Tuesday, May 3, 2016

My Year with Spurgeon #17

The Cause and Cure of Weariness in Sunday School Teachers
Charles Spurgeon
Galatians 6:9
You know that it is our duty to preserve a testimony in the world and, therefore, you are anxious to teach the Word of God to your children that they may teach it to their children, that so, from generation to generation, the Word of the Lord may be made known.
We cannot increase His intrinsic Glory, but through His Spirit we can make His Glory to be more widely seen—and among the choicest ways of doing this we give a high place to the teaching of children the fear of the Lord in order that they may be a seed to serve Him and to rejoice in His salvation.
It is assuredly a noble part of benevolence to deliver the Gospel to the sons of men and, if possible, this benevolence is of a still higher kind when you deliver the Truth of God to children, for as prevention is better than a cure, so is it better to prevent a life of vice than to rescue from it. And as the earlier a soul has light, the shorter is its night of darkness, so the earlier in life salvation comes to the heart, the better and greater is the benediction. To receive the dew of Grace while we are yet in the dew of youth is a double blessing! Brethren, your work is one of doing good of the most thorough and radical kind, for you strike at the very root of sin in the child by seeking his regeneration. You desire, by the Grace of God, to win the heart for Christ at the beginning of life and this is the best of blessings!
Oh, it is glorious to have such work for Jesus! Go to your youthful charges rejoicing in your work, for it is doing good! It is by no means difficult to see that Sunday school work is sowing. Upon this I will not speak much, for the emblem is easy to be understood. Your schools are the field, the Gospel is the seed and you are the sowers. Suffer me only to say that yours is a work in which there are great outgoings and apparent losses. Even as the sower casts his seed into the earth, buries it and it is lost to him, so do you spend your strength, your thought, your love, your talent, your time and, at first, see no return.
There is power in the Truth of God, as there is life in seed, but it will be hidden till, like seed, it is sown in favorable soil! It needs a sower and feeling that the Truth ought to be sown, you consecrate yourselves to that work. You have, moreover, looked at the children and you have felt that the soil of their minds ought to be sown. You hope to find good soil, at least, in some cases, and it strikes you that to delay to sow will be culpable neglect. You are sure that if you do not sow, the devil will, and that weeds will spring up if wheat is not sown. And you wish, if you can, to get the start of some, at least, of the devil's servants and drop in the seeds of Divine Truth before the grosser vices have come to maturity. You know that abundant seed of noxious plants lies hidden in that plot of ground, by nature, as the result of the Fall, but still, before they have grown into rank luxuriance, you desire to choke the weeds with the rapid growth of Heaven's own corn. Your present occupation is to sow the children's minds. You are delighted when you see the seed spring up immediately, but where it tries your patience you still sow.
Our Lord deserves a whole eternity to be spent in His praise and we hope so to spend it! And, therefore, let us not be weary with the few years which constitute the ordinary life of man.
Work on, even though the task becomes more and more trying to you. Do not despise your vocation, nor stay your hand, be not weary in doing good!
There must be life, force, fire, heart, energy and intensity put into your service or it will be valueless! Dear Friends, do not fall into a loose state! You shall bind your sheaves, soon, if you do not become loose in your own minds. You shall reap if you do not become languid and lethargic.
If you are not living near to God and in the power of God, then the power of God will not go forth through you to the children in your care! Therefore I think we should judge, when we become discontented and down-hearted, that we are out of sorts spiritually. Let us say to ourselves, "Come, my Soul! What ails you? This faint heart is a sign that you are out of health. Go to the Great Physician and obtain from Him a tonic which shall brace you! Come, play the man! Have none of these whims! Away with your idleness! The reaping time will come, therefore thrust in the plow."   
If there are a hundred reasons for giving up your work of faith, there are 50,000 for going on with it! Though there are many arguments for fainting, there are far more arguments for persevering. Though we might be weary and do sometimes feel so, let us wait upon the Lord and renew our strength and we shall mount up with wings as eagles, forget our weariness and be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might!
Take it as a rule that the Truth of God prayed over, spoken in the fear of the Lord and with the Holy Spirit dwelling in the man who speaks it, will produce the effect which is natural to it. As the rain climbs not up to the skies and the snow flakes never take to themselves wings to rise to Heaven, so neither shall the Word of God return unto Him void but it shall accomplish that which He pleases. We have not spent our strength in vain. Not a verse taught to a little girl, nor a text dropped into the ear of a careless boy, nor an earnest warning given to an obdurate young sinner, nor a loving farewell to one of the senior girls shall be without some result or other to the Glory of God! And, taking it all together as a whole, though this handful of seed may be eaten of the birds and that other seed may die on the hard rock, yet, as a whole, the seed shall spring up in sufficient abundance to plentifully reward the sower and the giver of the seed!  We know that our labor is not in vain in the Lord! I do not come into this pulpit with any fear that I shall preach in vain. It does not occur to me that such a thing can happen! I thought so once, when I thought more of myself than now—but now I am assured that if I speak out God's message in the best way I can—and with much prayer leave it all with God, He will take care of it! I expect to see people converted—not because there is any good in them, but because the Lord works as He pleases and will call whom He pleases and will give to His own Truth victory and honor. Go to your classes with this persuasion, "I shall not labor in vain, or spend my strength for nothing." "According to your faith, so is it unto you." Take a little measure and you shall have it filled with the manna of success, but take a great omer and in its fullness you shall have abundance! Believe in the power of the Truth you preach! Believe in the power of Christ about whom you speak! Believe in the Omnipotence of the Holy Spirit whose help you have invoked in earnest prayer! Go to your sowing and count upon reaping!

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

1 comment:

Susan Humeston said...

I see that no one has commented on all your work. That is a shame. I bookmarked your site for the name - "Operation Actually Read Bible" - which spoke to me, and because I admire all your writing and book critiques. It is a blessing to me - so there's one person at least, although I'm sure there are more. Do you have a counter on your page to show how many visits it gets? That will tell you.

I read my Bible(s) on and off - I have more than one translation. Sometimes I just turn to a page and begin reading, whether OT or NT. Your page helps me to remember that other people ARE reading the Bible - and learning. Thanks for all your work - I hope you keep on writing - I'll be here!