"Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church."—Ephesians 5:25Evening ThoughtWhat a golden example Christ gives to his disciples! Few masters could venture to say, "If you would practise my teaching, imitate my life;" but as the life of Jesus is the exact transcript of perfect virtue, he can point to himself as the paragon of holiness, as well as the teacher of it. The Christian should take nothing short of Christ for his model. Under no circumstances ought we to be content unless we reflect the grace which was in him. As a husband, the Christian is to look upon the portrait of Christ Jesus, and he is to paint according to that copy. The true Christian is to be such a husband as Christ was to his church. The love of a husband is special. The Lord Jesus cherishes for the church a peculiar affection, which is set upon her above the rest of mankind: "I pray for them, I pray not for the world." The elect church is the favourite of heaven, the treasure of Christ, the crown of his head, the bracelet of his arm, the breastplate of his heart, the very centre and core of his love. A husband should love his wife with a constant love, for thus Jesus loves his church. He does not vary in his affection. He may change in his display of affection, but the affection itself is still the same. A husband should love his wife with an enduring love, for nothing "shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." A true husband loves his wife with a hearty love, fervent and intense. It is not mere lip-service. Ah! beloved, what more could Christ have done in proof of his love than he has done? Jesus has a delighted love towards his spouse: He prizes her affection, and delights in her with sweet complacence. Believer, you wonder at Jesus' love; you admire it-are you imitating it? In your domestic relationships is the rule and measure of your love-"even as Christ loved the church?" Ⓒ 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.
"And she did eat, and was sufficed, and left."—Ruth 2:14Evening ThoughtWhenever we are privileged to eat of the bread which Jesus gives, we are, like Ruth, satisfied with the full and sweet repast. When Jesus is the host no guest goes empty from the table. Our head is satisfied with the precious truth which Christ reveals; our heart is content with Jesus, as the altogether lovely object of affection; our hope is satisfied, for whom have we in heaven but Jesus? and our desire is satiated, for what can we wish for more than "to know Christ and to be found in him?" Jesus fills our conscience till it is at perfect peace; our judgment with persuasion of the certainty of his teachings; our memory with recollections of what he has done, and our imagination with the prospects of what he is yet to do. As Ruth was "sufficed, and left," so is it with us. We have had deep draughts; we have thought that we could take in all of Christ; but when we have done our best we have had to leave a vast remainder. We have sat at the table of the Lord's love, and said, "Nothing but the infinite can ever satisfy me; I am such a great sinner that I must have infinite merit to wash my sin away;" but we have had our sin removed, and found that there was merit to spare; we have had our hunger relieved at the feast of sacred love, and found that there was a redundance of spiritual meat remaining. There are certain sweet things in the Word of God which we have not enjoyed yet, and which we are obliged to leave for awhile; for we are like the disciples to whom Jesus said, "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now." Yes, there are graces to which we have not attained; places of fellowship nearer to Christ which we have not reached; and heights of communion which our feet have not climbed. At every banquet of love there are many baskets of fragments left. Let us magnify the liberality of our glorious Boaz. Ⓒ 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.
"As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you."—John 15:9Evening ThoughtAs the Father loves the Son, in the same manner Jesus loves his people. What is that divine method? He loved him without beginning, and thus Jesus loves his members. "I have loved thee with an everlasting love." You can trace the beginning of human affection; you can easily find the beginning of your love to Christ, but his love to us is a stream whose source is hidden in eternity. God the Father loves Jesus without any change. Christian, take this for your comfort, that there is no change in Jesus Christ's love to those who rest in him. Yesterday you were on Tabor's top, and you said, "He loves me:" to-day you are in the valley of humiliation, but he loves you still the same. On the hill Mizar, and among the Hermons, you heard his voice, which spake so sweetly with the turtle-notes of love; and now on the sea, or even in the sea, when all his waves and billows go over you, his heart is faithful to his ancient choice. The Father loves the Son without any end, and thus does the Son love his people. Saint, thou needest not fear the loosing of the silver cord, for his love for thee will never cease. Rest confident that even down to the grave Christ will go with you, and that up again from it he will be your guide to the celestial hills. Moreover, the Father loves the Son without any measure, and the same immeasurable love the Son bestows upon his chosen ones. The whole heart of Christ is dedicated to his people. He "loved us and gave himself for us." His is a love which passeth knowledge. Ah! we have indeed an immutable Saviour, a precious Saviour, one who loves without measure, without change, without beginning, and without end, even as the Father loves him! There is much food here for those who know how to digest it. May the Holy Ghost lead us into its marrow and fatness! Ⓒ 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.
