"That through death he might destroy him that had the power of death."—Hebrews 2:14Morning ThoughtO child of God, death hath lost its sting, because the devil's power over it is destroyed. Then cease to fear dying. Ask grace from God the Holy Ghost, that by an intimate knowledge and a firm belief of thy Redeemer's death, thou mayst be strengthened for that dread hour. Living near the cross of Calvary thou mayst think of death with pleasure, and welcome it when it comes with intense delight. It is sweet to die in the Lord: it is a covenant-blessing to sleep in Jesus. Death is no longer banishment, it is a return from exile, a going home to the many mansions where the loved ones already dwell. The distance between glorified spirits in heaven and militant saints on earth seems great; but it is not so. We are not far from home-a moment will bring us there. The sail is spread; the soul is launched upon the deep. How long will be its voyage? How many wearying winds must beat upon the sail ere it shall be reefed in the port of peace? How long shall that soul be tossed upon the waves before it comes to that sea which knows no storm? Listen to the answer, "Absent from the body, present with the Lord." Yon ship has just departed, but it is already at its haven. It did but spread its sail and it was there. Like that ship of old, upon the Lake of Galilee, a storm had tossed it, but Jesus said, "Peace, be still," and immediately it came to land. Think not that a long period intervenes between the instant of death and the eternity of glory. When the eyes close on earth they open in heaven. The horses of fire are not an instant on the road. Then, O child of God, what is there for thee to fear in death, seeing that through the death of thy Lord its curse and sting are destroyed? and now it is but a Jacob's ladder whose foot is in the dark grave, but its top reaches to glory everlasting. Ⓒ 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.
"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. Ⓒ 1996-2019 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent. Written by Charles H. Spurgeon.
"She 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. Ⓒ 1996-2019 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. Ⓒ 1996-2019 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! Ⓒ 1996-2019 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?" Ⓒ 1996-2019 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."Ⓒ 1996-2019 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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Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts.—Psalm 145:3-4Thoughts on Today's Verse... What we know about God is confined to our small brains, our limited experiences, our willingness to read about the great deeds of God in Scripture, and our hearing of his incredible work through the lives of older Christians. There is nothing quite like listening to older, grace-filled brothers and sisters in Christ who know our Lord and his power through worship, obedience, and experience.My Prayer...God Almighty, by your grace I call you Abba Father. Your majesty is beyond my ability to comprehend and your power is beyond my abilty to grasp. What I do know, dear Father, and what I do understand, Almighty God, brings me to my knees in humble adoration and reverent appreciation. Thank you for your love, your mercy, and your grace that makes your majesty approachable and my mortality redeemable. In Jesus' name. Amen.
But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!—Amos 5:24Thoughts on Today's Verse...While many attribute this quote to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., it was originally uttered by Amos, God's spokesman over 2600 years earlier than Dr. King quoted it. God wanted his people to know that their religious pilgrimages, their sacrificial offerings, and their songs meant nothing to him if they were not backed up by a life of compassion, character, and concern. Northern Israel did not believe Amos and did not repent. Not too many years later, they were utterly destroyed because God found their hypocrisy, injustice, and abuse of the weak reprehensible. But we live now, and these words are just as powerful and clear as they were then! What will our response be?My Prayer...Almighty God, many of your children are ashamed today at the unrighteousness in our world and in our nations. Please use us to lead a rebirth of character. And Father, as we seek to live holy lives, please keep our eyes not only on your character, but on your compassion, mercy, tenderness, and grace so we may share those same qualities with those who need to know your love and receive your salvation. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. —Psalm 103:6Thoughts on Today's Verse...There are times in our world history when this promise of God seems like a mirage in the face of brutal governments, racial hatred, and human injustice. But over time, brutal governments are smashed. Despots go to their graves. Moral indignation replaces complacency. As Kingdom people, don't you think we are called to model the ethics and values of God's will? So let's renew the prayer Jesus taught us: "Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven!" And let's also demonstrate God's will in our families, friendships, and churches!My Prayer...Holy and righteous God, I know you are even more repulsed than we are by the inhumanity that stains our world and crushes precious and innocent peoples. Please, Father, show your will and discipline those nations who are ruthless in their injustice. Convict us, your people, that we as individuals and as congregations must be places of reconciliation, justice, healing, and hope. Use me, along with my brothers and sisters in our congregation to show your righteousness and your justice toward those in our community who need freedom from oppression and who need someone to help stand up for justice in every area of life. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. —Philippians 4:4-5Thoughts on Today's Verse...Because the Lord is near, we can rejoice and treat others with gentleness. He is near because he lives in us through his Spirit. He is near because his coming is at hand. He is near because when we gather with other believers, serve others who are in need, or share the Gospel with friends and people of other cultures, he has promised to be with us. There is nothing more infectious than a joyous and kind person. Because Jesus lives in us, works through us, and is coming for us, we can be both joyful and tender!My Prayer...Father, I am thrilled to know that I will never be alone. Thank you for sending Jesus to die for my sins. Thank you for sending Jesus to join me when I meet with other believers, when I serve others in Jesus' name, and when I share the Gospel. Please let the abiding joy I feel because of his presence be evident in the way I live and the way I serve others. In Jesus' precious name I pray. Amen.
