Saturday, June 2, 2018

My Victorian Year #22

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:
Like Mephibosheth, we may cry unto the King of Glory, “What is Your servant, that You should look upon such a dead dog as I am?” But still the Lord indulges us with most familiar fellowship with Himself, because He sees in our countenances the remembrance of His dearly-beloved Jesus. The Lord’s people are dear for another’s sake. Such is the love which the Father bears to His only begotten, that for His sake He raises His lowly brethren from poverty and banishment, to courtly companionship, noble rank, and royal provision! Their deformity shall not rob them of their privileges. Lameness is no bar to sonship; the cripple is as much the heir—as if he could run like Asahel. Our right does not limp, though our might may.
The more grace we have—the less we shall think of ourselves; for grace, like light, reveals our impurity.
“THOSE HE PREDESTINED, HE ALSO called; and those He called, He also justified; and those He justified, He also glorified.” Romans 8:30. Here is a precious truth for you, believer. You may be poor, or in suffering, or unknown—but for your encouragement take a review of your “calling” and the consequences that flow from it, and especially that blessed result here spoken of. As surely as you are God’s child today—so surely shall all your trials soon be at an end, and you shall be rich to all the intents of bliss.
Lament not your troubles—but rather rejoice that before long you will be where “there shall be neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain.”
Memory is frequently the bondslave of despondency. Despairing minds call to remembrance every dark foreboding in the past, and dilate upon every gloomy feature in the present; thus memory, clothed in sackcloth, presents to the mind a cup of mingled gall and wormwood.
Wisdom can readily transform memory into an angel of comfort. That same recollection which in its left hand brings so many gloomy omens, may be trained to bear in its right hand a wealth of hopeful signs.
There is no need for God to create a new thing upon the earth in order to restore believers to joy; if they would prayerfully rake the ashes of the past, they would find light for the present; and if they would turn to the book of truth and the throne of grace, their candle would soon shine as aforetime.
“Be angry—and sin not.” There can hardly be goodness in a man—if he is not angry at sin; he who loves truth—must hate every false way.
Luther once said, “The devil hates goose quills” and, doubtless, he has good reason, for ready writers, by the Holy Spirit’s blessing, have done his kingdom much damage.
A little thorn may cause much suffering. A little cloud may hide the sun. Little foxes spoil the vines. And little sins do much harm to the tender heart. These little sins burrow in the soul, and make it so full of that which is hateful to Christ—that He will hold no comfortable fellowship and communion with us.
A great sin cannot destroy a Christian—but a little sin can make him miserable! Jesus will not walk with His people unless they drive out every known sin. He says, “If you keep My commandments, you shall abide in My love, even as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.”
If you would live with Christ, and walk with Christ, and see Christ, and have fellowship with Christ—take heed of “little foxes that ruin the vines—for our vines have tender grapes.” Jesus invites you to go with Him and catch them.
Christian, what have you to do with sin? Has it not cost you enough already? Burnt child—will you play with the fire? What! when you have already been between the jaws of the lion—will you step a second time into his den? Have you not had enough of the old serpent? Did he not poison all your veins once—and will you play upon the hole of the viper, and put your hand upon the cockatrice’s den a second time? Did sin ever yield you real pleasure? Did you find solid satisfaction in it? If so, go back to your old drudgery, and wear the chain again—if it delights you. But inasmuch as sin did never give you what it promised to bestow—but deluded you with lies—do not be snared a second time by the old fowler!
What a comfort to know that we have a great Physician who is both able and willing to heal us! Let us think of Him for a while tonight. His cures are very speedy—there is life in a look at Him. His cures are radical—He strikes at the center of the disease. And hence, His cures are sure and certain. He never fails, and the disease never returns. There is no relapse where Christ heals—there is no fear that His patients should be merely patched up for a season. He is well skilled in all diseases. Jesus Christ is thoroughly acquainted with the whole of human nature. He is as much at home with one sinner as with another, and never yet did He meet with an unusual case which was difficult to Him.
We trust Him—and sin dies; we love Him—and grace lives; we wait for Him—and grace is strengthened; we see Him as he is—and grace is perfected forever!
Do not be discouraged nor dismayed. Fight on! For God Himself is with you; Jehovah Nissi is your banner, and Jehovah Rophi is the healer of your wounds. Fear not, you shall overcome, for who can defeat Omnipotence? Fight on, “looking unto Jesus”; and though long and stern is the conflict, sweet will be the victory, and glorious the promised reward.
In my experience, I have found Him good, so good, indeed, that all the good I have has come to me through Him. He was good to me when I was dead in sin, for He raised me by His Spirit’s power. He has been good to me in all my needs, trials, struggles, and sorrows.
From Old Paths, chapter thirteen, "The Heart"
The heart is the main thing in religion. Wishes and desires are not enough to make a Christian. 
There is only one sure test of truth. What saith the Scripture? What is written in the Bible? What is the mind of the Holy Ghost? If we cannot submit our judgments to this infallible umpire, it is useless to pretend we have any religion at all. 
We may give God a bowed heal and a serious face, our bodily presence in His house, and a loud amen. But until we give God our hearts, we give Him nothing of any value.
There are only two sorts of hearts, a right one and a wrong one. What is a wrong heart like. The wrong heart is the natural heart with which we are all born. There are no hearts which are right by nature. There are no such things as naturally “good hearts,” whatever some ignorant people may plebe to say about “having a good heart at the bottom.” If your heart has never been changed by the Holy Ghost since you were born, know this day, that your heart is wrong. A truer word was never written than that which calls the natural heart a heart of stone.

A stone is hard. All people know that. It is unyielding, unbending, unimpressible. It may be broken, but it will never bend. A stone is cold. There is a chilly, icy feeling about it, which you know the moment you touch it.  Until God sends fire from heaven to warm it, the natural heart of man has no feeling about religion. A stone is barren. It is utterly barren of penitence, or faith, or love, or tear, or holiness, or humility. Until God breaks it up. and puts a new principle in it, it bears no fruit to God’s praise.  A stone is dead. It neither sees, nor hears, nor moves, nor grows. Show it the glories of heaven, and it would not be pleased. Until God plants the Holy Ghost in it, it is dead and motionless about real religion. 

I will now show you, in the last place, the right heart.  The right heart is a “new heart.” (Ezekiel 36:26.) It is a heart which has new tastes, new joys, new sorrows, new desires, new hopes, new fears, new likes, new dislikes. It has new views about the soul, and sin, and God, and Christ, and salvation, and the Bible. The right heart is a “broken and contrite heart.” (Psalms 51:17.) It no longer thinks lightly of offending God. It is tender, sensitive, and jealously fearful of running into sin. (2 Kings 22:19.) A right heart is a heart which believes on Christ alone for salvation, and in which Christ dwells by faith. A right heart is a purified heart. (Acts 15:9; Matthew 5:8.) It loves holiness, and hates sin. It strives daily to cleanse itself from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, (2 Corinthians 7:1) A right heart is a praying heart. It has within it “the Spirit of adoption whereby we cry, Abba Father.” (Romans 8:15.) Its daily feeling is, “Thy face, Lord, will I seek.” (Psalm 27:8.) A right heart is a heart that feels within a conflict. (Galatians 5:17.) Last, but not least, the right heart is honest, and single, and true. (Luke 8:15, 1 Chronicles 12:33; Hebrews 10:22.)
You cannot have two heavens,--a heaven here and a heaven hereafter. Changed, renewed, converted, sanctified, as your heart is, you must never forget that it is a man’s heart after all, and the heart of a man living in the midst of a wicked world.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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