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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
Devotional: December 25th
“To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna.”
angel messenger or minister
Patient in labour, but impatient of error, the Ephesian church occupied a high position. Would to God that all believers were in as good a condition as the Ephesians were.
Not “lost” it, as some say, as if it were a misfortune and scarcely a fault; but left it, or departed from it. We ought to love Jesus better as we grow older and as we know more of him: to decline in love to him is to do him great dishonour.
Probably these were men who preached up licentious freedom under the pretence of spirituality, like certain vicious sects in America. Uncleanness is very hateful to the Lord.
The imagery of this first blessing is taken from Paradise; there was nothing in Eden which grace cannot restore to us.
Revelation 2:8 , Revelation 2:9
This church was sorely persecuted, but remained faithful. It has been called “sweet-smelling Smyrna, the poorest and the purest of the seven.”
They may die once, but not twice; they shall inherit life eternal.
Revelation 2:12 , Revelation 2:13
This church was faithful to the name of Jesus, yet there were evils within it.
Jesus will not tolerate filthiness in a church. He will sooner go to war with it than endure it.
Dr. Cumming says, “This is equivalent to triumphant acquittal. This will appear from Acts 26, where Paul says, ‘I gave my voice against them;’ it is literally, ‘I gave my stone against them;’ that is, I put in the urn a black stone, denoting my vote for their condemnation. Our blessed Lord says, I will put in your urn a white stone; that is, I will pronounce you absolved at the judgment seat, justified and accepted in me.”
“That which ye have already hold fast till I come.”
Revelation 2:18 , Revelation 2:19
This church grew better and better, and did more and more for her Lord. Progress should be the constant characteristic of a church of God.
Probably a party in the church led by a woman had taught that the sins of the flesh might be indulged in without evil. The Lord is most jealous of the purity of his church, and those who enter her midst and teach lasciviousness must expect condign punishment. No church ought to endure such, but should cast them out at once.
The grandest conqueror is the man who overcomes sin. He shall not only vanquish the world, but shall win the glory of heavens eternal day. On him Jesus, the morning star, has shone, and the dawning must be near.
Ears are meant to hear with, but some have lost all power to hear the voice of the Spirit. If grace has opened our ear, let us attend to every word which the Spirit utters.
The bulk of the members were formalists and hypocrites, yet the church kept up its reputation, and it does not appear that any serious heresy had to be contended with. How beautiful may a fruit appear upon the outside and yet be rotten within.
The Lord does not punish the righteous with the wicked; he discerns the pure in heart, and separates them from the unholy. Are we among those whose garments are unspotted?
This is a choice reward. We are to be clothed like our Lord and to be owned by him. Who will not fight on till he conquers when such a prize is set before him?
We are not to hear what the churches say to us, but what the Spirit saith unto the churches. Be not satisfied with echoes, hear the grand original.
the Second Week of Advent
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