"I will make thy windows of agates."—Isaiah 54:12Evening ThoughtThe church is most instructively symbolized by a building erected by heavenly power, and designed by divine skill. Such a spiritual house must not be dark, for the Israelites had light in their dwellings; there must therefore be windows to let the light in and to allow the inhabitants to gaze abroad. These windows are precious as agates: the ways in which the church beholds her Lord and heaven, and spiritual truth in general, are to be had in the highest esteem. Agates are not the most transparent of gems, they are but semi-pellucid at the best: "Our knowledge of that life is small,Our eye of faith is dim."Faith is one of these precious agate windows, but alas! it is often so misty and beclouded, that we see but darkly, and mistake much that we do see. Yet if we cannot gaze through windows of diamonds and know even as we are known, it is a glorious thing to behold the altogether lovely One, even though the glass be hazy as the agate. Experience is another of these dim but precious windows, yielding to us a subdued religious light, in which we see the sufferings of the Man of Sorrows, through our own afflictions. Our weak eyes could not endure windows of transparent glass to let in the Master's glory, but when they are dimmed with weeping, the beams of the Sun of Righteousness are tempered, and shine through the windows of agate with a soft radiance inexpressibly soothing to tempted souls. Sanctification, as it conforms us to our Lord, is another agate window. Only as we become heavenly can we comprehend heavenly things. The pure in heart see a pure God. Those who are like Jesus see him as he is. Because we are so little like him, the window is but agate; because we are somewhat like him, it is agate. We thank God for what we have, and long for more. When shall we see God and Jesus, and heaven and truth, face to face? Ⓒ 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.
"They have dealt treacherously against the Lord."—Hosea 5:7Evening ThoughtBeliever, here is a sorrowful truth! Thou art the beloved of the Lord, redeemed by blood, called by grace, preserved in Christ Jesus, accepted in the Beloved, on thy way to heaven, and yet, "thou hast dealt treacherously" with God, thy best friend; treacherously with Jesus, whose thou art; treacherously with the Holy Spirit, by whom thou hast been quickened unto life eternal! How treacherous you have been in the matter of vows and promises. Do you remember the love of your espousals, that happy time-the springtime of your spiritual life? Oh, how closely did you cling to your Master then! saying, "He shall never charge me with indifference; my feet shall never grow slow in the way of his service; I will not suffer my heart to wander after other loves; in him is every store of sweetness ineffable. I give all up for my Lord Jesus' sake." Has it been so? Alas! if conscience speak, it will say, "He who promised so well has performed most ill. Prayer has oftentimes been slurred-it has been short, but not sweet; brief, but not fervent. Communion with Christ has been forgotten. Instead of a heavenly mind, there have been carnal cares, worldly vanities and thoughts of evil. Instead of service, there has been disobedience; instead of fervency, lukewarmness; instead of patience, petulance; instead of faith, confidence in an arm of flesh; and as a soldier of the cross there has been cowardice, disobedience, and desertion, to a very shameful degree." "Thou hast dealt treacherously." Treachery to Jesus! what words shall be used in denouncing it? Words little avail: let our penitent thoughts execrate the sin which is so surely in us. Treacherous to thy wounds, O Jesus! Forgive us, and let us not sin again! How shameful to be treacherous to him who never forgets us, but who this day stands with our names engraven on his breastplate before the eternal throne. Ⓒ 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.
