The Patient Becomes the Hostess

And He came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto them. = Mark 1:31

This is what they did when Jesus came. Immediately they told Him of her, for the word “Anon” is really in the Greek “immediately.” Directly Christ went in they told Him of her, and directly Christ went to heal her. He went into the chamber, spoke a word, gave a touch, lifted up the sick woman, and she was restored, and the wonderful thing was she was able to rise from the bed immediately and wait upon them. This never occurs in the cure of a fever, for when a fever goes it leaves the patient very weak, and he needs days and weeks, and sometimes months, before he recovers his wonted strength. But the cures of Christ are perfect; and so at once the patient rose and ministered unto them.

You have each of you, probably, some one left in your family unsaved, and you have said, “I was in hopes that this one would be converted.” Have you ever told Jesus of her or of him? Oh, I hope you can answer, “Yes, I have many times” but it is just possible you have not made a set business of it. Begin now, and go upstairs and take time every day to tell the Lord every bit about Jane, or Mary, or Thomas, or John. Wrestle with God, if need be, all night long, and say, “I will not let Thee go except Thou bless me.” I do not think that many of you will be very long with that trouble to carry when you have in that manner told it to your Lord. So when God’s grace comes, the one who has been the object of the most anxiety becomes the happiest of all; the sinner, saved by sovereign grace, becomes servant of the Lord; the patient becomes the hostess. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Thou Shalt be Saved, and Thy House

And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. – Acts 16:31, 32

Heads of families, what responsibilities rest upon us! We cannot shake them off, let us do what we may! God has given us little kingdoms in which our authority and influence will tell for the better or the worse to all eternity. There is not a child or a servant in our house but what will be impressed for good or evil by what we do. True, we may have no wish to influence them, and we may endeavor to ignore our responsibility, but it cannot be done; parental influence is a throne which no man can abdicate. The members of our family come under our shadow, and we either drip poison upon them like the deadly upas tree, or else beneath our shade they breathe an atmosphere perfumed with our piety. The little boats are fastened to our larger vessel and are drawn along in our wake. O fathers and mothers, the ruin of your children or their salvation will, under God, very much depend upon you. The gracious Spirit may use you for their conversion, or Satan may employ you as the instruments of their destruction. Which is it like to be? I charge you, consider. It is a notable event in family history when the grace of God takes up its headquarters in the heart of the husband and the father: that household’s story will henceforth be written by another pen. Let those of us who are the Lord’s gratefully acknowledge His mercy to us personally, and then let us return to bless our household. If the clouds be full of rain they empty themselves upon the earth; let us pray to be as clouds of grace to our families. Whether we have only an Isaac and an Ishmael like Abraham, or twelve children like Jacob, let us pray for each and all that they may live before the Lord, and that we and all that belong to us may be bound up in the bundle of life. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Yield to the Sovereignty of the Holy Ghost

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. – John 6:63

Religion, and the truth of it, is not to be learnt by the head. Years of reading, hours of assiduous study, will never make a man a Christian. “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing.” Oh! art thou destitute of the Spirit of the living God? For oh! I charge thee to remember this my hearer: if in thy soul mysterious and supernatural influence of the Holy Spirit has never been shed abroad, thou art an utter stranger to all the things of God. The promises are not thine; heaven is not thine, thou art on thy road to the land of the dead, to the region of the corpse, where their worm dieth not, and their fire is not quenched. Oh that the Spirit of God may rest upon you now! Bethink you, you are absolutely dependent upon His influence. You are in God’s hand today to be saved or to be lost-not in your own hands, but in His. You are dead in sins; unless He quickens you, you must remain so. The moth beneath your finger is not more absolutely at your mercy than you are now at the mercy of God. Let Him but will to leave you as you are, and you are lost; but oh! if mercy speaks and says, “Let that man live,” you are saved. I would that you could feel the weight of this tremendous doctrine of sovereignty. It is like the hammer of Thor, it may shake your heart however stout it be, and make your rocky soul tremble to its base.

“Life, death, and hell, and worlds unknown,
Hang on His firm decree.”

Yield to the sovereignty of the Holy Ghost; and He shall assuredly prove to you that, in that very yielding, there was a proof that He had loved you; for He made you yield; He made you willing to bow before Him in the day of His power. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

He Convicts the Lost Man

And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. – John 16:8

The Spirit teaches us the total ruin, depravity, and helplessness of self. Men pretend to know this by nature, but they do not know it; they can only speak the words of experience as parrots speak like men. But to know myself utterly lost and ruined; to know myself so lost, “that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing,” is a knowledge so distasteful, so hateful, so abominable to the carnal intellect, that man would not learn it if he could, and if he hath learnt it, it is a clear proof that God the Holy Spirit has made him willing to see the truth, and willing to receive it. When we sometimes hear great preachers telling us that there is something grand left in man yet, that when Adam fell he might have broken his little finger, but did not ruin himself entirely, that man is a grand being, in fact a noble creature and that we are all wrong in telling men they are depraved, and thundering out the law of God at them-am I astonished that they should speak thus? Nay, my brethren, it is the language of the carnal mind the whole world over, and in every age. No wonder that a man is eloquent upon this point, every man needs to be eloquent when he has to defend a lie. No wonder that glorious sentences have been uttered, and flowery periods poured forth from a cornucopia of eloquence upon this subject. A man need exhaust all logic and all rhetoric to defend a-falsehood; and it is not a wonder that he seeks to do it, for man believes himself to be rich, and increased in goods, and to have need of nothing, till the Holy Ghost teaches him that he is naked, and poor, and miserable.

