"He that watereth shall be watered also himself."—Proverbs 11:25Morning ThoughtWe are here taught the great lesson, that to get, we must give; that to accumulate, we must scatter; that to make ourselves happy, we must make others happy; and that in order to become spiritually vigorous, we must seek the spiritual good of others. In watering others, we are ourselves watered. How? Our efforts to be useful, bring out our powers for usefulness. We have latent talents and dormant faculties, which are brought to light by exercise. Our strength for labour is hidden even from ourselves, until we venture forth to fight the Lord's battles, or to climb the mountains of difficulty. We do not know what tender sympathies we possess until we try to dry the widow's tears, and soothe the orphan's grief. We often find in attempting to teach others, that we gain instruction for ourselves. Oh, what gracious lessons some of us have learned at sick beds! We went to teach the Scriptures, we came away blushing that we knew so little of them. In our converse with poor saints, we are taught the way of God more perfectly for ourselves and get a deeper insight into divine truth. So that watering others makes us humble. We discover how much grace there is where we had not looked for it; and how much the poor saint may outstrip us in knowledge. Our own comfort is also increased by our working for others. We endeavour to cheer them, and the consolation gladdens our own heart. Like the two men in the snow; one chafed the other's limbs to keep him from dying, and in so doing kept his own blood in circulation, and saved his own life. The poor widow of Sarepta gave from her scanty store a supply for the prophet's wants, and from that day she never again knew what want was. Give then, and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, and running over. Ⓒ 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.
"The sweet psalmist of Israel."—2 Samuel 23:1Morning ThoughtAmong all the saints whose lives are recorded in Holy Writ, David possesses an experience of the most striking, varied, and instructive character. In his history we meet with trials and temptations not to be discovered, as a whole, in other saints of ancient times, and hence he is all the more suggestive a type of our Lord. David knew the trials of all ranks and conditions of men. Kings have their troubles, and David wore a crown: the peasant has his cares, and David handled a shepherd's crook: the wanderer has many hardships, and David abode in the caves of Engedi: the captain has his difficulties, and David found the sons of Zeruiah too hard for him. The psalmist was also tried in his friends, his counsellor Ahithophel forsook him, "He that eateth bread with me, hath lifted up his heel against me." His worst foes were they of his own household: his children were his greatest affliction. The temptations of poverty and wealth, of honour and reproach, of health and weakness, all tried their power upon him. He had temptations from without to disturb his peace, and from within to mar his joy. David no sooner escaped from one trial than he fell into another; no sooner emerged from one season of despondency and alarm, than he was again brought into the lowest depths, and all God's waves and billows rolled over him. It is probably from this cause that David's psalms are so universally the delight of experienced Christians. Whatever our frame of mind, whether ecstasy or depression, David has exactly described our emotions. He was an able master of the human heart, because he had been tutored in the best of all schools-the school of heart-felt, personal experience. As we are instructed in the same school, as we grow matured in grace and in years, we increasingly appreciate David's psalms, and find them to be "green pastures." My soul, let David's experience cheer and counsel thee this day. Ⓒ 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.
"He shall stand and feed in the strength of the Lord."—Micah 5:4Morning ThoughtChrist's reign in his Church is that of a shepherd-king. He has supremacy, but it is the superiority of a wise and tender shepherd over his needy and loving flock; he commands and receives obedience, but it is the willing obedience of the well-cared-for sheep, rendered joyfully to their beloved Shepherd, whose voice they know so well. He rules by the force of love and the energy of goodness. His reign is practical in its character. It is said, "He shall stand and feed." The great Head of the Church is actively engaged in providing for his people. He does not sit down upon the throne in empty state, or hold a sceptre without wielding it in government. No, he stands and feeds. The expression "feed," in the original, is like an analogous one in the Greek, which means to shepherdize, to do everything expected of a shepherd: to guide, to watch, to preserve, to restore, to tend, as well as to feed. His reign is continual in its duration. It is said, "He shall stand and feed"; not "He shall feed now and then, and leave his position"; not, "He shall one day grant a revival, and then next day leave his Church to barrenness." His eyes never slumber, and his hands never rest; his heart never ceases to beat with love, and his shoulders are never weary of carrying his people's burdens. His reign is effectually powerful in its action; "He shall feed in the strength of Jehovah." Wherever Christ is, there is God; and whatever Christ does is the act of the Most High. Oh! it is a joyful truth to consider that he who stands to-day representing the interests of his people is very God of very God, to whom every knee shall bow. Happy are we who belong to such a shepherd, whose humanity communes with us, and whose divinity protects us. Let us worship and bow down before him as the people of his pasture. Ⓒ 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.
"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." Ⓒ 1996-2017 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. Written by Charles H. Spurgeon.
"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. Ⓒ 1996-2017 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. Written by Charles H. Spurgeon.
"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!" Ⓒ 1996-2017 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. Written by Charles H. Spurgeon.