"Ye serve the Lord Christ."—Colossians 3:24Evening ThoughtTo what choice order of officials was this word spoken? To kings who proudly boast a right divine? Ah, no! too often do they serve themselves or Satan, and forget the God whose sufferance permits them to wear their mimic majesty for their little hour. Speaks then the apostle to those so-called "right reverend fathers in God," the bishops, or "the venerable the archdeacons"? No, indeed, Paul knew nothing of these mere inventions of man. Not even to pastors and teachers, or to the wealthy and esteemed among believers, was this word spoken, but to servants, aye, and to slaves. Among the toiling multitudes, the journeymen, the day labourers, the domestic servants, the drudges of the kitchen, the apostle found, as we find still, some of the Lord's chosen, and to them he says, "Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ." This saying ennobles the weary routine of earthly employments, and sheds a halo around the most humble occupations. To wash feet may be servile, but to wash his feet is royal work. To unloose the shoe-latchet is poor employ, but to unloose the great Master's shoe is a princely privilege. The shop, the barn, the scullery, and the smithy become temples when men and women do all to the glory of God! Then "divine service" is not a thing of a few hours and a few places, but all life becomes holiness unto the Lord, and every place and thing, as consecrated as the tabernacle and its golden candlestick. "Teach me, my God and King, in all things thee to see;And what I do in anything to do it as to thee.All may of thee partake, nothing can be so mean,Which with this tincture, for thy sake, will not grow bright and clean.A servant with this clause makes drudgery divine;Who sweeps a room, as for thy laws, makes that and the action fine."Ⓒ 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.
"Whose heart the Lord opened."—Acts 16:14Evening ThoughtIn Lydia's conversion there are many points of interest. It was brought about by providential circumstances. She was a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, but just at the right time for hearing Paul we find her at Philippi; providence, which is the handmaid of grace, led her to the right spot. Again, grace was preparing her soul for the blessing-grace preparing for grace. She did not know the Saviour, but as a Jewess, she knew many truths which were excellent stepping-stones to a knowledge of Jesus. Her conversion took place in the use of the means. On the Sabbath she went when prayer was wont to be made, and there prayer was heard. Never neglect the means of grace; God may bless us when we are not in his house, but we have the greater reason to hope that he will when we are in communion with his saints. Observe the words, "Whose heart the Lord opened." She did not open her own heart. Her prayers did not do it; Paul did not do it. The Lord himself must open the heart, to receive the things which make for our peace. He alone can put the key into the hole of the door and open it, and get admittance for himself. He is the heart's master as he is the heart's maker. The first outward evidence of the opened heart was obedience. As soon as Lydia had believed in Jesus, she was baptized. It is a sweet sign of a humble and broken heart, when the child of God is willing to obey a command which is not essential to his salvation, which is not forced upon him by a selfish fear of condemnation, but is a simple act of obedience and of communion with his Master. The next evidence was love, manifesting itself in acts of grateful kindness to the apostles. Love to the saints has ever been a mark of the true convert. Those who do nothing for Christ or his church, give but sorry evidence of an "opened" heart. Lord, evermore give me an opened heart. Ⓒ 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.
"My people shall dwell in quiet resting places."—Isaiah 32:18Evening ThoughtPeace and rest belong not to the unregenerate, they are the peculiar possession of the Lord's people, and of them only. The God of Peace gives perfect peace to those whose hearts are stayed upon him. When man was unfallen, his God gave him the flowery bowers of Eden as his quiet resting places; alas! how soon sin blighted the fair abode of innocence. In the day of universal wrath when the flood swept away a guilty race, the chosen family were quietly secured in the resting-place of the ark, which floated them from the old condemned world into the new earth of the rainbow and the covenant, herein typifying Jesus, the ark of our salvation. Israel rested safely beneath the blood-besprinkled habitations of Egypt when the destroying angel smote the first-born; and in the wilderness the shadow of the pillar of cloud, and the flowing rock, gave the weary pilgrims sweet repose. At this hour we rest in the promises of our faithful God, knowing that his words are full of truth and power; we rest in the doctrines of his word, which are consolation itself; we rest in the covenant of his grace, which is a haven of delight. More highly favoured are we than David in Adullam, or Jonah beneath his gourd, for none can invade or destroy our shelter. The person of Jesus is the quiet resting-place of his people, and when we draw near to him in the breaking of the bread, in the hearing of the word, the searching of the Scriptures, prayer, or praise, we find any form of approach to him to be the return of peace to our spirits. "I hear the words of love, I gaze upon the blood,I see the mighty sacrifice, and I have peace with God.'Tis everlasting peace, sure as Jehovah's name,'Tis stable as his steadfast throne, for evermore the same:The clouds may go and come, and storms may sweep my sky,This blood-sealed friendship changes not, the cross is ever nigh."Ⓒ 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.
