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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
Devotional: September 14th
“My sheep hear My voice.”
Christ thus called out his own sheep from the flocks of others. The gospel is a great separater, and every Sabbath day it reveals its power in dividing the sheep from the goats. Those who hear and obey are saved; those who are disobedient are condemned in their own consciences.
John 10:22 , John 10:23
winter or stormy, wintry weather
John 10:22 , John 10:23
Sheltering himself from the cold, and reaching the people who would there assemble.
John 10:25 , John 10:26
This was plain, bold speech. They were none of his, and therefore they had not discerned him. Had they been his chosen, they would have received him joyfully. This doctrine is very irksome to the pride of man.
The chosen are doubly secure; two hands have grasped them, and in that double security they are beyond all danger.
They would not hear of his being one with the Father; and, alas, there are persons still living who will honour Jesus as man, but when we speak of his Godhead they are filled with anger.
He was assuredly God, or else, being so good a man, he would never have claimed to be what he was not. If Christ Jesus be not God, he is an impostor, and we are idolaters.
This was an argument intended to cool their rage, for, if in some sense the chosen people had been called gods, they ought not to have been so sure that it was blasphemy for Jesus to claim to be the Son of God.
Having borne his testimony, our Lord again retired. How does his declaration affect us? Are we his sheep? Do we follow in his steps? Let each answer as before the all-knowing Lord.
Thou Shepherd of Israel divine,
The joy of the upright in heart,
For closer communion we pine,
Still, still to reside where thou art
Ah! show us that happiest place
That place of thy people’s abode,
Where saints in an ecstasy gaze,
Adoring their crucified God.
‘Tis there, with the lambs of thy flock,
Our spirits would covet to rest;
To lie at the foot of the rock,
Or rise to be hid in thy breast.
‘Tis there we would always abide,
And never a moment depart;
Preserv’d evermore by thy side,
Eternally hid in thine heart.
“He whom Thou lovest is sick.”
Sickness is no stranger in the homes of the saints. However much we may be the Lord’s favourites we can claim no exemption from bodily affliction: but in our case it bears an aspect full of consolation, it is sent not as a punishment, but as a means of blessing.
This sickness is not unto death death will not be the ultimate end of it
Blessed is that illness of which this can be said: such sickness is better than health.
John 11:5 , John 11:6
His love made him slow! This seems strange. We should have hastened on to our friends chamber, but Jesus, who loved better than we do, was in no hurry. Omnipotence is the source of divine patience.
Very rightly they wished to keep him from danger, more rightly still he shrank not from exposing himself when duty called.
John 11:9 , John 11:10
He was safe till his hour came, and therefore worked on in defiance of Jewish malice. He had his allotted day, and he meant to work to the end of it despite all opposition.
Anything which helps our faith is a blessing for which to thank God.
Bravely did he say, “Since our Master will expose himself to such peril, let us go with him, if it be only to share his fate.” Better far to die with Christ than to desert him in the hour of trial.
These were formal visits, customary in those times, but they were of very little use to the two bereaved sisters, who above all things longed to see the Lord. Without Jesus our friends are miserable comforters. A little while ago we read of Jesus at a wedding, and in this passage we find him on the road to a funeral: he shares in all that concerns us, and most of all in our griefs. Have we a family trouble? Let us send for the Master. His presence will make all things work for good.
Saviour! I can welcome sickness
If these words be said of me:
Can rejoice midst pain and weakness,
If I am but loved by thee.
Love so precious,
Balm for every wound will be.
Though that love sends days of sadness
In a life so brief as this,
It prepares me days of gladness
And a life of perfect bliss.
Love so precious
Bids me every fear dismiss.
the Sixth Week after Easter
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