Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I needed this today.

Following is an excerpt from C.H. Spurgeon's devotional "Morning and Evening." Evening, January 5 (the context is Genesis 1:4, and a discussion of God seeing the light in a physical and spiritual sense):

If the Lord has given you light, dear reader, He looks on that light with peculiar interest; for not only is it dear to Him as His own handiwork, but because it is like Himself, for He is light. Pleasant it is to the believer to know that God's eye is thus tenderly observant of that work of grace which He has begun. He never loses sight of the treasure which He has placed in our earthen vessels. Sometimes we cannot see the light, but God always sees the light, and that is much better than our seeing it. Better for the judge to see my innocence than for me to think I see it. It is very comfortable for me to know that I am one of God's people - but whether I know it or not, if the Lord knows it, I am still safe. This is the foundation, 'The Lord knoweth them that are His'. You may be sighing and groaning because of inbred sin, and mourning over your darkness, yet the Lord sees 'light' in your heart, for He has put it there, and all the cloudiness and gloom of your soul cannot conceal your light from His gracious eye. You may have sunk low in despondency, and even despair; but if your soul has any longing towards Christ, and if you are seeking to rest in His finished work, God sees the 'light'. He not only sees it, but He also preserves it in you. 'I, the Lord, do keep it.' This is a precious thought to those who, after anxious watching and guarding of themselves, feel their own powerlessness to do so.

Friday, November 13, 2009


My Lord, I have no hope but in Your Cross. You, by Your humility, sufferings and death, have delivered me from all vain hope. You have killed the vanity of the present life in Yourself and have given me all that is eternal in rising from the dead.

My hope is in what the eye has never seen. Therefore let me not trust in visible rewards. My hope is in what the human heart cannot feel. Therefore let me not trust in the feelings of my heart. My hope is in what the hand has never touched. Do not let me trust what I can grasp between my fingers, because Death will loosen my grasp and my vain hope will be gone.

Let my trust be in Your mercy, not in myself. Let my hope be in Your love, not in health or strength or ability or human resources.

If I trust You, everything else will become for me strength, health and support. Everything will bring me to heaven. If I do not trust You, everything will be my destruction.

-Thomas Merton

Merton has the rare ability to verbally capture the essence of the Christian's struggle through a life of faith. Some thoughts and feelings are difficult to describe. But time after time I find that the written portrayal of his heart's longings echoes how I think and feel, but have not been able to express. Reading his entries is like becoming acquainted with myself. If you've never read any of his works, I would highly encourage you to do so (thanks, Laura for the recommendation!).

This particular passage is not the most deep or provocative of his works, but the last line caught my attention because of some thoughts that have nagged me for a few weeks now. My life is full of things: things to do, things not to do, things to take care of, things to have, things to be, things to think about, things to eat, etc. Are those things my life, or are they supports and strength for my life? In other words, do the things that fill my time and use my energy do so to such an extent that they become the definition of life for me? If so, then they are destruction for me, even if they are good things. What is my life, really? I hope that it is to trust in Jesus, and to walk by the Spirit. Then all of these "things" can enhance that life that I have in Christ. I don't want to get it backwards. I don't want Jesus to be another "thing" in my life. I want my life to be Him.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Be Not Conformed

O professor [of Christianity], too little separated from sinners, you know not what you lose by your conformity to the world. It cuts the tendons of your strength, and makes you creep where you ought to run. Then, for your own comfort's sake, and for the sake of your growth in grace, if you be a Christian, be a Christian, and be a marked and distinct one.
-C.H. Spurgeon

Monday, October 12, 2009

Perseveringly Depend

An excerpt from C.H. Spurgeon's Morning and Evening; evening October 9:

...[A]lthough it is true that faith brings peace, yet it does not always bring it instantaneously. There may be certain reasons calling for the trial of faith, rather than the reward of faith. Genuine faith may be in the soul like a hidden seed, but as yet it may not have budded and blossomed into joy and peace. A painful silence from the Saviour is the grievous trial of many a seeking soul, but heavier still is the affliction of a harsh cutting reply such as this, 'It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs'. Many in waiting upon the Lord find immediate delight, but this is not the case with all. Some, like the jailer, are in a moment turned from darkness to light, but others are plants of slower growth. A deeper sense of sin may be given to you instead of a sense of pardon, and in such a case you will have need of patience to bear the heavy blow. Ah! poor heart, though Christ beat and bruise thee, or even slay thee, trust Him; though He should give thee an angry word, believe in the love of His heart. Do not, I beseech thee, give up seeking or trusting my master, because thou hast not yet obtained the conscious joy which thou longest for. Cast thyself on Him, and perseveringly depend even where thou canst not rejoicingly hope.