Sunday, 19 February 2017

Our poor prayers
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,

Is prayer a reality with you, dear friends, or is it a mere mockery?

Is it a sort of religious rite that you feel bound to perform, or has it become as essential to your spiritual being as breathing is to your natural being? Is it now to you a matter of course that you should pray? Is it as natural for you to ask of your Father who is in heaven as it is for your little children to ask of you who are fathers on earth?

Prayer should be to you an instinct of your new nature, as natural to your spiritual being as a good appetite is to a man in health. There should be a holy hunger and thirst to pray, and the soul never prays so well as when it is reminded, not by the hour of the day or night, but by its real needs; and when it resorts to its place of private prayer, not because it thinks it ought, but because it feels that it must, and shall, and will go there, and is delighted at the privilege of having communion with its God.

Someone perhaps asks, “Why do you pray, when everything is settled by the divine decree?”

It is true that everything is so settled, and it is for that very reason that we do pray. The Spirit of God leads us to desire exactly what God has decreed, and though we cannot open and read the book of his decrees, the Holy Spirit can read that book, so he guides us to pray in accordance with its secret records, and he also makes intercession for us “according to the will of God.”  A true prayer is the echo of the eternal purpose. Our prayers are the shadows before God’s mercies. He who can truly pray has first read the heart of God, and then spoken out what is there.

Our poor prayers are blotted, and blurred, and stained with sin, but our great high Priest sprinkles them with his own most precious blood, and so purifies them, and then, with his own dear hand, he lays them before the mercy-seat, and for his sake they are sure to be accepted.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

One puddle, if we wallow in it
From ‘The Golden Key to Open Hidden Treasures’ - Thomas Brooks

One sin stripped the fallen angels of all their glory.

One sin stripped our first parents of all their dignity and excellency.

One fly in the box of precious ointment spoils the whole box.

One thief may rob a man of all his treasure.

One disease may deprive a man of all his health.

One millstone will sink a man to the bottom of the sea, as well as a hundred.

One puddle, if we wallow in it—will defile us.

Just so, one sin allowed and lived in—will make a man miserable forever.

Some will leave all their sins but one. Satan can hold a man fast enough by one sin which he allows and lives in—as the fowler can hold the bird fast enough by one wing or by one claw.

Satan is content that men should yield to God in many things—provided that they will be but true to Satan in some one thing. The devil knows very well, that as one grain of poison may poison a man, and one stab at the heart may kill a man—just so, one sin unrepented of, one sin allowed, retained, cherished, and practiced —will certainly damn a man.

Though all the parts of a man's body are healthy, except only one part—that one diseased and ulcerous part may be deadly to you. Just so, one sin allowed, indulged, and lived in—will prove killing and damning to you.

It is horrid hypocrisy, damnable folly, and astonishing impudency—for a man to beg the pardon of those very sins which he is resolved never to forsake.

These things should be frequently and seriously thought of, by such poor fools as are entangled by any lust.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

"For me to live is Christ!" Philippians 1:21
(Charles Spurgeon)

The believer did not always live to Christ. He began to do so when God the Holy Spirit convinced him of sin, and when by grace he was brought to see the dying Saviour making a propitiation for his guilt. From the moment of the new and celestial birth, the man begins to live to Christ. Jesus is to believers the one Pearl of great price, for whom we are willing to part with all that we have. He has so completely won our love, that it beats alone for Him; to His glory we would live — and in defence of His gospel we would die; He is the pattern of our life, and the model after which we would sculpture our character.

Paul's words mean more than most men think; they imply that the aim and end of his life was Christ — nay, his life itself was Jesus. In the words of an ancient saint, he did eat, and drink, and sleep eternal life. Jesus was his very breath, the soul of his soul, the heart of his heart, the life of his life.

Can you say, as a professing Christian, that you live up to this idea? Can you honestly say that for you to live is Christ?

Your business — are you doing it for Christ? Is it not done for self-aggrandizement and for family advantage? Do you ask, "Is that a mean reason?" For the Christian it is. He professes to live for Christ; how can he live for another object without committing a spiritual adultery?

Many there are who carry out this principle in some measure; but who is there that dare say that he hath lived wholly for Christ as the apostle did? Yet, this alone is the true life of a Christian — its source, its sustenance, its fashion, its end, all gathered up in one word — Christ Jesus.

Lord, accept me; I here present myself, praying to live only in Thee and to Thee. Let me be as the bullock which stands between the plough and the altar, to work or to be sacrificed; and let my motto be, "Ready for either!"