"I am come into my garden, my sister, my spouse."—Song of Solomon 5:1Evening ThoughtThe heart of the believer is Christ's garden. He bought it with his precious blood, and he enters it and claims it as his own. A garden implies separation. It is not the open common; it is not a wilderness; it is walled around, or hedged in. Would that we could see the wall of separation between the church and the world made broader and stronger. It makes one sad to hear Christians saying, "Well, there is no harm in this; there is no harm in that," thus getting as near to the world as possible. Grace is at a low ebb in that soul which can even raise the question of how far it may go in worldly conformity. A garden is a place of beauty, it far surpasses the wild uncultivated lands. The genuine Christian must seek to be more excellent in his life than the best moralist, because Christ's garden ought to produce the best flowers in all the world. Even the best is poor compared with Christ's deservings; let us not put him off with withering and dwarf plants. The rarest, richest, choicest lilies and roses ought to bloom in the place which Jesus calls his own. The garden is a place of growth. The saints are not to remain undeveloped, always mere buds and blossoms. We should grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Growth should be rapid where Jesus is the Husbandman, and the Holy Spirit the dew from above. A garden is a place of retirement. So the Lord Jesus Christ would have us reserve our souls as a place in which he can manifest himself, as he doth not unto the world. O that Christians were more retired, that they kept their hearts more closely shut up for Christ! We often worry and trouble ourselves, like Martha, with much serving, so that we have not the room for Christ that Mary had, and do not sit at his feet as we should. The Lord grant the sweet showers of his grace to water his garden this day. Ⓒ 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.
"Then Israel sang this song, Spring up, O well; sing ye unto it."—Numbers 21:17Evening ThoughtFamous was the well of Beer in the wilderness, because it was the subject of a promise: "That is the well whereof the Lord spake unto Moses, Gather the people together, and I will give them water." The people needed water, and it was promised by their gracious God. We need fresh supplies of heavenly grace, and in the covenant the Lord has pledged himself to give all we require. The well next became the cause of a song. Before the water gushed forth, cheerful faith prompted the people to sing; and as they saw the crystal fount bubbling up, the music grew yet more joyous. In like manner, we who believe the promise of God should rejoice in the prospect of divine revivals in our souls, and as we experience them our holy joy should overflow. Are we thirsting? Let us not murmur, but sing. Spiritual thirst is bitter to bear, but we need not bear it-the promise indicates a well; let us be of good heart, and look for it. Moreover, the well was the centre of prayer. "Spring up, O well." What God has engaged to give, we must enquire after, or we manifest that we have neither desire nor faith. This evening let us ask that the Scripture we have read, and our devotional exercises, may not be an empty formality, but a channel of grace to our souls. O that God the Holy Spirit would work in us with all his mighty power, filling us with all the fulness of God. Lastly, the well was the object of effort. "The nobles of the people digged it with their staves." The Lord would have us active in obtaining grace. Our staves are ill adapted for digging in the sand, but we must use them to the utmost of our ability. Prayer must not be neglected; the assembling of ourselves together must not be forsaken; ordinances must not be slighted. The Lord will give us his peace most plenteously, but not in a way of idleness. Let us, then, bestir ourselves to seek him in whom are all our fresh springs. Ⓒ 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 Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?"—Psalms 27:1Evening Thought"The Lord is my light and my salvation." Here is personal interest, "my light," "my salvation;" the soul is assured of it, and therefore declares it boldly. Into the soul at the new birth divine light is poured as the precursor of salvation; where there is not enough light to reveal our own darkness and to make us long for the Lord Jesus, there is no evidence of salvation. After conversion our God is our joy, comfort, guide, teacher, and in every sense our light: he is light within, light around, light reflected from us, and light to be revealed to us. Note, it is not said merely that the Lord gives light, but that he is light; nor that he gives salvation, but that he is salvation; he, then, who by faith has laid hold upon God, has all covenant blessings in his possession. This being made sure as a fact, the argument drawn from it is put in the form of a question, "Whom shall I fear?" A question which is its own answer. The powers of darkness are not to be feared, for the Lord, our light, destroys them; and the damnation of hell is not to be dreaded by us, for the Lord is our salvation. This is a very different challenge from that of boastful Goliath, for it rests, not upon the conceited vigour of an arm of flesh, but upon the real power of the omnipotent I AM. "The Lord is the strength of my life." Here is a third glowing epithet, to show that the writer's hope was fastened with a threefold cord which could not be broken. We may well accumulate terms of praise where the Lord lavishes deeds of grace. Our life derives all its strength from God; and if he deigns to make us strong, we cannot be weakened by all the machinations of the adversary. "Of whom shall I be afraid?" The bold question looks into the future as well as the present. "If God be for us," who can be against us, either now or in time to come? Ⓒ 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.
