“Let Israel rejoice in him.”—Psalm 149:2.
E glad of heart, O believer, but take care that thy gladness has its spring in the Lord. Thou hast much cause for gladness in thy God, for thou canst sing with David, “God, my exceeding joy.” Be glad that the Lord reigneth, that Jehovah is King! Rejoice that He sits upon the throne, and ruleth all things! Every attribute of God should become a fresh ray in the sunlight of our gladness. That He is wise should make us glad, knowing as we do our own foolishness. That He is mighty, should cause us to rejoice who tremble at our weakness. That he is everlasting, should always be a theme of joy when we know that we wither as the grass. That He is unchanging, should perpetually yield us a song, since we change every hour. That He is full of grace, that He is overflowing with it, and that this grace in covenant He has given to us; that it is ours to cleanse us, ours to keep us, ours to sanctify us, ours to perfect us, ours to bring us to glory—all this should tend to make us glad in Him. This gladness in God is as a deep river; we have only as yet touched its brink, we know a little of its clear sweet, heavenly streams, but onward the depth is greater, and the current more impetuous in its joy. The Christian feels that he may delight himself not only in what God is, but also in all that God has done in the past. The Psalms show us that God’s people in olden times were wont to think much of God’s actions, and to have a song concerning each of them. So let God’s people now rehearse the deeds of the Lord! Let them tell of His mighty acts, and “sing unto the Lord, for He hath triumphed gloriously.” Nor let them ever cease to sing, for as new mercies flow to them day by day, so should their gladness in the Lord’s loving acts in providence and in grace show itself in continued thanksgiving. Be glad ye children of Zion and rejoice in the Lord your God. C. H. Spurgeon
“But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell Him of her.”—Mark 1:30.
ERY interesting is this little peep into the house of the Apostolic Fisherman. We see at once that household joys and cares are no hindrance to the full exercise of ministry, nay, that since they furnish an opportunity for personally witnessing the Lord’s gracious work upon one’s own flesh and blood, they may even instruct the teacher better than any other earthly discipline. Papists and other sectaries may decry marriage, but true Christianity and household life agree well together. Peter’s house was probably a poor fisherman’s hut, but the Lord of Glory entered it, lodged in it, and wrought a miracle in it. Should our little book be read this morning in some very humble cottage, let this fact encourage the inmates to seek the company of King Jesus. God is oftener in little huts than in rich palaces. Jesus is looking round your room now, and is waiting to be gracious to you.
Into Simon’s house sickness had entered, fever in a deadly form had prostrated his mother-in-law, and as soon as Jesus came they told Him of the sad affliction, and He hastened to the patient’s bed. Have you any sickness in the house this morning? You will find Jesus by far the best physician, go to Him at once and tell Him all about the matter. Immediately lay the case before Him.
It concerns one of His people, and therefore will not be trivial to Him. Observe, that at once the Saviour restored the sick woman; none can heal as He does. We may not make sure that the Lord will at once remove all disease from those we love, but we may know that believing prayer for the sick is far more likely to be followed by restoration than anything else in the world; and where this avails not, we must meekly bow to His will by whom life and death are determined. The tender heart of Jesus waits to hear our griefs, let us pour them into His patient ear. C. H. Spurgeon
May the gracious God grant you hope in the midst of any trial.
“He left his garment in her hand, and fled, and got him out.”—Genesis 39:12.
N contending with certain sins there remains no mode of victory but by flight. The ancient naturalists wrote much of basilisks, whose eyes fascinated their victims and rendered them easy victims; so the mere gaze of wickedness puts us in solemn danger. He who would be safe from acts of evil must haste away from occasions of it. A covenant must be made with our eyes not even to look upon the cause of temptation, for such sins only need a spark to begin with and a blaze follows in an instant. Who would wantonly enter the leper’s prison and sleep amid its horrible corruption? He only who desires to be leprous himself would thus court contagion. If the mariner knew how to avoid a storm, he would do anything rather than run the risk of weathering it. Cautious pilots have no desire to try how near the quicksand they can sail, or how often they may touch a rock without springing a leak; their aim is to keep as nearly as possible in the midst of a safe channel.
