs which bespangle the brow of night; but I take it to be quite as great a wonder that He should even know that such insignificant nothings as we humans are in existence, much more that He should count every hair of our heads, and not allow one of them to fall to the ground without His express decree. 

The Infinite is as much known in the small as in the magnanimous; and God may be as really discovered by us in the drop of water as in the rolling orb! But this is astonishing of God—that He even observes us!

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The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ!

(James Smith, "Manna in the Wilderness" 1863)  LISTEN to Audio!  Download Audio

"May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world!" Galatians 6:14

In the cross we see . . .
  the rights of divine justice maintained;
  the designs of divine mercy revealed;
  sin appearing exceedingly sinful;
  the law magnified and honored; and
  the law-breaker pardoned and delivered!

At the cross God and sinners meet—and a reconciliation takes place.
Here, man drops the weapons of rebellion—and God lays aside the sword of divine displeasure.
Here, the works of Satan are destroyed—and the gates of paradise are thrown open.
Here, the creditor is discharged, his every crime is atoned for—and everlasting righteousness is completed!
Here, God is "just, and the justifier of the one who believes in Jesus."

At the cross . . .
  mercy takes the throne,
  justice guards her rights,
  holiness maintains her prerogative,
  the sinner has hope, and
  iniquity is forever atoned for!

At the cross . . .
  we are stripped of self, and clothed with Christ;
  we lose our fears, and obtain the sweetest comforts;
  we find paradise restored, and have a foretaste of glory;
  Jehovah is revealed as the sinner's friend;
  death is destroyed as the believer's foe;
  Satan's . . .
    folly is published,
    designs are frustrated, and
    character is exposed to perpetual shame.

At the cross . . .
  all the truths of revelation center,
  all the perfections of Deity unite,
  and the way to eternal life is opened!

The Cross of Jesus! May it be . . .
  the emblem of my faith,
  the subject of my song,
  the antidote of my sorrows,
  and the glory of my soul!

"May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world!" Galatians 6:14

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Let me tell you a little secret!

(Charles SpurgeonLISTEN to Audio!  Download Audio

"Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Your law!" Psalm 119:18

Let me tell you a little secret: whenever you cannot understand a text, open your Bible, bend your knee, and pray over that text; and if it does not split into atoms and open itself, then try again. If prayer does not explain it, then it is one of those things that God did not intend you to know at present, and you may be content to be ignorant of it.

Prayer is the key that opens the cabinets of mystery. Prayer and faith are sacred picklocks that can open secrets, and obtain great treasures! There is no college for holy education like that of the blessed Spirit, for He is an ever-present tutor, to whom we have only to bend the knee, and He is at our side—the great Expositor of truth!

You will frequently find fresh streams of thought leaping up from the passage before you, as if the rock had been struck by Moses' rod! New veins of precious ore will be revealed to your astonished gaze as you quarry God's Word and use diligently the hammer of prayer!

"But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes—He will guide you into all truth!" John 16:13

"Every text prayed over opens a mine of 'unsearchable riches,' with a light from above, more clear and full than the most intelligent exposition." (Charles Bridges)

"A humble and prayerful spirit will find a thousand things in the Bible—which the proud, self-conceited student will utterly fail to discern." (J.C. Ryle)."

"There should be a definite asking Him to graciously anoint our eyes—not only that we may be enabled to behold wondrous things in His law, but also that He will make us of quick discernment to perceive how the passage before us applies to ourselves—what are the particular lessons we need to learn from it. The more we cultivate this habit, the more likely that God will be pleased to open His Word unto us." (Arthur Pink)

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The threatenings of God!

(James Smith, "The Threatenings of God")  LISTEN to Audio!  Download Audio

"What will you say when He punishes you?" Jeremiah 13:21

God has threatened to punish lost sinners—every sinner who lives and dies in unbelief.

His threatenings are written in His Word, that we may read them;
they are published by His ministers, that we may hear them;
they are often repeated, that we may not forget them;
some of them are fulfilled in this world, that we may believe and fear them.

No unbelieving, impenitent, careless sinner shall escape! The whole of the wicked shall be turned into Hell, and all the nations that forget God.

Every one will be punished . . .
  justly, in exact proportion to the nature and number of his sins;
  universally, in every part of body and soul;
  fearfully, without any mixture of mercy;
  eternally, without cessation or end!

The threatenings of God are backed and sustained . . .
  by His omnipotent power;
  by His unchangeable purpose;
  by His impartial justice;
  by His inflexible holiness;
  and by His solemn oath.
They cannot be more sure, nor can they be more dreadful.

Lost sinner, they are all pointed at you! They speak . . .
  of snares,
  of fire and brimstone,
  of a never-dying worm,
  of a lake of fire,
  of blackness and darkness,
  of gnashing of teeth,
  of eternal separation from God, and
  a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire, that will consume the enemies of God! Hebrews 10:27

Punishment is in store for you! You are warned of it, and invited to escape from it! But if you do not, then "What will you say when He punishes you?"

Can you say that you did not believe that God would be true to His Word? This would be to insult Him to His face, and to tell Him plainly that you thought Him to be a liar!

There is but one alternative; you must make up your mind to suffer the torments of quenchless flames forever—or flee to the Lord Jesus Christ for life and salvation! He is the only way of escape, there is salvation in no other.
There is pardon in His blood.
There is mercy at His throne.
There is pity in His heart.
There is veracity in His Word.
There is hope for you.

Flee to Him, and you are safe!

Reject Him, persevere in sin, prefer the world—and you must forever . . .
  be lashed by an accusing conscience,
  be tormented by a cruel and remorseless devil,
  be punished by a just and holy God, and
  condemn yourself throughout eternity!

