"And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion."—Revelation 14:1Morning ThoughtThe apostle John was privileged to look within the gates of heaven, and in describing what he saw, he begins by saying, "I looked, and, lo, a Lamb!" This teaches us that the chief object of contemplation in the heavenly state is "the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of the world." Nothing else attracted the apostle's attention so much as the person of that Divine Being, who hath redeemed us by his blood. He is the theme of the songs of all glorified spirits and holy angels. Christian, here is joy for thee; thou hast looked, and thou hast seen the Lamb. Through thy tears thine eyes have seen the Lamb of God taking away thy sins. Rejoice, then. In a little while, when thine eyes shall have been wiped from tears, thou wilt see the same Lamb exalted on his throne. It is the joy of thy heart to hold daily fellowship with Jesus; thou shalt have the same joy to a higher degree in heaven; thou shalt enjoy the constant vision of his presence; thou shalt dwell with him for ever. "I looked, and, lo, a Lamb!" Why, that Lamb is heaven itself; for as good Rutherford says, "Heaven and Christ are the same thing;" to be with Christ is to be in heaven, and to be in heaven is to be with Christ. That prisoner of the Lord very sweetly writes in one of his glowing letters-"O my Lord Jesus Christ, if I could be in heaven without thee, it would be a hell; and if I could be in hell, and have thee still, it would be a heaven to me, for thou art all the heaven I want." It is true, is it not, Christian? Does not thy soul say so? "Not all the harps aboveCan make a heavenly place,If God his residence remove,Or but conceal his face."All thou needest to make thee blessed, supremely blessed, is "to be with Christ." Ⓒ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. Written by Charles H. Spurgeon.
"I will help thee, saith the Lord."—Isaiah 41:14Morning ThoughtThis morning let us hear the Lord Jesus speak to each one of us: "I will help thee." "It is but a small thing for me, thy God, to help thee. Consider what I have done already. What! not help thee? Why, I bought thee with my blood. What! not help thee? I have died for thee; and if I have done the greater, will I not do the less? Help thee! It is the least thing I will ever do for thee; I have done more, and will do more. Before the world began I chose thee. I made the covenant for thee. I laid aside my glory and became a man for thee; I gave up my life for thee; and if I did all this, I will surely help thee now. In helping thee, I am giving thee what I have bought for thee already. If thou hadst need of a thousand times as much help, I would give it thee; thou requirest little compared with what I am ready to give. 'Tis much for thee to need, but it is nothing for me to bestow. 'Help thee?' Fear not! If there were an ant at the door of thy granary asking for help, it would not ruin thee to give him a handful of thy wheat; and thou art nothing but a tiny insect at the door of my all-sufficiency. 'I will help thee.'" O my soul, is not this enough? Dost thou need more strength than the omnipotence of the United Trinity? Dost thou want more wisdom than exists in the Father, more love than displays itself in the Son, or more power than is manifest in the influences of the Spirit? Bring hither thine empty pitcher! Surely this well will fill it. Haste, gather up thy wants, and bring them here-thine emptiness, thy woes, thy needs. Behold, this river of God is full for thy supply; what canst thou desire beside? Go forth, my soul, in this thy might. The Eternal God is thine helper! "Fear not, I am with thee, oh, be not dismay'd!I, I am thy God, and will still give thee aid."Ⓒ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. Written by Charles H. Spurgeon.
"Do as thou hast said."—2 Samuel 7:25Morning ThoughtGod's promises were never meant to be thrown aside as waste paper; he intended that they should be used. God's gold is not miser's money, but is minted to be traded with. Nothing pleases our Lord better than to see his promises put in circulation; he loves to see his children bring them up to him, and say, "Lord, do as thou hast said." We glorify God when we plead his promises. Do you think that God will be any the poorer for giving you the riches he has promised? Do you dream that he will be any the less holy for giving holiness to you? Do you imagine he will be any the less pure for washing you from your sins? He has said "Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." Faith lays hold upon the promise of pardon, and it does not delay, saying, "This is a precious promise, I wonder if it be true?" but it goes straight to the throne with it, and pleads, "Lord, here is the promise, 'Do as thou hast said.'" Our Lord replies, "Be it unto thee even as thou wilt." When a Christian grasps a promise, if he does not take it to God, he dishonours him; but when he hastens to the throne of grace, and cries, "Lord, I have nothing to recommend me but this, 'Thou hast said it;'" then his desire shall be granted. Our heavenly Banker delights to cash his own notes. Never let the promise rust. Draw the word of promise out of its scabbard, and use it with holy violence. Think not that God will be troubled by your importunately reminding him of his promises. He loves to hear the loud outcries of needy souls. It is his delight to bestow favours. He is more ready to hear than you are to ask. The sun is not weary of shining, nor the fountain of flowing. It is God's nature to keep his promises; therefore go at once to the throne with "Do as thou hast said." Ⓒ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. Written by Charles H. Spurgeon.
