…thine ears shall hear a word behind thee…-Isaiah 30:21
…for they have turned their back unto me, and not their face: but in the time of their trouble they will say, Arise, and save us. – Jeremiah 2:27
How does God find men when He declares that they shall hear a word behind them? First, He finds them with their backs turned to Him. This is clear enough, if you remember that the word is to be heard “behind” them. The sinner has gone away from God, and God calls after him from behind. He has turned his back upon his true Friend, his best Friend, his only capable Friend, but that Friend does not therefore change His temper and resent the insult; nay, He is provoked to a love more pleading and persuasive than ever, and calls to him to come into the right way. After having transgressed wilfully and wickedly, the rebel now distinctly turns his back on God and truth; according to the Lord’s complaint, “they have turned unto Me the back, and not the face.” He turns his back on the law, on the gospel, on mercy, on eternal life. He turns his back on the adoption of the great Father, on pardon bought with the blood of Jesus, on regeneration which can alone be wrought by the Holy Spirit: he turns his back upon holiness, happiness, and heaven. He turns away from sunlight, and wanders down into deeper and yet deeper night, striving to get away from God and holy influences. Yet the Lord follows him, and with a voice of touching love and tender compassion He calls to him, “This is the way, walk ye in it.” The word of warning, instruction, and entreaty follows the wanderer, and with ever-increasing pathos beseeches him to turn and live. Again and again the wise, earnest, personal voice assails his ear, as if love resolved that he should not perish if wooing could win him to life. The wanderer seeks not God, but his God seeks him. Man turns from the God of love, but the love of God turns not away from him.~ C.H. Spurgeon
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: – John 1:12
Since what I have had I have received by God’s grace, might I not receive more?…If you have had faith, why should you not have more? If God gave you hope, joy, experience, why not more? You are not straitened in Him, you can be only straitened in yourself. Try to remove those hindrances, and ask the Lord to give you more grace.
If all that Christians have they have received, sinner, why should not you receive as well as they? If it were true that Christians got these good things out of themselves, then you, poor sinner, might despair, for you know you have no good thing in you; but if the best of saints, the best Christian in heaven, has not anything but what he received, why should not you receive? To receive, you know, is never a difficult thing. I warrant you that out of all the people in London there is not a man but what could receive. Try it on the present occasion. Let it be a thousand pounds, and see how many among us would be unable to receive. If there be a person about who would not receive, I tell you who it is-it is the man who thinks himself so rich that he does not care to have any more. Even so the proud, self-righteous Pharisee cannot receive; but you poor, good-for-nothing, empty sinners can receive; and here is the mercy-“to as many as received Him, to them gave He the power to become the sons of God, even to as many as believed on His name.” Open that empty hand, open that empty heart: God grant they may be opened now by His own divine Spirit, and may you receive, and then I know you will join with us in saying, “Of His fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon
Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. – 1 Peter 5:5
Suppose I address some Christian who is happy, and joyous, and cheerful, and has such dainty bits sent home to him out of the promises, such precious words from Scripture applied to his heart. Dear friend, are you apt to think that there is something specially good about you because you get all these remarkable enjoyments? Then let me disabuse your mind. It is your weakness which gets you these favors. When you are living in a hotel you will remark that certain persons have their dinners sent upstairs. What for? Oh, that is because they are ill. If you are well you must go down to the table d’hote with the rest; but if you are ill they will send it upstairs, and pay you extra attention. These very comforts that God gives you ought to make you enquire whether there is not something amiss with you, and instead of thinking you are strong and well you should search and see if there is not some weakness which the Lord in His mercy intends to remove by the double comforts which He gives to you. Nothing in the world ought to be a cause of self-exaltation; nothing that our God gives us ought to make us think highly of ourselves. Lower down, brother, lower down, and so you will rise. The way to heaven is downhill, not uphill. As Christ went down to the grave that He might come up again and fill all things, so must you go to the cross, and down to the grave of self and be buried with Christ, and learn the meaning of your baptism, and make it true that you are buried with Him to all the world, and to yourself also, for so only can you rise into the fullness of the new life.~ C.H. Spurgeon
Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church. – 1 Corinthians 14:12
