July 11, Evening – Our First Duty

“Tell your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children to another generation” (Joel 1:3)

“In this simple way, by God’s grace, a living testimony for truth is always to be kept alive in the land: The beloved of the Lord are to hand down their witness for the Gospel and the covenant to their heirs, and these again to their next descendants. This is our first duty; we are to begin at the family hearth: He is a bad preacher who does not commence his ministry at home. The heathen are to be sought by all means, and the highways and hedges are to be searched, but home has a prior claim, and woe to those who reverse the order of the Lord’s arrangements.

To teach our children is a personal duty; we cannot delegate it to Sunday school teachers or other friendly helpers. These can assist us but cannot deliver us from the sacred obligation; substitutes and sponsors are wicked devices in this case: Mothers and fathers must, like Abraham, command their households in the fear of God and talk with their offspring concerning the wondrous works of the Most High.

Parental teaching is a natural duty. Who is better fitted to look after the child’s well-being than those who are the authors of his actual being? To neglect the instruction of our children is worse than brutish. Family religion is necessary for the nation, for the family itself, and for the church of God. By a thousand plots empty religion is secretly advancing in our land, and one of the most effectual means for resisting its inroads is routinely neglected—namely, the instruction of our children in the faith. It is time for parents to awaken to a sense of the importance of this matter. It is a pleasant duty to talk of Jesus to our sons and daughters, and the more so because it has often proved to be an accepted work, for God has saved the children through the parents’ prayers and admonitions. May every house into which this volume shall come honor the Lord and receive His smile.”

– Charles Spurgeon, Morning by Morning and Evening by Evening, A New Edition of the Classic Devotional Based on the ESV Bible

He Preached from the Bloody Tree

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me; because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good news” (Isaiah 61:1)

“I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent” (Luke 4:43).

“We may profitably note how earnestly our Lord kept to His work. It was His business to preach, and He did preach–He was always preaching! 

Even His miracles were sermons; they were acted discourses, full of instruction. 

All of His actions were sermons–He preached by every movement. 

He preached when He did not speak–His silence was as eloquent as His words! He preached from the bloody tree!With hands and feet fastened there, He delivered the most wonderful discourse on divine justice and on love, on divine vengeance and on grace, on death and on life, on damnation and on salvation–which was ever preached in this poor world!

Oh, yes, He preached–He was always preaching; with all His heart and soul He preached. He wept in secret, that He might the more compassionately preach the gospel which wipes men’s tears and sins away. As He walked the streets, He preached as He went along. This was His one calling; and this one calling, He pursued in the power of the eternal Spirit.

As our Lord ascended He said, ‘Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature’ (Mark 16:15). His charge in brief was–preach, preach even as I have done before you!”

Charles Spurgeon

God’s Arrows Never Miss

“God is a righteous judge–and God is angry with the wicked every day!” (Psalm 7:11)

“God not only detests sin, but is angry with those who continue to indulge in it. We have no ignorant or indifferent God to deal with; He can be angry, nay, He is angry today and everyday with you–you ungodly and impenitent sinners! The best day that ever dawns on a sinner, brings a curse with it. From the beginning of the year even to its ending, there is not an hour in which God’s oven is not hot, and burning in readiness for the wicked, who shall be as stubble before Him!”

“If he does not repent, He will sharpen His sword; He bends His bow and makes it ready!” (Psalm 7:12)

“What blows are those which will be dealt by that long-uplifted omnipotent arm! God’s sword has been sharpening upon the revolving stone of our daily wickedness, and if we will not repent, it will speedily cut us in pieces! Turn or burn is the sinner’s only alternative.” 

“He also prepares for Himself instruments of death; He makes His arrows into fiery shafts!” (Psalm 7:13)

“Even now God’s thirsty arrow longs to wet itself with the blood of the ungodly! His bow is bent, His aim is taken, His arrow is fitted to the string–and what, O sinner, if the arrow should be let fly at you even now! Remember, God’s arrows never miss the mark, and are, every one of them, ‘instruments of death.’ Judgment may tarry, but it will not come too late. The Greek proverb says, ‘The mill of God grinds slowly–but grinds to powder!’ “

– Charles Spurgeon, Treasury of David

You Never Heard An Arminian Prayer

“You have heard a great many Arminian sermons, I dare say; but you never heard an Arminian prayer–for the saints in prayer appear as one in word, and deed and mind. An Arminian on his knees would pray desperately like a Calvinist. He cannot pray about free-will–there is no room for it. Imagine him praying:

‘Lord, I thank you I am not like those poor presumptuous Calvinists. Lord, I was born with a glorious free-will; I was born with power by which I can turn to you of myself; I have improved my grace. If everybody had done the same with their grace that I have–they might all have been saved. Lord, I know You do not make us willing, if we are not willing ourselves. You give grace to everybody; some do not improve it, but I do. There are many that will go to Hell as much bought with the blood of Christ as I was; they had as much of the Holy Spirit given to them; they had as good a chance, and were as much blessed as I am. It was not Your grace that made us to differ; I know it did a great deal–still I turned the point; I made use of what was given me, and others did not–that is the difference between me and them.’

