Getting a Right Start

…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us… – Hebrews 12:1

A bad start is a sad thing. If, in the ancient races of Greece or Rome, a man who was about to run the race had loitered, or if he had started before the time it would not matter how fast he ran, if he did not start in order. The flag must drop before the horse starts; otherwise, even if it reach the winning post first, it shall have no reward. There is something to be noted, then, in the starting of the race. I have known men run the race of religion with all their might, and yet they have lost it because they did not start right. You say, “Well, how is that?” Why, there are some people who on a sudden leap into religion. They get it quickly, and they keep it for a time. and at last they lose it because they did not get their religion the right way. They have heard that before a man can be saved, it is necessary that, by the teaching of the Holy Spirit, he should feel the weight of sin, that he should make a confession of it, that he should renounce all hope in his own works, and should look to Jesus Christ alone. They look upon all these things as unpleasant preliminaries and therefore, before they have attended to repentance, before the Holy Spirit has wrought a good work in them, before they have been brought to give up everything and trust to Christ, they make a profession of religion.

How many there are who never think it necessary that there should be heart work within! Let us remember, however, that there never was a true new birth without much spiritual suffering;  that there never was a man who had a changed heart without his first having a miserable heart. We must pass through that black tunnel of conviction before we can come out upon the high embankment of holy joy; we must first go through the Slough of Despond before we can run along the walls of Salvation. ~ C.H. Spurgeon


What is Worth Running the Race For?

Looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. – Hebrews 12:2

What, then, is it, for which we ought to run in this race? Why heaven, eternal life, justification by faith, the pardon of sin, acceptance in the Beloved, and glory everlasting. If you run for anything else than salvation, should you will, what you have won is not worth the running for. Oh! I beseech every one of you, make sure work for eternity, never be contented with anything less than a living faith in a living Saviour; rest not until you are certain that the Holy Spirit is at work in your souls. Do not think that the outside of religion can be of use to you; it is just the inward part of religion that God loveth. Seek to have a repentance that needeth not to be repented of-a faith which looks alone to Christ, and which will stand by you when you come into the swellings of Jordan, Seek to have a love which is not like a transient flame, burning for a moment and then extinguished; but a flame which shall increase and increase, and still increase, till your heart shall be swallowed up therein, and Jesus Christ’s one name shall be the sole object of your affection. We must, in running the heavenly race, set nothing less before us than that which Christ did set before Him. He set the joy of salvation before Himself, and then He did run, despising the cross and enduring the shame. So let us do; and may God give us good success, that by His good Spirit we may attain unto eternal life, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord!~ C.H. Spurgeon

Merciful Providence

All things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. – Romans 8:28

Have you the notion that fate grinds on like an enormous wheel, ruthlessly crushing everything that lies in its way, not pausing for pity, nor turning aside for mercy? Remember that, if you liken Providence to a wheel, it must be a wheel which is full of eyes. Its every revolution is in wisdom and goodness. God’s eye leaves nothing in providence blind; but fills all things with sight. God works all things according to His purpose; but then He Himself works them. There is all the difference between the lone machinery of fixed fate, and the presence of a gracious, loving Spirit ruling all things. Things do happen as He plans them; but He Himself is there to make them happen, and to moderate, and guide, and secure results…With a living, loving God to superintend all things, we feel ourselves at home, resting near our Father’s heart.

Beloved, God is near His people with all His attributes; His wisdom, His power, His faithfulness, His immutability; and these are under oath to work for the good of those who put their trust in Him…Yes, God considers our times, and thinks them over; with His heart and soul planning to do us good. That august mind, out of which all things spring, bows itself to us; and those eternal wings, which cover the universe, also brood over us and our household, and our daily wants and woes. Our God sits not still as a listless spectator of our griefs, suffering us to be drifted like waifs upon the waters of circumstance; but is busily occupying Himself at all times for the defense and perfecting of His children. He leads us that He may bring us home to the place where His flock shall rest for ever.~ C.H. Spurgeon

Sinner, It is To You that Mercy is Sent

He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them. – Hebrews 7:25

“Come, in all thy filthy garments,
Tarry not to cleanse or mend;
Come, in all thy destitution,
As thou art, and He’ll befriend.
By the tempter’s vain allurements,
Be no longer thou beguiled:
God the Father waits to own thee
As His dear adopted child.”

