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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
Devotional: March 16th
“Love one another, as I have loved you.”
See how the question is solved as to which is the true Church, and who has care of it. In Jesus, and all who are vitally joined to him, we find the only true Church, and in our heavenly Father, the great overseer and purifier of it.
Fruitless branches must come away, for the very mark of a living branch is fruit. The dead wood of mere profession, being worthless and pernicious, must be pruned out.
Do what we may, we can bring forth no truly good thing except in union with our Lord: our strength, our fruitfulness, yea, and our very life, all lie in Him.
Nothing! mark the word. He does not say “only a little,” but nothing.
There is the end of the man who is fruitless; because not vitally united to Jesus, he utterly perishes. What a change, numbered one day with the branches of the true vine, and the next, burning in the fire.
Power in prayer depends upon union with Jesus, and obedience to his will.
John 15:8 , John 15:9
One of the most sublime verses in Holy Scripture. The Father loves the Son without beginning, without change, without measure, and without end and even thus does Jesus love us.
Christ’s own joy in us! Think of that. Here is enough to fill us with joy to running over.
Here is love’s law her diamond rule.
Here is love’s fairest model. Note it well.
Here is love’s life, and love’s reward. Obedience to Jesus leads to a sense of the love of Jesus. If we walk after his rule he will walk with us.
We are made his table-companions, for we sit at the Communion feast, and there are no secrets between us, for he tells us all that is in his heart. This is love indeed, which lifts poor worms of the dust into friendship with “the Prince of the kings of the earth.”
Quicken’d by thee, and kept alive,
I flourish and bear fruit;
My life I from thy sap derive,
My vigour from thy root.
I can do nothing without thee;
My strength is wholly thine:
Wither’d and barren should I be,
If sever’d from the vine.
Come just as ye are, for Jesus invites
Poor sinners to share substantial delights:
Ye weary and burden’d who happy would be,
And wish to be pardon’d, come listen to me.
The ear of your heart If you will incline
To you I’ll impart my fulness divine,
Your souls by my Spirit made meet for the sky,
The life shall inherit which never shall die.
“The servant is not greater than his Lord.”
The great first cause of our salvation is not our choice of the Lord Jesus, but his choice of us. The election of his people is with him. He takes the first step towards us. He has, however, chosen us not to be idlers, but fruit-bearers, not to be occasional workers, but persevering labourers. He has also chosen us to be men of prayer; and he would not have us formal worshippers but prevalent pleaders. Have the objects of the Lord’s choice been realised in us? How can we know our election except by fruits of holiness, and answers to prayer?
This command comes often, but never too often. We need to hear it again and again.
Therefore there is nothing to wonder at when men slander and abuse us; it is their ordinary manner of saluting every vessel which bears our great Captains flag.
Election secures us human hatred as well as divine love, but for the sake of the sweet, we joyfully accept the bitter. What we have most to dread is the smile of the world, for many have been fascinated by it and fallen into destruction.
Let us not reckon upon easy times. We are servants of a Master who lived amid reproach and died upon a cross. How can we expect those who crowned Him with thorns to crown us with roses?
Light when rejected in- creases sin. No apology remains for a man when his ignorance is removed. He who has had Jesus for his teacher and yet refuses to learn, is guilty of wilful ignorance, and deserves the severest judgment.
An opponent of Christianity cannot, therefore, be a sincere worshipper of God. A pure Theist in a country where the Gospel is preached, is an impossibility.
Our Lord’s miracles proved his mission, and rendered Israel’s rejection of him a most wanton rebellion against the light. So greatly did their sinning against the light add to their sin, that comparatively speaking, their sins were nothing till their conscience being enlightened, they were able to sin with an emphasis.
This is the Holy Spirit’s great work. What sweet witness does he bear in his people’s hearts! Do we know the power of that inward testimony? Let us examine ourselves upon this matter, as in the sight of God.
Yes, and we too, when the Holy Spirit has witnessed in us, may become witnesses to others concerning the Lord Jesus. But we must be with him to know him, and we must know him before we can witness concerning him.
My precious Lord, for thy dear name
I bear the cross, despise the shame;
Nor do I faint while thou art near;
I lean on thee; how can I fear?
No other name but thine is given
To cheer my soul in earth or heaven;
No other wealth will I require;
No other friend can I desire.
Yea, into nothing would I fall
For thee alone, my All in All;
To feel thy love, my only joy;
To tell thy love, my sole employ.
the First Week of Advent
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