"He openeth, and no man shutteth."—Revelation 3:7Evening ThoughtJesus is the keeper of the gates of paradise and before every believing soul he setteth an open door, which no man or devil shall be able to close against it. What joy it will be to find that faith in him is the golden key to the everlasting doors. My soul, dost thou carry this key in thy bosom, or art thou trusting to some deceitful pick-lock, which will fail thee at last? Hear this parable of the preacher, and remember it. The great King has made a banquet, and he has proclaimed to all the world that none shall enter but those who bring with them the fairest flower that blooms. The spirits of men advance to the gate by thousands, and they bring each one the flower which he esteems the queen of the garden; but in crowds they are driven from the royal presence, and enter not into the festive halls. Some bear in their hand the deadly nightshade of superstition, or the flaunting poppies of Rome, or the hemlock of self- righteousness, but these are not dear to the King, the bearers are shut out of the pearly gates. My soul, hast thou gathered the rose of Sharon? Dost thou wear the lily of the valley in thy bosom constantly? If so, when thou comest up to the gates of heaven thou wilt know its value, for thou hast only to show this choicest of flowers, and the Porter will open: not for a moment will he deny thee admission, for to that rose the Porter openeth ever. Thou shalt find thy way with the rose of Sharon in thy hand up to the throne of God himself, for heaven itself possesses nothing that excels its radiant beauty, and of all the flowers that bloom in paradise there is none that can rival the lily of the valley. My soul, get Calvary's blood-red rose into thy hand by faith, by love wear it, by communion preserve it, by daily watchfulness make it thine all in all, and thou shalt be blessed beyond all bliss, happy beyond a dream. Jesus, be mine for ever, my God, my heaven, my all. Ⓒ 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.
"O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face ... because we have sinned against thee."—Daniel 9:8Evening ThoughtA deep sense and clear sight of sin, its heinousness, and the punishment which it deserves, should make us lie low before the throne. We have sinned as Christians. Alas! that it should be so. Favoured as we have been, we have yet been ungrateful: privileged beyond most, we have not brought forth fruit in proportion. Who is there, although he may long have been engaged in the Christian warfare, that will not blush when he looks back upon the past? As for our days before we were regenerated, may they be forgiven and forgotten; but since then, though we have not sinned as before, yet we have sinned against light and against love-light which has really penetrated our minds, and love in which we have rejoiced. Oh, the atrocity of the sin of a pardoned soul! An unpardoned sinner sins cheaply compared with the sin of one of God's own elect ones, who has had communion with Christ and leaned his head upon Jesus' bosom. Look at David! Many will talk of his sin, but I pray you look at his repentance, and hear his broken bones, as each one of them moans out its dolorous confession! Mark his tears, as they fall upon the ground, and the deep sighs with which he accompanies the softened music of his harp! We have erred: let us, therefore, seek the spirit of penitence. Look, again, at Peter! We speak much of Peter's denying his Master. Remember, it is written, "He wept bitterly." Have we no denials of our Lord to be lamented with tears? Alas! these sins of ours, before and after conversion, would consign us to the place of inextinguishable fire if it were not for the sovereign mercy which has made us to differ, snatching us like brands from the burning. My soul, bow down under a sense of thy natural sinfulness, and worship thy God. Admire the grace which saves thee-the mercy which spares thee-the love which pardons thee! Ⓒ 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.
