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thought for the morning

  • Jeremiah 51:51 - Morning Devotional for Aug. 18th
    "Strangers are come into the sanctuaries of the Lord's house."—Jeremiah 51:51Morning ThoughtIn this account the faces of the Lord's people were covered with shame, for it was a terrible thing that men should intrude into the Holy Place reserved for the priests alone. Everywhere about us we see like cause for sorrow. How many ungodly men are now educating with the view of entering into the ministry! What a crying sin is that solemn lie by which our whole population is nominally comprehended in a National Church! How fearful it is that ordinances should be pressed upon the unconverted, and that among the more enlightened churches of our land there should be such laxity of discipline. If the thousands who will read this portion shall all take this matter before the Lord Jesus this day, he will interfere and avert the evil which else will come upon his Church. To adulterate the Church is to pollute a well, to pour water upon fire, to sow a fertile field with stones. May we all have grace to maintain in our own proper way the purity of the Church, as being an assembly of believers, and not a nation, an unsaved community of unconverted men. Our zeal must, however, begin at home. Let us examine ourselves as to our right to eat at the Lord's table. Let us see to it that we have on our wedding garment, lest we ourselves be intruders in the Lord's sanctuaries. Many are called, but few are chosen; the way is narrow, and the gate is strait. O for grace to come to Jesus aright, with the faith of God's elect. He who smote Uzzah for touching the ark is very jealous of his two ordinances; as a true believer I may approach them freely, as an alien I must not touch them lest I die. Heart searching is the duty of all who are baptized or come to the Lord's table. "Search me, O God, and know my way, try me and know my heart." Ⓒ 1996-2019 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. Written by Charles H. Spurgeon.
  • Psalms 52:8 - Morning Devotional for Aug. 17th
    "The mercy of God."—Psalms 52:8Morning ThoughtMeditate a little on this mercy of the Lord. It is tender mercy. With gentle, loving touch, he healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. He is as gracious in the manner of his mercy as in the matter of it. It is great mercy. There is nothing little in God; his mercy is like himself-it is infinite. You cannot measure it. His mercy is so great that it forgives great sins to great sinners, after great lengths of time, and then gives great favours and great privileges, and raises us up to great enjoyments in the great heaven of the great God. It is undeserved mercy, as indeed all true mercy must be, for deserved mercy is only a misnomer for justice. There was no right on the sinner's part to the kind consideration of the Most High; had the rebel been doomed at once to eternal fire he would have richly merited the doom, and if delivered from wrath, sovereign love alone has found a cause, for there was none in the sinner himself. It is rich mercy. Some things are great, but have little efficacy in them, but this mercy is a cordial to your drooping spirits; a golden ointment to your bleeding wounds; a heavenly bandage to your broken bones; a royal chariot for your weary feet; a bosom of love for your trembling heart. It is manifold mercy. As Bunyan says, "All the flowers in God's garden are double." There is no single mercy. You may think you have but one mercy, but you shall find it to be a whole cluster of mercies. It is abounding mercy. Millions have received it, yet far from its being exhausted; it is as fresh, as full, and as free as ever. It is unfailing mercy. It will never leave thee. If mercy be thy friend, mercy will be with thee in temptation to keep thee from yielding; with thee in trouble to prevent thee from sinking; with thee living to be the light and life of thy countenance; and with thee dying to be the joy of thy soul when earthly comfort is ebbing fast. Ⓒ 1996-2019 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. Written by Charles H. Spurgeon.
  • Psalms 29:2 - Morning Devotional for Aug. 16th
    "Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name."—Psalms 29:2Morning ThoughtGod's glory is the result of his nature and acts. He is glorious in his character, for there is such a store of everything that is holy, and good, and lovely in God, that he must be glorious. The actions which flow from his character are also glorious; but while he intends that they should manifest to his creatures his goodness, and mercy, and justice, he is equally concerned that the glory associated with them should be given only to himself. Nor is there aught in ourselves in which we may glory; for who maketh us to differ from another? And what have we that we did not receive from the God of all grace? Then how careful ought we to be to walk humbly before the Lord! The moment we glorify ourselves, since there is room for one glory only in the universe, we set ourselves up as rivals to the Most High. Shall the insect of an hour glorify itself against the sun which warmed it into life? Shall the potsherd exalt itself above the man who fashioned it upon the wheel? Shall the dust of the desert strive with the whirlwind? Or the drops of the ocean struggle with the tempest? Give unto the Lord, all ye righteous, give unto the Lord glory and strength; give unto him the honour that is due unto his name. Yet it is, perhaps, one of the hardest struggles of the Christian life to learn this sentence-"Not unto us, not unto us, but unto thy name be glory." It is a lesson which God is ever teaching us, and teaching us sometimes by most painful discipline. Let a Christian begin to boast, "I can do all things," without adding "through Christ which strengtheneth me," and before long he will have to groan, "I can do nothing," and bemoan himself in the dust. When we do anything for the Lord, and he is pleased to accept of our doings, let us lay our crown at his feet, and exclaim, "Not I, but the grace of God which was with me!" Ⓒ 1996-2019 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. Written by Charles H. Spurgeon.
  • Genesis 24:63 - Morning Devotional for Aug. 15th
    "Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide."—Genesis 24:63Morning ThoughtVery admirable was his occupation. If those who spend so many hours in idle company, light reading, and useless pastimes, could learn wisdom, they would find more profitable society and more interesting engagements in meditation than in the vanities which now have such charms for them. We should all know more, live nearer to God, and grow in grace, if we were more alone. Meditation chews the cud and extracts the real nutriment from the mental food gathered elsewhere. When Jesus is the theme, meditation is sweet indeed. Isaac found Rebecca while engaged in private musings; many others have found their best beloved there. Very admirable was the choice of place. In the field we have a study hung round with texts for thought. From the cedar to the hyssop, from the soaring eagle down to the chirping grasshopper, from the blue expanse of heaven to a drop of dew, all things are full of teaching, and when the eye is divinely opened, that teaching flashes upon the mind far more vividly than from written books. Our little rooms are neither so healthy, so suggestive, so agreeable, or so inspiring as the fields. Let us count nothing common or unclean, but feel that all created things point to their Maker, and the field will at once be hallowed. Very admirable was the season. The season of sunset as it draws a veil over the day, befits that repose of the soul when earthborn cares yield to the joys of heavenly communion. The glory of the setting sun excites our wonder, and the solemnity of approaching night awakens our awe. If the business of this day will permit it, it will be well, dear reader, if you can spare an hour to walk in the field at eventide, but if not, the Lord is in the town too, and will meet with thee in thy chamber or in the crowded street. Let thy heart go forth to meet him. Ⓒ 1996-2019 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. Written by Charles H. Spurgeon.
  • Psalms 92:4 - Morning Devotional for Aug. 14th
    "Thou, Lord, hast made me glad through thy work."—Psalms 92:4Morning ThoughtDo you believe that your sins are forgiven, and that Christ has made a full atonement for them? Then what a joyful Christian you ought to be! How you should live above the common trials and troubles of the world! Since sin is forgiven, can it matter what happens to you now? Luther said, "Smite, Lord, smite, for my sin is forgiven; if thou hast but forgiven me, smite as hard as thou wilt"; and in a similar spirit you may say, "Send sickness, poverty, losses, crosses, persecution, what thou wilt, thou hast forgiven me, and my soul is glad." Christian, if thou art thus saved, whilst thou art glad, be grateful and loving. Cling to that cross which took thy sin away; serve thou him who served thee. "I beseech you therefore, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." Let not your zeal evaporate in some little ebullition of song. Show your love in expressive tokens. Love the brethren of him who loved you. If there be a Mephibosheth anywhere who is lame or halt, help him for Jonathan's sake. If there be a poor tried believer, weep with him, and bear his cross for the sake of him who wept for thee and carried thy sins. Since thou art thus forgiven freely for Christ's sake, go and tell to others the joyful news of pardoning mercy. Be not contented with this unspeakable blessing for thyself alone, but publish abroad the story of the cross. Holy gladness and holy boldness will make you a good preacher, and all the world will be a pulpit for you to preach in. Cheerful holiness is the most forcible of sermons, but the Lord must give it you. Seek it this morning before you go into the world. When it is the Lord's work in which we rejoice, we need not be afraid of being too glad. Ⓒ 1996-2019 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. Written by Charles H. Spurgeon.
  • Psalms 104:16 - Morning Devotional for Aug. 13th
    "The cedars of Lebanon which he hath planted."—Psalms 104:16Morning ThoughtLebanon's cedars are emblematic of the Christian, in that they owe their planting entirely to the Lord. This is quite true of every child of God. He is not man-planted, nor self-planted, but God-planted. The mysterious hand of the divine Spirit dropped the living seed into a heart which he had himself prepared for its reception. Every true heir of heaven owns the great Husbandman as his planter. Moreover, the cedars of Lebanon are not dependent upon man for their watering; they stand on the lofty rock, unmoistened by human irrigation; and yet our heavenly Father supplieth them. Thus it is with the Christian who has learned to live by faith. He is independent of man, even in temporal things; for his continued maintenance he looks to the Lord his God, and to him alone. The dew of heaven is his portion, and the God of heaven is his fountain. Again, the cedars of Lebanon are not protected by any mortal power. They owe nothing to man for their preservation from stormy wind and tempest. They are God's trees, kept and preserved by him, and by him alone. It is precisely the same with the Christian. He is not a hot-house plant, sheltered from temptation; he stands in the most exposed position; he has no shelter, no protection, except this, that the broad wings of the eternal God always cover the cedars which he himself has planted. Like cedars, believers are full of sap, having vitality enough to be ever green, even amid winter's snows. Lastly, the flourishing and majestic condition of the cedar is to the praise of God only. The Lord, even the Lord alone hath been everything unto the cedars, and, therefore David very sweetly puts it in one of the psalms, "Praise ye the Lord, fruitful trees and all cedars." In the believer there is nothing that can magnify man; he is planted, nourished, and protected by the Lord's own hand, and to him let all the glory be ascribed. Ⓒ 1996-2019 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. Written by Charles H. Spurgeon.
  • Psalms 97:1 - Morning Devotional for Aug. 12th
    "The Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice."—Psalms 97:1Morning ThoughtCauses for disquietude there are none so long as this blessed sentence is true. On earth the Lord's power as readily controls the rage of the wicked as the rage of the sea; his love as easily refreshes the poor with mercy as the earth with showers. Majesty gleams in flashes of fire amid the tempest's horrors, and the glory of the Lord is seen in its grandeur in the fall of empires, and the crash of thrones. In all our conflicts and tribulations, we may behold the hand of the divine King. "God is God; he sees and hearsAll our troubles, all our tears.Soul, forget not, 'mid thy pains,God o'er all for ever reigns."In hell, evil spirits own, with misery, his undoubted supremacy. When permitted to roam abroad, it is with a chain at their heel; the bit is in the mouth of behemoth, and the hook in the jaws of leviathan. Death's darts are under the Lord's lock, and the grave's prisons have divine power as their warder. The terrible vengeance of the Judge of all the earth makes fiends cower down and tremble, even as dogs in the kennel fear the hunter's whip. "Fear not death, nor Satan's thrusts,God defends who in him trusts;Soul, remember, in thy pains,God o'er all for ever reigns."In heaven none doubt the sovereignty of the King Eternal, but all fall on their faces to do him homage. Angels are his courtiers, the redeemed his favourites, and all delight to serve him day and night. May we soon reach the city of the great King! "For this life's long night of sadnessHe will give us peace and gladness.Soul, remember, in thy pains,God o'er all for ever reigns."Ⓒ 1996-2019 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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daily wisdom

  • Today's Verse - John 4:24
    God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.—John 4:24Thoughts on Today's Verse...Without the Spirit, we are not children of God. Without the Spirit, the cleansing power of Jesus' sacrifice would not be fully implemented in us. Without the Spirit, we cannot worship God in the ways he wants because God is Spirit. Our worship must be "Spirit to Spirit" and done in a way that pleases God and that is according to his will.My Prayer...Holy and Almighty God, I want to be one of your worshipers. I want to worship you "Spirit to Spirit." I want to honor you by worshiping you according to your will. In all of my life and all of my praise, I want you to be honored. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
  • Today's Verse - Matthew 6:1
    Be careful not to do your "acts of righteousness" before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.—Matthew 6:1Thoughts on Today's Verse...Why do we do the things we do? What is the motivation for our behavior? It's so easy to fall into the trap of doing religious things so we will look good to others. This is true even when culture reacts negatively to our faith. Those around us who know about our faith and the Christians around us become the target of our behavior. While we do want to have the right kind of influence on everyone around us, we must never make our decisions about spiritual service on the basis of being seen by others to be honored because of it. Our goal must be to honor God and bless others! My Prayer...Almighty God, please purify my heart of any false motivation and help me serve others based on their need and my desire to honor you in helping them. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
  • Today's Verse - Matthew 9:13
    But go and learn what this means: I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.—Matthew 9:13Thoughts on Today's Verse...God is merciful. Yes, we do remember those blazing occasions when he was fed up and furious with the unrighteousness and rebellion of his people. But, we remember them precisely because they were so striking and because they did not occur that frequently in the hundreds of years he led the Israelites. God has shown us his heart. God showed it to Nineveh despite Jonah. God revealed his heart in Jesus' compassion to people. God has demonstrated his mercy and love with you and me by calling us, sinners, to his side and to bring us salvation. He will not leave us unchanged and content with our sin. Yes, he does call us to repentance. But, the very fact that the Almighty God, ruler of heaven and earth would pause and invite us near and give us a chance to know his grace is almost too good to be true. That same God calls us to share that same mercy to others.My Prayer...Thank you, Almighty God, for being tender as well as powerful, forgiving as well as righteous, and merciful as well as holy. Please mature me in these sets of character defining traits. I don't want to be self-righteous, but righteous. I don't want to be a bully, but compassionately strong. I don't want to be sanctimonious, but true and merciful. Please fill me with your Spirit and gently confront me in those areas that need growth and change. May others see in me a reflection of you. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
  • Today's Verse - Proverbs 11:25