Perhaps, my dear brother, there is a difference between you and other saints. I am sure there is reason for some saints to eclipse others, for some professors are very poor things indeed. Well, brother, you have a great deal more faith than others; where did you get it? If you received it from anywhere but from God, you had better get rid of it. Dear brother, you have more joy than some, and possibly you feel ashamed of your fellow Christians who are so doubting and sad: beware that you do not become vain of your joy, and remember, that if your joy is true joy you received it of the Lord. Are you more useful than others? You cannot help looking at certain professors who are idle, and wishing that you could stir them up. I know I do; I would put a sharp pin into their downy cushions if I could: but for all that who gives us activity, who gives us usefulness, who gives us zeal, who gives us courage, who gives us everything? If you, dear friend, get into such a condition that you begin to whisper to yourself, “I have improved my gifts and graces at a very noble rate, and am getting on exceedingly well in spiritual things,” you will soon have to come down from your high places. If you register yourself A 1 at Lloyd’s I will not sail with you, brother, for I fear your proud barque will tempt the tempest. I would rather sail with some poor Christian man whose weather-beaten vessel would go to the bottom if Jesus were not on board, for I am persuaded he is safe. “Blessed is the man that feareth always.” Blessed is the man who lies low at the foot of the cross, and who, concerning everything that he has, whether temporal or spiritual, ascribes all to the Giver of all Good. ~ C.H. Spurgeon
Even when we were dead in sins, He hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved)… For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: – Ephesians 2:5,8
I believe assuredly that we have nothing good in us but what we have received. For instance, we were dead in trespasses and sin, and we were quickened into spiritual life: my brethren, did that life spring out of the ribs of death? Did the worm of our corruption beget the living seed of regeneration? It were absurd to think so. God be praised for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sin, which led Him to quicken us by His grace. We have been forgiven our great sins-wholly forgiven; through the precious blood of Christ we have been made clean. Did we deserve it? Does any man who professes to be a Christian say for a single moment that he deserved the ransom paid by Christ, and deserved the pardon of his sin? It would be monstrous blasphemy even to imagine such a thing. Oh no; “By grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” God forgave us freely; there could not possibly have been any quality in sin which could have called forth forgiving love. He had mercy upon us because He would have mercy upon us; not because we could claim anything at His hand.
“Of His fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.”~ C.H. Spurgeon
He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. – Psalm 103:10
One single night of frost will destroy millions upon millions of creatures that were happy and enjoyed life; and this is done by that God of whom we are often assured that He cannot possibly punish sin, or put men to pain. But He does it. Hear the cry of the poor seamen, when the storm tosses the great barque, and drives it on the rock. See how everywhere the Lord is a great God and terrible. Even though He condescends to be a Father to those of us who trust in Jesus Christ, His Son, and is gentle as a nurse to us, yet is He the God of thunder and of fire, the great and almighty God, the King who will not be questioned by His subjects, and who will not alter His arrangements to please their fancies.
It is well for us to speak of God as we have found Him. He has dealt kindly and graciously with us: “He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities; “else had we been cast away for ever. We long that others may be able to speak of God in the same way; not saying what they would have Him to be, but what He has revealed Himself to be, in nature, and in providence, and especially in grace. Let us all come humbly to His feet. He bids us look to His dear Son, and so find peace and salvation. If we will not do so, there is nothing for us but to be driven from His presence, and from the glory of His power, world without end. Will we dare to defy Him? Have we the impiety so to do? O God, humble us! Beneath the terror of Thy majesty, and the glory of Thy righteousness, and the supreme splendour of Thy love, bow us down, to accept Thy grace, and to become Thine for ever and ever! God grant that it may be so, for our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake! Amen. ~ C.H. Spurgeon
He will recompense it, whether thou refuse, or whether thou choose. – Job 34:33
Whatever our will may be, God will carry out His own purpose. As surely as God is God, He will never be defeated in anything. He who is omniscient, and therefore sees the end from the beginning, is also omnipotent, and therefore can work His own will exactly as He chooses,-He will never be baffled by the will of men. I believe in the free agency of man as much as anyone who lives; but I equally believe in the eternal purpose of God. If you ask, “How do you reconcile those beliefs?” I answer,-They have never been at variance yet, so there is no need to attempt to reconcile them. They are like two parallel lines, which will run side by side for ever;-man responsible because he does what he wills, and God infinitely glorious, achieving His own purposes, not only in the world of dead, inert matter, but also through those who are free agents; without changing them in the least degree, leaving them just as free as ever they were, He yet, in every jot and tittle, performs the eternal purpose of His will.
Christ did not die in vain. He will rejoice in every one whom He purchased with His blood. He will not lose one of the jewels that are to deck His crown for ever. You may strive against His kingdom, but that kingdom will come when He pleases. ~ C.H. Spurgeon