"Remove far from me vanity and lies."—Proverbs 30:8Evening Thought"O my God, be not far from me." - Psalm 38:21Here we have two great lessons-what to deprecate and what to supplicate. The happiest state of a Christian is the holiest state. As there is the most heat nearest to the sun, so there is the most happiness nearest to Christ. No Christian enjoys comfort when his eyes are fixed on vanity-he finds no satisfaction unless his soul is quickened in the ways of God. The world may win happiness elsewhere, but he cannot. I do not blame ungodly men for rushing to their pleasures. Why should I? Let them have their fill. That is all they have to enjoy. A converted wife who despaired of her husband was always very kind to him, for she said, "I fear that this is the only world in which he will be happy, and therefore I have made up my mind to make him as happy as I can in it." Christians must seek their delights in a higher sphere than the insipid frivolities or sinful enjoyments of the world. Vain pursuits are dangerous to renewed souls. We have heard of a philosopher who, while he looked up to the stars, fell into a pit; but how deeply do they fall who look down. Their fall is fatal. No Christian is safe when his soul is slothful, and his God is far from him. Every Christian is always safe as to the great matter of his standing in Christ, but he is not safe as regards his experience in holiness, and communion with Jesus in this life. Satan does not often attack a Christian who is living near to God. It is when the Christian departs from his God, becomes spiritually starved, and endeavours to feed on vanities, that the devil discovers his vantage hour. He may sometimes stand foot to foot with the child of God who is active in his Master's service, but the battle is generally short: he who slips as he goes down into the Valley of Humiliation, every time he takes a false step invites Apollyon to assail him. O for grace to walk humbly with our God! Ⓒ 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.
"Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling."—2 Timothy 1:9Evening ThoughtThe apostle uses the perfect tense and says, "Who hath saved us." Believers in Christ Jesus are saved. They are not looked upon as persons who are in a hopeful state, and may ultimately be saved, but they are already saved. Salvation is not a blessing to be enjoyed upon the dying bed, and to be sung of in a future state above, but a matter to be obtained, received, promised, and enjoyed now. The Christian is perfectly saved in God's purpose; God has ordained him unto salvation, and that purpose is complete. He is saved also as to the price which has been paid for him: "It is finished" was the cry of the Saviour ere he died. The believer is also perfectly saved in his covenant head, for as he fell in Adam, so he lives in Christ. This complete salvation is accompanied by a holy calling. Those whom the Saviour saved upon the cross are in due time effectually called by the power of God the Holy Spirit unto holiness: they leave their sins; they endeavour to be like Christ; they choose holiness, not out of any compulsion, but from the stress of a new nature, which leads them to rejoice in holiness just as naturally as aforetime they delighted in sin. God neither chose them nor called them because they were holy, but he called them that they might be holy, and holiness is the beauty produced by his workmanship in them. The excellencies which we see in a believer are as much the work of God as the atonement itself. Thus is brought out very sweetly the fulness of the grace of God. Salvation must be of grace, because the Lord is the author of it: and what motive but grace could move him to save the guilty? Salvation must be of grace, because the Lord works in such a manner that our righteousness is for ever excluded. Such is the believer's privilege-a present salvation; such is the evidence that he is called to it-a holy life. Ⓒ 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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Fathers, do not exasperate your children, instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.—Ephesians 6:4Thoughts on Today's Verse...Mothers have such an inside road with children that it is interesting that God commands fathers to be about the work of spiritual nurture. I don't believe he means to exclude mothers. No, I think he assumes they'll do their part. But the father's influence and intentional training is so essential.My Prayer...Abba Father, may my children come to find you in me. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Sing to God, sing praise to his name, extol him who rides on the clouds — his name is the Lord — and rejoice before him. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.—Psalm 68:4-5Thoughts on Today's Verse...I can't help but think of what James, Jesus' brother said: "Pure religion, undefiled before God the Father is this: keep oneself undefiled and care for orphans and widows in their distress." Jesus showed clearly this was the Father's heart in his ministry. Now it is up to us to continue it!My Prayer...Father, may my life, my compassion and my ministry reflect your heart for those who need care and protection and love. Give me eyes to see this need more clearly and a heart to responded more certainly so that your love may be demonstrated through me. In the precious name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.—Psalm 103:13Thoughts on Today's Verse...Compassion. Not pity, not anger, not shame, not impatience, not intolerance, not rejection, but compassion is what God, my Father, gives to me. He cares for my pain enough to enter into my world and share it in Jesus.My Prayer...Father of Mercies and God of all Compassion, thank you for not only knowing and caring about my struggles and problems but sending me help in Jesus and the Holy Spirit. By one I know your love and mercy and by the other I know your might and power. May your Spirit of compassion be found in my relationships. Through the grace of Jesus I pray. Amen.