"Mighty to save."—Isaiah 63:1Morning ThoughtBy the words "to save" we understand the whole of the great work of salvation, from the first holy desire onward to complete sanctification. The words are multum in parro: indeed, here is all mercy in one word. Christ is not only "mighty to save" those who repent, but he is able to make men repent. He will carry those to heaven who believe; but he is, moreover, mighty to give men new hearts and to work faith in them. He is mighty to make the man who hates holiness love it, and to constrain the despiser of his name to bend the knee before him. Nay, this is not all the meaning, for the divine power is equally seen in the after-work. The life of a believer is a series of miracles wrought by "the Mighty God." The bush burns, but is not consumed. He is mighty to keep his people holy after he has made them so, and to preserve them in his fear and love until he consummates their spiritual existence in heaven. Christ's might doth not lie in making a believer and then leaving him to shift for himself; but he who begins the good work carries it on; he who imparts the first germ of life in the dead soul, prolongs the divine existence, and strengthens it until it bursts asunder every bond of sin, and the soul leaps from earth, perfected in glory. Believer, here is encouragement. Art thou praying for some beloved one? Oh, give not up thy prayers, for Christ is "mighty to save." You are powerless to reclaim the rebel, but your Lord is Almighty. Lay hold on that mighty arm, and rouse it to put forth its strength. Does your own case trouble you? Fear not, for his strength is sufficient for you. Whether to begin with others, or to carry on the work in you, Jesus is "mighty to save;" the best proof of which lies in the fact that he has saved you. What a thousand mercies that you have not found him mighty to destroy! Ⓒ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. Written by Charles H. Spurgeon.
"Jehoshaphat made ships of Tharshish to go to Ophir for gold: but they went not; for the ships were broken at Ezion-geber"—1 Kings 22:48Morning ThoughtSolomon's ships had returned in safety, but Jehoshaphat's vessels never reached the land of gold. Providence prospers one, and frustrates the desires of another, in the same business and at the same spot, yet the Great Ruler is as good and wise at one time as another. May we have grace to-day, in the remembrance of this text, to bless the Lord for ships broken at Ezion-geber, as well as for vessels freighted with temporal blessings; let us not envy the more successful, nor murmur at our losses as though we were singularly and specially tried. Like Jehoshaphat, we may be precious in the Lord's sight, although our schemes end in disappointment. The secret cause of Jehoshaphat's loss is well worthy of notice, for it is the root of very much of the suffering of the Lord's people; it was his alliance with a sinful family, his fellowship with sinners. In 2 Ch. 20:37, we are told that the Lord sent a prophet to declare, "Because thou hast joined thyself with Ahaziah, the Lord hath broken thy works." This was a fatherly chastisement, which appears to have been blest to him; for in the verse which succeeds our morning's text we find him refusing to allow his servants to sail in the same vessels with those of the wicked king. Would to God that Jehoshaphat's experience might be a warning to the rest of the Lord's people, to avoid being unequally yoked together with unbelievers! A life of misery is usually the lot of those who are united in marriage, or in any other way of their own choosing, with the men of the world. O for such love to Jesus that, like him, we may be holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners; for if it be not so with us, we may expect to hear it often said, "The Lord hath broken thy works." Ⓒ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. Written by Charles H. Spurgeon.
