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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
Devotional: January 16th
“Thy testimonies are very sure.”
The Lord’s promises are always fulfilled to the hour.
Or laughter, for both parents had laughed for joy. The best laughing in all the world is that which arises from fulfilled promises; then is our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing.
Abraham’s laughter was no worldly merriment, but a joy which led him to be obedient to the Lord’s will. This is solid pleasure.
When the promise is realised by any of us, others ought to share our joy. Let us tell the saints what the Lord has done for us, that they may rejoice also.
Children are too apt to do this; but how wrong it is for the elder to tease and grieve the younger. God notices it and is displeased.
It was hard for Ishmael to be sent from home, but God ordered it for the best, even for him.
Had she forgotten the Lord who appeared to her before? So it seems. Our forgetfulness of former mercy is the root of present despair.
God takes pity on boys and girls, and hears their little prayers as well as those of their fathers and mothers. Dear children, do you pray?
Thus God who ordered Hagar and her son to be sent away, took good care of them in the desert: he will therefore watch over us if we commit ourselves to his care.
Our Lord is rich and merciful,
Our God is very kind;
O come to him, come now to him,
With a believing mind.
The Lord is great and full of might,
Our God is ever nigh:
O trust in him, trust now in him,
And have security.
“We are the children of promise.”
Paul teaches us how to gather instruction from the ancient story of Ishmael and Isaac. Writing to those who were anxious to introduce Jewish ceremonialism into the Christian church, he says in Galatians 4:21-31.
Are ye not able to see a meaning in the incidents it records? Will ye only learn one part of its teaching, and shut your ears to the rest?
We were not made sons of God by the energy of nature, but by the power of divine grace.
Pharisees and self-righteous persons display great enmity towards those who depend upon the grace of God in Christ Jesus. They call them presumptuous, and revile their doctrine as tending to licentiousness.
The system of salvation by works must be banished if grace is to reign; you cannot mix the two systems. The power and energy of self must also be no longer our trust if we desire to be saved through the promise. Human merit, the child of the flesh, will never agree with faith, the offspring of the promise.
Do not go back to legal hopes, and ceremonial observances. You are freeborn; do not submit to the yoke of bondage.
If a man could be justified by the law he would have left the system of grace altogether, for the two are diametrically opposed. Thanks be to God, we dare not even hope for a legal righteousness, and if we never fall from grace till we have become justified by the law, that evil will never befall us.
Our confidence is in the promise and grace of God; thus we are true Isaacs, born of the promise of God.
The outward is disregarded and the inward becomes all-important. The flesh, like Ishmael, is sent away, and the newborn nature abides with the father, and inherits the covenant promises. All believers understand this riddle: can all of us in this household interpret it?
Once all my servile works were done
A righteousness to raise;
Now, freely chosen in the Son,
I freely choose his ways.
“What shall I do,” was then the word,
“That I may worthier grow?”
“What shall I render to the Lord?”
Is my enquiry now.
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