The Age of Gold is Yet to Come

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven… – Eccliastes3:1

We frequently hear the question discussed as to which are the best times. Some are perpetually singing the praises of the “good old times;” though, if one reads the page of history, it does not appear that the old times deserve any very special praise, unless oppression, ignorance, persecution, and abundant suffering deserve to be the theme of song. It is the common habit of the fathers, with tears in their eyes, to say, “The former days were better than these,” but we have the wisdom of Solomon on our side when we tell them they do not enquire wisely concerning this. “Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this.” (Ecclesiastes 7:10.) Others there be who are always boasting of the present eventful period. There was none like it: this is the era of invention and of progress, the age of liberty and of light, when slavery must cast away her fetters, and superstition must hide herself among her congenial associates, the moles and bats. But I cannot perceive that this century is so much the age of gold as to need any very enthusiastic praises. Its greatest virtues are counterbalanced by greater sins; and the progress which has been made towards liberty, has scarcely kept pace with its advance towards licentiousness: the barriers have been broken down, it is true, but in some places the bulwarks have fallen too. Many there be who with bright eyes are looking forward to the future, and their declaration is, that the “good time is coming,” if we but “wait a little longer;” if we will but look ahead, till this beast shall have been slain, that vial shall have been poured out, and the other seal shall have been broken, then it is that we shall arrive at halcyon times. We agree with these watchful waiters: the age of gold is yet to come; the Advent is the world’s best and brightest hope, insomuch that every lover of his kind, may importunately cry out, “Come quickly; yea, come quickly, Lord Jesus.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon

If You Would Be Saved…

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. – James 4:7,8

Submit thyself to the Word of God. Believe it to be true. Believing it to be true, yield thyself to its force. Does it accuse thee? Confess the accusation. Does it condemn thee? Plead guilty. Does it hold out hope to thee? Grasp it. Does it command thee? Obey it. Does it guide thee? Follow it. Does it cheer thee? Believe it. Submit thyself to Him who proclaims Himself the Savior of all such as will throw down the weapons of their rebellion and end their futile war by relying upon His power to save them…God speaks often to men through the still small voice of conscience. Open thine ear, then, and listen. Thy conscience can do thee no hurt; it may disturb thee, but it is well to be disturbed when peace leads on to death. He was a fool who killed the watch dog because it alarmed him when thieves were breaking into his house. If conscience upbraid thee, feel its upbraiding and heed its rebuke. It is thy best friend; faithful are its friendly wounds, but the kisses of a flattering enemy are deceitful.

“He that confesseth his sin shall find mercy.” Sinner, choose between one of two things; judge yourself, or be judged of God. If you will judge yourself and put in a plea of guilty, then will the Great Judge grant you forgiveness, but not else. Condemn yourself and you shall not be condemned. Confess the indictment to be true, for true it is, and to deny it is to seal your doom…When He brings you to submit, He has given you His grace. Submission to His divine will is the essence of salvation. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Who Will Be Your Master, Sinner?

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. – James 4:7

“No surrender” is the stubborn sinner’s motto. I have known men who would give their bodies to be burned sooner than yield to God. Their high stomach has stood out long against the Most High and they have been little Pharaohs till the Lord has brought them to their senses. “Must I yield, must I bow at His feet?”-they could not brook such humiliation. If the gospel had tolerated their pride and given them a little credit, they would have rejoiced in it; but to be tumbled in the dust and made to confess their own nothingness they could not bear. “Submit” is wormwood and gall to haughty sinners, yet must they drink the cup or die. Hear then, ye stout-hearted, you can never be saved unless you submit, and when you are saved one of the main points in your salvation will be that you have submitted. I desire to whisper one little truth in your ear, and I pray that it may startle you: You are submitting even now. You say, “Not I; I am lord of myself.” I know you think so, but all the while you are submitting to the devil. The verse before us hints at this. “Submit yourselves unto God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” If you do not submit to God you never will resist the devil, and you will remain constantly under his tyrannical power. Which shall be your master, God or the devil, for one of these must. No man is without a master: some power or other is paramount within us, either good or evil is supreme in our hearts; and if we will not be mastered by the good, the evil has already gained the sway. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Yield to the Spirit’s Bidding

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. – Romans 8:14

Sometimes the Spirit of God whispers to you, “Retire to pray.” At such times enter your closet at once. Remember how David said, “When Thou saidst unto me, Seek ye My face, my heart said unto Thee, Thy face Lord will I seek.” The Spirit of God will sometimes impel you to a duty which involves self-denial, which will take up much of your leisure, and will bring you no very great honor as a reward. Be not disobedient to His call but go about your work speedily. Say with the Psalmist, “I made haste and delayed not to keep Thy commandments.” The Spirit will at times urge us to deep repentance on account of faults in which we have been living; He will rebuke us for some ugly temper which we have indulged, or for some hard word which we have spoken against a brother, or because of the worldliness of mind into which we have fallen. Oh, brother, bestir thyself at such times, and examine and purge thy soul. Let a hint from the Holy Spirit be enough for thee…In this matter it is not so much your activity as your submission to the Holy Spirit which is needed; it is not so much your running as your willing to be drawn by Him. There is to be an activity in religion: we are to wrestle and to fight, but side by side with that we are to yield ourselves to the Spirit’s impulse, for it is He that worketh in us to will and to do of His own good pleasure; He striveth in us mightily, and if we will but resign ourselves, and no longer be obstacles in His divine way, He will carry us to greater heights of grace, and create in us more fully the likeness of Christ…Learn the sweetness of lying passive in His hand, and knowing no will but His: learn the blessedness of giving yourselves up entirely to His divine sway, for in so doing you will enter into heaven below. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Be Rendered Sensitive

Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. – Matthew 6:10

I am afraid there are some who do not obey the Master because they are proud enough to think that they know better than He does; they judge the Lord’s will instead of obeying it. Art thou a judge of the law, my brother? Art thou to sit on the judgment-seat and say of this or that statute of the law, “This does not signify,” or “That may be set aside without any loss to me”? This is not according to the mind of Christ, who did His Father’s will and asked no questions. When next you pray, “Thy will be done in earth, even as it is in heaven,” remember how they do that will before the throne of God, without hesitation, demur, or debate, being wholly subservient to every wish of the Most High.

The Spirit of God has hard work with many Christians to lead them in the right way; they are as the horse and the mule which have no understanding, whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle. There is the stout oak in the forest, and a hurricane howls through it, and it is not moved, but the rush by the river yields to the faintest breath of the gale. Now, though in many things ye should be as the oak and not as the rush, yet in this thing be ye as the bulrush and be moved by the slightest breathing of the Spirit of God. The photographer’s plates are rendered sensitive by a peculiar process: you shall take another sheet of glass and your friend shall stand before it as long as ever he likes, and there will be no impression produced, at least none which will be visible to the eye; but the sensitive plate will reveal every little wrinkle of the face and perpetuate every hair of the head. Oh, to be rendered sensitive by the Spirit of God, and we can be made so by submitting ourselves entirely to His will. Is there not a promise to that effect? – “I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon

A Childlike Obedience

Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey, whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? – Romans 6:16

The position of a Christian should be that of a soldier to whom the centurion saith “Go,” and he goeth, and “Do this,” and he doeth it. It is not ours to question, that were to become masters; but ours it is to obey without questioning, even as soldiers do. Submission to our Lord and Savior will be manifested by ready obedience: delays are essentially insubordinations, and neglects are a form of rebellion. I fear that there are some Christians whose disobedience to Christ is a proof of their pride. It may be said that they do not know such and such a duty to be incumbent upon them. Ay, but there is a proud ignorance which does not care to know, a pride which despises the commandment of the Lord, and counts it non-essential and unimportant. Can such scorn be justifiable? Is that a right temper for the Lord’s servant to indulge? Can any point in our Lord’s will be unimportant to us? Can the wish of a dear friend be trivial to those who love him? Has Jesus said, “If ye love Me, keep My commandments,” and shall I treat them as matters of no moment? No, my Lord, if it were the lifting of a stone from the road, if it were the moving of a sere leaf, or the brushing away of a cobweb, if Thou ordainest it, then it becomes important straightway, -important to my loving allegiance, that I may by my prompt obedience show how fully I submit myself to Thee. Love is often more seen in little things than in great things. You may have in your house a servant who is disaffected, and yet she will perform all the necessary operations of the household, but the loving child attends to the little details which make up the comfort of life and are the tests of affection. Let your love be shown by a childlike obedience, which studies to do all the Master’s will in all points. – C.H. Spurgeon

As Thou Wilt

God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. – James 4:6,7

It is essential to our happiness to say at all times, “Nevertheless, not as I will but as Thou wilt.” Brothers and sisters, ought it not so to be? Who ought to rule in the house but the Father? Who should govern in the body but the Head? Who should lead the flock but the Shepherd? We owe so much to Jesus, and so entirely belong to Him, that even were it put to the vote, all of us would give our suffrages so that the Lord Jesus should be King, Head and Chief among us; for is He not the Firstborn among many brethren? Submit, then, my brethren. Beseech the Holy Spirit to bow your will to complete subjection. You will never be happy till self is dethroned. I know some of God’s children who are in great trouble only because they will not yield to the divine will. I met with one, I believe a good sister, who said she could not forgive God for taking away her mother; and another friend said he could not see God to be a good God for he had made him suffer such terrible afflictions. Their furnace was heated seven times hotter by the fuel of rebellion which they threw into it. So long as we blame the Lord and challenge His rights, our self-tortured minds will be tossed to and fro. No father can let his boy bend his little fist in defiance, and yet treat that child with the same love and fondness as his other children who submit themselves to him. You cannot enjoy your heavenly Father’s smile, my dear brother or sister, till you cease from being in opposition to Him, and yield the point in debate; for He has said that if we walk contrary to Him He will walk contrary to us. It will be wise for you to cry, “My Father, my naughty spirit has rebelled against Thee, my wicked heart has dared to question Thee; but I cease from it now: let it be even as Thou wilt, for I know that Thou doest right.” So the text means first humility, and then submission to the Lord’s will. Lord, teach us both. ~ C.H. Spurgeon