"Whereby they have made thee glad."—Psalms 45:8Evening ThoughtAnd who are thus privileged to make the Saviour glad? His church-his people. But is it possible? He makes us glad, but how can we make him glad? By our love. Ah! we think it so cold, so faint; and so, indeed, we must sorrowfully confess it to be, but it is very sweet to Christ. Hear his own eulogy of that love in the golden Canticle: "How fair is thy love, my sister, my spouse! how much better is thy love than wine!" See, loving heart, how he delights in you. When you lean your head on his bosom, you not only receive, but you give him joy; when you gaze with love upon his all-glorious face, you not only obtain comfort, but impart delight. Our praise, too, gives him joy-not the song of the lips alone, but the melody of the heart's deep gratitude. Our gifts, too, are very pleasant to him; he loves to see us lay our time, our talents, our substance upon the altar, not for the value of what we give, but for the sake of the motive from which the gift springs. To him the lowly offerings of his saints are more acceptable than the thousands of gold and silver. Holiness is like frankincense and myrrh to him. Forgive your enemy, and you make Christ glad; distribute of your substance to the poor, and he rejoices; be the means of saving souls, and you give him to see of the travail of his soul; proclaim his gospel, and you are a sweet savour unto him; go among the ignorant and lift up the cross, and you have given him honour. It is in your power even now to break the alabaster box, and pour the precious oil of joy upon his head, as did the woman of old, whose memorial is to this day set forth wherever the gospel is preached. Will you be backward then? Will you not perfume your beloved Lord with the myrrh and aloes, and cassia, of your heart's praise? Yes, ye ivory palaces, ye shall hear the songs of the saints! Ⓒ 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.
"She was healed immediately."—Luke 8:47Evening ThoughtOne of the most touching and teaching of the Saviour's miracles is before us to-night. The woman was very ignorant. She imagined that virtue came out of Christ by a law of necessity, without his knowledge or direct will. Moreover, she was a stranger to the generosity of Jesus' character, or she would not have gone behind to steal the cure which he was so ready to bestow. Misery should always place itself right in the face of mercy. Had she known the love of Jesus' heart, she would have said, "I have but to put myself where he can see me-his omniscience will teach him my case, and his love at once will work my cure." We admire her faith, but we marvel at her ignorance. After she had obtained the cure, she rejoiced with trembling: glad was she that the divine virtue had wrought a marvel in her; but she feared lest Christ should retract the blessing, and put a negative upon the grant of his grace: little did she comprehend the fulness of his love! We have not so clear a view of him as we could wish; we know not the heights and depths of his love; but we know of a surety that he is too good to withdraw from a trembling soul the gift which it has been able to obtain. But here is the marvel of it: little as was her knowledge, her faith, because it was real faith, saved her, and saved her at once. There was no tedious delay-faith's miracle was instantaneous. If we have faith as a grain of mustard seed, salvation is our present and eternal possession. If in the list of the Lord's children we are written as the feeblest of the family, yet, being heirs through faith, no power, human or devilish, can eject us from salvation. If we dare not lean our heads upon his bosom with John, yet if we can venture in the press behind him, and touch the hem of his garment, we are made whole. Courage, timid one! thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace. "Being justified by faith, we have peace with God." Ⓒ 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.
"There is therefore now no condemnation."—Romans 8:1Evening ThoughtCome, my soul, think thou of this. Believing in Jesus, thou art actually and effectually cleared from guilt; thou art led out of thy prison. Thou art no more in fetters as a bond-slave; thou art delivered now from the bondage of the law; thou art freed from sin, and canst walk at large as a freeman, thy Saviour's blood has procured thy full discharge. Thou hast a right now to approach thy Father's throne. No flames of vengeance are there to scare thee now; no fiery sword; justice cannot smite the innocent. Thy disabilities are taken away: thou wast once unable to see thy Father's face: thou canst see it now. Thou couldst not speak with him: but now thou hast access with boldness. Once there was a fear of hell upon thee; but thou hast no fear of it now, for how can there be punishment for the guiltless? He who believeth is not condemned, and cannot be punished. And more than all, the privileges thou mightst have enjoyed, if thou hadst never sinned, are thine now that thou art justified. All the blessings which thou wouldst have had if thou hadst kept the law, and more, are thine, because Christ has kept it for thee. All the love and the acceptance which perfect obedience could have obtained of God, belong to thee, because Christ was perfectly obedient on thy behalf, and hath imputed all his merits to thy account, that thou mightst be exceeding rich through him, who for thy sake became exceeding poor. Oh! how great the debt of love and gratitude thou owest to thy Saviour! "A debtor to mercy alone,Of covenant mercy I sing;Nor fear with thy righteousness on,My person and offerings to bring:The terrors of law and of God,With me can have nothing to do;My Saviour's obedience and bloodHide all my transgressions from view."Ⓒ 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.
