…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…Hebrews 12:2
He that would be saved, must hold on to the end: “He that endureth to the end, the same shall be saved.” Stop and loiter in the race before you have come to the end thereof, and you have made one of the greatest mistakes that could possibly occur. On, on, on! while you live; still onward, onward, onward! for until you come to the grave, you have not come to your resting place until you arrive at the tomb, you have not come to the spot where you may cry “Halt!” Ever onward if ye would win. If you are content to lose, if you would lose your own soul, you may say, “Stop,” if you please; but if you would be saved evermore, be on, on, till you have gained the prize.
Christian, run onward, for remember who it is that stands at the winning post. You are to run onward, always looking unto Jesus, then Jesus must be at the end. We are always to be looking forward, and never backward; therefore Jesus must be there. Are you loitering? See Him with His open wounds. Are you about to leave the course? See Him with His bleeding hands; will not that constrain you to devote yourself to Him? Will not that impel you to speed your course, and never loiter until you have obtained the crown? Your dying Master cries to you today, and He says. “By My agony and bloody sweat; by My cross and passion, onward! By My life, which I gave for you; by the death which I endured for your sake, onward!” And see! He holds out His hand, laden with a crown sparkling with many a star, and He says, “By this crown, onward!” I beseech you, onward, my beloved; press forward, for “I know that there is laid up for me a crown of life which fadeth not away, and not for me only, but for all them that love His appearing.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon
And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey?…Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. -Hebrews 3:18; 4:11
Recollect, your race is win or lose-death or life, hell or heaven, eternal misery or everlasting joy. What a stake that is for which you run. If I may so put it, you are running for your life; and if that does not make a man run nothing will. Put a man there on yonder hill, and put another after him with a drawn sword seeking his life, If there is any run in him you will soon see him run; there will be no need for us to shout out to him, “Run, man, run” for he is quite certain that his life is at hazard, and he speeds with all his might-speeds till the veins stand like whipcords on his brow, and a hot sweat runs from every pore of his body-and still flees onward. Now, he looks behind, and sees the avenger of blood speeding after him; he does not stop; he spurns the ground, and on he flees till he reaches the city of refuge, where he is safe. Ah! if we had eyes to see, and if we knew who it is that is pursuing us every day of our lives, how we should run! for lo! O man, hell is behind thee, sin pursues thee, evil seeks to overtake thee; the City of Refuge has its gates wide open; I beseech thee, rest not till thou canst say with confidence, “I have entered into this rest, and now I am secure, I know that my Redeemer liveth.” And rest not even then, for this is not the place for rest; rest not until thy six days work is done; and thy heavenly Sabbath is begun. Let this life be thy six days of ever-toiling faith. Obey thy Master’s commandment; “labour therefore to enter into this rest,” seeing that there are many who shall not enter in, because, through their want of faith, they shall not be able. If that urge not a man to speed forward, what can? ~ C.H. Spurgeon
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. -1 Peter 5:8
The whole world looks upon a Christian: he is the observed of all observers. In a Christian every fault is seen. A worldly man may commit a thousand faults, and nobody notices him; but let a Christian do so, and he will very soon have his faults published to the wide world…Don’t think the world is ever asleep. We say, “as sound asleep as a church,” and that is a very good proverb; but we cannot say, “as sound asleep as the world” for it never sleeps; it always has its eyes open and it is always watching us in all we do. The eyes of the world are upon you.
