Sunday, September 28, 2008
Saturday, September 20, 2008
"...we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God." Acts 14:22
"No man can be wholly the Lord's unless he is wholly consecrated to the Lord; and no man can know whether he is thus wholly consecrated except by tribulation. That is the test. To rejoice in God's will, when that will imparts nothing but happiness, is easy even for the natural man. But no one but the renovated man can rejoice in the Divine will when it crosses his path, disappoints his expectations, and overwhelms him with sorrow. Trial therefore, instead of being shunned, should be welcomed as the test - and the only true test - of a true saint. Beloved souls, there are consolations which pass away, but true and abiding consolations ye will not find except in entire abandonment, and in that love which loves the Cross. He who does not welcome the Cross does not welcome God."
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Sunday, September 07, 2008
Thursday, September 04, 2008
Having a few "spare" minutes this afternoon, I tackled my e-mail inbox. That job is oftentimes no small feat, mind you! Buried amidst the newest notes from friends, facebook gifts, mission updates, and pictures, there was a gem from Spurgeon forwarded by a dear friend. Take the time to wade through the older writing style, and stand in awe, as I did, at the overwhelming greatness of our God! Draw your mind to the awesomeness of redemption, and though you may be walking through a dark valley, there is reason to rejoice!!
"Sing, O Barren"
Though we have brought forth some fruit unto Christ, and have a joyful hope that we are "plants of his own right hand planting," yet there are times when we feel very barren.
Prayer is lifeless, love is cold, faith is weak, each grace in the garden of our heart languishes and droops. We are like flowers in the hot sun, requiring the refreshing shower. In such a condition what are we to do? The text is addressed to us in just such a state. "Sing, O barren, break forth and cry aloud."
But what can I sing about? I cannot talk about the present, and even the past looks full of barrenness. Ah! I can sing of Jesus Christ. I can talk of visits which the Redeemer has aforetimes paid to me; or if not of these, I can magnify the great love wherewith he loved his people when he came from the heights of heaven for their redemption. I will go to the cross again.
Come, my soul, heavy laden thou wast once, and thou didst lose thy burden there. Go to Calvary again. Perhaps that very cross which gave thee life may give thee fruitfulness.
What is my barrenness? It is the platform for his fruit-creating power. What is my desolation? It is the black setting for the sapphire of his everlasting love. I will go in poverty, I will go in helplessness, I will go in all my shame and backsliding, I will tell him that I am still his child, and in confidence in His faithful heart, even I, the barren one, will sing and cry aloud.
Sing, believer, for it will cheer thine own heart, and the hearts of other desolate ones. Sing on, for now that thou art really ashamed of being barren, thou wilt be fruitful soon; now that God makes thee loath to be without fruit he will soon cover thee with clusters. The experience of our barrenness is painful, but the Lord's visitations are delightful. A sense of our own poverty drives us to Christ, and that is where we need to be, for in him is our fruit found.