2 Samuel 23:1 Among 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 […]
‘Oh that I knew where I might find him! that I might come even to his seat! I would order my cause before him,and fill my mouth with arguments.’
Suggested Further Reading:
The true spiritual order of prayer seems to me to consist of something more than mere arrangement. It is most fitting for us first to feel that we are now doing something that is real; that we are about to address ourselves to God,whom we cannot see,but who is really present; whom we can neither touch nor hear,nor by our own senses can apprehend,but who,nevertheless,is as truly with us as though we are speaking to a friend of flesh and blood like ourselves. Feeling the reality of God’s presence,our mind will be led by divine grace into a humble state; we shall feel like Abraham,when he said,‘I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord,which am but dust and ashes.’ Consequently we shall not deliver ourselves of our prayer as boys repeating their lessons,as a mere matter of rote, much less shall we speak as if we were rabbis instructing our pupils,or as I have heard some do,with the coarseness of a highwayman stopping a person on the road and demanding his purse of him; but we shall be humble yet bold petitioners, humbly importuning mercy through the Saviour’s blood. We shall not have the reserve of a slave but the loving reverence of a child,yet not an impudent, impertinent child,but a teachable obedient child,honouring his Father,and therefore asking earnestly,but with deferential submission to his Father’s will. When I feel that I am in the presence of God,and take my rightful position in that presence,the next thing I shall want to recognise will be that I have no right to what I am seeking,and cannot expect to obtain it except as a gift of grace,and I must recollect that God limits the channel through which he will give me mercy—he will give it to me through his dear Son. Let me put myself then under the patronage of the great Redeemer.
For meditation: In emergencies believers can pray to God on the spur of the moment
At other times it is only right and proper to take both care and time Nehemiah 1:4; Matthew 6:5–7.
Sermon no. 700
15 July (1866)
“Have a blessed day, I am.”
A. T. S .
‘I will love them freely.’ Hosea 14:4
Suggested Further Reading: Malachi 3:6–18
This subject invites backsliders to return; indeed, the text was specially written for such—‘I will heal their backsliding; I will love them freely.’ Here is a son who ran away from home. He enlisted for a soldier. He behaved so badly in his regiment that he had to be drummed out of it. He has been living in a foreign country in so vicious a way that he has reduced his body by disease. His back is covered with rags; his character is that of the vagrant and felon. When he went away he did it on purpose to vex his father’s heart, and he has brought his mother’s grey hairs with sorrow to the grave. One day the young lad receives a letter full of love.
His father writes—‘Return to me, my child; I will forgive you all; I will love you freely.’ Now if this letter had said—‘If you will humble yourself so much, I will love you; if you will come back and make me such-and-such promises, I will love you;’ if it had said, ‘If you will behave yourself for the future, I will love you,’—I can suppose the young man’s proud nature rising; but surely this kindness will melt him. Surely the generosity of the invitation will at once break his heart, and he will say, ‘I will offend no longer, I will return at once.’ Backslider, without any condition you are invited to return. ‘I am married unto you,’ saith the Lord. If Jesus ever did love you he has never left off loving you. You may have left off attending to the means of grace; you may have been very slack at private prayer, but if you ever were a child of God you are a child of God still, and he cries ‘How can I give thee up?’
God’s love is not a response to our initiatives, but is ‘an everlasting love’ (Jeremiah 31:3), predating the very existence of us all. However, it does demand a response from us to make an effective difference to us.
Bro. Charles Spurgeon
Sermon no. 501
22 March (1863)
“Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love.”
Sometimes the Lord Jesus tells his Church his love thoughts. “He does not think it enough behind her back to tell it, but in her very presence he says, Thou art all fair, my love.’ It is true, this is not his ordinary method; he is a wise lover, and knows when to keep back the intimation of love and when to let it out; but there are times when he will make no secret of it; times when he will put it beyond all dispute in the souls of his people” (R. Erskine’s Sermons). The Holy Spirit is often pleased, in a most gracious manner, to witness with our spirits of the love of Jesus. He takes of the things of Christ and reveals them unto us. No voice is heard from the clouds, and no vision is seen in the night, but we have a testimony more sure than either of these. If an angel should fly from heaven and inform the saint personally of the Saviour’s love to him, the evidence would not be one whit more satisfactory than that which is borne in the heart by the Holy Ghost. Ask those of the Lord’s people who have lived the nearest to the gates of heaven, and they will tell you that they have had seasons when the love of Christ towards them has been a fact so clear and sure, that they could no more doubt it than they could question their own existence. Yes, beloved believer, you and I have had times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord, and then our faith has mounted to the topmost heights of assurance. We have had confidence to lean our heads upon the bosom of our Lord, and we have no more questioned our Master’s affection to us than John did when in that blessed posture; nay, nor so much: for the dark question, “Lord, is it I that shall betray thee?” has been put far from us. He has kissed us with the kisses of his mouth, and killed our doubts by the closeness of his embrace. His love has been sweeter than wine to our souls
“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates.”
~2 Corinthians 13:5~
12 August, 1860
St. Mark 11:24