"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."—Matthew 5:9Evening ThoughtThis is the seventh of the beatitudes: and seven was the number of perfection among the Hebrews. It may be that the Saviour placed the peacemaker the seventh upon the list because he most nearly approaches the perfect man in Christ Jesus. He who would have perfect blessedness, so far as it can be enjoyed on earth, must attain to this seventh benediction, and become a peacemaker. There is a significance also in the position of the text. The verse which precedes it speaks of the blessedness of "the pure in heart: for they shall see God." It is well to understand that we are to be "first pure, then peaceable." Our peaceableness is never to be a compact with sin, or toleration of evil. We must set our faces like flints against everything which is contrary to God and his holiness: purity being in our souls a settled matter, we can go on to peaceableness. Not less does the verse that follows seem to have been put there on purpose. However peaceable we may be in this world, yet we shall be misrepresented and misunderstood: and no marvel, for even the Prince of Peace, by his very peacefulness, brought fire upon the earth. He himself, though he loved mankind, and did no ill, was "despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief." Lest, therefore, the peaceable in heart should be surprised when they meet with enemies, it is added in the following verse, "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Thus, the peacemakers are not only pronounced to be blessed, but they are compassed about with blessings. Lord, give us grace to climb to this seventh beatitude! Purify our minds that we may be "first pure, then peaceable," and fortify our souls, that our peaceableness may not lead us into cowardice and despair, when for thy sake we are persecuted. Ⓒ 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.
"Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins."—Psalms 19:13Evening ThoughtSuch was the prayer of the "man after God's own heart." Did holy David need to pray thus? How needful, then, must such a prayer be for us babes in grace! It is as if he said, "Keep me back, or I shall rush headlong over the precipice of sin." Our evil nature, like an ill-tempered horse, is apt to run away. May the grace of God put the bridle upon it, and hold it in, that it rush not into mischief. What might not the best of us do if it were not for the checks which the Lord sets upon us both in providence and in grace! The psalmist's prayer is directed against the worst form of sin-that which is done with deliberation and wilfulness. Even the holiest need to be "kept back" from the vilest transgressions. It is a solemn thing to find the apostle Paul warning saints against the most loathsome sins. "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry." What! do saints want warning against such sins as these? Yes, they do. The whitest robes, unless their purity be preserved by divine grace, will be defiled by the blackest spots. Experienced Christian, boast not in your experience; you will trip yet if you look away from him who is able to keep you from falling. Ye whose love is fervent, whose faith is constant, whose hopes are bright, say not, "We shall never sin," but rather cry, "Lead us not into temptation." There is enough tinder in the heart of the best of men to light a fire that shall burn to the lowest hell, unless God shall quench the sparks as they fall. Who would have dreamed that righteous Lot could be found drunken, and committing uncleanness? Hazael said, "Is thy servant a dog, that he should do this thing?" and we are very apt to use the same self-righteous question. May infinite wisdom cure us of the madness of self-confidence. Ⓒ 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 did it with all his heart and prospered."—2 Chronicles 31:21Evening ThoughtThis is no unusual occurrence; it is the general rule of the moral universe that those men prosper who do their work with all their hearts, while those are almost certain to fail who go to their labour leaving half their hearts behind them. God does not give harvests to idle men except harvests of thistles, nor is he pleased to send wealth to those who will not dig in the field to find its hid treasure. It is universally confessed that if a man would prosper, he must be diligent in business. It is the same in religion as it is in other things. If you would prosper in your work for Jesus, let it be heart work, and let it be done with all your heart. Put as much force, energy, heartiness, and earnestness into religion as ever you do into business, for it deserves far more. The Holy Spirit helps our infirmities, but he does not encourage our idleness; he loves active believers. Who are the most useful men in the Christian church? The men who do what they undertake for God with all their hearts. Who are the most successful Sabbath-school teachers? The most talented? No; the most zealous; the men whose hearts are on fire, those are the men who see their Lord riding forth prosperously in the majesty of his salvation. Whole-heartedness shows itself in perseverance; there may be failure at first, but the earnest worker will say, "It is the Lord's work, and it must be done; my Lord has bidden me do it, and in his strength I will accomplish it." Christian, art thou thus "with all thine heart" serving thy Master? Remember the earnestness of Jesus! Think what heart-work was his! He could say, "The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up." When he sweat great drops of blood, it was no light burden he had to carry upon those blessed shoulders; and when he poured out his heart, it was no weak effort he was making for the salvation of his people. Was Jesus in earnest, and are we lukewarm? Ⓒ 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.