"Ye are Christ's."—1 Corinthians 3:23Morning Thought"Ye are Christ's." You are his by donation, for the Father gave you to the Son; his by his bloody purchase, for he counted down the price for your redemption; his by dedication, for you have consecrated yourself to him; his by relation, for you are named by his name, and made one of his brethren and joint-heirs. Labour practically to show the world that you are the servant, the friend, the bride of Jesus. When tempted to sin, reply, "I cannot do this great wickedness, for I am Christ's." Immortal principles forbid the friend of Christ to sin. When wealth is before you to be won by sin, say that you are Christ's, and touch it not. Are you exposed to difficulties and dangers? Stand fast in the evil day, remembering that you are Christ's. Are you placed where others are sitting down idly, doing nothing? Rise to the work with all your powers; and when the sweat stands upon your brow, and you are tempted to loiter, cry, "No, I cannot stop, for I am Christ's. If I were not purchased by blood, I might be like Issachar, crouching between two burdens; but I am Christ's, and cannot loiter." When the siren song of pleasure would tempt you from the path of right, reply, "Thy music cannot charm me; I am Christ's." When the cause of God invites thee, give thy goods and thyself away, for thou art Christ's. Never belie thy profession. Be thou ever one of those whose manners are Christian, whose speech is like the Nazarene, whose conduct and conversation are so redolent of heaven, that all who see you may know that you are the Saviour's, recognizing in you his features of love and his countenance of holiness. "I am a Roman!" was of old a reason for integrity; far more, then, let it be your argument for holiness, "I am Christ's!" Ⓒ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. Written by Charles H. Spurgeon.
"These have no root."—Luke 8:13Morning ThoughtMy soul, examine thyself this morning by the light of this text. Thou hast received the word with joy; thy feelings have been stirred and a lively impression has been made; but, remember, that to receive the word in the ear is one thing, and to receive Jesus into thy very soul is quite another; superficial feeling is often joined to inward hardness of heart, and a lively impression of the word is not always a lasting one. In the parable, the seed in one case fell upon ground having a rocky bottom, covered over with a thin layer of earth; when the seed began to take root, its downward growth was hindered by the hard stone and therefore it spent its strength in pushing its green shoot aloft as high as it could, but having no inward moisture derived from root nourishment, it withered away. Is this my case? Have I been making a fair show in the flesh without having a corresponding inner life? Good growth takes place upwards and downwards at the same time. Am I rooted in sincere fidelity and love to Jesus? If my heart remains unsoftened and unfertilized by grace, the good seed may germinate for a season, but it must ultimately wither, for it cannot flourish on a rocky, unbroken, unsanctified heart. Let me dread a godliness as rapid in growth and as wanting in endurance as Jonah's gourd; let me count the cost of being a follower of Jesus, above all let me feel the energy of his Holy Spirit, and then I shall possess an abiding and enduring seed in my soul. If my mind remains as obdurate as it was by nature, the sun of trial will scorch, and my hard heart will help to cast the heat the more terribly upon the ill-covered seed, and my religion will soon die, and my despair will be terrible; therefore, O heavenly Sower, plough me first, and then cast the truth into me, and let me yield thee a bounteous harvest. Ⓒ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. Written by Charles H. Spurgeon.
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Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life.—Philippians 2:14-16Thoughts on Today's Verse...Stars. They've always been a source of constant hope for God's people. "Your descendants will be like the stars," God told Abraham. "When I see the stars, what is man that you are mindful of him?" the Psalms ask. The Wisemen from the East followed a star to Jesus. Luke reminds us that Jesus was a star of morning light come to us from heaven to shine on those in darkness. And now, we're stars. God's points of light in the dark sky of the universe. So let's make today a day where our light shines God's glory to a dark world around us.My Prayer...Almighty God, the incredible expanse of your universe, with its billions of stars, exceeds my limited comprehension. But I thank you for calling me to be a place of light in the dark world around me and I pledge to shine your light today in the lives of all those I might. Through the name of the Bright and Morning Star I pray. Amen.
Live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.—Galatians 5:16Thoughts on Today's Verse...I don't want you to think about an orange rhinoceros flying with blue wings. Now quit. I don't want you to think about it anymore. You know there is no such thing as an orange rhino that flies, much less one that flies on blue wings. Oh course the point is simple: the more we try to not do something, the more we focus on it and insure we do what we are not supposed to do. That's why the gift of the Holy Spirit is so important. He enables and empowers us to move beyond our sin — not by focusing on it and refusing it, but by enriching us and "distracting" us with the important things of God.My Prayer...Abba Father, I thank you so much for your Holy Spirit that lives in me and is now interceding with you for me. Please fill me with your Spirit so that my life more nearly reflects your will and focuses on your concerns. Through Jesus, who poured out your Spirit upon me at my baptism, I pray. Amen.
