Saturday, September 22, 2018

My Victorian Year #35

This week I'll be sharing quotes from Charles Spurgeon's Morning and Evening and J.C. Ryle's Expository Thoughts on the Gospel of Matthew.

From Morning and Evening:

  • Between the creature and the Creator—there must ever be a gulf fixed in respect of essence; but as the first man Adam was made in the image of God, so we, by the renewal of the Holy Spirit, are in a yet diviner sense made in the image of the Most High God—and are partakers of the divine nature.
  • Every drop in the ocean, every beaded bubble, and every yeasty foam-flake, every shell and pebble, feel the power of God’s law, and yield or move at once. O that our nature were but one thousandth part as much conformed to the will of God!
  • O for more agonizing prayer on their behalf, while they are yet babes! Sin is there, let our prayers begin to attack it. Our cries for our offspring should precede those cries which betoken their actual advent into a world of sin.
  • Whatever this day’s need may be, let it like a strong current—bear us to the ocean of divine love! Jesus can soon remove our sorrow. He delights to comfort us. Let us hasten to Him—while He waits to meet us!
  • Labor to help others, and especially strive to encourage them. Talk cheerily to the young and anxious enquirer, lovingly try to remove stumbling blocks out of his way. When you find a spark of grace in the heart—kneel down and blow it into a flame!
  • You will never find true faith, unattended by true godliness. On the other hand, you will never discover a truly holy life, which has not for its root a living faith upon the righteousness of Christ.
  • We are not our own, we are bought with a price—let us recognize the rights of the redeeming blood. The soldier follows his captain, the servant obeys his master—much more must we follow our Redeemer, to whom we are a purchased possession.
  • We are not true to our profession of being Christians—if we question the bidding of our Leader and Commander. Submission is our duty—but caviling is our folly.
  • Wherever Jesus may lead us—He goes before us. If we know not where we go, we know with whom we go. With such a companion, who will dread the perils of the road? The journey may be long—but His everlasting arms will carry us to the end.
  • The presence of Jesus is the assurance of eternal salvation, because He lives—we shall live also. We should follow Christ in simplicity and faith, because the paths in which He leads us—all end in glory and immortality.
  • Scripture is a never-failing treasury filled with boundless stores of grace. It is the bank of heaven; you may draw from it as much as you please, without price or hindrance. Come in faith and you are welcome to all covenant blessings. There is not a promise in the Word which shall be withheld.
  • It matters not what your need is, for there is fullness of supply in Christ—and it is there for you! O what a “freedom” is yours! Freedom from condemnation, freedom to the promises, freedom to the throne of grace, and at last freedom to enter heaven!
  • It is always best to get blessings into our house in the legitimate way—by the door of prayer; then they are blessings indeed, and not temptations.
  • Sinners are perishing for lack of knowledge; he who loiters may find his skirts crimson with the blood of souls.
  • Jesus gave both His hands to the nails—how can I keep back one of mine from His blessed work? Night and day He toiled and prayed for me, how can I give a single hour to the pampering of my flesh with luxurious ease?
  • Life is so brief—that no man can afford to lose a day.
  • Redeemed by the blood of Christ, you are His forever, and where He is, there must His people be. You are loved too much to be cast away with reprobates. Shall one dear to Christ perish? Impossible! Hell cannot hold you! Heaven claims you! Trust in your Surety and fear not!
  • Be glad of heart, O believer—but take care that your gladness has its spring in the Lord. You have much cause for gladness in your God, for you can sing with David, “God, my exceeding joy!”
  • Be glad that the Lord reigns—that Jehovah is King! Rejoice that He sits upon the throne—and rules all things! Every attribute of God should become a fresh ray in the sunlight of our gladness. That He is wise—should make us glad, knowing as we do our own foolishness. That He is mighty—should cause us to rejoice who tremble at our weakness.
  • That he is everlasting—should always be a theme of joy when we know that we wither as the grass. That He is unchanging—should perpetually yield us a song, since we change every hour.
  • That He is full of grace, that He is overflowing with it, and that this grace in covenant He has given to us; that it is ours to cleanse us, ours to keep us, ours to sanctify us, ours to perfect us, ours to bring us to glory—all this should tend to make us glad in Him.
  • This gladness in God is as a deep river—we have only as yet touched its brink, we know a little of its clear sweet, heavenly streams—but onward the depth is greater, and the current more impetuous in its joy. The Christian feels that he may delight himself, not only in what God is—but also in all that God has done in the past. The Psalms show us that God’s people in olden times were accustomed to think much of God’s past mercies—and to have a song concerning each of them.
  • Nor let them ever cease to sing, for as new mercies flow to them day by day, so should their gladness in the Lord’s loving acts in providence and in grace—show itself in continued thanksgiving. 
  • “WHEN MY HEART IS OVERWHELMED—LEAD me to the Rock that is higher than I!” Psalm 61:2 Most of us know what it is to be overwhelmed in heart—emptied as when a man wipes a dish and turns it upside down; submerged and sinking like a vessel mastered by the storm.
  • Blessed be God, at such seasons we are not without an all-sufficient solace—our God is the harbor of weather-beaten sails, the hospice of forlorn pilgrims. Higher than we are—He is! His mercy higher than our sins! His love is higher than we could imagine!
  • A Rock He is—since He changes not; and a high Rock, because the tempests which overwhelm us—roll far beneath at His feet! He is not disturbed by them—but rules them at His will.
  • The wind blows us out to sea—our puny hand cannot steer the helm! You, You alone can steer us over the wide ocean between yon sunken rocks—and safe into the fair haven.
  • How dependent we are upon You! We need You to bring us to You! To be wisely directed and steered into safety and peace is Your gift, and Yours alone.