"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. Ⓒ 1996-2017 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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My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, an ornament to grace your neck.—Proverbs 3:21-22Thoughts on Today's Verse...God used his wisdom to create the cosmos and all that is in it. Through his discernment, he appointed to each being and to each item its place in his dazzling display of diversity. He has chosen to share that wisdom and discernment with those who reverence him and search for his wisdom. If we will use that wisdom and discernment we will possess the greatest of all jewels and a blessing that will enrich our life.My Prayer...Father, I know that you will bless me with wisdom if I ask. I am asking for that wisdom, dear Father. I want to live a holy life that is clearly a reflection of your character and in honor of your holiness. Bless me with wisdom and discernment as I face the day-to-day decisions that I must make that impact the lives of others. In Jesus name. Amen.
Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.—Ephesians 2:19-20Thoughts on Today's Verse..."We belong!" That's what the apostle Paul is telling us. We're not outsiders or second class citizens or "Johnny come lately" children of God. Because of grace, we belong! We are part of God's house! The foundation of that house is made up of the apostles and prophets. The cornerstone of that house is Jesus himself. Incredibly, we are also a part of this holy house of God. We belong!My Prayer...El Shaddai, God of the mountains and LORD God Almighty, the covenant God of Israel, from age to age your steadfast love has blessed your people with your promises, your grace, and your future. Thank you for bringing me into your people by grace through faith in Jesus. Thank you for making me a vital part of your house. Forgive me for the times that I have doubted my importance to your cause and awaken in me the realization that I belong to you, to your people, and to your house. In Jesus' name. Amen.
We love because he first loved us.—1 John 4:19Thoughts on Today's Verse...We love others because God has first loved us. Our Heavenly Father taught us how to love in Jesus. Our Abba Father has given us security and confidence so we can love more fully. Our Holy and Almighty God loved us boldly and sacrificially so we could properly understand and define love. We are not the source of love: God is. We are not the great example of love: God is. We tend to be careful and share our love with only those with whom we want to share it: God's love is expansive and open to all. We love because he first loved us.My Prayer...Forgive me, Righteous Father, for the times that I have been careful and guarded with my love of your children. Please help me to love others as you have loved me. I ask especially for today, that I might touch someone's life with love that especially needs it whether they respond favorably to that love or not. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.—Romans 8:18Thoughts on Today's Verse...Paul knew hardship: take a look at the list of just some of the difficult challenges he had to face in 2 Corinthians 11:22-33. His "present sufferings" make most of our difficulties seem tame by comparison. However, Paul could say confidently that the glory he would have with Christ (cf. Col. 3:1-4) would be so incredible, with blessings so fantastic, that his hardships are minor in comparison. That glory will also be ours! Now isn't that fantastic news.My Prayer...Holy and Almighty God, you are awesome, glorious, and majestic. I praise you for reaching down and saving me by your grace. Father, most of the time my faith is strong and I feel confident about my future. However, at times my faith can waver when I'm confronted with grave difficulties. Give me courage and boldness, dear God, to face those challenges with the conviction that they are actually minor in comparison to the glory you will share with me when Jesus returns. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit — fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.—John 15:16Thoughts on Today's Verse...Were you ever chosen last? Were you ever the one no one wanted on your team? Isn't it remarkable that God chose us in Jesus Christ! Isn't it amazing that we are loved and wanted by the King of the Ages and his Son, Jesus Christ! Not only that, we weren't chosen out of pity, but to make a difference. We're chosen to bear fruit that will endure! To help insure that productivity, Jesus has promised we can ask for God's blessing on our work for his Kingdom and he will bless us. Incredible!My Prayer...Give me a heart, O God, that is open to your work and a vision that is as expansive as your grace. May my prayers ask for things that bring you glory, expand the borders of your kingdom, and reach beyond the limited things that so often distract me. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love.—Psalm 31:16Thoughts on Today's Verse...Can your faith hold during trying times? I hope mine can! This is a Psalm written during trying times. However, no matter how difficult the situation, the Psalmist still knows who God is and what he can do when he decides to do it. Even in trial he doesn't lose sight of the blessing that comes from the LORD being present.My Prayer...Father, make your presence known in my life. I am confident you are there, I just need to experience your presence and receive your deliverance. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children.—Romans 8:15-16Thoughts on Today's Verse...Ab-ba. Listen to a baby and you will hear these basic early sounds. Incredibly, Jesus showed us, and the Spirit enables us, to speak to God with these syllables of familiarity, trust, vulnerability, dependency, and intimacy. The Spirit is our guarantee that we don't have to be afraid of God, but that we can approach him as our loving and tender Father who always listens to our hearts and seeks to bless our lives.My Prayer...Abba Father, you are glorious and majestic. Your deeds are awesome. Your power, O LORD, is unfathomable. Your grace, Almighty God, is wonderful. Thank you, Holy and Righteous Father, for allowing me to approach you as my always near and ever present Abba. Please make your nearness clear in my life today. In Jesus' name. Amen.
"Faith is the conviction that God knows more than we do about this life and He will get us through it."—Max LucadoⒸ 1996-2017 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"Our misery is that we thirst so little for these sublime things, and so much for the mocking trifles of time and space."—Charles H. SpurgeonⒸ 1996-2017 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunitic can put out the sun by scribbling the word 'darkness' on the walls of his cell."—C. S. LewisⒸ 1996-2017 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent an educator. If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist. If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist. But since our greatest need was forgiveness, God sent us a Savior."—Max LucadoⒸ 1996-2017 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.