"Behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom."—Matthew 27:51Morning ThoughtNo mean miracle was wrought in the rending of so strong and thick a veil; but it was not intended merely as a display of power-many lessons were herein taught us. The old law of ordinances was put away, and like a worn-out vesture, rent and laid aside. When Jesus died, the sacrifices were all finished, because all fulfilled in him, and therefore the place of their presentation was marked with an evident token of decay. That rent also revealed all the hidden things of the old dispensation: the mercy-seat could now be seen, and the glory of God gleamed forth above it. By the death of our Lord Jesus we have a clear revelation of God, for he was "not as Moses, who put a veil over his face." Life and immortality are now brought to light, and things which have been hidden since the foundation of the world are manifest in him. The annual ceremony of atonement was thus abolished. The atoning blood which was once every year sprinkled within the veil, was now offered once for all by the great High Priest, and therefore the place of the symbolical rite was broken up. No blood of bullocks or of lambs is needed now, for Jesus has entered within the veil with his own blood. Hence access to God is now permitted, and is the privilege of every believer in Christ Jesus. There is no small space laid open through which we may peer at the mercy-seat, but the rent reaches from the top to the bottom. We may come with boldness to the throne of the heavenly grace. Shall we err if we say that the opening of the Holy of Holies in this marvellous manner by our Lord's expiring cry was the type of the opening of the gates of paradise to all the saints by virtue of the Passion? Our bleeding Lord hath the key of heaven; he openeth and no man shutteth; let us enter in with him into the heavenly places, and sit with him there till our common enemies shall be made his footstool. Ⓒ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. Written by Charles H. Spurgeon.
"She bound the scarlet line in the window."—Joshua 2:21Morning ThoughtRahab depended for her preservation upon the promise of the spies, whom she looked upon as the representatives of the God of Israel. Her faith was simple and firm, but it was very obedient. To tie the scarlet line in the window was a very trivial act in itself, but she dared not run the risk of omitting it. Come, my soul, is there not here a lesson for thee? Hast thou been attentive to all thy Lord's will, even though some of his commands should seem non-essential? Hast thou observed in his own way the two ordinances of believers' baptism and the Lord's Supper? These neglected, argue much unloving disobedience in thy heart. Be henceforth in all things blameless, even to the tying of a thread, if that be matter of command. This act of Rahab sets forth a yet more solemn lesson. Have I implicitly trusted in the precious blood of Jesus? Have I tied the scarlet cord, as with a Gordian knot in my window, so that my trust can never be removed? Or can I look out towards the Dead Sea of my sins, or the Jerusalem of my hopes, without seeing the blood, and seeing all things in connection with its blessed power? The passer-by can see a cord of so conspicuous a colour, if it hangs from the window: it will be well for me if my life makes the efficacy of the atonement conspicuous to all onlookers. What is there to be ashamed of? Let men or devils gaze if they will, the blood is my boast and my song. My soul, there is One who will see that scarlet line, even when from weakness of faith thou canst not see it thyself; Jehovah, the Avenger, will see it and pass over thee. Jericho's walls fell flat: Rahab's house was on the wall, and yet it stood unmoved; my nature is built into the wall of humanity, and yet when destruction smites the race, I shall be secure. My soul, tie the scarlet thread in the window afresh, and rest in peace. Ⓒ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. Written by Charles H. Spurgeon.