I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever.—Psalm 145:1-2Thoughts on Today's Verse...The way we praise God forever, the way we honor our pledge to give him glory for all the days of our life, is really pretty simple: we do it today. As long as we praise God today, the forever takes care of itself. So as you commit to lift high the name of God and praise him for all eternity, remember the place it starts: praise God today — not only in the things that you say, but also in the way that you live!My Prayer...Mighty God and loving Father, today I want to tell you how marvelous and wonderful I believe you to be. You are righteous, faithful, holy, and merciful. You are tender, loving, and yet magnificent in glory and incomparable in strength. You have redeemed me from my sin and given me hope beyond my own death. You have filled my life full of good people and have promised me a home with you. You, O God, are without peer and without rival. You are my King, my awesome and majestic Father. In Jesus' name I praise you, today and forever. Amen.
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 13:7Thoughts on Today's Verse...Wouldn't it be nice for God to let us off the hook at tax time? But he is calling us to his character, to be good, honest, and holy. In a world that is fallen and needs redemption, we must learn to live in it as God's children, but not possessed by it. So we honor our responsibilities and commitments to others because in doing so, we honor our Father.My Prayer...Holy God, bless my government that it may more wisely use the taxes it collects from my fellow citizens and me. Please help me show respect and honor today, so that my obedience to your will may be personal and public, as well as private. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that."—James 4:14-15Thoughts on Today's Verse..."If the Lord wills!" Do you do short term and long range planning? I do. But my planning always has an invisible asterisk: "If Lord, this is your will and your timing." I don't know about you, but God has shown me time and again that if I will be open to him, his timing is always better than my planning. Does that mean I quit planning? Nope. I just plan with prayer, asking for wisdom and the Holy Spirit to help me find God's timing to know and do his will (James 1:5-6 & Ephesians 5:15-18). Life is too short to not plan with prayer and walk led by the Spirit!My Prayer...Not my will, Father, but yours be done this day, and all the days of my life. In Jesus' holy name I ask it. Amen.
"The joyful news that He is risen does not change the contemporary world. Still before us lie work, discipline, sacrifice. But the fact of Easter gives us the spiritual power to do the work, accept the discipline, and make the sacrifice."—Henry Knox SherrillⒸ 1996-2019 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"When Jesus Christ shed his blood on the cross, it was not the blood of a martyr; or the blood of one man for another; it was the life of God poured out to redeem the world."—Oswald ChambersⒸ 1996-2019 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"Nails were not enough to hold God-and-man nailed and fastened on the Cross, had not love held Him there."—Catherine of SienaⒸ 1996-2019 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"Come all crosses, welcome, welcome! so I may get my heart full of my Lord Jesus."—Samuel RutherfordⒸ 1996-2019 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"For I seek not to understand in order that I may believe; but I believe in order that I may understand, for I believe for this reason: that unless I believe, I cannot understand."—Anselm of CanterburyⒸ 1996-2019 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"Accustom yourself gradually to carry Prayer into all your daily occupation — speak, act, work in peace, as if you were in prayer, as indeed you ought to be."—Franois FnelonⒸ 1996-2019 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"Whoever strives to withdraw from obedience, withdraws from grace."—Thomas KempisⒸ 1996-2019 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.