The father of a righteous man has great joy; he who has a wise son delights in him.—Proverbs 23:24Thoughts on Today's Verse...The greatest gift I can give my father, and my Father, is to be righteous in my heart and life.My Prayer...Holy and righteous Father, may my life please you and bring honor to my father and his name. I know that if I please you, it will make his heart glad. Help me as I seek to know you and serve you in ways that show your character in my life. Through Jesus I pray. Amen.
Our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.—Philippians 3:20Thoughts on Today's Verse...No matter what your passport says, if you are a Christian, there is no earthly country that can hold you, no borders that can claim, you and no flag that flies above you but Jesus and the Kingdom of Heaven. You have more in common with the believing aboriginal tribesman of Indonesia, the Christian refugee in Africa, the Bedouin brother in Egypt, the Spirit-filled Brazilian housewife, the high rise business person in Hong Kong who bows to pray in Jesus name, than you do your next door neighbors if they don't know Christ as Lord and Savior.My Prayer...Glorious God and Almighty Father, I look forward to the day when people from every language, tribe, nation, and language join the angels and elders around your throne and worship you in joy forever. Make us one, if not here, then soon. We ask you Lord Jesus, please come. Amen.
If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask for him.—Luke 11:13Thoughts on Today's Verse...Think of all the great gifts you've been given. Next to Jesus, God's gracious sacrifice for our salvation, the greatest gift we can receive is God's abiding presence in the Holy Spirit! He is ours if we ask. In fact, when we ask God for anything, the Spirit is already in God's presence interceding for us!My Prayer...Abba Father, through the precious Holy Spirit I come before you asking you to empower me, my loved ones, and our church through the power of your Holy Spirit. I pray for renewal to sweep over our country and our world led by your Spirit of grace, power, and love. In the name of Jesus, the giver of this great gift I pray. Amen.
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.—Psalm 19:1-2Thoughts on Today's Verse...God's voice is always speaking. His witnesses give testimony to his glory, majesty, and creative grace. The universe shouts with joy that behind its intricate beauty and paralyzing powers is the One who gave it life, purpose, and intention.My Prayer...O Great God, Creator of the countless heavens and our own small blue planet, thank you for noticing the heart cries of one so small in a universe so large. I love you, admire you, trust you, and worship you with wonder. Be exalted in my life, my words, and my deeds this day. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
"Apart from God every activity is merely a passing whiff of insignificance."—Alfred North WhiteheadⒸ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"Men can heal lust. Angels can heal malice. God alone can cure pride."—John ClimacusⒸ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"Our valleys may be filled with foes and tears; but we can lift our eyes to the hills to see God and the angels, heaven's spectators, who support us according to God's infinite wisdom as they prepare our welcome home."—Billy GrahamⒸ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"If we wait upon God, there is no danger. If we rush on, He must let us see the consequences of it."—John DarbyⒸ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"Love always involves responsibility, and love always involves sacrifice. And we do not really love Christ unless we are prepared to face His task and to take up His Cross."—William BarclayⒸ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"We can stand affliction better than we can prosperity, for in prosperity we forget God."—Dwight L. MoodyⒸ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"He who has not forgiven an enemy has not yet tasted one of the most sublime enjoyments of life."—Johann K. LavaterⒸ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.