"We are come to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel."—Hebrews 12:24Morning ThoughtReader, have you come to the blood of sprinkling? The question is not whether you have come to a knowledge of doctrine, or an observance of ceremonies, or to a certain form of experience, but have you come to the blood of Jesus? The blood of Jesus is the life of all vital godliness. If you have truly come to Jesus, we know how you came-the Holy Spirit sweetly brought you there. You came to the blood of sprinkling with no merits of your own. Guilty, lost, and helpless, you came to take that blood, and that blood alone, as your everlasting hope. You came to the cross of Christ, with a trembling and an aching heart; and oh! what a precious sound it was to you to hear the voice of the blood of Jesus! The dropping of his blood is as the music of heaven to the penitent sons of earth. We are full of sin, but the Saviour bids us lift our eyes to him, and as we gaze upon his streaming wounds, each drop of blood, as it falls, cries, "It is finished; I have made an end of sin; I have brought in everlasting righteousness." Oh! sweet language of the precious blood of Jesus! If you have come to that blood once, you will come to it constantly. Your life will be "Looking unto Jesus." Your whole conduct will be epitomized in this-"To whom coming." Not to whom I have come, but to whom I am always coming. If thou hast ever come to the blood of sprinkling, thou wilt feel thy need of coming to it every day. He who does not desire to wash in it every day, has never washed in it at all. The believer ever feels it to be his joy and privilege that there is still a fountain opened. Past experiences are doubtful food for Christians; a present coming to Christ alone can give us joy and comfort. This morning let us sprinkle our door-post fresh with blood, and then feast upon the Lamb, assured that the destroying angel must pass us by. Ⓒ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. Written by Charles H. Spurgeon.
"The precious blood of Christ."—1 Peter 1:19Morning ThoughtStanding at the foot of the cross, we see hands, and feet, and side, all distilling crimson streams of precious blood. It is "precious" because of its redeeming and atoning efficacy. By it the sins of Christ's people are atoned for; they are redeemed from under the law; they are reconciled to God, made one with him. Christ's blood is also "precious" in its cleansing power; it "cleanseth from all sin." "Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow." Through Jesus' blood there is not a spot left upon any believer, no wrinkle nor any such thing remains. O precious blood, which makes us clean, removing the stains of abundant iniquity, and permitting us to stand accepted in the Beloved, notwithstanding the many ways in which we have rebelled against our God. The blood of Christ is likewise "precious" in its preserving power. We are safe from the destroying angel under the sprinkled blood. Remember it is God's seeing the blood which is the true reason for our being spared. Here is comfort for us when the eye of faith is dim, for God's eye is still the same. The blood of Christ is "precious" also in its sanctifying influence. The same blood which justifies by taking away sin, does in its after-action, quicken the new nature and lead it onward to subdue sin and to follow out the commands of God. There is no motive for holiness so great as that which streams from the veins of Jesus. And "precious," unspeakably precious, is this blood, because it has an overcoming power. It is written, "They overcame through the blood of the Lamb." How could they do otherwise? He who fights with the precious blood of Jesus, fights with a weapon which cannot know defeat. The blood of Jesus! sin dies at its presence, death ceases to be death: heaven's gates are opened. The blood of Jesus! we shall march on, conquering and to conquer, so long as we can trust its power! Ⓒ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. Written by Charles H. Spurgeon.
"My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"—Psalms 22:1Morning ThoughtWe here behold the Saviour in the depth of his sorrows. No other place so well shows the griefs of Christ as Calvary, and no other moment at Calvary is so full of agony as that in which his cry rends the air-"My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" At this moment physical weakness was united with acute mental torture from the shame and ignominy through which he had to pass; and to make his grief culminate with emphasis, he suffered spiritual agony surpassing all expression, resulting from the departure of his Father's presence. This was the black midnight of his horror; then it was that he descended the abyss of suffering. No man can enter into the full meaning of these words. Some of us think at times that we could cry, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" There are seasons when the brightness of our Father's smile is eclipsed by clouds and darkness; but let us remember that God never does really forsake us. It is only a seeming forsaking with us, but in Christ's case it was a real forsaking. We grieve at a little withdrawal of our Father's love; but the real turning away of God's face from his Son, who shall calculate how deep the agony which it caused him? In our case, our cry is often dictated by unbelief: in his case, it was the utterance of a dreadful fact, for God had really turned away from him for a season. O thou poor, distressed soul, who once lived in the sunshine of God's face, but art now in darkness, remember that he has not really forsaken thee. God in the clouds is as much our God as when he shines forth in all the lustre of his grace; but since even the thought that he has forsaken us gives us agony, what must the woe of the Saviour have been when he exclaimed, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" Ⓒ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. Written by Charles H. Spurgeon.
