Set a Diligent Watch

Moab is My washpot… – Psalm 60:8

But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. – 1 Corinthians 9:27

There are certain sins which we readily detect in others, which should serve as loud calls to us to correct the same things in ourselves. When a man sees the faults of others and congratulates himself that he is far superior to such, he evidently knows not how to extract good from evil; he is proud and knows nothing. But when we perceive errors in others, and immediately set a diligent watch against falling into the like, then Moab is rightly used, and becomes our washpot. For instance, as to the matter of bodily indulgence? The sinner is a man who puts his body before his soul, and his head where his feet should be; he is therefore a monster in nature. Instead of the world being under his feet, as it is with every good man, he inverts himself, and places his head and his heart in the dust. He lives for the body which is to die and forgets the soul which lives for ever. When therefore you see a drunkard, or an unchaste person, say to yourself, “I must mortify my members, and give my Spiritual nature the predominance. For this I must cry mightily to God, the Eternal Spirit, lest the body of this death prevail over me. I must keep under my body, as the Apostle saith, and bring it into subjection, lest I too become a prey to the same animal passions, which lead sinners captive.” I see the ungodly man putting this poor fleeting world before the eternal world to come; therein he is a fool; but let me take heed that I in no measure imitate him. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Search the Scriptures

Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me. – John 5:39

Beloved, if there is a quarrel between you and any text of Scripture, end the dispute by giving way at once, for the word of God is right, and you are wrong. Do not say, “We have always been of one way of thinking, and our parents were so before us.” Have respect unto God and sit at Jesus’ feet. The Lord’s teaching is in this Book and may be opened to you by His Spirit. Test everything by the Word; prove the spirits whether they be of God. Do not be such fools as to take your religion from fallible men when you may have it from the infallible God. Some who do so are not fools in other matters, but in this case, it may be said of them as it was once said of the people of an Italian city, “They were not fools, but they acted as if they were.” Persons who would not take the opinion of anybody else as to the goodness of a half-crown, will leave their religion to be settled by an Act of Parliament, or by convocation, or by conference. What are brains given to us for? Are we for ever to be the slaves of majorities and follow a multitude to do evil? God forbid! Stand upright, O Christian man, and be a man. God has given you a judgment, and His Spirit waits to enlighten it. Search the Scriptures! See whether the things handed down by tradition came from the devil or from God, for many an ancient maxim may be traced to the infernal pit. To the law and to the testimony, if they speak not according to this word it is because there is no light in them. May we have grace given us like Ezekiel to receive the roll from the Lord’s hand, to eat it, and to find it in our mouth as honey for sweetness. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

We Are Loved of the Lord

“Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” – Jeremiah 31:3

As you sit down and consider for yourself, “God has loved me, for He has given me salvation in Jesus Christ, and the mountains may depart, and the hills be removed, but the covenant of His grace cannot depart from me;” will not your cup run over, and your soul dance before the ark of God? Of course, it will not be so till you have found the word for yourself, and have eaten it, but then it shall be marrow and fatness to you. Thousands of God’s people live in doubts and fears, because they have not eaten of God’s word as they should; they do not know the fullness of the blessings of the gospel of peace. How many are in bondage through the fear that though they have been for years believers they are not yet saved, whereas if they read the Scriptures, and received their meaning, they would know that the moment the sinner believes in Christ he is saved and in that very instant he has passed from death into life and shall never come into condemnation. If they read the Scriptures, would they endure such doubts about being left to perish after having believed? The thing is impossible. The people of His choice Jehovah cannot cast away. No members of Christ’s body shall be suffered to perish, or else the body of Christ would be mangled, and He Himself would be the head of a dismembered frame. To have a clear understanding of the gospel, to know the covenant which, like a mighty rock, underlies all gospel blessings, to know Christ and our union with Him, to know His righteousness, His perfection and our perfection in Him, to know the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, these things must inevitably make us strong in the joy of the Lord. Half our doubts and fears would vanish if we had more acquaintance with the Lord’s statutes. Other knowledge brings sorrow, but this wisdom is the joy and rejoicing of the heart. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Truth is Firmly Established in the Saints

Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by Thy name, O LORD God of hosts. – Jeremiah 15:16