This day I may be exposed to great peril, let me have the serpent’s wisdom to keep out of it and avoid it. The wings of a dove may be of more use to me to-day than the jaws of a lion. It is true I may be an apparent loser by declining evil company, but I had better leave my cloak than lose my character; it is not needful that I should be rich, but it is imperative upon me to be pure. No ties of friendship, no chains of beauty, no flashings of talent, no shafts of ridicule must turn me from the wise resolve to flee from sin. The devil I am to resist and he will flee from me, but the lusts of the flesh, I must flee, or they will surely overcome me. O God of holiness preserve thy Josephs, that Madam Bubble bewitch them not with her vile suggestions. May the horrible trinity of the world, the flesh, and the devil, never overcome us! C. H. Spurgeon
With every injustice posted on social media, the hate rises it ugly head, and some succumb to the temptation to create more injustice amid calls for protects, and in some cases, retaliation. But we must resist the “jaws” of evil to walk in the light and justice of Christ. It is HIS power, not ours that right the wrongs. It is HIS love, and only HIS that can cure and conquer the darkness. Cover yourselves in HIS mercy and Grace. The world needs more of it.
I tried not to write this post, but God kept prodding me to get it down. Why this was such a challenge will become apparent.
Saturday, we attended the funeral of our pastor’s niece who died suddenly last Monday. It’s hard enough to witness the salty sorrowful tears of hearts broken by pain and lost. But even more, when those tears flowed from a mother who had loved, nurtured, taught and protected her child. A mother’s tears, filled with the reality of emptiness, separation, no more tomorrows, no more celebrations, no more joys, only memories is difficult.
I am reminded of the verse from Hebrews 13:5, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” God told us that even in our darkest moments, when words fail, that His love is wrapped up in those tears. His covenant promise to always be there, despite the oceans of tears, searing heartaches and unimaginable pain is captured in His word. Embedded in this promise is the divine guarantee that His love never fails. A mother’s tears also holds this promise the blessed assurance that “Life has no sorrow that heaven cannot cure.”
I, too, was one of those mothers whose life was shattered by the lost of a child. I am also a testament to the words of Hebrews 13, wherein God kept His promise to never leave, nor forsake. As we comforted the family, particularly this mother, my (our) prayer is that as she walks through the valley; and as each daytime and nighttime tear falls, she will experience fully God’s hand loving, supporting and holding sacred every one of her precious Mother’s tears. Just as He did with me.
In memory of April Michelle Haley
“And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul.”—1 Samuel 27:1.
HE thought of David’s heart at this time was a false thought, because he certainly had no ground for thinking that God’s anointing him by Samuel was intended to be left as an empty unmeaning act. On no one occasion had the Lord deserted His servant; he had been placed in perilous positions very often, but not one instance had occurred in which divine interposition had not delivered him.
The trials to which he had been exposed had been varied; they had not assumed one form only, but many—yet in every case He who sent the trial had also graciously ordained a way of escape. David could not put his finger upon any entry in his diary, and say of it, “Here is evidence that the Lord will forsake me,” for the entire tenor of his past life proved the very reverse. He should have argued from what God had done for him, that God would be his defender still. But is it not just in the same way that we doubt God’s help? Is it not mistrust without a cause? Have we ever had the shadow of a reason to doubt our Father’s goodness? Have not His lovingkindnesses been marvellous? Has He once failed to justify our trust?
Ah, no! our God has not left us at any time. We have had dark nights, but the star of love has shone forth amid the blackness; we have been in stern conflicts, but over our head He has held aloft the shield of our defence. We have gone through many trials, but never to our detriment, always to our advantage; and the conclusion from our past experience is, that He who has been with us in six troubles, will not forsake us in the seventh. What we have known of our faithful God, proves that He will keep us to the end.
Let us not, then, reason contrary to evidence. How can we ever be so ungenerous as to doubt our God? Lord, throw down the Jezebel of our unbelief, and let the dogs devour it. C. H. Spurgeon
Our mighty God will never leave us nor forsake us. Our God is able. Remember and rejoice in His power and unfailing love. Love never fails.