"I will take heed to my ways."—Psalms 39:1Evening ThoughtFellow-pilgrim, say not in your heart, "I will go hither and thither, and I shall not sin;" for you are never so out of danger of sinning as to boast of security. The road is very miry, it will be hard to pick your path so as not to soil your garments. This is a world of pitch; you will need to watch often, if in handling it you are to keep your hands clean. There is a robber at every turn of the road to rob you of your jewels; there is a temptation in every mercy; there is a snare in every joy; and if you ever reach heaven, it will be a miracle of divine grace to be ascribed entirely to your Father's power. Be on your guard. When a man carries a bomb-shell in his hand, he should mind that he does not go near a candle; and you too must take care that you enter not into temptation. Even your common actions are edged tools; you must mind how you handle them. There is nothing in this world to foster a Christian's piety, but everything to destroy it. How anxious should you be to look up to God, that he may keep you! Your prayer should be, "Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe." Having prayed, you must also watch; guarding every thought, word, and action, with holy jealousy. Do not expose yourselves unnecessarily; but if called to exposure, if you are bidden to go where the darts are flying, never venture forth without your shield; for if once the devil finds you without your buckler, he will rejoice that his hour of triumph is come, and will soon make you fall down wounded by his arrows. Though slain you cannot be; wounded you may be. "Be sober; be vigilant, danger may be in an hour when all seemeth securest to thee." Therefore, take heed to thy ways, and watch unto prayer. No man ever fell into error through being too watchful. May the Holy Spirit guide us in all our ways, so shall they always please the Lord. Ⓒ 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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Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.—1 Peter 2:2-3Thoughts on Today's Verse...Salvation is such a precious thing! However, we know something is horribly wrong if a child continues to stay in the same place in his or her growth and maturation. Arrested development in a physical child is the cause of great concern. Hebrews 6 reminds us that is also true in our spiritual lives. God does not want us remaining immature! He wants us to continue to grow. Our Father wants us to crave what is good and what builds us up. So, what are you going to do today to satisfy your spiritual appetite and grow in the Lord?My Prayer...Mighty God, thank you for loving me and saving me. I really want to mature in your grace. Bless me today as I seek to pattern holy habits and fill myself spiritually with the things that will help me grow. But Holy God, I know that true growth only comes from you, so I ask you to strengthen me by your Spirit as I pursue your character. In Jesus' mighty name I pray. Amen.
