His Overflowing Goodness Toward Us

Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? – Romans 2:4

There rises up in the mind of every favoured Christian a deep repentance for past sin. He asks himself this question, “How could I have lived as I have done when God has entertained such love towards me?” When I discovered the election of God’s grace, and when I saw at what a price I had been redeemed by our Lord Jesus, I was ashamed of all my evil ways. When I read my name inscribed on the palms of Jesus’ hands, when I understood that I was united to Him by a union that never could be broken, I said to myself, “What a thousand fools I have been to have lived forgetful of my highest glory, unmindful of my dearest friend!” To have lived year after year in open enmity against my Lord seemed like a grim and ghastly dream, almost too horrible to be true. Have you not felt the same? Have you not felt ashamed and confounded at the memory of your former life? Have you not felt as if you could never open your mouth anymore because of all your unkindness to your heavenly friend? Such penitent reflections keep the Lord’s people right, by creating a fear and trembling in the presence of His overflowing goodness.

Has not your deepest sense of unworthiness come upon you when you have been conscious of superlative mercy? When the Lord has scourged and chastened you, you have seen your sins in your sorrows, and have been ashamed: but, by the memory of His great goodness, you have been far more corrected and humbled. When our secret sins are set in the light of God’s countenance, it is a light indeed! Love makes the crimson of sin more red than ever. Blood-bought pardon makes sin look black as sackcloth of hair. I tell you, sirs, it is not the flames of hell, but the glories of heaven, that most of all fills us with trembling before the Lord. Nothing touches the heart like undeserved and unexpected love. ~ C.H. Spurgeon


Take Away All Iniquity

Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously… – Hosea 14:2

Dear seekers, I pray you, do not look on one sin and say, Lord, spare it!” Do not wish to have one sin left; but cry “Take it away! Take it away! Take away all iniquity. However sweet, or fascinating, or deeply seated, Lord, take away all iniquity. If I have been given to the intoxicating cup, take it away! If I have been the slave of greed, take it away! If I have been subject to passion, or pride, or lustfulness, take it away! Whatever is my besetting sin, ‘take away all iniquity’!” Dost thou wish to have one fair sin spared to thee? It will be thy ruin. Hew in pieces that Agag sin that cometh so delicately. Let your cry be, “Take it away!” The taking of it away may cost you a right hand or a right eye; still, shrink not, but cry, “Take away all iniquity.” Have done with it all. It will be of no use to give up one poison; if you take another poison, it will kill you. All sin must go, or else all hope is gone! Return to God; but it must be with a prayer which shows that you and your sins have fallen out, never to be reconciled.

Follow me, and try to pray this prayer, “O Thou that takest away the sin of the world, take away all my iniquity. It is great, but pardon it, I pray Thee; for Thou didst bear our sins in Thine own body on the tree. By Thy precious blood, wash away all my iniquity! Let me know that Thou hast carried my transgression away, even as the scapegoat carried the sins of Israel into the wilderness of forgetfulness. Take away all iniquity by an act of pardon, I beseech Thee. Take it away, Lord, take it out of my heart; take it out of my life.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon


Take with You Words and Turn to the Lord

Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto Him, “Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously…” I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for Mine anger is turned away from him. – Hosea 14:2,4

The Lord helps our ignorance and our fear. He gives us direction as to what to bring. Read the second verse. “Ah!” saith the sinner, “I do not know what to take with me in approaching the Most High. I have no bullocks, no lambs, no incense. In my hand there is no price of money or merit.” The answer is, “Take with you words.” Your heart is right; you are longing for salvation; you need not say, “Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God?” “Take with you words”; you have plenty of them. The heart must be there first, and then nothing more is asked than “words.” This is simple enough; he that hath a tongue can bring words. O man and woman, whatever else you cannot bring, you can bring words; for indeed you have multiplied words to sin. The Lord is helping you to return, you need not hesitate for want of an offering, since He saith, “Take with you words.” This is but another version of our grand hymn-

“Nothing in my hand I bring:
Simply to Thy cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless, look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me Saviour, or I die.”

And then, the Lord helps the coming sinner by a direction as to where to turn. “Take with you words and turn to the Lord.” “I was wanting to see the minister,” saith one. Turn to the Lord! “I desire to converse with a man of God.” Turn to the Lord! We read in the book of Job, “To which of the saints wilt thou turn?” My answer would be-Sinner, turn thou to the sinner’s Friend, and leave the saints alone. If thou wouldst be saved turn not to Peter, nor James, nor John; but turn to Him whom all these call “Master and Lord.” “Take with you words and turn to the Lord.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon


Fallen One, God Pleads with You to Return to Him

O Israel, return unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity. – Hosea 14:1

“Thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.” Sin is the root of the mischief. Do not say, “I was fated to be so.” “Thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.” It is true that thou hast fallen in Adam; but thou hast also fallen by thine own actual sin, and thou hast enough to do to confess thine own act and deed. Thine own willful omissions and commissions have ruined thee. Thou art wounded, but thine own hand has given the injurious stab. “Thou hast fallen by thine iniquity”; blame no one else. That you are an unbeliever is your own fault; you will not come to Christ that you might have life. The way you follow is the way of your own choice, in which you follow the imaginations and devices of your own heart. All the misery of your present estate is due to yourself alone. “O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself”! Feel that it is so, and confess it before God, taking to yourself shame and confusion of face.