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That unclean donkey is yourself!

(Charles SpurgeonLISTEN to Audio!  Download Audio

"You must redeem the firstborn donkey with a lamb.
 But if you do not redeem it, you must kill the donkey by breaking its neck!" Exodus 34:20

Every firstborn creature must be the Lord's; but since the donkey was unclean, it could not be presented in sacrifice to Him. What then? Should it be allowed to go free from the universal law? By no means! God admits of no exceptions. The donkey is His due, but He will not accept it; He will not abate the claim; but yet He cannot be pleased with the unclean victim. No way of escape remained, but redemption—the donkey must be saved by the substitution of a lamb in its place; or if not redeemed, it must die!

My soul, here is a lesson for you! That unclean donkey is yourself! You are justly the property of the Lord who made you and preserves you—but you are so sinful that God will not, cannot, accept you! It has come to this: the Lamb of God must stand in your stead—or you must die eternally! Let all the world know of your gratitude to that spotless Lamb who has died for you, and so redeemed you from the fatal curse of the law!

Must it not sometimes have been a question with the Israelite, as to which should die—the donkey or the lamb? Would not the man pause to estimate and compare the values of these animals? Assuredly there was no comparison between the value of a sinful man, and the spotless Lord Jesus! Yet the Lamb dies; and the man, the donkey is spared!

My soul, admire the boundless love of God to you!
Vile worms
are bought, with the blood of the holy Lamb of God!
Dust and ashes
are redeemed, with a price far above silver and gold!
What a doom would have been mine, had not plenteous redemption been found!

The breaking of the neck of the donkey was but a momentary penalty. But who shall measure the eternal wrath to come, to which no limit can be imagined! Inestimably dear is the glorious Lamb, who has redeemed me from such a doom!

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He is the infinite, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, gracious, just, holy, and unchangeable I AM!

(James Smith, "The Love of Christ!")  LISTEN to Audio!  Download Audio

The Lord Jesus Christ is God—possessed of all divine attributes, and entitled to all divine honors. He is one with the Father and the Holy Spirit, God over all, and blessed for evermore! He is naturally, essentially, perfectly, and eternally possessed of everything peculiar to Deity.

He owes His existence to none. He says, "I am Jehovah, and beside Me there is no Savior!" He is God, and there is no other. There is no other name given under Heaven or among men, whereby we can be saved. He is the Rock of Ages. He is the infinite, omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent, gracious, just, holy, and unchangeable I AM!

Angels worship Him,
devils obey Him,
saints love Him, and
sinners will bow to Him!

He is the author of . . .
  and Glorification!

He . . .
  produced all things by His power,
  formed them by His wisdom,
  supplies them by His bounty,
  rules them by His instruments, and
  employs them according to His sovereign will.

He is above all—in the glory of His nature.
He possesses all—by essential right.
He will judge all—according to His righteousness.

All things are dependent upon Him, and all rational beings are accountable to Him.

Nothing can escape His eye; none can fly out out of His hand!

He is exalted above all, and remains King forever!

He is . . .
  the King of kings,
  the Lord of lords, and
  the only supreme Law-giver of the universe!

He is naturally, essentially, and eternally God:
  one with the Father,
  equal to the Father,
  and infinite as the Father.

Thus, the Scriptures reveal Him as such; saints acknowledge Him, and join the angelic host in worshiping, praising, and adoring Him! 

As such, He loves all His people—yes, He is love to them.

As such, they love Him, and trust their eternal interests into His hands!

No person can have right views of the love of Christ, who has not right views of the deity of Christ. His divinity gives lustre and glory, to His love. If He were not God, His love would be only a passion like ours, and would fluctuate and change. But being divine, His love is an infinite perfection, and remains immutably the same!

He loves His redeemed people with all the majesty of God, and with all the tenderness of man! 

His love has the strength of God, and the gentleness of sinless man!

He is all-loving, and altogether lovely! "Yes, He is altogether lovely! This is my Beloved, this is my Friend!" Song of Solomon 5:16

"Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them unto the end!" John 13:1

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Heaven has become a trifle to you,
  Hell is almost a jest,
    eternity an empty notion,
      and death but a bugbear!

(Charles SpurgeonLISTEN to Audio!  Download Audio

"Many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able!" Luke 13:24

I do not wonder that so many are deceived, when I see the careless way in which they deal with their souls. When men have to do with their estates, they are very careful; they pay a lawyer to go back over the title-deeds perhaps for two or three hundred years. In trade they will hurry hither and thither to attend to their commercial engagements; they would not launch into speculations, nor would they run great risks.

But the soul, the poor soul—how men play with it as a toy, and despise it as if it were worthless! Two or three minutes in the morning when they first roll out of bed; two or three odd minutes in the evening, when they are nearly asleep—the fag-ends of the day given to their souls, and all the best part given to the body!

And then, with what indifference do you lend your ears too often to the preaching of the Word! It is an old song, you have heard it so many times!
has become a trifle to you,
  Hell is almost a jest,
    eternity an empty notion,
      and death but a bugbear!

Alas! it is a marvel that there are not more deceived. The wonder is that any find the gate, that any discover eternal life—when we are so, so mad, so foolish, so insane, as to trifle where we ought to be solemnly in earnest; and to play and toy—where the whole heart should be given to a work of such everlasting importance. God help us, since it is so easy to be deceived—to search, and watch, and look, and test, and try—that we be not found castaways at the last!

"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it!" Matthew 7:13-14

"Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you, unless, of course, you fail the test?" 2 Corinthians 13:5

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Such poor depraved insignificant creatures!