"All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head."—Psalms 22:7Morning ThoughtMockery was a great ingredient in our Lord's woe. Judas mocked him in the garden; the chief priests and scribes laughed him to scorn; Herod set him at nought; the servants and the soldiers jeered at him, and brutally insulted him; Pilate and his guards ridiculed his royalty; and on the tree all sorts of horrid jests and hideous taunts were hurled at him. Ridicule is always hard to bear, but when we are in intense pain it is so heartless, so cruel, that it cuts us to the quick. Imagine the Saviour crucified, racked with anguish far beyond all mortal guess, and then picture that motley multitude, all wagging their heads or thrusting out the lip in bitterest contempt of one poor suffering victim! Surely there must have been something more in the crucified One than they could see, or else such a great and mingled crowd would not unanimously have honoured him with such contempt. Was it not evil confessing, in the very moment of its greatest apparent triumph, that after all it could do no more than mock at that victorious goodness which was then reigning on the cross? O Jesus, "despised and rejected of men," how couldst thou die for men who treated thee so ill? Herein is love amazing, love divine, yea, love beyond degree. We, too, have despised thee in the days of our unregeneracy, and even since our new birth we have set the world on high in our hearts, and yet thou bleedest to heal our wounds, and diest to give us life. O that we could set thee on a glorious high throne in all men's hearts! We would ring out thy praises over land and sea till men should as universally adore as once they did unanimously reject. "Thy creatures wrong thee, O thou sovereign Good!Thou art not loved, because not understood:This grieves me most, that vain pursuits beguileUngrateful men, regardless of thy smile."Ⓒ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. Written by Charles H. Spurgeon.
"A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me."—Song of Solomon 1:13Morning ThoughtMyrrh may well be chosen as the type of Jesus on account of its preciousness, its perfume, its pleasantness, its healing, preserving, disinfecting qualities, and its connection with sacrifice. But why is he compared to "a bundle of myrrh"? First, for plenty. He is not a drop of it, he is a casket full. He is not a sprig or flower of it, but a whole bundle. There is enough in Christ for all my necessities; let me not be slow to avail myself of him. Our well-beloved is compared to a "bundle" again, for variety: for there is in Christ not only the one thing needful, but in "him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily," everything needful is in him. Take Jesus in his different characters, and you will see a marvellous variety-Prophet, Priest, King, Husband, Friend, Shepherd. Consider him in his life, death, resurrection, ascension, second advent; view him in his virtue, gentleness, courage, self-denial, love, faithfulness, truth, righteousness-everywhere he is a bundle of preciousness. He is a "bundle of myrrh" for preservation-not loose myrrh to be dropped on the floor or trodden on, but myrrh tied up, myrrh to be stored in a casket. We must value him as our best treasure; we must prize his words and his ordinances; and we must keep our thoughts of him and knowledge of him as under lock and key, lest the devil should steal anything from us. Moreover, Jesus is a "bundle of myrrh" for speciality. The emblem suggests the idea of distinguishing, discriminating grace. From before the foundation of the world, he was set apart for his people; and he gives forth his perfume only to those who understand how to enter into communion with him, to have close dealings with him. Oh! blessed people whom the Lord hath admitted into his secrets, and for whom he sets himself apart. Oh! choice and happy who are thus made to say, "A bundle of myrrh is my well-beloved unto me." Ⓒ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. Written by Charles H. Spurgeon.
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Christ has indeed been raised, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.—1 Corinthians 15:20-22Thoughts on Today's Verse...Being eternal is nothing new. Being like Jesus completely, eternally, will be new. But when the moment of glory hung in the balance as Jesus was revived from his death sleep, we too were given the assurance that death no longer claims us. The only death that really matters is our death to sin in baptism with Jesus. If we have shared in that death, we will most certainly share in his resurrection (see Romans 6:1-14).My Prayer...Almighty, Most Powerful God. Because of your grace and the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, I know I will see you face to face. Help me now, however, to live that resurrected life being more like Jesus today than any day ever before. In the name of my risen Lord I pray. Amen.