"He shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever."—John 14:16Evening ThoughtGreat Father revealed himself to believers of old before the coming of his Son, and was known to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as the God Almighty. Then Jesus came, and the ever-blessed Son in his own proper person, was the delight of his people's eyes. At the time of the Redeemer's ascension, the Holy Spirit became the head of the present dispensation, and his power was gloriously manifested in and after Pentecost. He remains at this hour the present Immanuel-God with us, dwelling in and with his people, quickening, guiding, and ruling in their midst. Is his presence recognized as it ought to be? We cannot control his working; he is most sovereign in all his operations, but are we sufficiently anxious to obtain his help, or sufficiently watchful lest we provoke him to withdraw his aid? Without him we can do nothing, but by his almighty energy the most extraordinary results can be produced: everything depends upon his manifesting or concealing his power. Do we always look up to him both for our inner life and our outward service with the respectful dependence which is fitting? Do we not too often run before his call and act independently of his aid? Let us humble ourselves this evening for past neglects, and now entreat the heavenly dew to rest upon us, the sacred oil to anoint us, the celestial flame to burn within us. The Holy Ghost is no temporary gift, he abides with the saints. We have but to seek him aright, and he will be found of us. He is jealous, but he is pitiful; if he leaves in anger, he returns in mercy. Condescending and tender, he does not weary of us, but awaits to be gracious still. Sin has been hammering my heartUnto a hardness, void of love,Let supplying grace to cross his artDrop from above.Ⓒ 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.
"Thou hast left thy first love."—Revelation 2:4Evening ThoughtEver to be remembered is that best and brightest of hours, when first we saw the Lord, lost our burden, received the roll of promise, rejoiced in full salvation, and went on our way in peace. It was spring time in the soul; the winter was past; the mutterings of Sinai's thunders were hushed; the flashings of its lightnings were no more perceived; God was beheld as reconciled; the law threatened no vengeance, justice demanded no punishment. Then the flowers appeared in our heart; hope, love, peace, and patience sprung from the sod; the hyacinth of repentance, the snowdrop of pure holiness, the crocus of golden faith, the daffodil of early love, all decked the garden of the soul. The time of the singing of birds was come, and we rejoiced with thanksgiving; we magnified the holy name of our forgiving God, and our resolve was, "Lord, I am thine, wholly thine; all I am, and all I have, I would devote to thee. Thou hast bought me with thy blood-let me spend myself and be spent in thy service. In life and in death let me be consecrated to thee." How have we kept this resolve? Our espousal love burned with a holy flame of devoutedness to Jesus-is it the same now? Might not Jesus well say to us, "I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love"? Alas! it is but little we have done for our Master's glory. Our winter has lasted all too long. We are as cold as ice when we should feel a summer's glow and bloom with sacred flowers. We give to God pence when he deserveth pounds, nay, deserveth our heart's blood to be coined in the service of his church and of his truth. But shall we continue thus? O Lord, after thou hast so richly blessed us, shall we be ungrateful and become indifferent to thy good cause and work? O quicken us that we may return to our first love, and do our first works! Send us a genial spring, O Sun of Righteousness. Ⓒ 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.