(James Smith, "The Love of Christ! The Fullness, Freeness, and Immutability of the Savior's Grace Displayed!")

LISTEN to Audio!  Download Audio

"I have loved you, My people, with an everlasting love!
With unfailing love I have drawn you to Myself!" Jeremiah 31:3

The love of Christ is unending.
It is not a passion of His humanity, but a perfection of His divinity.
He has always existed, and He has always loved His people.
His people . . .
  always had a place in His thoughts,
  have ever been before His eye,
  and have always been loved by Him!     
He has loved them ever since He knew them, and He knew them from eternity!

His love ran through the boundless ages of eternity past, and fixed upon poor sinners who were to appear during the existence of time; and having fixed upon them, His love maintains its unfailing hold!

When He created the earth, spread abroad the Heavens, and gave His decree to the sea—His love was fixed upon His people! Their welfare, in connection with His Father's glory—was the object which He sought in all things.

Wonder, O heavens, and be astonished, O earth! That Jesus should have fixed His love upon such poor, depraved, insignificant creatures—and that from eternity past!

When we meditate upon eternity past, we can say in reference to the most distant periods, "My Savior loved me then! He loved me from all eternity!" Glorious truth! He always has loved me, and He always will love me! He loved me . . .
  before angels existed,
  before devils appeared,
  before sin was committed!

He loved me, when the Godhead dwelt all alone!
O the depths!
Astonishing mystery!
It seems too good to be true!
But God has said it, and my soul shall rejoice in it and praise Him for it!

His love to me is as eternal as His nature—without beginning of days, or end of years.
From His love, as from a mighty ocean, flows . . .
  all the acts of His power,
  all the displays of His benevolence,
  all the manifestations of His grace,
  and all the provisions of His gospel.

It is sweet to silently meditate upon the thought of such a vile and insignificant creature as I am—that Jehovah-Jesus not only thought of me, but eternally loved me with all the strength of His Deity! He so loved me, as to be willing, when it became necessary—to take my nature, and to save me by His humiliation, sufferings, and death!

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The Babylonian books of the present day!

(Charles Spurgeon, "The Greatest Fight in the World!")  Play Audio!  Download Audio

The history of that human ignorance which calls itself "philosophy", is absolutely identical with the history of fools! If ones were to write the history of folly, he would have to give several chapters to philosophy, and those chapters would be more revealing than any others.

Beware of the Babylonian books of the present day! The truth of God is the only treasure for which we seek, and the Scripture is the only field in which we dig for it! If you keep close to the inspired book, you can suffer no harm; you are at the fountain-head of all moral and spiritual good. This is fit food for the people of God; this is the bread which nourishes the highest life.

The prayerful study of the Word is not only a means of instruction, but an act of devotion wherein the transforming power of grace is often exercised—changing us into the image of Christ, of whom the Word is a mirror.

Within the Scripture, there is a balm for every wound, a salve for every sore. Oh, the wondrous power in the Scripture to create a heart of hope, within the ribs of despair! Amidst sharp and strong temptations, and fierce and bitter trials—the Word of the Lord has preserved us. Amidst discouragements which damped our hopes, and disappointments which wounded our hearts—our Bibles have brought us a secret, unconquerable consolation.

There is no true doctrine which has not been fruitful in good works. Payson wisely said, "If there is one fact, one doctrine, or promise in the Bible, which has produced no practical effect upon your temper or conduct—be assured that you do not truly believe it."

The "doctrines of grace" produce . . .
  a fine morality,
  a stern integrity,
  a delicate purity,
  a devout holiness,
  consecration in life,
  calm resignation in the hour of suffering,
  joyful confidence in the article of death.
This must be a true gospel, which can produce such lives as these!

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Who could have thought!

(James Smith, "The Love of Christ! The Fullness, Freeness, and Immutability of the Savior's Grace Displayed!")

Play Audio!  Download Audio

"But I am a worm and not a man—scorned by men and despised by the people!" Psalm 22:6

How wondrously did Jesus display His love when He . . .
  assumed our nature,
  took upon Him the form of a slave,
  and was found in appearance as a man!

What love,
to stoop so low as to . . .
  be conceived in a virgin's womb,
  be brought forth in pain, and
  experience all the weakness and ignorance of infancy!

Yes, He was brought forth in poverty—a stable for His birth-place, and a feeding-trough for His bed! He passed by the palaces of the noble, and the mansions of the great; yes, even the comfortable cottages of the poor—and was born in circumstances of misery and degradation!

Who could have thought, if they had entered that stable and seen that infant weeping on His mother's bosom:
 That that infant was the mighty God, the everlasting Father, and the Prince of peace!
 That all the fullness of the Godhead dwelt in that little babe!
 That it was love, incomparable and inconceivable love—which brought Deity and humanity together in such a wonderful and indescribable union!

This is the mystery of Godliness, the mystery of love! He left . . .
  the bright abodes of blessedness and glory,
  the songs of Cherubim and Seraphim,
  the bosom of His Father, and
  the infinite delights which He had eternally enjoyed—
to be a worm and not a man; to be scorned and despised by all!

Jesus was once a helpless infant—a feeble child. And yet, at the same moment, He was the Almighty, the self-sufficient God!

What privations He suffered, even from the very beginning of His career on earth!
What pain He endured, from His birth unto His death!

He went sorrowing, sighing, and groaning—
from the stable, to gloomy Calvary, where He . . .
  finished His work,
  proved His love,
  conquered His foes,
  delighted His Father, and
  merited everlasting honors and glories for His people!

O mystery of mercy!

Here is love beyond measure and degree!

O my soul, admire and adore!