If you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.—Romans 10:9-10Thoughts on Today's Verse...Imagine Jesus being proud of you! He said if we confess him before others here on earth, he will speak up for us in heaven. Confessing Jesus as our Lord is simply acknowledging the truth. But for believers, it is more than that, since at the close of time every knee will bow and every tongue confess his name. For us, confessing Jesus is anticipating his triumph in which we will share.My Prayer...Mighty God, your Son is my Lord. I love him and praise him for his redeeming sacrifice. I thank him for his conquest of the grave. I marvel at his sacrificial and triumphant grace. Jesus is Lord. I know it sounds sweet in your ears so I say it again, Jesus is my Lord. Thank you for being so great that you would be so sacrificial. In the name of my Lord and Savior, Jesus the Carpenter, I offer this thanks. Amen.
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.—1 Corinthians 1:18Thoughts on Today's Verse...Power! We love power. We love the sound and fury of power. We love the ability that power brings to change things. But, the greatest power ever unleashed on this earth was the power displayed when the Almighty God held back his might and fury while his Son was persecuted and murdered. He did it so he could save us. Now that's an awesome display of power, and it was displayed specifically for us!My Prayer...Holy and Majestic God on high, I praise you for incredible might and power. But I also thank you for your love which guides the release of that power. Thank you for knowing that I am but dust without your sustaining Spirit. Thank you for saving me by withholding your mighty power so I could be pardoned by your sacrificial power. Because of Jesus' mercy, and in his holy name, I offer this prayer. Amen.
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.—Romans 13:8Thoughts on Today's Verse...He paid a debt and I owe one. Thank God I don't owe the debt for my sin, but I owe others the same love, respect and grace with which God has treated me!My Prayer...Holy God who owns all things, I thank you for not just owning me, but for having bought me out of slavery, sin, and death. Please kindle love in my heart through the Holy Spirit so I will love others as you do. In Jesus' name. Amen.
This is why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him. If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.—Romans 13:6-7Thoughts on Today's Verse...Owe! Tax day. Not my favorite, how about yours? But where would we be without government, order and laws. While we may not like how the system functions today, what if we had no system. Let's be redemptive in our living and obedient in our citizenship and ask God to bless our country and bring it revival.My Prayer...Holy God, I thank you that I am free in you and belong to no one and no power. Yet because I want your name to be respected, I will obey the laws of this land according to your will. At the same time, O Lord, I fervently pray that you will heal our land and bring our hearts back to you. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you... that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according Scriptures.—1 Corinthians 15:1-4Thoughts on Today's Verse...The story of the Gospel is simple. The grace of the Gospel is glorious. The sacrifice of the Gospel is incomprehensible. The victory of the Gospel is eternal. The core of the Gospel is Christ.My Prayer...Almighty Lord, thank you for the empty tomb and Jesus' victory over the grave. Just as Jesus' death pardoned my sin, his resurrection assures my future. Thank you for grace and glory. May my life be lived each day by the power of the resurrection. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.—Romans 3:23-24Thoughts on Today's Verse..."I blew it!" Come to think of it, we've all blown it! We don't measure up. We're not divine. We might be decent, but decent won't save us. Only the divine, the truly righteous, make it past the grave and into glory. Thank God grace is freely given and the price for our sin was paid by Jesus. While I "blew it," he renewed it!My Prayer...Kind and Loving Father, thank you for being so generous with your grace. May I be as passionate for your righteousness as you were in redeeming me from my sin. Through Jesus I ask this. Amen.
"God is more disposed to move on an admitted emptiness than a presumed fullness."—Tommy TennyⒸ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"It is not the objective proof of God's existence that we want but the experience of God's presence. That is the miracle we are really after, and that is also, I think, the miracle that we really get."—Frederick BuechnerⒸ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"God gives us just enough to seek him, and never enough to fully find Him. To do more would inhibit our freedom, and our freedom is very dear to God."—Ron HansenⒸ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"If knowing answers to life's questions is absolutely necessary to you, then forget the journey. You will never make it, for this is a journey of unknowables, — of unanswered questions, enigmas, incomprehensibles, and most of all, things unfair."—Madame Jeanne GuyonⒸ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"It is not as a child that I believe and confess Jesus Christ. My hosanna is born of a furnace of doubt."—Fyodor DostoevskyⒸ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.