Keep Christ Always Before You

The wisdom of the prudent is to understand his way: but the folly of fools is deceit.
 – Proverbs 14:8

When I walk abroad in this temple of nature, and seek to behold nature’s God, I may not light upon a spot in the universe where the curse of sin has never inflicted a blight, or where the hope of redemption should not inspire a prayer. Sometimes, brethren, you get all alone and quiet, but do not imagine that you are even there free from sin. As the most beautiful landscape, so the sweetest retirement cannot shut out uncleanness. As the fly or the insect would intrude into the arbour where the Jew would worship, so sin will haunt and molest us even in the closet of devotion. Get up Christians, and be upon your watch-towers. You may sleep, but your enemies never will; you may suppose yourselves safe, but then are you most in danger. See that you put on the whole panoply of God, and are armed from head to foot, and having done all, watch and pray lest ye enter into temptation. Every morning we ought to ask the Lord to keep us from unknown sins, to preserve us from temptations that we cannot foresee, to check us in every part of life if we are about to go wrong, and to hold us up every hour that we sin not…Shut not your eyes to sin, but keep Christ always before you, and you will walk aright.

Fools make a mock of sin. You laugh at it now; you do not understand what a fire it is that you have kindled to consume your soul! Oh! you that think it is such a little thing, its deadly poison will soon envenom all your blood, and then you will discover that he that plays with sin plays with damnation. May the Lord set sin straight before your eyes, and then set the cross of Christ there too, and so you will be saved. ~ C.H. Spurgeon


The Christian Conversation

The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogance, and the evil way, and the perverse mouth, do I hate.  – Proverbs 8:13

A Christian is distinguished by his conversation. He will often trim a sentence where others would have made it far more luxuriant by a jest which was not altogether clean. Following Herbert’s advice-“He pares his apple-he would cleanly feed.” If he would have a jest, he picks the mirth but leaves the sin; his conversation is not used to levity; it is not mere froth, but it ministereth grace unto the hearers. He has learned where the salt-box is kept in God’s great house, and so his speech is always seasoned with it, so that it may do no hurt but much good. Oh! commend me to the man who talks like Jesus, who will not for the world suffer corrupt communications to come out of his mouth. I know what people will say of you if you are like this: they will say you are straight-laced, and that you will not throw much life into company. Others will call you mean-spirited. Oh, my brethren! bold-hearted men are always called mean-spirited by cowards. They will admonish you not to be singular, but you can tell them that it is no folly to be singular, when to be singular is to be right. I know they will say you deny yourselves a great deal, but you will remind them that it is no denial to you. Sheep do not eat carrion, but I do not know that sheep think it a hardship to turn away from the foul feast. Eagles do not prefer to float on the sea, but I do not read that eagles think it a denial when they can soar in higher atmosphere. Do not talk of self-denial. You have other ends and other aims; you have welds of comfort that such men know not of. It would be a shame for you to be eating husks with swine, when your Father’s table is loaded with dainties. I trust, my dear brethren, that you know the value of the gold of heaven too well to pawn it away for the counterfeits of earth. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

A Spirit of Unselfish Devotion

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. – 1 Corinthians 2:12

The spirit of this world is often selfish; it is always a spirit that forgets God, that ignores the existence of a Creator in His own world, the land which He makes fat by His own bounty. Men with God’s breath in their nostrils forget Him who makes them live. Now, your spirit should be one of unselfish devotion, a spirit always conscious of His presence, bowed down with the weight, or raised up with the cheer of Hagar’s exclamation-“Thou God seeest me;” a spirit which watcheth humbly before God, and seeketh to know His will and to do it through the grace of God given to you. Such a spirit as this, without the drab of one sect, or the phylacteries of another, will soon make you quite as distinct from your fellow men as ever meats and drinks could make the Jews a separate people.

