Friday, December 28, 2018

Book Review: Morning and Evening

Morning and Evening. Charles H. Spurgeon. 1866. 470 pages. [Source: Bought]

Morning and Evening is a classic devotional by Charles H. Spurgeon that was originally published in 1866.

There is a devotional for every morning and every evening.

Each devotional begins with a bite-sized portion of Scripture.

Spurgeon "feeds" his flock from both the Old Testament and the New Testament.

He speaks directly to readers and addresses matters of great importance. His works are ever-relevant.

I've been sharing quotes from Morning and Evening since the first week of January when I began reading the devotional.

I'll share my top twenty or so with you now.

From December:

  • The night of affliction is as much under the arrangement and control of the Lord of Love—as the bright summer days when all is bliss. Jesus is in the tempest! His love wraps the night as a cloak—but to the eye of faith the sable robe is scarcely a disguise.
  • His presence will be most realized—by those who are most like Him. If you desire to see Christ, you must grow in conformity to Him.
  • Christian, God has not left you in your earthly pilgrimage to an angel’s guidance—He Himself leads the van. You may not see the cloudy, fiery pillar—but Jehovah will never forsake you.
  • Christ is the great Peacemaker; but before peace, He brings war. Where the light comes, the darkness must retire. Where truth is, the lie must flee; or, if it abides, there must be a stern conflict, for the truth cannot and will not lower its standard, and the lie must be trodden under foot.

From November:
  • The past is gone; the future has not arrived; we never shall have any time but time present. Then do not fritter away your life in thinking of what you intend to do tomorrow, as if that could recompense for the idleness of today. No man ever served God by doing things tomorrow.
  • Truth must enter into the soul, penetrate and saturate it—or else it is of no value. Doctrines held as a matter of mere creed—are like bread in the hand, which ministers no nourishment to the body.
  • Be content with such things as you have, since the Lord has ordered all things for your good. Take up your own daily cross; it is the burden best suited for your shoulder, and will prove most effective to make you perfect in every good word and work to the glory of God.
  • To have one foot on the land of truth, and another on the sea of falsehood, will end in a terrible fall and a total ruin. Christ will be all—or nothing.
From October:
  • “I will love them freely.” Hosea 14:4 This sentence is a body of divinity in miniature. He who understands its meaning, is a theologian; and he who can dive into its fullness, is a true spiritual master. It is a summary of the glorious message of salvation, which was delivered to us in Christ Jesus our Redeemer. The meaning hinges upon the word “freely.” This is the glorious, the suitable, the divine way by which love streams from heaven to earth—a spontaneous love flowing forth to those who neither deserved it, purchased it, nor sought after it. It is, indeed, the only way in which God can love such as we are. The text is a death-blow to all sorts of fitness, “I will love them freely.”
  • We ought to muse upon the things of God, because we thus get the real nutriment out of them. Hearing, reading, and learning—all require inward digesting to complete their usefulness, and the inward digesting of the truth lies for the most part in meditating upon it.
  • When we repent of sin, we must have one eye upon SIN—and another upon the CROSS! It will be better still—if we fix both our eyes upon Christ—and see our transgressions only in the light of His love.
  • Each believer must, when filled with a sense of Jesus’ love—be also overwhelmed with astonishment, that such divine love should be lavished on an object so utterly unworthy of it. Jesus must have found the cause of His love—in His own heart. He could not have found it in us—for it is not there! 
From September:
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • A Christian man should so shine in his life, that a person could not live with him a week, without knowing the gospel. His conversation should be such that all who are about him should clearly perceive whose he is, and whom he serves; and should see the image of Jesus reflected in his daily actions.
From August:
  • My Lord is more ready to pardon—than you to sin; more able to forgive—than you to transgress. My Master is more willing to supply your needs—than you are to ask for them!
  • Do you dread sin? He has nailed it to His cross! Do you fear death? He has been the death of death! Are you afraid of hell? He has barred it against the entrance of any of His children; they shall never see the gulf of perdition!
  • Let a Christian begin to boast, “I can do all things,” without adding “through Christ who strengthens me,” and before long he will have to groan, “I can do nothing,” and bemoan himself in the dust. When we do anything for the Lord, and He is pleased to accept of our doings, let us lay our crown at His feet, and exclaim, “Not I—but the grace of God which was with me!”
From July:
  • It is impossible for any human speech to express the full meaning of this delightful phrase, “God is for me.” He was “for us” before the worlds were made. He was “for us,” or He would not have given His well-beloved son. He was “for us” when He smote the Only-begotten, and laid the full weight of His wrath upon Him—He was “for us,” though He was against Him. He was “for us,” when we were ruined in the fall—He loved us notwithstanding all. He was “for us,” when we were rebels against Him, and with a high hand were bidding Him defiance. He was “for us,” or He would not have brought us humbly to seek His face. He has been “for us” in many struggles; we have been summoned to encounter hosts of dangers; we have been assailed by temptations from without and within—how could we have remained unharmed to this hour—if He had not been “for us”? He is “for us,” with all the infinity of His being; with all the omnipotence of His love; with all the infallibility of His wisdom; arrayed in all His divine attributes, He is “for us,” eternally and immutably “for us”; “for us” when yon blue skies shall be rolled up like a worn out vesture; “for us” throughout eternity!
  • Blessed is the fact that Christians can rejoice even in the deepest distress; although trouble may surround them, they still sing; and, like many birds, they sing best in their cages. Trouble does not necessarily bring consolation with it to the believer—but the presence of the Son of God in the fiery furnace with him fills his heart with joy. He is sick and suffering—but Jesus visits him and makes his bed for him. He is dying, and the cold chilly waters of Jordan are gathering about him up to the neck—but Jesus puts His arms around him, and cries, “Fear not, beloved!
From June:
  • “Help, Lord!” will suit us living and dying, suffering or laboring, rejoicing or sorrowing.
  • After conversion our God is our joy, comfort, guide, teacher, and in every sense our light—He is light within, light around, light reflected from us, and light to be revealed to us.
  • If you are not humbled in the presence of Jesus—you do not know Him. You were so lost that nothing could save you—but the sacrifice of God’s only begotten Son. Think of that, and as Jesus stooped for you—bow yourself in lowliness at His feet.
  • The Scriptures reveal Jesus, “The Scriptures point to Me!” No more powerful motive can be urged upon Bible readers than this—he who finds Jesus finds life, heaven, all things. Happy he who, searching his Bible, discovers his Savior!
From May:
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Oh, do not think, believer, that your sorrows are out of God’s plan; they are necessary parts of it.
  • The gospel is a very bold gospel, it fearlessly proclaims the truth, whether men like it or not. We must be equally faithful and unflinching.
From April:
  • Banquet your faith upon God’s own Word, and whatever your fears or needs, repair to the Bank of Faith with your Father’s hand-written note, saying, “Remember the Word unto Your servant—upon which You have caused me to hope.”

  • Let us fight as if it all depended upon us—but let us look up and know that all depends upon Him!
  • We are not far from home—a moment will bring us there.
  • Remember that the same Christ who tells us to say, “Give us this day our daily bread,” had first given us this petition, “Hallowed be Your name; Your kingdom come; Your will be done in earth as it is in heaven.” Let not your prayers be all concerning your own sins, your own needs, your own imperfections, your own trials—but let them climb the starry ladder, and get up to Christ Himself, and then, as you draw near to the blood-sprinkled mercy-seat, offer this prayer continually, “Lord, extend the kingdom of Your dear Son!” Such a petition, fervently presented, will elevate the spirit of all your devotions. Mind that you prove the sincerity of your prayer by laboring to promote the Lord’s glory.

From March:
  • Great thoughts of your sin alone—will drive you to despair; but great thoughts of Christ—will pilot you into the haven of peace. “My sins are many—but oh! it is nothing to Jesus to take them all away. The weight of my guilt presses me down as a giant’s foot would crush a worm—but it is no more than a grain of dust to Him, because He has already borne its curse on the cruel tree. It will be but a small thing for Him to give me full remission, although it will be an infinite blessing for me to receive.
  • There is no road between my soul and heaven—but faith.
  • Look upon all sin as that which crucified your Savior—and you will see it to be “exceeding sinful.”
From February:
  • “He has said” must be our daily resort.
  • We would be abler teachers of others, and less liable to be carried about by every wind of doctrine—if we sought to have a more intelligent understanding of the Word of God. As the Holy Spirit, the Author of the Scriptures is He who alone can enlighten us rightly to understand them, we should constantly ask His teaching, and His guidance into all truth.
  • A daily portion is all that a man really needs. We do not need tomorrow’s supplies; for that day has not yet dawned, and its needs are as yet unborn. The thirst which we may suffer in the month of June—does not need to be quenched in February, for we do not feel it yet.
  • Christian, meditate much on heaven—it will help you to press on, and to forget the toil of the way. This valley of tears is but the pathway to the better country! This present world of woe is but the stepping-stone to a world of bliss.
From January:
  • We must not cease to wonder at the great marvels of our God. It would be very difficult to draw a line between holy wonder—and real worship; for when the soul is overwhelmed with the majesty of God’s glory, though it may not express itself in song, or even utter its voice with bowed head in humble prayer—yet it silently adores.
  • Christ is not only “mighty to save” those who repent—but He is able to make men repent. He will carry those who believe those to heaven; but He is, moreover, mighty to give men new hearts and to work faith in them. He is mighty to make the man who hates holiness—love it; and to constrain the despiser of His name—to bend the knee before Him.
  • How different will be the state of the believer in heaven—from what it is here! Here he is born to toil and suffer weariness—but in the land of the immortal, fatigue is never known.
  • He who does not grow in the knowledge of Jesus, refuses to be blessed. To know Him is “life eternal,” and to advance in the knowledge of Him is to increase in happiness. He who does not long to know more of Christ—knows nothing of Him yet.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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