Those Whom God Will Receive

Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in thee the fatherless findeth mercy. – Hosea 14:3

Down must go the gods of our former estate. He that would come to the true God must have done with the false gods. If we have been living for any objects save the glory of God, we must away with those objects. If we have been paying religious reverence to anything save God Himself, we must away with it. “Neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods.” It seems strange that men should ever have said such a thing; but since they have said it, they must say it no more. God help everyone to make a complete renunciation of everything which usurps the place of God! Whether it be an object of trust, reverence, desire, fear, or love, we must cast it down, and worship God alone. He saith to us, “Look unto Me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” In the work of salvation the work of our hands is out of court, and God alone must be glorified.

“In thee the fatherless findeth mercy.” God is the Father of the fatherless. Now, if God receives the fatherless, who have none to take care of them, and He becomes their God, we may be encouraged to come to Him, even in the most forlorn condition. Does God keep open house for those who have no home? Then I will go to Him. Does God take up those whom father and mother have forsaken? Then will I put my trust in Him. I saw on a board this morning words announcing that an asylum was to be built on a plot of ground, for a class of persons who are described in three terrible words-HELPLESS, HOMELESS, HOPELESS. These are the kind of people that God receives: to them He gives His mercy. Are you helpless? He will help you. Are you homeless? He will house you. Are you hopeless? He is the hope of those who have no other confidence. Come, then, to Him at once! ~ C.H. Spurgeon

You Cannot Come to God Riding in Pride

Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in Thee the fatherless findeth mercy. – Hosea 14:3

“Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods.” The natural, legal trust, so much esteemed among men, must go. Israel used always to fall back upon Assyria. If Egypt threatened the people, or if any other nation oppressed them, they sent a present to the King of Assyria to come and deliver them. But now they cry, “Asshur shall not save us.” The popular trust of the world is in self-righteousness in its various forms. You were going to be saved by your own repentance, reformation, and future well-doing. Are you trusting in sacraments? Give up so vain a confidence. They are not meant to save, but to instruct those who are saved already. Are you trusting in your hereditary godliness, your birthright religion? Away with so poor a foundation! Are you trusting in your prayers, your giving to the poor, your attendance on sermons, your honesty, your good nature? Set these aside, and cry, “Asshur shall not save us.” All confidences must go save Jesus Christ, whom God has laid in Zion for a foundation stone. On Him must we build, and on none other.

When we come to God we must quit all trust in ourselves of every sort: in our tears, our prayers, our moral life, our excellent instincts, or anything else we must place no trust. “Some trust in horses, and some in chariots, but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.” It may be, you have fine horses of morality and religiousness, you have many virtues upon which you think you might fairly depend: give up these trusts. Have you been lately trotting out your horses before your own family, and saying to your wife, “I am not like many men. I never drink too much, neither do I treat my household unkindly”? Put away these horses. You cannot come to God riding in pride. Say, “We will not ride upon horses.” Put away every confidence in yourself, in whatever fashion it appears. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Redeeming Love

“Receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips.” – Hosea 2

Nothing but grace can open a door for our returning. Sinners cannot be received of the Lord on any other terms but those of mercy. We would not ask to be dealt with according to our merits; but we thank the Lord that He hath not dealt with us after our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. As to our sins, we cannot answer Him one of a thousand. The Lord must receive us graciously or reject us righteously. Are we not glad that sinners can be received in the name of grace, and find a welcome in the tender mercy of our God? Offer, then, this petition, “Receive us graciously.” Oh, that the Lord would touch all lips by His grace and lead them to say from the heart-“Lord, receive me, I return to Thee. Take away all iniquity and take me to Thyself! Receive me as a subject of Thy kingdom. Receive me of Thy grace into Thy home of love. Receive me into the family of Thy redeemed on earth, and then receive me into Thy mansion in heaven. Receive us graciously.”

“So will we render the calves of our lips.” What are the “calves of our lips”? They are sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving. Yonder are the calves of the stall which men bring in sacrifice: they are struck down, and they die at the altar. God does not ask us for bullocks which have horns and hoofs. He takes no pleasure in the blood of calves, or of goats. He desires a broken heart, faith, and humble love: these live at the altar. “Whoso offereth praise glorifieth God.” Let us bring Him our best thoughts, our best expressions, our best testimonies, our heartiest praises: these are not calves of our stalls, but “calves of our lips.” Let our gratitude be a living sacrifice, and our conduct a constant testimony to the goodness of God. ~ 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

A Free Forgiveness

Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto Him, “Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously.” – Hosea 14:2

Have you turned to ceremonies? Do you look for rest in sacraments? You look that way in vain; for they are not the way of salvation. Turn rather to the Lord as He is revealed in the Lord Jesus. Take with you words and turn to the Lord Himself. Against Him you have sinned: to Him make confession. You need that His anger should be turned away; seek, then, a free forgiveness from Himself. It is His love that you want: go to Him for it, and He will receive you graciously, and love you freely.

“Take with you words and say unto Him.” He says the words, that the sinner may make them his own, and say them after Him. In this condescending style He teaches the returning sinner how to pray. What a gracious God He is! Suppose a case. A great king has been grievously offended by a rebellious subject, but in kindness of heart he wills to be reconciled. He invites the rebel to sue for pardon. He replies, “O King, I would fain be forgiven, but how can I properly approach your offended majesty? I am anxious to present such a petition as you can accept, but I know not how to draw it up.” Suppose this great king were to say, “I will draw up the petition for you,” what confidence the supplicant would feel in presenting the petition! He brings to the king his own words. He prays the prayer he is bidden to pray. By the very fact of drawing up the petition, the monarch pledged himself to grant it. O my hearer, the Lord puts it into your mouth to say this morning, “Take away all iniquity.” May you find it in your heart to pray in that fashion! That prayer is best which is offered in God’s own way and is of God’s own prompting. May you present such a prayer at once! ~ 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