“The secret of tranquility is the presence of Christ. When He is in the boat the waves calm themselves…if you and I are conscious of restlessness, interruptions of our tranquility by surging, impatient passions and hot desires within ourselves, or by the pressure of outward circumstances, or by having fallen beneath our consciences and done wrong things—let us understand that the breaches of our peace are not owing to Him, but only to our having let go His hand.” —Ian Maclaren
The devil makes every effort to keep our hearts turbulent—to keep us unsettled and afraid—grabbing for anything but Jesus to calm the storm—to make us fear walking on the storm with Him. But when Jesus arises He’ll rebuke the winds and waves, and there will be a great calm. “It is I—be not afraid.” Take His hand, hold tight and go for a walk.
“What is not believed in practice is not, in fact, believed at all…” —C.H. Spurgeon
Whether they follow Jesus or not, people do what they believe. Those who profess Christ do what He says. That simple. Believers do because they believe.
It appears there are many believers who don’t.
King David said, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Personal inventory time.
Back from ministry in Ireland—high time for another great quote.
Jesus prayed for all His future followers—us—that we may be “one” as He and His Father were one. What did He mean? What should we do? C.H. Spurgeon had an idea…
“Are you alive by the life of Christ? Does God dwell in you, and do you dwell in him? Then, my dear brother, give me your hand. Never mind about a thousand differences if you are in Christ and I am in Christ, we cannot be two—we must be one. Let us love each other with a pure heart fervently. Let us live on earth, as those who are to live together a long eternity in heaven. Let us help each other’s spiritual growth. Let us aid each other as far as possible in every holy, spiritual enterprise, which is for the promotion of the Kingdom of the Lord; and let us chase out of our hearts everything that would break the unity that God has established. Let us cast from us every false doctrine, every false thought of pride, of enmity, of envy, of bitterness, that we, whom God has made one, may be one before men, as well as before the eye of the heart-searching God. May the Lord bless us, dear friends—as a Church, make us one, and keep us so; for it will be the dead stuff among us that will make the divisions. It is the living children of God that make the unity; it is the living ones that are bound together. There will be no fear about that—Christ’s prayer takes care of us, that we shall be one…” —CHS
It’s not an ideal—it’s just what He asked His Father to do with us. No wonder He taught us to pray “Thy will be done”.
What will people remember you for? Even more, what have you done with your life that will outlast you? C.H. Spurgeon, the “prince of preachers”, put it like this…
“What pain to find your life-work to be a lot of wood, and hay, and stubble that will blaze furiously, and die out in ashes! You know what I mean: so much time spent in planning frivolous amusements for the people, so much talent expended in teaching that which is not the gospel, so much zeal consumed upon matters that do not concern eternal things, all this will burn. Beloved, do your Master’s work, win souls, preach Christ, expound your Bibles, pray men to be reconciled to God, plead with men to come to Christ. This kind of work will withstand the fire; and when the last great day shall dawn, this will remain to glory and honor!”
May all your deeds be fireproof.
Victorian preacher C.H. Spurgeon had a way of cutting through Christian excuses…
“If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and un-prayed for.”
Some things are worth everything and every effort.
(Painting, “Don’t Let Go” by Daniel Cordova)
This man had a way with words…
“Oh Sirs, it seems to me that since the foundation of God was laid in agony and bloody sweat, and since God himself became incarnate that he might lay the foundation of holiness in the world, we ought to take heed how and what we build thereon… True godliness is not to say, “I believe,” but to believe; not to talk of repentance, but to repent; it is not to speak of regeneration, but to be born again; it is not to talk about consecration, but really to live to God; it is not to speak about the Holy Ghost, but to have him dwelling in you. Be it ours to have truth in the inward parts and grace in the core of the heart. Oh, may God bring us to this!” —C.H. Spurgeon
What a way to start your day.
On June 7, 1891 the “prince of preachers”, C.H. Spurgeon ascended into the pulpit for the last time. These are the closing words of that sermon…
“Those who have no master are slaves to themselves. Depend upon it, you will either serve Satan or Christ, either self or the Saviour. You will find sin, self, Satan and the world to be hard masters; but If you wear the livery [uniform] of Christ, you will find him so meek and lowly of heart that you will find rest unto your souls. He is the most magnanimous of captains. There never was his like among the choicest of princes. He is always to be found in the thickest part of the battle. When the wind blows cold he always takes the bleak side of the hill. The heaviest end of the cross lies ever on his shoulders. If he bids us carry a burden, he carries it also. If there is anything that is gracious, generous, kind and tender, yea lavish and superabundant in love, you always find it in him… His service is life, peace, joy. Oh, that you would enter on it at once! God help you to enlist under the banner of Jesus even this day! Amen.”
Great words, great life.
Hear, love, serve, revel.
Here I sit, recovering from a bad bout with food poisoning where the food won the first round. When your guts ache, news-watching seemed all the more painful, especially the blind and trendy attacks on the simple Good News that Jesus saves souls. But the message, simple as it is, is powerful beyond measure and in no danger of being silenced. My favorite old minister, C.H. Spurgeon, preached,
“As the sun is not blown out by the tempest, nor the moon quenched by the dew of night, so is not the gospel destroyed by the sophistries of perverse minds. Wherefore let us comfort one another with these words, ‘the word of God is not bound.’ It will be preached till doomsday.”
The Gospel isn’t going anywhere. Preach it, unleash it.