"Thou, O God, hast prepared of thy goodness for the poor."—Psalms 68:10Evening ThoughtAll God's gifts are prepared gifts laid up in store for wants foreseen. He anticipates our needs; and out of the fulness which he has treasured up in Christ Jesus, he provides of his goodness for the poor. You may trust him for all the necessities that can occur, for he has infallibly foreknown every one of them. He can say of us in all conditions, "I knew that thou wouldst be this and that." A man goes a journey across the desert, and when he has made a day's advance, and pitched his tent, he discovers that he wants many comforts and necessaries which he has not brought in his baggage. "Ah!" says he, "I did not foresee this: if I had this journey to go again, I should bring these things with me, so necessary to my comfort." But God has marked with prescient eye all the requirements of his poor wandering children, and when those needs occur, supplies are ready. It is goodness which he has prepared for the poor in heart, goodness and goodness only. "My grace is sufficient for thee." "As thy days, so shall thy strength be." Reader, is your heart heavy this evening? God knew it would be; the comfort which your heart wants is treasured in the sweet assurance of the text. You are poor and needy, but he has thought upon you, and has the exact blessing which you require in store for you. Plead the promise, believe it and obtain its fulfilment. Do you feel that you never were so consciously vile as you are now? Behold, the crimson fountain is open still, with all its former efficacy, to wash your sin away. Never shall you come into such a position that Christ cannot aid you. No pinch shall ever arrive in your spiritual affairs in which Jesus Christ shall not be equal to the emergency, for your history has all been foreknown and provided for in Jesus. Ⓒ 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.
"I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some."—1 Corinthians 9:22Evening ThoughtPaul's great object was not merely to instruct and to improve, but to save. Anything short of this would have disappointed him; he would have men renewed in heart, forgiven, sanctified, in fact, saved. Have our Christian labours been aimed at anything below this great point? Then let us amend our ways, for of what avail will it be at the last great day to have taught and moralized men if they appear before God unsaved? Blood-red will our skirts be if through life we have sought inferior objects, and forgotten that men needed to be saved. Paul knew the ruin of man's natural state, and did not try to educate him, but to save him; he saw men sinking to hell, and did not talk of refining them, but of saving from the wrath to come. To compass their salvation, he gave himself up with untiring zeal to telling abroad the gospel, to warning and beseeching men to be reconciled to God. His prayers were importunate and his labours incessant. To save souls was his consuming passion, his ambition, his calling. He became a servant to all men, toiling for his race, feeling a woe within him if he preached not the gospel. He laid aside his preferences to prevent prejudice; he submitted his will in things indifferent, and if men would but receive the gospel, he raised no questions about forms or ceremonies: the gospel was the one all-important business with him. If he might save some he would be content. This was the crown for which he strove, the sole and sufficient reward of all his labours and self-denials. Dear reader, have you and I lived to win souls at this noble rate? Are we possessed with the same all-absorbing desire? If not, why not? Jesus died for sinners, cannot we live for them? Where is our tenderness? Where our love to Christ, if we seek not his honour in the salvation of men? O that the Lord would saturate us through and through with an undying zeal for the souls of men. Ⓒ 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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For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.—Romans 8:38-39Thoughts on Today's Verse...Nothing could keep Jesus from coming to save you — not the distance between heaven and earth, not the difficulty of an unexpected pregnancy, not a city fully of travelers and parents tired from a long journey, certainly not a maniacal king who sought to snuff out his life, not jeering mobs crying crucify him, not disciples that abandoned him, not soldiers that mocked him, not a whip that raked his flesh, and not a cross that claimed his physical life. So what makes you think he would let you go or give up on you after his love has captured your heart? My Prayer...Abba Father, help me understand your love more fully. Give me strength to overcome the doubts Satan has tried to plant in my heart. Bless me with your gracious power and transform me out of my own weakness into a useful tool for your service. Keep my eyes fixed on the Lord whose hand will not let the waves claim me nor let my own doubts detroy me. In Jesus' mighty name I pray. Amen.