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Remember, God's arrows never miss the mark!

(Charles Spurgeon, "Treasury of David")  Play Audio!  Download Audio

"God is a righteous judge, and God is angry with the wicked every day!" Psalm 7:11

God not only detests sin, but is angry with those who continue to indulge in it. We have no ignorant or indifferent God to deal with; He can be angry, nay, He is angry today and every day with you—you ungodly and impenitent sinners! The best day that ever dawns on a sinner, brings a curse with it. From the beginning of the year even to its ending, there is not an hour in which God's oven is not hot and burning in readiness for the wicked, who shall be as stubble before Him!

"If he does not repent, He will sharpen His sword; He bends His bow and makes it ready!" Psalm 7:12

What blows are those which will be dealt by that long-uplifted omnipotent arm! God's sword has been sharpening upon the revolving stone of our daily wickedness, and if we will not repent, it will speedily cut us in pieces! Turn or burn is the sinner's only alternative.

"He also prepares for Himself instruments of death; He makes His arrows into fiery shafts!" Psalm 7:13

Even now God's thirsty arrow longs to wet itself with the blood of the ungodly! His bow is bent, His aim is taken, His arrow is fitted to the string; and what, O sinner, if the arrow should be let fly at you even now! Remember, God's arrows never miss the mark, and are, every one of them, "instruments of death." Judgment may tarry, but it will not come too late. The Greek proverb says, "The mill of God grinds slowly, but grinds to powder!"

"The sharpening of God's sword is but to give a keener edge, that it may cut the deeper. When God's sword is sharpened, it is to cut; and when God's bow is bent, it is to kill! Woe be to that man who is God's target!" William Secker

"It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God!" Hebrews 10:31

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Can Jesus delight in such worms?

(James Smith, "The Love of Christ! The Fullness, Freeness, and Immutability of the Savior's Grace Displayed!")

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Jesus presents Himself unto us as the Bridegroom of our souls. He says, "I will betroth you to Me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord!" He here promises to bring us into the nearest possible union. He becomes one with us. He says, "I will be your portion, and you shall be My possession!"

He manifests His beauties—to attract us;
He sends His Spirit—to prepare us;
He gives His sweet gospel—to allure us;
He puts forth His power and draws us—and then makes Himself over to us in an everlasting covenant.

He calls us by every sweet appellation, such as "My beloved, My dove, My sister, My darling, My flawless one, My delight, My spouse!" (Song of Songs 5:2)

He gives us . . .
  His person,
  His unsearchable riches, and
  a share in His eternal glories and honors!

He loves us most tenderly, constantly, and prudently.

He assures us . . .
  that He will never leave us,
  that He will come and commune with us, 
  and that He will withhold no good thing from us!

He says, "Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed—yet My unfailing love for you will not be shaken, nor My covenant of peace be removed, says the Lord, who has compassion on you!"

"No weapon formed against you shall prosper.
 For your Maker is your Husband, the Lord Almighty is His name!"

"As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you!
 I will take delight in My people!" What love is here!
Can Jesus delight in such worms?
Can He rejoice over such unworthy creatures?

Can He enter into a marriage contract with such depraved beings?

Yes! He loved His Church and gave Himself for it! He has redeemed it unto Himself by His blood, and will everlastingly rejoice over it, to bless it and honor it!

   Jesus, the Heavenly Lover, gave
   His life, my wretched soul to save!
   Resolved to make His mercy known,
   He kindly claims me for His own!

     Lost in astonishment, I see
     Jesus, Your boundless love to me!
     With sin and self, I freely part,
     And gladly yield to You, my heart!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Forgetters of God!

(Charles Spurgeon, "Treasury of David")  Play Audio! Download Audio

"The wicked shall be turned into Hell, and all the nations that forget God!" Psalm 9:17

How solemn is this verse, especially in its warning to forgetters of God!
The moral who are not devout,
the honest who are not prayerful,
the benevolent who are not believing,
the amiable who are not converted—
these must all have their own portion with the openly wicked, in the Hell which is prepared for the devil and his demons! There are whole nations of such; the forgetters of God are far more numerous than the openly profane or profligate!

According to the very forceful expression in the Hebrew, the nethermost Hell will be the place into which all of them shall be hurled headlong! Forgetting God seems to be a small sin, but it brings eternal wrath upon the man who lives and dies in it!

(The following is by Thomas Watson)
"The wicked shall be turned into Hell." The ungodly at death must undergo God's fury and indignation. I have read of a lodestone which has two corners; with one it draws the iron to it, with the other it thrusts the iron away from it. Just so, God has two hands—of mercy and justice: with the one He will draw the godly to Heaven, with the other He will thrust the sinner to Hell!

And oh, how dreadful is that place! It is called a fiery lake (Revelation 20:15).
A lake, to denote the plenty of torments in Hell.
A fiery lake, to show the fierceness of them!

Fire is the most torturing element. Strabo in his geography mentions a lake of such a pestiferous nature, that it scalds off the skin of whatever is cast into it. But, alas! that lake is cool compared with this fiery lake into which the damned are thrown!

To demonstrate that this fire is terrible, there are two most dreadful qualities in it:
  It is sulphurous—it is mixed with brimstone, which is stinking and suffocating.
  It is inextinguishable—though the wicked shall be choked in the flames, yet not consumed.

"And the devil was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever!" Behold the deplorable condition of all ungodly ones in the eternal world—they shall have a life that always dies, and a death that always lives! May not this affright men out of their sins, and make them become godly—unless they are resolved to experience how hot Hell-fire is!"

   ~  ~  ~  ~

It takes a long and painful process to purge it out!