A Christian never considers what is usual, but what is right; he does not estimate a wrong by its commonness; he counts that a fraud, and a falsehood will be as much fraud and falsehood, though all the world shall agree to practice it, as though but one man should do it in the dark. The believer reads things, not in man’s light, in the obscurity of which so many blind bats are willing to fly, but he reads things in the sunlight of heaven. If a thing be right though he lose by it, it is done; if it be wrong, though he should become as rich as Croesus by allowing it, he scorns the sin for his Master’s sake. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Distinguished from the World

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you – 2 Corinthians 6:17

A sincere man may do a great many things that a hypocrite dare not do, for he will spot the garments of his hypocrisy if he ventures to run as a Christian may. Heavenly realities within do not always need to be plastered up and labelled outside, so that everybody may see and recognize you, and say, “There goes a saint.” There are other modes of being distinguished from the world than any of these.

What are they then? Well, brethren, we ought ever to be distinguished from the world in the great object of our life. As for worldly men, some of them are seeking wealth, others of them fame; some seek after comfort, others after pleasure. Subordinately you may seek after any of these, but your main and principal motive as a Christian should always be to live for Christ. To live for glory? Yes, but for His glory. To live for comfort? Yes, but be all your consolation in Him. To live for pleasure? Yes, but when you are merry, sing psalms, and make melody in your hearts to the Lord. To live for wealth? Yes, but to be rich in faith. You may lay up treasure; but lay it up in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, where thieves break not through nor steal. It is thought, you know, that ministers do live for God; merchants should do the same. I would, my brethren, that you would trade, and do your merchandise for His service; or do ye plough, and sow, and reap, and mow, do it for Christ! Would God you could do this quite as much in His service, as we do ours, when we preach for Christ! You can make the commonest calling become really sacred. You may take the highest orders by dedicating your daily life wholly to the service of Jesus. There is such a thing-and let those that deny the possibility stand self-convicted that they obey not the precept-“Whether ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon

The Watched Christian

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. – Romans 12:2

The more the Church is distinct from the world in her acts and in her maxims, the more true is her testimony for Christ, and the more potent is her witness against sin. We are sent into this world to testify against evils; but if we dabble in them ourselves, where is our testimony? If we ourselves be found faulty, we are false witnesses; we are not sent of God, our testimony is of none effect. I do not hesitate to say there are tens of thousands of professing Christians, whose testimony before the world is rather injurious than beneficial. The world looks at them, and says, “Well, I see: you can be a Christian, and yet remain a rogue.”… Now, what is all that? It is just this,-that the world has found out that the Church visible is not the unmixed Church of Christ, since it is not true to its principles, anal does not stand up for the uprightness and integrity which are the marks of the genuine Church of God.

Many Christians forget that they are bearing a testimony: they do not think that anybody notices them. Ay, but they do. There are no people so much watched as Christians. The world reads us up, from the first letter of our lives to the end; and if they can find a flaw-and, God forgive us, they may find very many-they are sure to magnify the flaw as much as ever they can. Let us therefore be very watchful, that we live close to Christ, that we walk in His commandments always that the world may see that the Lord hath put a difference …between you and the world. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

At Our Dying Hour

He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. Mark 16:16

The last time the cholera visited London with severity, though I had many engagements in the country, I gave them up to remain in London. It is the duty of the minister always to be on the spot in times of visitation and disease. I never saw more conspicuously in my life the difference between the man that feareth God and the man that feareth Him not, than I did then. Called up one Monday morning at about half-past three, to go and see a man who was dying, I went to him and entered the place where he was lying. He had been down to Brighton on the Sunday morning on an excursion, and came back ill; and there he lay on the borders of the tomb. I stood by his side, and spoke to him. The only consciousness he had was a foreboding of terror, mingled with the stupor of alarm: soon even that was gone, and I had to stand sighing there with a poor old woman who had watched over him, hopeless altogether about his soul. I went home. I was called away to see a young woman; she was also in the last extremity, but it was a fair, fair sight: she was singing, though she knew she was dying; talking to those round about her, telling her brothers and sisters to follow her to heaven, bidding good-bye to her father, smiling as if it were a marriage-day. She was happy and blessed. I then saw very clearly, that if there is not a difference in the joy of life there is a difference when we come to the dying hour.

To-day you are either a friend to God or an enemy to Him. You are at this hour either quickened or dead, and oh! remember, when death comes it is either heaven or hell with you,-either angels or fiends must be your companions, and either the flames must be your bed and fiery coverlet, or else the glories of eternity must be your perpetual inheritance. Remember, the way to heaven is open. “He that believeth in the Lord Jesus shall be saved.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon