"The love of Christ constraineth us."—2 Corinthians 5:14Morning ThoughtHow much owest thou unto my Lord? Has he ever done anything for thee? Has he forgiven thy sins? Has he covered thee with a robe of righteousness? Has he set thy feet upon a rock? Has he established thy goings? Has he prepared heaven for thee? Has he prepared thee for heaven? Has he written thy name in his book of life? Has he given thee countless blessings? Has he laid up for thee a store of mercies, which eye hath not seen nor ear heard? Then do something for Jesus worthy of his love. Give not a mere wordy offering to a dying Redeemer. How will you feel when your Master comes, if you have to confess that you did nothing for him, but kept your love shut up, like a stagnant pool, neither flowing forth to his poor or to his work. Out on such love as that! What do men think of a love which never shows itself in action? Why, they say, "Open rebuke is better than secret love." Who will accept a love so weak that it does not actuate you to a single deed of self-denial, of generosity, of heroism, or zeal! Think how he has loved you, and given himself for you! Do you know the power of that love? Then let it be like a rushing mighty wind to your soul to sweep out the clouds of your worldliness, and clear away the mists of sin. "For Christ's sake" be this the tongue of fire that shall sit upon you: "for Christ's sake" be this the divine rapture, the heavenly afflatus to bear you aloft from earth, the divine spirit that shall make you bold as lions and swift as eagles in your Lord's service. Love should give wings to the feet of service, and strength to the arms of labour. Fixed on God with a constancy that is not to be shaken, resolute to honour him with a determination that is not to be turned aside, and pressing on with an ardour never to be wearied, let us manifest the constraints of love to Jesus. May the divine loadstone draw us heavenward towards itself. Ⓒ 1996-2017 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. Written by Charles H. Spurgeon.
"Grow up into him in all things."—Ephesians 4:15Morning ThoughtMany Christians remain stunted and dwarfed in spiritual things, so as to present the same appearance year after year. No up-springing of advanced and refined feeling is manifest in them. They exist but do not "grow up into him in all things." But should we rest content with being in the "green blade," when we might advance to "the ear," and eventually ripen into the "full corn in the ear?" Should we be satisfied to believe in Christ, and to say, "I am safe," without wishing to know in our own experience more of the fulness which is to be found in him. It should not be so; we should, as good traders in heaven's market, covet to be enriched in the knowledge of Jesus. It is all very well to keep other men's vineyards, but we must not neglect our own spiritual growth and ripening. Why should it always be winter time in our hearts? We must have our seed time, it is true, but O for a spring time-yea, a summer season, which shall give promise of an early harvest. If we would ripen in grace, we must live near to Jesus-in his presence-ripened by the sunshine of his smiles. We must hold sweet communion with him. We must leave the distant view of his face and come near, as John did, and pillow our head on his breast; then shall we find ourselves advancing in holiness, in love, in faith, in hope-yea, in every precious gift. As the sun rises first on mountain-tops and gilds them with his light, and presents one of the most charming sights to the eye of the traveller; so is it one of the most delightful contemplations in the world to mark the glow of the Spirit's light on the head of some saint, who has risen up in spiritual stature, like Saul, above his fellows, till, like a mighty Alp, snow-capped, he reflects first among the chosen, the beams of the Sun of Righteousness, and bears the sheen of his effulgence high aloft for all to see, and seeing it, to glorify his Father which is in heaven. Ⓒ 1996-2017 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. Written by Charles H. Spurgeon.
"Babes in Christ."—1 Corinthians 3:1Morning ThoughtAre you mourning, believer, because you are so weak in the divine life: because your faith is so little, your love so feeble? Cheer up, for you have cause for gratitude. Remember that in some things you are equal to the greatest and most full-grown Christian. You are as much bought with blood as he is. You are as much an adopted child of God as any other believer. An infant is as truly a child of its parents as is the full-grown man. You are as completely justified, for your justification is not a thing of degrees: your little faith has made you clean every whit. You have as much right to the precious things of the covenant as the most advanced believers, for your right to covenant mercies lies not in your growth, but in the covenant itself; and your faith in Jesus is not the measure, but the token of your inheritance in him. You are as rich as the richest, if not in enjoyment, yet in real possession. The smallest star that gleams is set in heaven; the faintest ray of light has affinity with the great orb of day. In the family register of glory the small and the great are written with the same pen. You are as dear to your Father's heart as the greatest in the family. Jesus is very tender over you. You are like the smoking flax; a rougher spirit would say, "put out that smoking flax, it fills the room with an offensive odour!" but the smoking flax he will not quench. You are like a bruised reed; and any less tender hand than that of the Chief Musician would tread upon you or throw you away, but he will never break the bruised reed. Instead of being downcast by reason of what you are, you should triumph in Christ. Am I but little in Israel? Yet in Christ I am made to sit in heavenly places. Am I poor in faith? Still in Jesus I am heir of all things. Though "less than nothing I can boast, and vanity confess." yet, if the root of the matter be in me I will rejoice in the Lord, and glory in the God of my salvation. Ⓒ 1996-2017 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. Written by Charles H. Spurgeon.
"Thy paths drop fatness."—Psalms 65:11Morning ThoughtMany are "the paths of the Lord" which "drop fatness," but an especial one is the path of prayer. No believer, who is much in the closet, will have need to cry, "My leanness, my leanness; woe unto me." Starving souls live at a distance from the mercy- seat, and become like the parched fields in times of drought. Prevalence with God in wrestling prayer is sure to make the believer strong-if not happy. The nearest place to the gate of heaven is the throne of the heavenly grace. Much alone, and you will have much assurance; little alone with Jesus, your religion will be shallow, polluted with many doubts and fears, and not sparkling with the joy of the Lord. Since the soul-enriching path of prayer is open to the very weakest saint; since no high attainments are required; since you are not bidden to come because you are an advanced saint, but freely invited if you be a saint at all; see to it, dear reader, that you are often in the way of private devotion. Be much on your knees, for so Elijah drew the rain upon famished Israel's fields. There is another especial path dropping with fatness to those who walk therein, it is the secret walk of communion. Oh! the delights of fellowship with Jesus! Earth hath no words which can set forth the holy calm of a soul leaning on Jesus' bosom. Few Christians understand it, they live in the lowlands and seldom climb to the top of Nebo: they live in the outer court, they enter not the holy place, they take not up the privilege of priesthood. At a distance they see the sacrifice, but they sit not down with the priest to eat thereof, and to enjoy the fat of the burnt offering. But, reader, sit thou ever under the shadow of Jesus; come up to that palm tree, and take hold of the branches thereof; let thy beloved be unto thee as the apple-tree among the trees of the wood, and thou shalt be satisfied as with marrow and fatness. O Jesus, visit us with thy salvation! Ⓒ 1996-2017 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. Written by Charles H. Spurgeon.
"And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul."—1 Samuel 27:1Morning ThoughtThe thought of David's heart at this time was a false thought, because he certainly had no ground for thinking that God's anointing him by Samuel was intended to be left as an empty unmeaning act. On no one occasion had the Lord deserted his servant; he had been placed in perilous positions very often, but not one instance had occurred in which divine interposition had not delivered him. The trials to which he had been exposed had been varied; they had not assumed one form only, but many-yet in every case he who sent the trial had also graciously ordained a way of escape. David could not put his finger upon any entry in his diary, and say of it, "Here is evidence that the Lord will forsake me," for the entire tenor of his past life proved the very reverse. He should have argued from what God had done for him, that God would be his defender still. But is it not just in the same way that we doubt God's help? Is it not mistrust without a cause? Have we ever had the shadow of a reason to doubt our Father's goodness? Have not his lovingkindnesses been marvellous? Has he once failed to justify our trust? Ah, no! our God has not left us at any time. We have had dark nights, but the star of love has shone forth amid the blackness; we have been in stern conflicts, but over our head he has held aloft the shield of our defence. We have gone through many trials, but never to our detriment, always to our advantage; and the conclusion from our past experience is, that he who has been with us in six troubles, will not forsake us in the seventh. What we have known of our faithful God, proves that he will keep us to the end. Let us not, then, reason contrary to evidence. How can we ever be so ungenerous as to doubt our God? Lord, throw down the Jezebel of our unbelief, and let the dogs devour it. Ⓒ 1996-2017 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. Written by Charles H. Spurgeon.
"Jesus saith unto them, Come and dine."—John 21:12Morning ThoughtIn these words the believer is invited to a holy nearness to Jesus. "Come and dine," implies the same table, the same meat; aye, and sometimes it means to sit side by side, and lean our head upon the Saviour's bosom. It is being brought into the banqueting-house, where waves the banner of redeeming love. "Come and dine," gives us a vision of union with Jesus, because the only food that we can feast upon when we dine with Jesus is himself. Oh, what union is this! It is a depth which reason cannot fathom, that we thus feed upon Jesus. "He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him." It is also an invitation to enjoy fellowship with the saints. Christians may differ on a variety of points, but they have all one spiritual appetite; and if we cannot all feel alike, we can all feed alike on the bread of life sent down from heaven. At the table of fellowship with Jesus we are one bread and one cup. As the loving cup goes round we pledge one another heartily therein. Get nearer to Jesus, and you will find yourself linked more and more in spirit to all who are like yourself, supported by the same heavenly manna. If we were more near to Jesus we should be more near to one another. We likewise see in these words the source of strength for every Christian. To look at Christ is to live, but for strength to serve him you must "come and dine." We labour under much unnecessary weakness on account of neglecting this percept of the Master. We none of us need to put ourselves on low diet; on the contrary, we should fatten on the marrow and fatness of the gospel that we may accumulate strength therein, and urge every power to its full tension in the Master's service. Thus, then, if you would realize nearness to Jesus, union with Jesus, love to his people and strength from Jesus, "come and dine" with him by faith. Ⓒ 1996-2017 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. Written by Charles H. Spurgeon.
"But who may abide the day of his coming?"—Malachi 3:2Morning ThoughtHis first coming was without external pomp or show of power, and yet in truth there were few who could abide its testing might. Herod and all Jerusalem with him were stirred at the news of the wondrous birth. Those who supposed themselves to be waiting for him, showed the fallacy of their professions by rejecting him when he came. His life on earth was a winnowing fan, which tried the great heap of religious profession, and few enough could abide the process. But what will his second advent be? What sinner can endure to think of it? "He shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked." When in his humiliation he did but say to the soldiers, "I am he," they fell backward; what will be the terror of his enemies when he shall more fully reveal himself as the "I am?" His death shook earth and darkened heaven, what shall be the dreadful splendour of that day in which as the living Saviour, he shall summon the quick and dead before him? O that the terrors of the Lord would persuade men to forsake their sins and kiss the Son lest he be angry! Though a lamb, he is yet the lion of the tribe of Judah, rending the prey in pieces; and though he breaks not the bruised reed, yet will he break his enemies with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel. None of his foes shall bear up before the tempest of his wrath, or hide themselves from the sweeping hail of his indignation; but his beloved blood washed people look for his appearing with joy, and hope to abide it without fear: to them he sits as a refiner even now, and when he has tried them they shall come forth as gold. Let us search ourselves this morning and make our calling and election sure, so that the coming of the Lord may cause no dark forebodings in our mind. O for grace to cast away all hypocrisy, and to be found of him sincere and without rebuke in the day of his appearing. Ⓒ 1996-2017 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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Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.—2 Corinthians 1:3-4Thoughts on Today's Verse...We are comforted because we are heartbroken. We are comforted because we need a blessing. We are comforted because God loves us. We are comforted to comfort others. While each of the above statements is true, the last is the most crucial one. There is something about comfort that cannot be fully realized until it is shared with someone else. It is that final step in the healing process of grief, disappointment, hurt, and loss. Until we share the comfort we have received, until we pass it on to another, our comfort is weak and shallow and limited. Comfort — pass it on!My Prayer...O LORD, God of heaven and earth, Creator of the universe, thank you for knowing my heart, caring about my concerns, and comforting me when I am wounded. Help me to share your grace, mercy, and comfort with someone else today. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
The LORD redeems his servants; no one will be condemned who takes refuge in him.—Psalm 34:22Thoughts on Today's Verse...God not only buys out our bondage and debt to sin, but he also assures us that he will provide refuge for those who trust in him. Our future is tied to him and not to our ability to provide and protect what we need.My Prayer...O LORD, God of heaven and earth, I place my life and my future in your hands. Please use me to bless others as I do your will. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned.—Psalm 34:21Thoughts on Today's Verse...God has promised a closing time, a reckoning where human power and influence cannot buy out the truth and where each person will have to face up to what he or she has done. Evil will overtake those who have been partners with evil. Those that hate good people, righteous people, will be condemned in their own hate. God's righteousness, truth, and justice will not be short-circuited!My Prayer...Father, thank you for making clean and whole by the purifying work of your Holy Spirit. Teach me to be righteous. Help me develop a revulsion for what is sinful and evil. Use me to help someone caught in the evil one's work to find deliverance. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.—Psalm 34:19-20Thoughts on Today's Verse...We know that the righteous can have troubles, but how do we understand that God delivers us from them all? How do we understand that he protects all our bones, especially in light of recent tragedies and the persecution of believers in many places in the world? Paul demonstrates the answer: whatever happens to him will turn out for his deliverance — whether it is through his death to be with God or whether it is through his release from prison to continue ministry (Phil. 1:19-23). Our deliverance is secure. We are conquerors in Christ. Nothing Satan can do to us can steal us away from God's love, not even death (Romans 8:32-39).My Prayer...Father, please give me the faith I need to believe that whatever happens in my life will not steal me away from your love and deliverance for me. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.—Psalm 34:18Thoughts on Today's Verse...The LORD is... ...near! ...present! ...close! How do I know? He came close in the manger. He walked among us in ministry. He suffered with us and for us at Calvary. We know that in tragedy, trial, heartbreak, and brokenness he is near to us to save us. So, will our hearts be open to him and will we be seeking him to come near? Don't let troubles or heartache lead you to pull away from God or doubt his nearness. Let him draw close to you.My Prayer...O LORD, please be near me today. Make your presence known in my life. Father, I also ask that you bless those I know who are struggling with their faith, and with broken and disappointed hearts. Please be active in their lives and make your presence known in their lives. In Jesus' name. Amen.
The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.—Psalm 34:17Thoughts on Today's Verse...Deliverance! A great theme of the Bible is that God is a God of deliverance who keeps his promises and faithfully shares his grace, mercy, and justice. Let this promise stir you to righteous living and then to cry out to God in all your troubles. One way to do this is to read through the Psalms regularly, letting these inspired words from so long ago offer a rich topography of prayer from which you can call to God. Whether you use the Psalms or not, however, cry out to God with the praises, questions, and wounds that life brings. Let his presence be real to you and your heart open to him.My Prayer...Father, our world needs your deliverance. In your majesty and power, please destroy the plans of the wicked. In your mercy and grace, please raise up your people who find themselves facing hardship and trouble. In Jesus' name. Amen.
The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.—Psalm 34:16Thoughts on Today's Verse...God hates violence and demands that we not admire those who are violent or share in their violent lifestyle. (Prov. 3:31) God abhors those who do evil. God not only opposes them when they are alive, he also mitigates their influence after they are gone. He helps them be seen for what they really are. Far from being viewed as heroes, their legacy of hate and wickedness is spurned, shunned, scandalized, and forgotten. My Prayer...In our own time of terror and wickeness, O LORD, please make worthless the threats of the wicked and make their memory a foul stench in the nostrils of those they are trying to deceive and co-opt to do their evil will. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
"Life is filled with meaning as soon as Jesus Chrst enters into it."—Stephen NeillⒸ 1996-2017 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"An infinite God can give all of Himself to each of His children. He does not distribute Himself that each may have a part, but to each one He gives all of Himself as fully as if there were no others."—A. W. TozerⒸ 1996-2017 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."—Martin Luther King, Jr.Ⓒ 1996-2017 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"It is God to whom and with whom we travel, and while He is the End of our journey, He is also at every stopping place."—Elisabeth ElliotⒸ 1996-2017 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"Any concern too small to be a prayer is too small to be a burden."—Corrie ten BoomⒸ 1996-2017 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"So what to do? Two Things, it seems to me. At least two. Use up each day. Fill it overflowing with good. Deliberately enjoy it. Two, begin now. Mend a fractured friendship, mail an overdue letter, repair a broken heart, lay aside a griveance, act on a noble impulse. As we all know, "The night cometh"."—Lanny HenningerⒸ 1996-2017 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"To be grateful is to recognize the love of God in everything He has given us — and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love."—Thomas MertonⒸ 1996-2017 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.