"I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee."—Isaiah 44:22Evening ThoughtAttentively observe THE INSTRUCTIVE SIMILITUDE: our sins are like a cloud. As clouds are of many shapes and shades, so are our transgressions. As clouds obscure the light of the sun, and darken the landscape beneath, so do our sins hide from us the light of Jehovah's face, and cause us to sit in the shadow of death. They are earth-born things, and rise from the miry places of our nature; and when so collected that their measure is full, they threaten us with storm and tempest. Alas! that, unlike clouds, our sins yield us no genial showers, but rather threaten to deluge us with a fiery flood of destruction. O ye black clouds of sin, how can it be fair weather with our souls while ye remain? Let our joyful eye dwell upon THE NOTABLE ACT of divine mercy-"blotting out." God himself appears upon the scene, and in divine benignity, instead of manifesting his anger, reveals his grace: he at once and for ever effectually removes the mischief, not by blowing away the cloud, but by blotting it out from existence once for all. Against the justified man no sin remains, the great transaction of the cross has eternally removed his transgressions from him. On Calvary's summit the great deed, by which the sin of all the chosen was for ever put away, was completely and effectually performed. Practically let us obey THE GRACIOUS COMMAND, "return unto me." Why should pardoned sinners live at a distance from their God? If we have been forgiven all our sins, let no legal fear withhold us from the boldest access to our Lord. Let backslidings be bemoaned, but let us not persevere in them. To the greatest possible nearness of communion with the Lord, let us, in the power of the Holy Spirit, strive mightily to return. O Lord, this night restore us! Ⓒ 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.
"Lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil [or, the evil one]."—Luke 11:4Evening ThoughtWhat we are taught to seek or shun in prayer, we should equally pursue or avoid in action. Very earnestly, therefore, should we avoid temptation, seeking to walk so guardedly in the path of obedience, that we may never tempt the devil to tempt us. We are not to enter the thicket in search of the lion. Dearly might we pay for such presumption. This lion may cross our path or leap upon us from the thicket, but we have nothing to do with hunting him. He that meeteth with him, even though he winneth the day, will find it a stern struggle. Let the Christian pray that he may be spared the encounter. Our Saviour, who had experience of what temptation meant, thus earnestly admonished his disciples-"Pray that ye enter not into temptation." But let us do as we will, we shall be tempted; hence the prayer "deliver us from evil." God had one Son without sin; but he has no son without temptation. The natural man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upwards, and the Christian man is born to temptation just as certainly. We must be always on our watch against Satan, because, like a thief, he gives no intimation of his approach. Believers who have had experience of the ways of Satan, know that there are certain seasons when he will most probably make an attack, just as at certain seasons bleak winds may be expected; thus the Christian is put on a double guard by fear of danger, and the danger is averted by preparing to meet it. Prevention is better than cure: it is better to be so well armed that the devil will not attack you, than to endure the perils of the fight, even though you come off a conqueror. Pray this evening first that you may not be tempted, and next that if temptation be permitted, you may be delivered from the evil one. Ⓒ 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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Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.—Hebrews 13:17Thoughts on Today's Verse...We often fail to realize that one of the very best ways we can make Kingdom leadership better is by being better followers. Kingdom leadership means that leaders will have to answer to God for how they have led. Kingdom citizenship means that we will be held responsible for how we have obeyed and blessed our leaders. What have you done to show your love, respect, and support for your church leaders lately?My Prayer...Almighty King, all authority and dominion belong to you. You alone are worthy of power and the right to rule. Please bless our leaders at church that they may lead by serving and following Christ. Please empower me to follow their leadership in ways that exalt the cause of Christ and bless the leaders in your Kingdom. May my life never be a burden to them or an embarrassment to you. In Jesus' name, I ask it. Amen.
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.—Romans 12:9Thoughts on Today's Verse...Genuine love involves hate. Genuine love means that we hate evil. We detest it creeping into our hearts and ruining our relationships. We abhor its effects on those we love. We are repelled by the eternal destruction it causes in those whose lives are tender, or weak, or wavering. So the very best thing we can do for those we love is to cling to what is good and stay far away from evil and wickedness.My Prayer...Loving Father, may my life be a source of goodness and joy in my family and with my friends. Please give me wisdom to see what is good and the courage to pursue it with passion. Please protect me from the evil one and forgive me when I have followed his temptations. Please protect those I love from the fallout of my own selfish and evil decisions. Please purify and cleanse me so that my life may be lived holy, and wholly, to you. In the name of your Holy Son, Jesus. Amen.
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.—Ephesians 5:21Thoughts on Today's Verse...Worship on Sunday can be inspiring and uplifting. Worship in everyday life can be exhilarating. Worship in our relationships can be transformational. But such worship always requires that we give up our own ways, our own wills, and our own wants and learn to live for another. If we truly live with Christ Jesus as our Lord, we will live as he did; we will submit to others to serve them for their good and to meet their needs. Sometimes that means being tender. Other times that means being tough. But it always means living to God's glory.My Prayer...O LORD God Almighty, I find it hard to submit myself and my desires to anyone else. I find it so easy to see things only from my point of view. I catch myself looking out for my own self-interest and not the welfare of others. Please fill me with your Spirit more mightily so that my life displays your love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control. In Jesus' name, I ask for your divine help so that my life displays more of Jesus' character. Amen.
Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.—Ephesians 4:15Thoughts on Today's Verse...Truthful words are accurate. Words spoken in love can be a blessing. But truth spoken in love is redemptive: this kind of speech blesses those who hear it and matures those who speak it. While speaking the truth in love is often not easy, it's worth it! Look at God and see how painful it was to speak his Word in love by sending Jesus. But in the process of that one sacrificial Word, he has saved us and revealed his heart of grace, mercy, and love.My Prayer...Holy God, may the words I speak be truthful and loving. Please forgive me when I have told the "painful truth" to win arguments, to hurt feelings, or to impress others. Please forgive me for the times I exaggerated, distorted, or lied. I want my words to be simple and tender, truthful and loving. I want others to see your grace in the way I speak to them. In the name of my Savior, Jesus, I pray. Amen.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. —Ephesians 4:29Thoughts on Today's Verse...We can use our words to be cute. We can use our words to appear impressive. We can use our words to win arguments. We can use our words to defend ourselves. We can use our words to lie and distort. We can use our words to do many things, but God wants us to use our words to bless. So when we speak, if our words do not bless and benefit those to whom we direct them, then we are to simply not say anything. Grandma was right. "If you can't say something nice, then don't say anything at all." My Prayer...Give me wisdom today, dear God, to speak words that bless my family, my co-workers, and those I meet. I want to be truthful, loving, kind, and merciful when I open my mouth and speak. May the words of my mouth be used in your service and to your glory today, dear LORD. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit. —Proverbs 15:4Thoughts on Today's Verse...Words are powerful. Communicators know this. Negotiators know this. Deep down, you know this. Words have blessed you and words have devastated you. The healing that comes from a kind and tender word is precious. The destruction of a cruel taunt or a well-told deception is crushing. To have such power is amazing. To use this awesome power found in our speech is an awesome responsibility. Words do have the power to give life, hope, and peace when offered in love to honor Jesus. Let's speak that word today!My Prayer...O Father, I want my words to be a blessing today. I want them to reflect your grace. I want them to bring healing to the hurting and comfort to the grieving. I want them to be tender with the broken. I want them to be honorable and truthful in difficult circumstances. I want them to be upright when the language around me is crude. Through your Spirit, use my speech to bless others and bring you praise. In the name of Jesus, your ultimate Word, I pray. Amen.
Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. —Psalm 63:3Thoughts on Today's Verse...Sounds like the words to some modern love song, doesn't it: "Your love is better than life." Well, it is a love song; it's just not modern. While in the desert, David spoke of his longing for the LORD. He recognized that life would be worthless if he had to live it without the love of God. When is the last time you've told God you loved him? When was the last time you sang a love song to Jesus? No matter how long or short that time has been, today is THE perfect time to let God know how precious his mercy is to you, how liberating his grace is for you, and how his love is more important to you than life itself.My Prayer...Loving Father, you have sacrificed so much for me and you have given so much to me. I do not have adequate words to express my thanks, my appreciation, and most importantly, my love for you. But please receive my words knowing the commitment and passion of my heart when I say, "Dear God, I love you." In Jesus' name, I praise and thank you. Amen.
"Hope is the word which God has written on the brow of every man."—Victor HugoⒸ 1996-2019 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"There is nothing so healing in all the world as real presence. Our real presence can feed the ache for God in others."—MacRina WiederkehrⒸ 1996-2019 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"The question we must ask our heart is, "Am I comfortable under the eye of God? Or is God getting too close?" We are strange and lovely creatures. We can ache for God tremendously yet find ourselves getting nervous if God gets too close. After all, the closer God gets, the more we hear the call to be divinized. It is both exciting and frightening to hear that call."—MacRina WiederkehrⒸ 1996-2019 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"The greatest of all visions is to see Christ, indeed, to see God, in the frail and glorious human family of the world."—MacRina WiederkehrⒸ 1996-2019 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"God does not ask your ability or your inability. He asks only your availability."—Mary Kay AsheⒸ 1996-2019 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"You will never stand alone while standing on the Word of God."—Kathryn Souza-WineⒸ 1996-2019 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.