And there are darker and yet more malignant eyes that scowl upon us. There are spirits that people this air, who are under the prince of the power of the air, who watch every day for our halting…And alas! those spiritual creatures are not all good. There be those that are not yet chained and reserved in darkness, but who are permitted by God to wander through this world like roaring lions, seeking whom they may devour, ever ready to tempt us. And there is one at the head of them called Satan, the enemy, and you know his employment. He has access to the throne of God, and he makes most horrid use of it, for he accuses us day and night before the throne. The accuser of the brethren is not yet cast down-that is to be in the great day of the triumph of the Son of Man; but as Jesus stands as our Advocate before the throne, so does old Satan first watch us and tempt us, and then stands as our accuser before the bar of God. O my dear brothers and sisters, if you have entered into this race, and have commenced it, let these many eyes urge you forward. ~ C.H. Spurgeon
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, -Hebrews 12:1
When zealous racers on yonder heath are flying across the plain, seeking to obtain the reward, the whole heath is covered with multitudes of persons, who are eagerly gazing upon them, and no doubt the noise of those who cheer them onward, and the thousand eyes of those who look upon them, have a tendency to make them stretch every nerve, and press with vigor on. It was so in the games to which the apostle alludes. There the people sat on raised platforms, while the racers ran before them, and they cried to them, and the friends of the racers urged them forward, and the kindly voice would ever be heard bidding them go on. Now, Christian brethren, how many witnesses are looking down upon you? …From the battlements of heaven the angels look down upon you, and they seem to cry today to you with sweet, silvery voice, “Ye shall reap if ye faint not; ye shall be rewarded if ye continue steadfast in the work and faith of Christ.” And the saints look down upon you-Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; martyrs and confessors, and your own pious relatives who have ascended to heaven, look down upon you, and if I might so speak, methinks sometimes you might hear the clapping of their hands when you have resisted temptation and overcome the enemy; and you might see their suspense when you are lagging in the course, and you might hear their friendly word of caution as they bid you gird up the loins of your mind, and lay aside every weight, and still speed forward, never resting to take your breath, never staying for a moment’s ease till you have attained the flowery beds of heaven. where you may rest forever. ~ C.H. Spurgeon
Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand. – Romans 14:4
We are all so prone to find fault with other people instead of attending to our own home affairs. We attend to the vineyards of others, but our own vineyard we have not kept. Ask a worldly man why he is not religious, and he tells you “Because so-and-so makes a profession of religion and is not consistent.” Pray is that any business of yours? To your own Master you must stand or fall, and so must he; God is their judge, and not you. Suppose there are a great many inconsistent Christians-and we are compelled to acknowledge that there are-so much the more reason why you should be a good one. Suppose there are a great many who deceive others; so much the more reason you should set the world an example of what a genuine Christian is. “Ah! but,” you say, “I am afraid there are very few.” Then why don’t you make one? But after all, is that your business? Must not every man bear his own burden? You will not be judged for other men’s sins, you will not be saved by their faith, you will not be condemned for their unbelief. Every man must stand in his own proper flesh and blood at the bar of God, to account for the works done in his own body, whether they have been good or whether they have been evil. It will be of little avail for you to say at the day of judgment, “O Lord, I was looking at my neighbors; O Lord, I was finding fault with the people in the village; I was correcting their follies.” But thus saith the Lord: “Did I ever commission thee to be a judge or a divider over them? Why, if thou hadst so much time to spare, and so much critical judgment, didst thou not exercise it upon thyself? Why didst thou not examine thyself, so that thou mightest have been found ready and acceptable in the day of God?” These persons are not very likely to win the race, because they turn to kicking others. ~ C.H. Spurgeon
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” – Matthew 6:33
There are some runners in the heavenly race who cannot win because they carry too much weight. A light weight, of course, has the advantage. There are some people who have an immensely heavy weight to carry. “How hardly shall a rich man enter into the kingdom of heaven!” What is the reason? Because he carries so much weight; he has so much of the cares and pleasures of this world; he has such a burden that he is not likely to win, unless God should please to give him a mighty mass of strength to enable him to bear it. We find many men willing to be saved, as they say they receive the word with great joy, but by-and-bye thorns spring up and choke the word. They have so much business to do; they say they must live but they forget they must die. They have such a deal to attend to they cannot think of living near to Christ. They find they have little time for devotions; morning prayer must be cut short, because their business begins early; they can have no prayer at night, because business keeps them so late. How can they be expected to think of the things of God? They have so much to do to answer these questions-“What shall I eat? what shall I drink? and wherewithal shall I be clothed?” It is true they read in the Bible that their Father who is in heaven will take care of them in these things if they will trust Him.
It is well for us if we can cast everything away except that one thing needful, and say, “This is my business, to serve God on earth, knowing that I shall enjoy Him in heaven.” For when we leave our business to God, we leave it in better hands than if we took care of it ourselves. They who carve for themselves generally cut their fingers; but they who leave God to carve for them, shall never have an empty plate. ~ C.H. Spurgeon