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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
Devotional: August 31st
“He marvelled because of their unbelief.”
Matthew 13:31-33 , Matthew 13:44-58
Our loving Lord has left us many priceless parables, in which great truths are made plain to our understandings. He deserves our love for thus condescending to our dulness.
Matthew 13:31 , Matthew 13:32
Mustard of this kind is common in Palestine. Nothing at its commencement could be smaller, or less conspicuous, than the church of Christ; nothing in the end shall be so great and honourable. Already many happy souls, like birds, are resting in its branches.
Silently, mysteriously, and potently it works, and so do good or evil influences in society.
Matthew 13:45 , Matthew 13:46
The first man is the suddenly converted sinner, who finds Jesus, though he looked not for him; the second is the diligent seeker, who at last discovers Jesus for whom he had sought. They both agree in setting the highest value upon the treasure. Do we value Jesus thus? Say, Is he very precious to our hearts?
No church will be perfect here; the unmixed church is above.
Foolish people live in all ages. They like things with hard names, which come from great distances; they would despise gold itself if they could dig it up in their own garden. Such folly led the people of Nazareth to do the Lord a great injustice, and to rob themselves of many priceless blessings; and if we allow prejudice or fancy to rule our judgments we may fall into like errors.
Unbelief ties the hands of the incarnate God. It is to be feared that the reason of the slow progress of true religion, at this time, is to be found in the unbelief of the people of God.
The volume of my Father’s grace
Does all my griefs assuage;
Here I behold my Saviour’s face
Almost in every page.
This is the field where hidden lies
The pearl of price unknown;
That merchant is divinely wise
Who makes that pearl his own.
“Even the wind and the sea obey Him.”
He avoided popularity. To be followed by an admiring crowd was no joy to him; he gave orders to sail at once, but did not start for some time afterwards.
Master, or teacher,
It was a rare thing to meet with a scribe who had any respect for the Lord, and it is to be feared that even this well-disposed member of that profession was not a spiritually enlightened person. He thought himself capable of making any sacrifice. It is the mark of those who have not the Spirit of God that they think themselves able to do everything, whereas when taught of God they discover that of themselves they can do nothing.
Was the scribe willing to share such deep poverty? We fear not. Could we ourselves follow Jesus whithersoever he goeth?
“Have ye counted the cost?
Have ye counted the cost
Ye warriors of the cross?
Are ye fixed in heart, for your Master’s sake
To suffer all earthly loss?
Can ye bear the scoff of the worldy-wise
As ye pass by pleasure’s bower
To watch with your Lord on the mountain-top
Through the dreary midnight hour?”
Matthew 8:21 , Matthew 8:22
Jesus saw that he was merely offering an excuse for delay. There are always people enough to attend to earthly business, and when the Lord calls us to do his work, we must leave all lower concerns to those whose proper calling it is to attend to them.
Mark 4:35 , Mark 4:36
They hurried him off, weary as he was, for the crowd increased. He was quite worn out with toil.
Mark 4:37 , Mark 4:38
Jesus always cares for us. Even though he seems to sleep, and allows our troubles to multiply, all is well.
Who but God could speak thus? Where are the senses of those who cannot see his Godhead?
Mark 4:40 , Mark 4:41
Awe came over them, and well it might; they saw that no mere man could act as he had done. Jesus, Master, in all our troubles we will call upon thee, and thou wilt answer us! Our heart rejoices in thee, and sings:
“Away, despair; my gracious Lord doth hear!
Though winds and waves assault my keel
He doth preserve it; he doth steer
Even when the boat seems most to reel.
Storms are the triumph of his art
Well may he close his eyes, but not his heart.”
Fear was within the tossing bark,
When stormy winds grew loud,
And waves came rolling high and dark,
And the tall mast was bowed.
And men stood breathless in their dread,
And baffled in their skill,
But one was there, who rose and said
To the wild sea, “Be still!”
And the wind ceased it ceased: that word
Passed through the gloomy sky;
The troubled billows knew their Lord,
And fell beneath his eye.
And slumber settled on the deep,
And silence on the blast;
They sank, as flowers that fold to sleep,
When sultry day is past.
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