That is a prayer for the devil, for nobody else would offer such a prayer as that!”

 Charles Spurgeon, Free Will–A Slave

Happy Are They Who, In Searching the Bible, Discover Their Savior

“Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and searched the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” (Acts 17:11).

“The Greek word translated search signifies a strict, close, diligent, curious search–the kind men make when they are seeking gold, or hunters when they are in pursuit of game. We must not be content with giving a superficial glance to one or two chapters–but with the candle of the Spirit we must deliberately seek out the meaning of the Word. Holy Scripture requires searching–much of it can only be learned by careful study. There is milk for babies–but also meat for strong men. The rabbis wisely say that a mountain of matter hangs upon every word.

The person who merely skims the Book of God will not profit from it. We must dig and mine until we obtain the treasure! The door of the Word only opens to the key of diligence. The Scriptures demand to be searched. They are the writings of God, bearing the divine stamp and imprimatur–who shall dare to treat them casually? To despise them is to despise the God who wrote them. God forbid that any of us should allow our Bibles to become witnesses against us in the great day of account!

The Word of God will repay searching. God does not ask us to sift through a mountain of chaff with only here and there a grain of wheat in it–but filled with hidden treasures. Scripture grows upon the student. It is full of surprises. Under the teaching of the Holy Spirit, to the searching eye–it glows with splendor of revelation, like a vast temple paved with gold and roofed with rubies, emeralds, and all kinds of priceless gems!

Finally, the Scriptures reveal Jesus: ‘These very Scriptures testify about Me!’ (John 5:39; Luke 24:27). No more powerful motive can be urged upon Bible readers than this: He who finds Jesus finds life, Heaven, and all things. Happy are they who, in searching the Bible, discover their Savior!

– Charles Spurgeon

It Appears That Christians May Forget Christ

“Do this in remembrance of Me!” (1 Corinthians 11:24)

It appears that Christians may forget Christ! There would be no need for this loving exhortation–if there were not a fearful possibility that our memories might prove treacherous. Nor is this an empty notion. It is, sadly, too well confirmed in our experience; not as a possibility–but as a lamentable fact!

It appears almost impossible that those who have been redeemed by the blood of the dying Lamb, and loved with an everlasting love by the eternal Son of God–could forget their gracious Savior! But if startling to the ear, sadly, it is too apparent to the eye to allow us to deny the crime.

Can we forget Him–who never forgot us! Can we forget Him–who poured His blood out for our sins! Can we forget Him–who loved us even to death! Can it be possible?

Yes, it is not only possible–but conscience confesses that is is too sadly a fault with all of us. Instead of Him being a permanent resident in our memories–we treat Him as a visitor. The cross–where one would expect that memory would linger–is desecrated by the feet of forgetfulness.

Doesn’t your conscience say that this is true? Don’t you find yourselves forgetful of Jesus? Some other love steals away your heart–and you are unmindful of Him upon whom your chief affection ought to be set. Some earthly business engrosses your attention–when you ought to be fixed steadily upon the cross. It is the incessant turmoil of the world, the constant attraction of earthly things–which takes the soul away from Christ! While memory works to preserve a poisonous weed–it allows the rose of Sharon to wither!

Let us charge ourselves to tie a heavenly forget-me-not around our hearts for Jesus our Beloved, and whatever else we let slip, let us hold tight to Him!

– Charles Spurgeon

Eat Into the Very Soul of the Bible

“Your words were found, and I ate them; and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart!” (Jeremiah 15:16)

Oh, that you and I might get into the very heart of the Word of God–and get that Word into ourselves! As I have seen the silkworm eat into the leaf, and consume it–so ought we to do with the Word of the Lord–not crawl over its surface, but eat right into it until we have taken it into our inmost parts! It is idle merely to let the eye glance over the words, or to recollect the poetic expressions, or the historic facts; but it is blessed to eat into the very soul of the Bible until, at last you come to talk in Scriptural language, your very life is fashioned upon Scripture models, and, what is better still, your mind is flavored with the words of the Lord.”

Charles Spurgeon