From Expository Thoughts on Matthew 14 and 15
Matthew 14:1-12

  • There is a conscience in all men by nature. Let this never be forgotten. Fallen, lost, desperately wicked as we are all born into the world, God has taken care to leave Himself a witness in our bosoms. It is a poor blind guide, without the Holy Spirit. It can save no one. It leads no one to Christ. It may be seared and trampled under foot. But there is such a thing as conscience in every man, accusing or excusing him; and Scripture and experience alike declare it. (Rom. 2:15.)
  • Let all true Christians remember, that their best things are yet to come. Let us count it no strange thing, if we have sufferings in this present time.

Matthew 14:13-21

  • All were relieved. All partook of the food miraculously provided. All were "filled," and none went away hungry. Let us see in this the heart of our Lord Jesus Christ towards sinners.
  • He does not deal with men according to their sins, or reward them according to their iniquities. He loads even His enemies with benefits. None will be so excuseless as those who are found impenitent at last.
  • In the last place, this miracle is a lively emblem of the sufficiency of the Gospel to meet the soul-needs of all mankind.
  • The story of the cross has amply met the spiritual needs of mankind wherever it has been preached. Thousands of every rank, age, and nation, are witnesses that it is "the wisdom of God, and the power of God." They have eaten of it and been "filled." They have found it "food indeed and drink indeed."

Matthew 14:22-36

  • Let them know that there is nothing created, which is not under Christ's control. "All things serve Him." He may allow His people to be tried for a season, and tossed to and fro by storms of trouble.

Matthew 15:1-9

  • The principles of the Pharisees are principles that never die. There are truths laid down here, which are of deep importance. We learn, for one thing, that hypocrites generally attach great importance to mere outward things in religion.
  • We learn, for another thing, from these verses, the great danger of attempting to add anything to the word of God. Whenever a man takes upon him to make additions to the Scriptures, he is likely to end with valuing his own additions above Scripture itself.
  • We learn, in the last place, from these verses, that the religious worship which God desires, is the worship of the heart.

Matthew 15:10-20

  • Respecting FALSE DOCTRINE, our Lord declares, that it is a duty to oppose it, that its final destruction is sure, and that its teachers ought to be forsaken. He says, "Every plant which my heavenly Father didn't plant will be uprooted. Leave them alone."
  • No fear of giving offence, no dread of ecclesiastical censure, should make us hold our peace, when God's truth is in peril. If we are true followers of our Lord, we ought to be outspoken, unflinching witnesses against error.
  • No false delicacy, no mock humility should make us shrink from leaving the ministrations of any minister who contradicts God's word. It is at our peril if we submit to unscriptural teaching.
  • God Himself will defend the cause of His own truth. Sooner or later every heresy "shall be rooted up." We are not to fight with carnal weapons, but wait, and preach, and protest, and pray. Sooner or later, as Wycliffe said, "the truth shall prevail."
  • Respecting the HEART OF MAN, our Lord declares in these verses, that it is the true source of all sin and defilement.
  • Let it be a settled resolution with us, that in all our religion the state of our hearts shall be the main thing. Let it not content us to go to church, and observe the forms of religion.
  • Finally, let it be a settled resolution with us to "keep our hearts with all diligence," all the days of our lives. (Prov. 4:23.)

Matthew 15:21-28

  • We see, in the first place, that true faith may sometimes be found, where it might have been least expected. 
  • We see, in the second place, that affliction sometimes proves a blessing to a person's soul.
  • Let us mark this well. There is nothing which shows our ignorance so much as our impatience under trouble. We forget that every cross is a message from God, and intended to do us good in the end.
  • Health is a good thing; but sickness is far better, if it leads us to God. Prosperity is a great mercy, but adversity is a greater one, if it brings us to Christ. Anything, anything is better than living in carelessness, and dying in sin. Better a thousand times be afflicted, like the Canaanitish mother, and like her flee to Christ, than live at ease, like the rich "fool," and die at last without Christ and without hope. (Luke 12:20.)
  • We see, in the third place, that Christ's people are often less gracious and compassionate than Christ Himself.
  • We see, in the last place, what encouragement there is to persevere in prayer, both for ourselves and others.
Matthew 15:29-39

  • In the first place, let us remark, how much more pain people take about the relief of their bodily diseases, than about their souls.
  • Let us however not forget that our souls are far more diseased than our bodies, and learn a lesson from the conduct of these people.
  • They are in fact plague-stricken by sin. They must be healed, and healed effectually, or perish everlastingly. Do we really know this? Do we feel it? Are we alive to our spiritual disease?
  • In the second place, let us remark the marvelous ease and power with which our Lord healed all who were brought to Him.
  • In the third place, let us remark the abundant compassion of our Lord Jesus Christ. We read that Jesus summoned his disciples and said, "I have compassion on the multitude.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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