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.—Galatians 5:22-23Thoughts on Today's Verse...A lot of different religious groups will give you all sorts of ways to know whether or not you have the Holy Spirit. Jesus has one simple answer: "by their fruit you will know them." Paul gives us the definition of holy fruit — LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, SELF-CONTROL. Now why not repeat them out loud and ask the Lord to make this fruit yours in full measure?My Prayer...Abba Father, through the Spirit I call upon you. Please fulfill in me the character you possess. I want to exhibit the qualities of your child, Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.—Romans 15:13Thoughts on Today's Verse...Hope and joy and peace sound terrific. Two things are vital for these two blessings to be a part of our lives. First, we must trust God to meet our needs and get us to where we need to be. Second, we expect the power of the Holy Spirit to bless us and empower us with God's qualities.My Prayer...Great and Mighty God, bless me with greater trust that you are nearby and long to help. Dear Father, bless and empower me to be the person you want me to be. Fill me with your Spirit so I may live my life here more like Jesus lived his life here on earth. In the name of the Savior I pray. Amen.
The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.—Psalm 23:1-3Thoughts on Today's Verse...He restores my soul. My that sounds so good. But it is more than talk. When we've reached that point that we can't go on, God blesses us with strength to just keep on walking. When we're in a struggle and things are tough, his power upholds us and we run to victory. When we're winning victories in his name, we can soar on wings like eagles. He is a shepherd and more. He is the Rock and Sustainer of our lives!My Prayer...O Gentle Shepherd, help me rest tonight in your grace and in the confidence that you are nearby. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
As God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.—Colossians 3:12Thoughts on Today's Verse..."Wonder what I'll need to wear to that meeting?" Paul reminds us that there is a set of clothing that is always in style. We wear this clothing because we are special. This clothing is from the Ultimate Designer's collection called character and is best worn when with other people. These qualities are hard to wear, but always a blessing to those who meet us when we're decked out in this wardrobe.My Prayer...Abba Father, thank you for bringing me into your family. May I never disappoint you in the way I treat others. May they see in me, the qualities of character that can only be attributed to your presence in my life. To you be the glory and the honor, forever and ever, in the name of Jesus my Lord. Amen.
It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth... Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.—Acts 4:10-12Thoughts on Today's Verse..."Jesus, there's just something about that name!" The words to the song are right. Salvation from what is warped and broken in our world is found in no one else. He is our Savior because he was willing to come to this world, bear our limitations shame and sin and then triumph over them. My Prayer...Through the precious name of Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, my Lord, I thank and praise you God Most High. Your love has given the sacrifice for my sin and your power has given me the assurance of my resurrection from the dead. Your Son's willingness to spend a lifetime with us has given me a Great High Priest who intercedes with empathy for my struggles. His example lets me know of your great love. Thank you, O God! Thank you for being so gracious and giving me such a wonderful Savior. Amen.
Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.—2 Peter 1:5-8Thoughts on Today's Verse...Wow! What a message. God wants us to be productive in our lives. He wants us to have more than just head knowledge, he wants us to put it to work in our lives and be effective and productive with it. But for me, I've got to put out some effort and try to grow in these qualities. Peter is saying, "Okay folks, God wants you to get after it and make a difference through your life!" I'm ready! Let's begin today.My Prayer...Holy God, I am going to put out the effort to grow in your grace. Please bless my efforts and receive them as my heartfelt appreciation for loving me when I was unlovable and redeeming me when I was lost. I want to be productive to your glory in my life with Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.
"The seven social sins: politics without principle, wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, worship without sacrifice."—Frederick Lewis DonaldsonⒸ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"Do all the good you can,|By all the means you can,|In all the ways you can,|In all the places you can,|At all the times you can,|To all the people you can,|As long as ever you can."—John WesleyⒸ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature — trees, flowers, grass — grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence... We need silence to be able to touch souls."—Mother TeresaⒸ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"Faith says not, 'I see that it is good for me, so God must have sent it,' but, 'God sent it, and so it must be good for me.' Faith, walking in the dark with God, only prays Him to clasp its hand more closely."—Phillips BrooksⒸ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"Never undertake anything for which you wouldn't have the courage to ask the blessing of heaven."—G. C. LichtenbergⒸ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.
"It is impossible for that man to despair who remembers that his Helper is omnipotent."—Jeremy TaylorⒸ 1996-2018 Heartlight, Inc. This material may not be reproduced in part or whole for commercial use without written consent.