(James Smith, "The Love of Christ! The Fullness, Freeness, and Immutability of the Savior's Grace Displayed!")

Play Audio!  Download Audio

"I have refined you, but not as silver is refined. Rather, I have refined you in the furnace of suffering!" Isaiah 48:10

The love of Jesus will not preserve His people from trials, but rather, assures them of trials! All whom He loves, He chastens! He has a furnace to purge our dross, and refine our souls. His Word and the Spirit reveal to us our defilement and impurity, and His grace and providence co-operate to remove them. "I am the Lord God, who sanctifies you."

It is divine love which . . .
  prepares the furnace,
  kindles the flame,
  brings the Christian into it,
  superintends the whole process, and
  brings him out as gold seven times purified!

"From all your filthiness and from all your idols, I will cleanse you!" He cleanses them in the laver of the Word, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit. But He also cleanses them by a variety of afflictive dispensations, through which He causes them to pass.

Our sin calls for trials, His love sends them!

Our nature repines at trials, but grace submits to them!

Our flesh is enraged at trials, but the Spirit sanctifies them to our good, and our Savior's glory.

He makes His people choice ones, in the "furnace of affliction!" He says, "I will put you into the fire, and will surely purge away your dross."

Believer, never repine at your trials, nor be over-anxious for their removal. They are appointed by Jesus as your Purifier, and are choice blessings in disguise!
Seek their sanctification,
wrestle with God that you may see His love in every stroke, and
look to Jesus that you may enjoy His presence when passing through the flame!

Nothing can hurt you, while Jesus is near you; and He is never nearer to you, than when you are in the furnace! For He sits right there as the Refiner . . .
  watching the process,
  regulating the heat, and
  waiting to effect a gracious deliverance, when the ends of His love are answered.

He is only preparing you for fresh manifestations of His glory, and fitting you for larger communications of His love.

In the furnace, you will lose nothing that is worth keeping—but you will obtain what is truly valuable!

The flesh and the soul need constant cleansings—for corruption is so deeply rooted in our nature that it takes a long and painful process to purge it out! But in reference to the furnace, your Lord says, "The Lord did this to purge Israel's wickedness, to take away all her sin!"

   ~  ~  ~  ~

Can it be possible?

(Charles SpurgeonPlay Audio!  Download Audio

"Do this in remembrance of Me!" (1 Corinthians 11:24)

It appears that Christians may forget Christ! There would be no need for this loving exhortation, if there were not a fearful possibility that our memories might prove treacherous. Nor is this an empty notion. It is, sadly, too well confirmed in our experience; not as a possibility, but as a lamentable fact!

It appears almost impossible that those who have been redeemed by the blood of the dying Lamb, and loved with an everlasting love by the eternal Son of God—could forget their gracious Savior! But if startling to the ear, sadly, it is too apparent to the eye to allow us to deny the crime.

Can we forget Him, who never forgot us!
Can we forget Him, who poured His blood out for our sins!
Can we forget Him, who loved us even to death!
Can it be possible?

Yes, it is not only possible, but conscience confesses that is is too sadly a fault with all of us. Instead of Him being a permanent resident in our memories, we treat Him as a visitor. The cross, where one would expect that memory would linger, is desecrated by the feet of forgetfulness.

Doesn't your conscience say that this is true? Don't you find yourselves forgetful of Jesus? Some other love steals away your heart, and you are unmindful of Him upon whom your chief affection ought to be set. Some earthly business engrosses your attention, when you ought to be fixed steadily upon the cross. It is the incessant turmoil of the world, the constant attraction of earthly things—which takes the soul away from Christ! While memory works to preserve a poisonous weed, it allows the Rose of Sharon to wither!

Let us charge ourselves to tie a heavenly forget-me-not around our hearts for Jesus our Beloved; and whatever else we let slip, let us hold tight to Him!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

If Jehovah is your God!

(James SmithPlay Audio!  Download Audio

"I will be their God, and they shall be My people!" Hebrews 8:10

So has Jehovah purposed, in reference to those whom He has eternally loved and chosen.
All of our present and future blessedness is wrapped up in this holy and gracious purpose.

If Jehovah is your God, then all of His glorious attributes and perfections are engaged and employed for your eternal welfare!
  His mercy will supply all of your needs.
  His power will conquer all of your foes.
  His wisdom will direct all of your ways.
  His faithfulness will answer all of your prayers.
  His justice will maintain your cause.
  His infinite love and mercy will be displayed in all of His gracious dealings with you!

If Jehovah is your God, then . . .
  His promises are your heritage,
  His precepts are your rule,
  His doctrines are your present paradise,
  His Son is your Savior and King,
  His Spirit is your Sanctifier and Tutor, and
  He Himself is your everlasting portion! Psalm 119:57

If Jehovah is your God, then He will freely confer all really good things on you at present,
and crown you at last with eternal glory! He will . . .
  receive you graciously,
  guide you continually,
  chasten you occasionally,
  and bless you indeed!

If Jehovah is your God, then all things are yours, things present and to come—life, death, the world, Heaven, all are yours!

If Jehovah is your God, then He will consider nothing too great to do for you, and nothing too glorious to give to you! All the treasures of time, and all the resources of eternity—will, if necessary, be employed for your spiritual and eternal benefit! You can lack nothing which is really for your good.

To have Jehovah for your God, is the highest blessedness and honor in the universe!