“Return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity.” What a wonderful argument is this! You are in an evil plight through sin; therefore return to the Lord your God. But, saith one, I was afraid I might not come because I had fallen.” See how your fear is anticipated. The case is reversed, and your having fallen is made by the Lord into an argument why you should return to Him. “I am broken-kneed,” saith one; “I have fallen so badly that I shall never be worth a penny for any good work.” Yet the Lord cries, “Return, for thou hast fallen.” I hear one moaning, “I am broken to pieces by sin: I am like an old pot that has fallen on the stones. I am useless henceforth. “For that very reason the Lord of mercy bids you return. “Return unto the Lord thy God; for thou hast fallen.” What ingenuity of mercy there is in the heart of God! I pray you, yield to so gracious a plea. ~ C.H. Spurgeon


A Joyous Return

O Israel, return unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity. – Hosea 14:1

“Return unto the Lord thy God.” If thou, O sinner, wilt return to the Lord, He will be thy God; He will enter into covenant with thee, He will give Himself over to thee to be thine. Henceforth thou shalt have a property in Jehovah, and all the wealth of His infinite nature shall be thine. Thou shalt be able to say, “This God is our God for ever and ever: He will be our guide even unto death.” That man hath made a great speech who hath truly said, “God is mine.” There is more in calling God our God than if we could hold the title-deeds of both the Indies, or claim possession of the stars. God, in the infinity of His grace, declares, “I will be their God.”

Oh, that you were wise, that you knew what was good for you! Then would you answer to this call. O sinner, how I wish that thou wert delivered from thy madness! for then thou wouldest no longer turn thy back upon thine own blessedness, nor wouldst thou reject the Lord thy God to thine own confusion. Thy present course will lead thee down to destruction utter and entire; wherefore, pause, I pray thee! Nay, I say more; do not stay where thou art, but return, return at once! Seest thou not what a welcome God will give thee? for He says not, “Return unto thy Judge,” but “Return unto thy God.” It is not written, “Return like an escaped prisoner to thy jailer, return to the whip and to the stocks”; but, “Return unto the Lord thy God.” This God shall be thine exceeding joy. Albeit I cannot put my soul into such words as I could wish, I am sure that men who are wise and prudent will think upon these things, and will be led to seek after the Lord, from whom all blessings flow. I remember how, when I perceived the freeness and preciousness of the gospel, I ran towards it, being drawn that way by a strong desire for that which promised such great things to me. May many a man and woman out of the present company say, “I will answer to the divine entreaty. Jehovah bids me return and return I will”! ~ C.H. Spurgeon


God’s Sacred Pleading to the Wandering One

O Israel, return unto the LORD thy God; for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity. – Hosea 14:1

“O Israel, return”! is a sorrowful, tender, gentle, wooing voice, which I beseech you to regard. Possibly some of you may have had to plead with one of your own children, who has been very willful, and has threatened to do that which would have been exceedingly injurious to him. You have said, “Oh, do not so, my son! Oh, do not so, my daughter!” and you have thrown your soul into your pleading. Even thus doth God, with sacred pathos, with love welling up from the depth of His heart, plead with every sinner and He words the pleading thus-“O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God.” The first motion towards reconciliation is never from the sinner, but always from God. The sinner does not cry, “O Lord, my God, permit me to return”; but the Lord Himself, who watches the wandering one, and sees him falling to his ruin, cries out, in the freeness of His grace, “O Israel, return!” What matters it to the Lord, though a man should even plunge down to hell? The Lord will be glorious, though the rebel perish. The Lord hath no need of men. Yet the Lord thinks much of wandering men, and longs for their return. Out of the freeness and riches of His love He calls them to Himself. He swears by His own life that He willeth not the death of the sinner, but that he turn unto Him, and live. Because of His spontaneous love and pity, He crieth, plaintively, “O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God.” Hearken, then, my hearers. If it were my call, you might refuse it with small blame: but it is God’s call: shall your Maker call in vain? Will you add to all your sin the turning of your back upon the God of love. Shall Jehovah cry in pity to your souls, and cry in vain? God grant it be not so! Here from this text, which, once written, remaineth, there soundeth out of the eternal deep of boundless mercy this cry of grace: “O Israel, return unto the Lord thy God”! ~ C.H. Spurgeon



O Israel, return unto the LORD thy God… – Hosea 14:1

This is a very instructive call; for it tells the sinner exactly what he has to do. Return: that is, reverse your course. The course you have taken is the opposite of that which you ought to have taken; therefore, come back. You have gone from God; come back to God. You have been prayerless; begin to pray! You have been hardened; yield to the Word. You have been full of cavils; believe even as a little child. Bring forth fruits meet for repentance, and not the fruits of obstinate persistence in evil. To many there could be no better direction in spiritual morals than this word, “Return.” Do what you have not done: leave undone what you have been doing. Reverse the original. Take the other track! “Return!” is but a single word, but that word is full of meaning. There is to be a change, a total change, a coming back to God.

The word is also instructive, because it says, Return unto the Lord.” Do not only look to God but return to Him. Arise, and go unto your Father. Do not barely think about it but do it. Do not return part of the way to this and to that good custom and salutary habit; but come right back to the Lord, and rest not till you feel that you are in His arms. It is of no use for the prodigal to say, “I will arise,” unless he adds, “and go to my father.” It is of no use his quitting one far-off country for another; but it must be said of him, “And he arose and came to his father.” The best direction we can give to many a sinner is: reverse your course of life and let your reversed course of life lead you to God Himself. How surely will he need the abounding grace of God for such a work as this! ~ C.H. Spurgeon