Many professing Christians think very lightly of scriptural knowledge, and especially of an experimental acquaintance with divine truth. Few nowadays have studied the doctrines of grace so as to be able to give a reason for the hope that is in them. Too often converts are made by excitement, and, as a consequence, when the excitement is gone, they grow cold; some of them go back to the world, and prove that they were never taught of God, and others linger on in a half-starved condition, because soul-sustaining truth is hidden from them. The man who knows the truth, and feels that the truth has made him free, is the man who will continue a free man at all hazards. There are enemies of the faith about nowadays; error is put in very tempting forms. Those who try to subvert the gospel are exceedingly dextrous, and know how to make every falsehood fascinating. These will rend and devour, but who will be their victims? Not the instructed saints, not those who can say “Thy words were found, and I did eat them,” but the mixed multitude in nominal union with the church, who scarce know what they believe, or knowing it merely in the letter have no inward vital acquaintance therewith. We read in the word of God of certain deceivers who would, if it were possible, deceive the very elect, from which we gather that the elect cannot be deceived, and that for this reason-that the truth is not held in the hand of the elect man as a staff which can be wrenched from him, but he has eaten it: it has entered into his vital substance. You cannot tear away from a man what has become assimilated to himself. You might draw the silken thread out of a piece of tapestry, and in so doing injure the material, but you cannot remove the truth which is interwoven into the fabric of our new-born nature by the Holy Spirit. A Christian is dyed ingrain with the truth-he wears no flying nor fading colors; he can as soon cease to be as cease to believe what he has learned by the Spirit’s teaching. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Eternal Life is Found in God’s Word

Thy words were found…and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart… – Jeremiah 15:16

To find God’s words, means that we have been made to understand them. A man may be well versed in Scripture, both in the English and in the original tongue; he may be accustomed to read the best of commentaries, and be acquainted with Eastern manners, and yet he may be quite ignorant as to the word of God. For the understanding of this Book, as to its depth of meaning, does not lie within the range of natural learning and human research; reason alone is blinded by the excess of light, and wanders in darkness at noon day; for “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” Before my conversion I was accustomed to read the Scriptures, to admire their grandeur, to feel the charm of their history, and wonder at the majesty of their language; but I altogether missed the Lord’s intent therein; but when the Spirit came with His divine life and quickened all the page to my newly enlightened soul, the inner meaning shone forth with quickening glory. The Bible is to many carnal minds almost as dull a book for reading as an untranslated Latin work would be to an ignorant ploughman, because they cannot get at the internal sense, which is to the words as juice to the grape, or the kernel to the nut… Recollect, my brethren, the time when you first found God’s word. Recall the period of your conversion; let the remembrance kindle in you anew the flame of gratitude. Magnify the divine grace which revealed the heavenly word to you. What a removal of darkness and bursting in of glory you then felt!…you found eternal life in God’s word. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Finding God’s Words

Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart… – Jeremiah 15:16

Thy words were found.” As Jeremiah meant them, they signified this: that certain messages came to him most clearly from God, and he recognised them as such; he ascertained how far the thoughts which passed through his mind were originated by the Spirit of God, and how far they were from merely his own imaginings; he separated between the precious and the vile, and when he had found, discovered, and discerned God’s words, then it was that he fed upon it.

What is meant by finding God’s words? The expression suggests the mode. A thing found has usually been sought for. Happy is that man who reads the Scriptures and hears the word- searching all the while for the hidden spiritual sense, which is indeed the voice of God…Solomon tells us the method of finding the true wisdom, in that cheering word at the commencement of the second chapter of the Proverbs, “My son, if thou wilt incline thine ear to wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.” Though occasionally the Lord in His infinite sovereignty has been pleased to reveal His salvation to those who sought it not, according to His own word, “I am found of them that sought Me not,” yet there is no promise to this effect; the promise is to those who seek. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

But for the Divine Grace of God

And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. Hebrews 11:15

It is a wonder of wonders that we have not gone back to the world, with its sinful pleasures and its idolatrous customs. When I think of the strength of divine grace, I do not marvel that saints should persevere; but, when I remember the weakness of their nature, it seems a miracle of miracles that there should be one Christian in the world who could maintain his steadfastness for a single hour. It is nothing short of Godhead’s utmost stretch of might that keeps the feet of the saints and preserves them from going back to their old unregenerate condition. We have had opportunities to have returned. My brethren, we have such opportunities in our daily calling. Some of you are engaged in the midst of ungodly men, and those engagements supply you with constant opportunities to sin as they do, to fall into their excesses, to lapse into their forgetfulness of God, or even to take part in their blasphemies. Oh, have you not often strong inducements, if it were not for the grace of God, to become as they are? Or, if your occupation keeps you alone, yet, my brethren, there is one who is pretty sure to intrude upon our privacy, to corrupt our thoughts, to kindle strange desires in our breasts, to tantalise us with morbid fancies, and to seek our mischief. The Tempter he is, the Destroyer he would be, if we were not delivered from his snares. Ah, how frequently will solitude have temptations as severe as publicity could possibly bring. There are perils in company, but there are perils likewise in our loneliness. We have many opportunities to return…. Opportunities to return! Ah! Who that knows himself does not find strong, incentives to return. Ah! how often will our imagination paint sin in very glowing colors, and, though we loathe sin and loathe ourselves for thinking of it, yet how many a man might say, “had it not been for divine grace, where should I have been? -for my feet had almost gone, my steps had well-nigh slipped.” C.H. Spurgeon