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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
Devotional: September 18th
“In the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom.”
If he meant the invitation kindly, our Lord accepted of it in kindness to him; and if he intended it as a means of watching him, the Lord showed that he was not afraid of his keenest glances. Truth baffles spies, and therefore fears them not.
The merely outward ceremony of bathing their hands before eating was made so much of by the Pharisees that our Lord purposely abstained from it. He came to teach the religion which cleanses the heart, not that which begins and ends with the body. It is the duty of the followers of Jesus to discourage in all possible ways the superstitious observances of modern Ritualists, who are the Pharisees of the period.
When benevolence offers a portion of her substance to the poor, she sanctifies the rest. To wash ones hands of greediness is better than a hundred washings in water.
Only a hypocrite will exalt trifles above important duties, and he only does so to be thought exceedingly strict. The tithe of small herbs could not amount to much, and was only paid in order to make men say, “How scrupulous the Pharisees are!”
Their hearts were full of wickedness, and yet they bore a high repute; and so were like graves which are green above ground, but are full of rottenness within, where the eye of man cannot see.
lawyers or teachers of the law
It touched his conscience as the Lord intended it should.
They pretended to honour the prophets by erecting memorials to them; but inasmuch as they continued in the sins of their persecuting sires, he accuses them of perpetrating and perfecting their parents acts; the fathers killed and buried the saints, and the sons built their sepulchres.
Read the story of the siege of Jerusalem, and the just vengeance of God upon the Jews will be before you.
Burkitt, in his Commentary, here writes, “When any lie in wait to catch something out of our mouth that they may ensnare us, give us thy prudence and thy patience, O Lord, that we may not give occasion to those who seek occasion against us.”
“There is nothing covered that shall not be revealed.”
Luke 12:1 , Luke 12:2
How vain, then, is it to play the hypocrite! If God did not see, and nothing more were known of us than what our fellow men can detect, hypocrisy might answer its purpose; but what folly it is to try to deceive when everything is observed by the Lord, and will in due time be published before all men.
Therefore it becomes us to behave in our private life just as we would do if all men were gazing upon us. Since we cannot conceal our true character, let us not be so foolish as to seem to be what we are not.
The doctrine of a special providence is here plainly taught. It is full of richest comfort.
He will be left to impenitence and therefore be lost. Those who can and do repent have not committed this sin.
He kept to his own work, and did not interfere with the duty of the magistrate. Christian ministers should in this imitate their Lord and mind their own proper business.
Why not give the overplus to the poor? There were twenty good ways of disposing of his superfluous wealth.
Luke 12:18 , Luke 12:19
It was all self. He talked only of “I,” and “My goods.” Alas, such language is common enough when covetous men talk to themselves.
Luke 12:20 , Luke 12:21
He is a fool too. He puts the body before the soul, he hopes to find ease on the thorny bed of wealth, and makes sure of a long life in a dying world. O Lord, keep all of us from being so foolish.
Almighty Father of mankind!
On thee my hopes remain;
And when the day of trouble comes,
I shall not trust in vain.
In all thy mercies, may my soul
A Father’s bounty see;
Nor let the gifts thy hand bestows
Estrange my heart from thee.
the First Week of Advent
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