Your destiny hangs there now; and will you rebel against the God in whose hand your soul’s eternal fate now rests? Will you lift the puny hand of your rebellion against him who alone can quicken you-without whose gracious energy you are dead, and must be destroyed? Will you go this day and sin against light and against knowledge? …Obey the divine command, believe on Christ and live! Hear thou the voice of Jehovah, who cries, “This is the commandment, that ye believe in Jesus Christ whom He hath sent.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Ye Shall Be Witnesses Unto Me

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me. – Acts 1:8

“Holy Spirit, dwell in me;
I, myself, would holy be.”

There are many who would have been in the asylum, in their time of trial, if it had not been that they could carry their grief to Christ. There are some of us who are not strangers to very acute pain, and to a long continuance of it, too; and we have found no comfort in the world like going to our Lord when racked with anguish, and torn with pain. There is a power about Him to charm us into joy; when everything would drive us to distress, and almost to despair.

I have been at many death-beds; I have seen many Christians just about to die. There it is that the power of our holy religion comes in. How calm, how resigned, sometimes how triumphant, how ecstatic, is the frame of mind of the departing believer! I never heard one of them regret that he was a Christian. In times when men sift what they have done and believed, and when they tell no lies, for the naked truth comes up before them, I have heard them glory in belonging to Christ, and in resting in Him; but I have never heard them regret that they did so. Our religion is not all of the future; it is not a thing that dreams concerning the world to come. It gives us present joy, present strength, present comfort, and we commend it to you most heartily, for this is our duty, to be witnesses for Christ.

May the Spirit of God rest upon you, beloved in the Lord, and may you hear your Master say to you, Ye shall be witnesses unto Me”! Amen. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Serve the Lord in Some Way or Other

Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? – Acts 1:11

“Why gaze ye still? He told you ‘I go unto My Father.’ Why stand and gaze?” We may under the influence of great love, act unwisely. I remember well seeing the action of a woman whose only son was emigrating to a distant colony. I stood in the station, and I noticed her many tears and her frequent embraces of her boy; but the train came up and he entered the carriage. After the train had passed beyond the station, she was foolish enough to break away from friends who sought to detain her; she ran along the platform, leaped down upon the railroad and pursued the flying train. It was natural, but it had been better left undone. What was the use of it? We had better abstain from acts which serve no practical purpose; for in this life we have neither time nor strength to waste in fruitless action. The disciples would be wise to cease gazing, for nobody would be benefitted by it, and they would not themselves be blessed. What is the use of gazing when there is nothing to see. Well, then, did the angels ask, “Why stand ye gazing up into heaven?”

Serve the Lord in some way or other; serve Him always; serve Him intensely; serve Him more and more. Go tomorrow and serve the Lord at the counter, or in the workshop, or in the field. Go and serve the Lord by helping the poor and the needy, the widow and the fatherless; serve Him by teaching the children, especially by endeavoring to train your own children. Go and hold a temperance meeting, and show the drunkard that there is hope for him in Christ, or go to the midnight meeting and let the fallen woman know that Jesus can restore her. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

With the Help of God

No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper. – Isaiah 54:17

“Over horse and over car,
Over every man of war,
Over Pharaoh’s crown of gold
The loud thundering billows rolled.
Mid the water dark and dread,
Down they sank, they sank like lead!”

Haman had conceived a hatred to Mordecai, and for his sake the whole race of Jews must perish. How deep he lays his plots, how readily he obtains the consent of the king, how sure is he of revenge. Even now in imagination he sees Mordecai swinging on the lofty gallows, and all his kindred given to slaughter. Ah, thou enemy, delight in thine imagination, for it shall be disappointed; rejoice in thy design, but it shall be utterly confounded. There is a God in the courts of heaven, and an Esther in the palace of Shushan. Thou thyself shalt be hanged on thine own gallows, and the race of David shall revenge the deed of the Agagite upon his sons. O, Israel, well mayest thou rejoice at the feast of Purim, for the weapon of the mighty is broken.

March on, despot; bid thy slaves rise against the free, crush the helpless, and usurp the dominions of thy neighbor; but know that the Lord is mightier than thou. Thy northern hordes are not invincible; and Britons, with the help of God, shall teach thee that in vain thou liftest the hand of robbery. Thou contendest with a nation in whose midst the elect of God are praying against thee, and thou shalt know that God has said unto her holy seed, “No weapon formed against thee shall prosper.” ~ C.H. Spurgeon