Saturday, May 19, 2018

My Victorian Year #20

This week I'll be sharing quotes from Charles Spurgeon's Morning and Evening and J.C. Ryle's Old Paths.

From Morning and Evening:
Christian! If you are in a night of trial, think of the morrow; cheer up your heart with the thought of the coming of your Lord. Be patient, for “Lo! He comes with clouds!” Be patient! The Gardener waits until He reaps His harvest. Be patient; for you know who has said, “Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give to every man according as his work shall be.”
When you have God for your portion, you have more than all else put together. In Him every need is met, whether in life or in death. With God for your portion you are rich indeed, for He will supply your needs, comfort your heart, assuage your grief, guide your steps, be with you in the dark valley—and then take you home, to enjoy Him as your portion forever.
All that He has—He shares with His people! The crown royal He has placed upon the head of His Church, appointing her a kingdom, and calling her sons a royal priesthood, a generation of priests and kings. He uncrowned Himself—that we might have a coronation of glory; He would not sit upon His own throne—until He had procured a place upon it for all who overcome by His blood. Crown the head—and the whole body shares the honor. Behold here the reward of every Christian conqueror! Christ’s throne, crown, scepter, palace, treasure, robes, heritage—are yours!
We are today accepted in the Beloved, today absolved from sin, today acquitted at the bar of God. Oh! soul-transporting thought!
Let present privilege awaken us to present duty, and now, while life lasts, let us spend and be spent for our sweet Lord Jesus.
Recollect that there are two kinds of perfection which the Christian needs—the perfection of justification in the person of Jesus, and the perfection of sanctification wrought in him by the Holy Spirit. At present, corruption yet remains even in the hearts of the regenerate; experience soon teaches us this. But I rejoice to know that the day is coming when God shall finish the work which He has begun; and He shall present my soul, not only perfect in Christ—but perfect through the Spirit, without spot or blemish, or any such thing.
Why should Christians imitate Christ? They should do it for their own sakes. If they desire to be in a healthy state of soul—if they would escape the sickness of sin, and enjoy the vigor of growing grace—let Jesus be their model.
It is when, by the power of the Holy Spirit, you are enabled to walk with Jesus in His very footsteps, that you are most happy, and most known to be the sons of God. Peter afar off—is both unsafe and uneasy. 
Next, for religion’s sake, strive to be like Jesus. Ah! poor religion, you have been sorely shot at by cruel foes—but you have not been wounded one-half so dangerously by your foes—as by your friends.
Christian, love you your Savior? Is His name precious to you? Is His cause dear to you? Would you see the kingdoms of the world become His? Is it your desire that He should be glorified? Are you longing that souls should be won to Him? If so, imitate Jesus—be an “epistle of Christ, known and read of all men.”
If we have received the grace of God in our hearts, its practical effect has been to make us God’s servants. We may be unfaithful servants, we certainly are unprofitable ones—but yet, blessed be His name, we are His servants, wearing His livery, feeding at His table, and obeying His commands.
We were once the servants of sin—but He who made us free—has now taken us into His family and taught us obedience to His will. We do not serve our Master perfectly—but we would if we could. As we hear God’s voice saying unto us, “You are My servant,” we can answer with David, “I am your servant—You have loosed my bonds.”
We were not new created to allow our passions to rule over us—but that we, as kings, may reign in Christ Jesus over the triple kingdom of spirit, soul, and body, to the glory of God the Father!
From Old Paths, chapter eleven, "Having the Spirit."
I TAKE it for granted that every reader of this paper believes in the Holy Spirit.
I consider that clear views about the work of the Holy Spirit are among the best preservatives against the many false doctrines which abound in our times.