...but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.—John 4:14Thoughts on Today's Verse...Water! That precious gift for the tired and thirsty. Water! That essential refreshment we all need. Jesus, however, offers water we don't have to carry or purify. No, this is water that wells up within us. This is the water that the Holy Spirit brings us. This is the water that gives us eternal life that starts now and lasts forever!My Prayer...Father, I know Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to live in me when I became a Christian. I ask that my stubborn will and that my sinful desires can be overcome with the Spirit's power, and that my life will display the joy and confidence that your refreshing presence brings. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.—John 3:17Thoughts on Today's Verse...God is not the big Scrooge in the sky, critically looking down on his flawed children waiting to condemn those who mess up. Instead, he saw how broken, flawed, and messed up we were and entered our world to save it... to save us. God's purpose in sending Jesus is our life and our salvation.My Prayer...Heavenly Father, deliver me from the sin that entangles my actions and pollutes my heart. Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit in me through your Holy Spirit. Thank you for your forgiveness and grace. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.—John 3:16Thoughts on Today's Verse...What else is there to say, other than "Praise God!" and "Thank you Jesus!"My Prayer...Thank you for loving me with an everlasting love, dear Father. I love you, too, and look forward to sharing the biggest part of my life with you in your presence. In Jesus' name. Amen.
From the LORD comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people.—Psalm 3:8Thoughts on Today's Verse...Deliverance does come from the LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, our Father. So we ask him to bless us with his richest and greatest blessings. But, he has already given his people the very greatest blessing, the gift of his Son. Now if we will only acknowlege and appreciate that blessing.My Prayer...Thank you, O God, for the salvation you have given me in Jesus. Use me to spread this blessing to others so that the people I know and love will come to know your Son as their Savior and Lord. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
...that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.—Philippians 2:10-11Thoughts on Today's Verse...I love the fact that I do each day what everyone will one day do: bow before the majesty and proclaim the Lordship of Jesus Christ to honor the Father's glory. How wonderful it is to be able to make that proclamation because of grace rather than in fear at the end of a life that has been spent in what is rebellion, denial, and waste.My Prayer...Father, I do praise you for the truth about Jesus that will one day be realized fully by everyone who has ever lived. May my life display that truth in the way I treat people today. May my lips suitably proclaim that truth so others can know Jesus as Lord today. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name...—Philippians 2:9Thoughts on Today's Verse...For Jesus, Graciousness + Guts + Giving + Grit = Glory. Just one of those equations in salvation math that doesn't make much human sense, but from the perspective of faith, it is powerful wisdom. Jesus came to our world because of the graciousness of God. Jesus had the "guts" to leave behind heaven and face the hardships of humanity, and give of himself to serve others. Jesus had the grit to endure the horrors and humiliation of the cross. So God has shared with Jesus his glory and placed him above all others. The apostle Paul wants to remind us that God doesn't forget our sacrifices, our obedience, and our hardships. He does honor them with his pleasure and his glory because Jesus' sacrifice has made us holy!My Prayer...Holy Father and Lord God, I believe that Jesus Christ is your Son and my Savior and Lord. I surrender my heart to have no rival interest to the lordship of your Son. Thank you for your wonderful gift of love in him. In Jesus' name. Amen.
"My liberty as a Christian should always be supremely shackled by the love I am commanded to have towards another."—Avery D. MillerⒸ 1996-2017 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"Nothing takes God by surprise. He knows the future and can therefore guide us through its trackless ways."—W. T. PurkiserⒸ 1996-2017 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"The Gospel is a universal language that crosses the barriers of time to impact the lives of ordinary people."—Michelle JonesⒸ 1996-2017 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"You are valuable because you exist. Not because of what you do or what you have done, but simply because you are."—Max LucadoⒸ 1996-2017 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"God will not be absent when His people are on trial; he will stand in court as their advocate, to plead on their behalf."—Charles H. SpurgeonⒸ 1996-2017 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"Whatever else may be said of man, this one thing is clear: He is not what he is capable of being."—G. K. ChestertonⒸ 1996-2017 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"A man may study because his brain is hungry for knowledge, even Bible knowledge. But he prays because his soul is hungry for God."—Leonard RavenhillⒸ 1996-2017 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.