How blessed is the man, who has Jehovah as his God!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The godly man's crosses, losses and sorrows

(Charles Spurgeon, "Treasury of David")  Play Audio!  Download Audio

"He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does shall prosper." Psalm 1:3

Blessed is the man who has such a promise as this! But we must not always estimate the fulfillment of a promise, by our own eye sight. How often, my brethren, if we judge by feeble sense, may we come to the mournful conclusion of Jacob, "All these things are against me!" For though we know our interest in the promise—yet we are so tried and troubled, that sight sees the very reverse of what that promise foretells. But to the 'eye of faith' this word is sure, and by it we perceive that we are prospered, even when everything seems to go against us.

It is not outward prosperity which the Christian most desires and values; it is soul prosperity which he longs for. Even in adversity, there is a true prospering, for it is often for the soul's health that we would be poor, afflicted and tried. Our worst things, are often our best things! As there is a curse wrapped up in the wicked man's mercies, so there is a blessing concealed in the godly man's crosses, losses and sorrows. The trials of the saint are a divine husbandry, by which he grows and brings forth abundant fruit.

Psalm 119:67  "Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey Your Word."

Psalm 119:71  "It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn Your decrees."

Psalm 119:75  "I know, O Lord, that Your laws are righteous, and in faithfulness You have afflicted me."

    ~  ~  ~  ~

Our Heaven, our glory, and our portion!

(James Smith, "The Love of Christ! The Fullness, Freeness, and Immutability of the Savior's Grace Displayed!")

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"I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far!" Philippians 1:23

"And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am!" John 14:3

We shall be forever with Christ!

Now, we have to mourn His absence. Now we exclaim, "O that I knew where I could find Him!" But He has provided something better for us—even to dwell forever in His presence, which will constitute our Heaven, our glory, and our portion!

O with what rapture shall we fix and feast our eyes upon Him, and how will the thought that we are to be forever with Him, thrill through our souls, and open ten thousand gushing streams of unutterable delight and joy! O with what joy shall we hear Him say, "Come, you who are blessed of my Father!"

The presence of Jesus will . . .
  dissipate all gloom,
  disperse all slavish fears,
  chase away all darkness,
  free from all pain,
  deliver from all sorrow,
  preserve from all sickness,
  raise us above all temptations, and
  fill us with unspeakably glorious joy.

Here on earth, we may be cast down, for the way is rough and our trials are many. Here we may mourn the absence of our God, but the love of Jesus will soon rescue us, and we shall be received into His presence to abide forever!

To be with Christ, to be with Christ forever—this comprises all that we now desire, and all that we can wish!

"And so we will be with the Lord forever!" 1 Thessalonians 4:17

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The most healthy state of a Christian

(Charles SpurgeonPlay Audio!  Download Audio

"I am poor and needy; come quickly to me, O God!
 You are my help and my deliverer.
 O Lord, do not delay!" Psalm 70:5

The act of prayer teaches us our unworthiness, which is a very beneficial lesson for such proud beings as we are. If God gave us blessings without constraining us to pray for them, we would never know how poor we are. But a true prayer is . . .
  an inventory of our needs,
  a catalog of our necessities,
  a revelation of our hidden poverty.

While prayer is an application to divine wealth, it is also a confession of human emptiness.

The most healthy state of a Christian, is to be . . .
  always empty in SELF, and constantly depending upon the Lord for supplies;
  always poor in SELF, and rich in Jesus;
  as weak as water personally, but mighty through God to do great exploits.

And hence prayer, while it adores God—it lays the creature where it should be, in the very dust!

Prayer is in itself, apart from the answer which it brings, a great benefit to the Christian. As the runner gains strength for the race by daily exercise; so for the great race of life, we acquire energy by the hallowed labor of prayer. Prayer plumes the wings of God's young eaglets, that they may learn to soar above the clouds! Prayer sends God's warriors forth to combat, with their sinews braced and their muscles firm. An earnest pleader comes out of his closet, even as the sun arises from the chambers of the east, rejoicing like a strong man to run his race.

Prayer is that uplifted hand of Moses, which routs the Amalekites more than the sword of Joshua.

Prayer . . .
  girds human weakness with divine strength,
  turns human folly into heavenly wisdom, and
  gives the peace of God to troubled mortals.

We have no idea what prayer can do!

We thank you, great God, for the mercy-seat—a choice proof of Your marvelous loving-kindness. Help us to use it aright throughout this day!

"Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Hebrews 4:16

  ~   ~   ~   ~

How His eyes will sparkle with delight!

(James Smith, "The Good Soldier's Prospect!" 1864)  Play Audio!  Download Audio

"Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus!" 2 Timothy 2:3

"There is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award me on that day!" 2 Timothy 4:8

Christian soldier, for encouragement in every conflict, look up to your Captain for supplies, and look forward to the glory that awaits you! The war will soon be over. Your discharge will soon be signed and sent to you. Home is even now in view!

The promised land will be far above our greatest expectations!

The glory to be revealed will far exceed our most enlarged desires!

The weight of glory will transcend our most comprehensive thoughts!

A crown is reserved for you! Not a corruptible crown of laurel or myrtle, but a diadem. A diadem of glory! More durable than gold, more costly than any earthy monarch's crown. Gold, pearls, and precious stones—are not to be compared to it! Its gems will sparkle brighter that the stars on a winter's evening! As a whole, it will shine brighter than the sun on a summer's noon!

It is a crown of glory—a most glorious crown. Not merited by your labors or sufferings in the Lord's service, but graciously promised, and gratuitously bestowed. Promised by your glorious Leader, preserved most carefully in the palace of the Most High God—to be awarded to every faithful soldier at the final and grand review.

Yes, it will be placed on your brow by His hands, who . . .
  won you to His service,
  led you to the battlefield,
  made you victorious, and
  will rejoice in your honor and happiness forever!