Jesus said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."—John 8:31-32Thoughts on Today's Verse...There are few things more coveted than freedom. People die for it. People pray for it. People strive for it. True freedom comes from knowing truth. Knowing truth ultimately comes by living in obedience to Jesus. Truth is not just something you think about or believe. Truth is something you do, you live. Jesus' teaching often ends with the exclamation: Blessed are you who do these things! Only by doing will we ever know the truth that liberates us.My Prayer...To the only true God be glory, honor, power and praise. Father I seek not only your presence in my daily life, but also your pleasure in the choices I make. Please teach me more of your truth as I pledge to live today in obedience to your word and your will. Through Jesus the living Word I pray. Amen.
If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother."—1 John 4:20-21Thoughts on Today's Verse...Love! The word can mean anything. Many in the Christian community have tried to define it by a dictionary or lexicon, not realizing the key word for love, agape, is defined by action. Before Christians got a hold of agape, it meant the same thing our word today does: just about anything! But if you read 1 John, you see what love is by what God does. God demonstrates his love. He asks us to do the same for our brothers and sisters. Love must be more than talk; it must be genuinely demonstrated in action!My Prayer...Precious Father, you have so graciously shared your love with me. I must confess, in my heart I intend to love others as you do, but my intentions often get washed away with "busy-ness" or timidity. Father, through your Spirit, prompt me to show my love to others in actions rather than just thought and talk. Through Jesus, your greatest demonstration of love I pray. Amen.
God has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.—2 Corinthians 5:19-20Thoughts on Today's Verse...The price has been paid. The ransom is provided. God's judgment was averted, not because of anything we did to appease him, but by his own sacrifice of Jesus for our sins. If God has gone to such great lengths to reconcile us to himself and adopt us into his family, how can we refuse? We must not! Father God, we offer you our hearts!My Prayer...O Gracious God, I know my sin has broken your heart and offended your holiness. Words, therefore, cannot communicate my thankfulness to you. You were hurt by my sin and yet provided a sacrifice to redeem me from it and reconcile me back to you. I praise you for your grace, thank you for your love, and promise to share your mercy. Through Jesus my sacrifice I pray. Amen.
You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.—Galatians 3:26-29Thoughts on Today's Verse...One. Basic, simple, and easy to understand. When we become Christians through faith and baptism into Christ, we are made one with all other Christians around the world. Race, gender, and social status are gone. All that's left is One, the One, Jesus. Our lives are his and thus are connected to each other. Our destination is the same, heaven. Our family is the church. No barriers. No closed doors. We are one. My Prayer...Abba Father, thank you for adopting me into your family. May we be one on earth now, as we will be when we are all together around your throne in heaven. I pray for unity among all those who call upon your name and share your Spirit so the world may know there is a solution to conflict, strife and division. Through Jesus our Savior, I pray. Amen.
In my anguish I cried to the Lord, and he answered by setting me free. The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?—Psalm 118:5-6Thoughts on Today's Verse...The beginning of the year has been a trying time for people I care about. Maybe it's been that way for you or those you love. My prayer for you, and for them, is that they may know the comfort of God's presence. Whether it's the popular little poem "Footprints" or the familiar "Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for thou art with me," the presence of the Lord is absolutely vital to standing up against our anguish! The Lord does long to be with us, especially at those moments when we feel most alone. He told us that by experiencing anguish, alone, by himself on the cross. My Prayer...I am thankful, O God, that you refused to be God from a safe distance. Because you came and felt what it was like to be abandoned, forsaken, and alone, I know I can trust that I will never be forsaken by you. Please give me a clearer sense of your presence with me in my life today, I pray through Jesus. Amen.
"You'll never realize Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you've got."—Mother TeresaⒸ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, in the end, 'Thy will be done.' All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. To those who knock it is opened."—C. S. LewisⒸ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"God does not waste an ounce of our pain or a drop of our tears; suffering doesn't come our way for no reason, and He seems especially efficient at using what we endure to mold our character. If we are malleable, He takes our bumps and bruises and shapes them into something beautiful."—Frank PerettiⒸ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"Why do you hasten to remove anything which hurts your eye, while if something affects your soul you postpone the cure until next year?"—HoraceⒸ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"We should live our lives as though Christ was coming this afternoon."—Jimmy CarterⒸ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"There was no "before" the beginning of our universe, because once upon a time there was no time."—John D. BarrowⒸ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.