It is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. All manner of sin and of blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men. It is true that you are much worse then you think you are: you may tell me you are horribly bad, but you have no idea how bad you are: the hottest place in hell is your desert; but it is to you the mercy is sent; to you, O man, to you, O woman, to you who have defiled yourself with all manner of unmentionable enormities, even to you, thus saith the Lord, “I have blotted out thy sins like a cloud; return unto Me and I will have mercy upon thee.” I cannot say more. I wish I had the power to speak, I was about to say, with the tongues of men and of angels, but I have such a blessed message to deliver to you, that I feel it need not goodly words, the message itself is all that is needed if the Spirit bless it. Oh, do not reject it, I beseech you, you guilty ones! you despairing ones, do not turn from it, put not away from you the kingdom lest you prove yourselves unworthy, and bring upon yourselves wrath unto the uttermost. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Jesus’ Love for Sinners

For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit – 1 Peter 3:18

Friend of sinners was His name, and is still. Think of that self-denying life spent among the sick and the sinful for their good. And then think of His death, for here the light of grace is focused; the cross, like a burning-glass, concentrates the light and heat of Christ’s love upon the sinner. See Him agonizing in the garden for sins that were not His own: see Him scourged with awful flagellations for transgressions in which He had no share: behold Him bleeding and dying on the tree for His enemies; sufferer for iniquities in which He never was a participator, for in Him was no sin. It must be true that God can save me, if Christ has died in the stead of the guilty. This argument has killed my unbelief. I cannot disbelieve, when I see incarnate God suffering for the guilty, the just for the unjust, to bring them to God.

“Sinners! come, the Savior see,
Hands, feet, side, and temples view;
See Him bleeding on the tree,
See His heart on fire for you!

I wish it were in my power to convey the light which I see in the cross into the mental eyeballs of all my hearers, but I cannot; God the Holy Ghost must do it…Give up self, give up self-hope, be in utter despair of anything that you can do, and now, whether you sink or swim, throw yourself into the sea of Christ’s love: rest in Him and you shall never perish, neither shall any pluck you from His hands. ~ C.H. Spurgeon

Himself the Reigning God is Our Savior

…for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful. – Revelation 17:14

He in whom you are asked to believe for salvation is Himself God. Then, in infinite mercy, He came and took upon Himself our nature, and dwelt among men. He voluntarily came,-being God,-but He was also sent of God, appointed and authorized to be God’s Ambassador to man. He was, in addition to being sent of God, anointed of God, for the Spirit of God rested upon Him without measure, qualifying Him for His work…Then He died, and by that death He forever put away the sin of His people. He took upon Himself the sin which He had never committed; He was numbered with the transgressors, and He suffered as if men’s transgressions had been His own; He died, “the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God.” And God has accepted those sufferings as a propitiation for all who believe in Him; and now, this is the witness of God concerning Him, that He has raised Him from the dead, and taken Him up to His throne, and made Him to sit there, at His Father’s right hand, where, at this moment, He is making intercession for all who come unto God by Him. And, now, our prayers are accepted through Him; and the infinite blessings, which are His, He distributes among us; and He is shortly coming again, with sound of trumpet, and attended by myriads of saints and angels. As He ascended from Olivet, in like manner also will He descend to earth again. King of kings and Lord of lords shall He be in that day…He is God, He still lives, it is the living, reigning Christ whom we preach unto you. He lives in glory, and He also lives here by the presence of His Holy Spirit, who is with us, and who is to abide with us evermore; and it is upon Him as God incarnate, as Savior, crucified, risen, and gone into the glory, that you are asked to place your soul’s confidence. If you would learn this truth more fully, read the four Gospels, and the Epistles, and ask the Spirit, who inspired the writers of them, to explain and apply them to you. That is the way to obtain faith. True faith is based upon knowledge of Christ…Take care, dear friends, that you always remember that simple but important truth.~ C.H. Spurgeon

Completely Freed from Condemnation

Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. – Romans 8:33

He that believeth is free from all iniquity, from all guilt, from all blame; and though the devil bring an accusation, yet it is a false one, for we are free even from accusation, since it is boldly challenged, “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?” It does not say, “Who shall prove it?” but “Who shall lay it to their charge?” They are so completely freed from condemnation, that not the shadow of a spot upon their soul is found; not even the slightest passing by of iniquity to cast its black shadow on them. They stand before God not only as half-innocent, but as perfectly so; not only as half-washed, but as whiter than snow. Their sins are not simply erased, they are blotted out; not simply put out of sight, but cast into the depths of the sea; not merely gone, and gone as far as the east is from the west, but gone for ever, once for all…”It is finished!” hear the dying Saviour cry. Your sins have sustained their death-blow, the robe of your righteousness has received its last thread; it is done, complete, perfect. It needs no addition; it can never suffer any diminution. Oh, Christian, do lay hold of this precious thought; I may not be able to state it except in weak terms, but let not my weakness prevent your apprehending its glory and its preciousness. It is enough to make a man leap, though his legs were loaded with irons, and to make him sing though his mouth were gagged, to think that we are perfectly accepted in Christ, that our justification is not partial, it does not go to a limited extent, but goes the whole way. Our unrighteousness is covered; from condemnation we are entirely and irrevocably free.~ C.H. Spurgeon