It will be worn before God's own throne, before the angelic hosts, among God's saints forever. What thrilling joy, what ecstatic pleasure, what inconceivable delight will you realize, when you first feel it rest on your brow! What a look will your Savior give you, when you lift up your head that He may place it on you, and your eye meets His!

Grace, free grace will shine most gloriously on that day! The songs of the enraptured company will be divinely sweet. O how our blessed Savior's heart will dance for joy! How His eyes will sparkle with delight! His mighty spirit will realize full satisfaction, to see the whole of His redeemed people collected, arranged, and glorified before Him!
Not one missing!
All whom the Father gave Him, there!
All for whom He offered up Himself as a sacrifice, there!
All to whom He sent the Comforter, there!
All who enlisted under His banner and were sworn into His army, there!
Those who were once wounded, weeping, and lagging behind the regiment, there!
O glorious salvation, in which every poor, maimed, weather-beaten, discouraged soldier of the cross shall share!

What a prospect is this! How bright, how glowing, how enchanting!

Then, O with what rapture we will sing, "Unto Him who loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests unto God and His Father—to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever! Amen."

Surely, surely we ought to be fired with love, filled with zeal, and prepared for every conflict, however arduous, by such a glorious prospect!

1 Peter 5:4, "And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away!"

   ~  ~  ~  ~

We were stinking in the grave of sin!

(Charles SpurgeonPlay Audio!  Download Audio

"Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him." John 12:2

Lazarus is to be envied. It was well to be Martha and serve Jesus, but better to be Lazarus and commune with Jesus. There are times for each purpose, and each is lovely in its season, but none of the trees of the garden yield such clusters, as the vine of communion with Jesus. To sit with Jesus, to hear His words, to mark His acts, and receive His smiles—was such a favor as must have made Lazarus as happy as the angels!

When it has been our happy lot to feast with our Beloved in His banqueting-hall, we would not have given half a sigh for all the kingdoms of the world, if so much breath could have bought them!

Lazarus is to be imitated. It would have been a strange thing if he had not been at the table where Jesus was, for he had been dead, and Jesus had raised him. For the risen one to be absent when the Lord who gave him life was at his house, would have been ungrateful indeed.

We too were once dead! Yes, and like Lazarus—we were stinking in the grave of sin! Jesus raised us, and we live! Can we be content to live at a distance from Him? Do we omit to remember Him at His table, where He deigns to feast with His brethren? Oh, this is cruel! It behooves us to repent, and do as He has bidden us—for His least wish should be law to us.

To have lived without constant fellowship with one of whom the Jews said, "Behold how He loved him," would have been disgraceful to Lazarus! Is it excusable in us, whom Jesus has loved with an everlasting love! To have been cold to Him who wept over his lifeless corpse, would have argued great brutishness in Lazarus. What does it argue in us, over whom the Savior has not only wept, but bled!

Come, brethren, who read this portion, let us return unto our heavenly Bridegroom, and ask for His Spirit, that we may be on terms of closer intimacy with Him, and henceforth sit at the table with Him!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The reason why He is not loved

(James Smith, "Love to Christ!" 1864)  Play Audio!  Download Audio

"Yes, He is altogether lovely!" Song of Songs 5:16

Love is generally drawn forth by beauty exhibited, or by kindness shown. We love the beautiful and the benevolent.

But to the carnal mind, there is no beauty in Jesus, because its taste is vitiated, and its perception is depraved. It calls darkness, light; and light, darkness. It puts bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter. We do not expect the natural man to see the beauty of the Redeemer's person, or to be inflamed to love by His attractions. Still the beautiful ought to be loved, and "He is altogether lovely!" The reason why He is not loved, is to be found in the corruption of human nature, and the depravity of the sinner's heart.

If you see nothing in Jesus to love, then it is evident that you are under the power of darkness. If you have never really loved Him, then you are dead in trespasses and sins. What a dreadful state! What a fearful thought is this!

Yes, no one will love Him, unless the heart is changed by the Holy Spirit.
The mind must be completely changed, before it will love Christ.
He is light, but men love darkness.
He is holy, but men love sin.
He is the image of God, but men love the likeness of Satan.

The Holy Spirit, speaking by the Apostle Paul, says, "If any man does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed!" 1 Corinthians 16:22. How terrible, "let him be accursed!" Let him be condemned by God, driven from God, and be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of God!

"What! blessed apostle, meek and gentle servant of Christ—doom every one to Hell who does not love the Savior?"
"Yes, without anger, without any improper feeling, I say: If any man does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed!"

"But think how terrible a place Hell is; how awful God's curse must be; and what tremendous agonies are included in eternal punishment?"
"I have thought of that, and, while full of love to man, and desiring above all things, the salvation of all who hear me, or read what I write, yet I repeat: If any man does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed!"

"What! that fine young man?"

"Yes, if he does not love Christ."

"What! that amiable young woman?"

"Yes, if she does not love Christ."

"What! that venerable, silver-haired, prudent, and kind-hearted old man?"

"Yes, if he does not love Christ. I make no exceptions. If any person does not love Jesus, then he deserves to be accursed; his doom and destiny is to be accursed!"

   ~  ~  ~  ~

He may be on earth at noon, but in Hell at night!

(James Smith, "The Dangerous Progress!" 1864)  Play Audio!  Download Audio

"They walk on in darkness!" Psalm 82:5

The minds of sinners make progress, but it is in the wrong path! They started wrong. They will not believe that they are wrong. Therefore they walk on to their own destruction. It is a painful sight to see thousands, and tens of thousands of travelers, passing through this world—and all going wrong! Every step they take, leaves us less hope, and gives the Prince of darkness more power over them. In temporal things, they see clearly enough; but in spiritual things, they are stone-blind! "They walk on in darkness."