Suffer me then, to lay before you a few things, which by God’s blessing, may throw light on the subject of having the Spirit. 1. Let me explain the immense importance of “Having the Spirit.” 2. Let me point out the great general principle by which alone the question can be tried,--“Have you the Spirit?” 3. Let me describe the particular effects which the Spirit always produces on the souls in which He dwells.
If you have not the Spirit, you have no part in Christ and no title to heaven. The indwelling of God the Holy Spirit is the common mark of all true believers in Christ. It is the Shepherd’s mark on the flock of the Lord Jesus, distinguishing them from the rest of the world. It is the goldsmith’s stamp on the genuine sons of God, which separates them from the dross and mass of false professors. It is the King’s own seal on those who are His peculiar people, proving them to be His own property. It is “the earnest” which the Redeemer gives to His believing disciples while they are in the body, as a pledge of the full and complete “redemption” yet to come in the resurrection morning. (Ephesians 1:14.) This is the case of all believers. They all have the Spirit. 
From not having the Spirit to being in hell, there is but a long flight of downward steps. Living without the Spirit, you are already on the top; dying without the Spirit, you will find your way to the bottom. 
Heaven is the place to which all people hope to go after death. It would be well for many if they considered calmly what kind of dwelling-place heaven is.
The everlasting presence of God, saints, and angels,--the perpetual doing of God’s will,--the complete absence of everything which God does not approve, these are the chief things which shall make up heaven. 
For this heaven we are all by nature utterly unfit. We have no capacity for enjoying its happiness; we have no taste for its blessings; we have no eye to see its beauty; we have no heart to feel its comforts. Instead of freedom, we should find it bondage; instead of glorious liberty, we should find it constant constraint; instead of a splendid palace, we should find it a gloomy prison.
For this heaven it is the special office of the Holy Ghost to prepare men’s souls. He alone can change the earthly heart, and purify the worldly affections of Adam’s children. He alone can bring their minds into harmony with God, and tune them for the eternal company of saints, and angels, and Christ. He alone can make them love what God loves, and hate what God hates, and delight in God’s presence.
The truth is that the deep corruption of human nature would make salvation impossible if it were not for the work of the Spirit. Without Him the Father’s love and the Son’s redemption are set before us in vain. The Spirit must reveal them, the Spirit must apply them, or else we are lost souls.
Nothing less than the power of Him who moved on the face of the waters in the day of creation can ever raise us from our low estate. He who said, “Let there be light, and there was light” must speak the word before any one of us will ever rise to newness of life.
He who came down on the day of Pentecost, must come down on our poor dead souls, before they will ever see the kingdom of God.
You must have the Spirit in you, as well as Christ for you, if you are ever to be saved. God must be your loving Father, Jesus must be your known Redeemer, the Holy Ghost must be your felt Sanctifier, or else it will be better for you never to have been born.
1. The Spirit quickens men’s hearts. 2. The Spirit teaches men’s minds. 3. The Spirit leads to the Word. 4. The Spirit convinces of sin. 5. The Spirit draws to Christ. 6. The Spirit sanctifies. 7. The Spirit makes men spiritually-minded. 8. The Spirit produces inward conflict. 9. The Spirit makes men love the brethren. 10. The Spirit teaches to pray. These are the great marks of the Holy Ghost’s presence.
I have no desire for a moment to exaggerate the office of the Spirit, and to exalt Him above the Sun and Centre of the Gospel,--Jesus Christ. But I do believe that, next to the priestly office of Christ, no truth in the present day is so frequently lost sight of, and so cunningly assailed, as the work of the Spirit.
Drink deep of the living waters. Do not be content with a little religion. Pray that the Spirit may fill every corner and chamber of your heart, and that not an inch of room may be left in it for the world and the devil.
Little sins not mortified, little bad habits of temper or of tongue not corrected, little compliances with the world,--are all likely to offend the Holy Ghost. Oh, that believers would remember this! There is far more of “heaven on earth” to be enjoyed than many of them attain to: and why do they not attain to it? They do not watch sufficiently over their daily ways,--and so the Spirit’s work is damped and hindered.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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