    A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. —Proverbs 11:25Thoughts on Today's Verse...God is a giving and generous God. He longs for his children to be like him in this grace. Our place on earth is not to be hoarders or collectors of blessing, forgiveness, wealth, and opportunity. No, following the lead of our Eternal Father, we are to be conduits of blessing, forgiveness, wealth, and opportunity. As we are generous like God, we trust that he will in turn make sure we are blessed and refreshed in the ways that will draw us more and more into his character and more able to help others in the future.My Prayer...Holy God, I thank you for all the great examples of generosity that have graced my life. Whether rich or poor, these conduits of your grace have taught me that I, too, can be more like you in this way. Bless my heart with trust and faith as I seek to be more generous with others in my grace, forgiveness, finances, encouragement, and time. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
  • Today's Verse - 2 Timothy 1:16
    May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains.—2 Timothy 1:16Thoughts on Today's Verse...A friend in Christ that will faithfully serve others is a wonderful gift of refreshment. Yet as humans, we are tempted to be fickle friends — there for a bit of time while they need us, but often tiring over the long haul of extended recovery from illness, grief, or the consequences of previous sin or addiction. Is there someone you know who is still chained in some way to the past? Is the Lord calling upon you to bless this person today? What about blessing them as Onesiphorus blessed Paul — often and without being ashamed!My Prayer...Almighty and tender Shepherd, please give me eyes to see your precious ones around me who need the encouragement of your grace that can only be experienced through the touch of a caring brother or sister in Christ. Please help me through the power of your Holy Spirit to be a more steadfast and faithful source of refreshment to these people. In Jesus' name. Amen.
  • Today's Verse - Romans 15:32
    By God's will I may come to you with joy and together with you be refreshed. —Romans 15:32Thoughts on Today's Verse...Our lives, our futures, and our plans are in God's hands. This inescapable reality is the basis of our existence. It is also the foundation of our joy and refreshment when we are with each other. Think about it a second: our meetings with each other, and our ministry to each other, are not chance happenings. They are acts of God's grace that gives us a chance to share in God's blessing and joy.My Prayer...Holy Father, thank you for your direct involvement in my life. Thank you for the leading of your Spirit, the guidance of your Word, and the wisdom of older Christians. These have all deepened the meaning of my life and empowered my service to your Kingdom. Please give me a more profound sense of grace and joy when I am able to be with Christians wherever that may be. I know these precious members of your family are not chance acquaintances I make along the way, but are the reminders of your desire to bless me and refresh your children with your presence. In Jesus' name I thank you. Amen.
  • Today's Verse - Mark 10:13-14
    People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.—Mark 10:13-14Thoughts on Today's Verse...We humans are always trying to define our place in the "pecking order" of life. Jesus reminds his disciples that they have to throw away the everyday rules of the pecking order if they are to really be part of his Kingdom. In fact, he was quite angry with them because they denied toddlers' access to him, apparently because these disciples didn't deem the little ones worthy of their Master's time, energy, and attention. Jesus, as he so often did, turned their common worldly values upside down and reminded them they needed to pay more attention to the character of toddlers than their own sense of importance if they were ever going to understand God's Kingdom. My Prayer...Father, thank you for valuing me as your child. Re-awaken in me the wonder, humility, and awe as I seek to live for you and your Kingdom! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Quotemeal

  • Quote for Aug. 18th, 2019
    "God is not disillusioned with us. He never had any illusions to begin with."—Luis PalauⒸ 1996-2019 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
  • Quote for Aug. 17th, 2019
    "God is not a power or principle or law, but he is a living, creating, communicating person — a mind who thinks, a heart who feels, a will who acts, whose best name is Father."—Robert HamillⒸ 1996-2019 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
  • Quote for Aug. 16th, 2019
    "The chief pang of most trials is not so much the actual suffering itself as our own spirit of resistance to it."—Jean Nicolas GrouⒸ 1996-2019 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
  • Quote for Aug. 15th, 2019
    "We implore the mercy of God, not that He may leave us at peace in our vices, but that He may deliver us from them."—Blaise PascalⒸ 1996-2019 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
  • Quote for Aug. 14th, 2019
    "I am not what I ought to be. I am not what I want to be. I am not what I hope to be. But still, I am not what I used to be. And by the grace of God, I am what I am."—John NewtonⒸ 1996-2019 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
  • Quote for Aug. 13th, 2019
    "The loving service which God sends His people into the world to render includes both evangelism and social action, for each is in itself an authentic expression of love, and neither needs the other to justify it."—John R. W. StottⒸ 1996-2019 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
  • Quote for Aug. 12th, 2019
    "It is through dying to concern for self that we are born to new life with God and others; in such dying and rebirth, we find that life is lent to be spent; and in such spending of what we are lent, we find there is an infinite supply."—Glenn OldsⒸ 1996-2019 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
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