Darkness is the emblem of IGNORANCE. They are ignorant . . .
   of their true state before God,
   of the character of the God who made them,
   of the just desert of sin,
   of the only Savior who can deliver them,
   of the way of escape opened up before them,
   and of the dreadful doom that awaits them!
They walk on in ignorance! If they were not so ignorant, they would surely fly to the Lord Jesus to save them.

Darkness is also the emblem of SIN. They live . . .
   in the violation of God's holy law,
   neglecting Christ's gracious gospel, and
   making SELF the end of their existence.

They live to themselves,
they live for themselves,
they neglect God's requirements,
they despise His invitations,
they turn their backs on His throne of grace,
they treat His Book with contempt,
they waste their time in idleness and folly,
and yet talk as if they expected that He would have mercy upon them at last!
They walk on in sin, and yet hope to arrive in Heaven at last!

Darkness represents DANGER. These people are in imminent danger!
may arrest them at any hour!
may remove them out of this world at any moment!

Disease introduces death,
death ushers into the presence of God,
and God dooms the careless sinner to Hell!

He may be in health in the morning, but a corpse at noon!

He may be on earth at noon, but in Hell at night!

He walks upon snares.
He is surrounded by the officers of justice.
He may be seized any moment. Once seized . . .
  hope departs,
  despair approaches, and
  outer darkness closes up the scene!

And yet they walk on in thoughtlessness! They . . .
  fool away their time,
  neglect their opportunities of escape,
  disregard the warning voice, and
  perish in their own deceivings!

Beast-like, they have no concern for any of these things. They say they shall not be worse off than others, as if it were any relief to be no worse than others—where all are in misery, agony and endless woe!
Not worse off than others! Yes, they will, for it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for them.
Not worse off than others! Indeed they will, for the men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgment and condemn them.
Not worse off than others! This is a mistake, for careless, indifferent, Christ-rejecting sinners, "will receive the greater damnation!"

"They walk on in darkness," but if they persevere in doing so, then how fearful will their end be. It will be . . .
   misery without mercy,
   darkness without light,
   despair without prospect of deliverance,
and all the result of a willful determination to "walk on in darkness!"

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The unsearchable riches of Christ!

(Charles SpurgeonPlay Audio!  Download Audio

"The unsearchable riches of Christ!" Ephesians 3:8

My Master has riches:
  beyond the eloquence of words,
  beyond the dream of imagination,
  beyond the count of arithmetic, and
  beyond the measurement of reason!

They are unsearchable! You may look, and study, and weigh—but when your thoughts are at the greatest, Jesus is a greater Savior than you think Him to be. My Lord is more ready to pardon, than you to sin; more able to forgive, than you to transgress. My Master is more willing to supply your needs, than you are to ask for them!

Never tolerate low thoughts of my Lord Jesus. When you put the crown on His head, you will only crown Him with silver, when He deserves gold.

My Master has riches of happiness to bestow upon you now. He can make you to lie down in green pastures, and lead you beside still waters. There is no love like His, neither earth nor Heaven can match it. To know Christ and to be found in Him, Oh! this is life, this is joy, this is marrow and fatness, wine on the lees well refined!

My Master does not treat His servants churlishly, He gives to them as a king gives to a king!

He gives them two Heavens:
  a Heaven below in serving Him here,
  and a Heaven above in delighting in Him forever!

His unsearchable riches will be best known in eternity. He will give you all that you need on the way to Heaven, your place of defense shall be the munitions of rocks, your bread shall be given you, and your waters shall be sure.

But it is there, THERE—where you shall hear the song of those who triumph, the shout of those who feast, and shall have a face-to-face view of the glorious and beloved One! The unsearchable riches of Christ! This is the tune for the minstrels of earth, and the song for the harpers of Heaven!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

The poor Christian!

(James Smith, "Comfort for Christians!")  Play Audio!  Download Audio

"Hearken, my beloved brethren, has not God chosen the poor of this world to be rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which He has promised to those who love Him?" James 2:5

Poverty is not spirituality, but sanctified poverty is a great friend to it.

Poverty is no sin, but it is sometimes a preventive to sin.

Poverty has its temptations, but it has also its consolations.

The poor ought not to repine at poverty, because God in His infinite wisdom has appointed it and is able to render it the greatest blessing.

God's chosen are generally found among the poor. Not that He chose them because they were poor; but choosing them in Christ, He appointed poverty as the best thing for them.

God's enemies have their full portion in this life; here they have their good things. Not so with God's children! Here on earth they have their evil things, and their best things are yet to come!

The poor Christian
has . . .
  a rich Father in whom to trust;
  the fullness of Jesus to supply him;
  the precious promises on which to depend;
  the Holy Spirit to be his Comforter;
  and a glorious inheritance to anticipate and forever dwell in!

All Christians are "heirs of the kingdom",
the kingdom of grace here—and of glory hereafter;
the kingdom in which Jesus will reign;
the kingdom where they will be princes; yes, kings and priests;
the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world!

My poor brother, my poor sister!
    Look up!
        Look forward!

Your cottage will soon be exchanged for a mansion!

Your sickness will soon be exchanged for health!

Your poverty will soon be exchanged for wealth!

Your sin will soon be exchanged for perfect holiness!

Your earth will soon be exchanged for Heaven!

You will not always be poor! You will not be poor for long.
Jesus will soon come—and then you will reign with Him!

For you, an inheritance is reserved in Heaven!

For you, a mansion is being prepared!

For you, glory, honor, immortality, even eternal life, are in reserve!