Everlasting Strength


How can I make this small?

“They go from strength to strength.”

—Psalm 84:7

They go from strength to strength. There are various renderings of these words, but all of them contain the idea of progress.

Our own good translation of the authorized version is enough for us this morning. “They go from strength to strength.” That is, they grow stronger and stronger. Usually, if we are walking, we go from strength to weakness; we start fresh and in good order for our journey, but by-and-by the road is rough, and the sun is hot, we sit down by the wayside, and then again painfully pursue our weary way. But the Christian pilgrim having obtained fresh supplies of grace, is as vigorous after years of toilsome travel and struggle as when he first set out. He may not be quite so elate and buoyant, nor perhaps quite so hot and hasty in his zeal as he once was, but he is much stronger in all that constitutes real power, and travels, if more slowly, far more surely. Some gray-haired veterans have been as firm in their grasp of truth, and as zealous in diffusing it, as they were in their younger days; but, alas, it must be confessed it is often otherwise, for the love of many waxes cold and iniquity abounds, but this is their own sin and not the fault of the promise which still holds good: “The youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint.” Fretful spirits sit down and trouble themselves about the future. “Alas!” say they, “we go from affliction to affliction.” Very true, O thou of little faith, but then thou goest from strength to strength also. Thou shalt never find a bundle of affliction which has not bound up in the midst of it sufficient grace. God will give the strength of ripe manhood with the burden allotted to full-grown shoulders.

(Charles Spurgeon, “Morning and Evening”)

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Stiff Necked Children


You ask. You suggest. You try to reason. No success. But the matter is urgent and learning is not up for debate.

The mind is not willing. The heart is not open to correction. The child has decided to disobey.

So out of kindness, you decide to push the back of his head to make him move (any obedience is better than none). He hardens his neck against your hand, pushing his body against your will.

For the moment, he becomes a stiff necked child.

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I admit to the Lord that I am useless without his will in my heart. I ask for his leadership. Then, when a moment comes to do what is right I choose my own direction. Without saying a word I become a stiff necked child.

What is the meaning of Grace?

Stay with apathy. Stay with superstition. Stay with your own brand of religious ideals. Laugh at what is Holy. Mock sincerity. Consider godly righteousness as a myth. Leave the Bible in the room of “ignoring”. Be critical of those who try to obey. Receive gossip about Christians and pass it on with a joyous mouth.

What does stiff necked mean?

Who are we that God should even care about us, a stiff necked brood of snakes? Yet he suffered among us the most brutal life and death to redeem us as his.

Give the gospel another opportunity.

Dreamers


They gave themselves to the reading of the word and to prayer. The result?

Thousands were saved in Christ. The power of God moved among the people with unprecedented strength. A Legacy was built for billions.

We have one life to live. What will be said of us when we are ushered into his holy kingdom?

“One good deed is more worth than a thousand brilliant theories. Let us not wait for large opportunities, or for a different kind of work, but do just the things we ‘find to do’ day by day. We have no other time in which to live. The past is gone; the future has not arrived; we never shall have any time but time present. Then do not wait until your experience has ripened into maturity before you attempt to serve God. Endeavour now to bring forth fruit.” (Charles Spurgeon)

Dare not just dream. Become. The thief does not steal your life. He steals your seconds.

Slow Dance with a Dead Body


It’s a really weird title, isn’t it. It draws a mental picture that probably shouldn’t be in our head. But think about the following.

Don’t we get kind of miffed if when we talk to someone they absolutely ignore us? And what if someone came to you like this: looking at the ground they mutter your name numerous times, appeal to you to listen to them, then repeat those two actions 20 times. At some point you just give up listening, turn away, and leave them as they are. It’s not that you despise them, you despise what they’re doing.

Do you think the Lord Jesus is different then we are about this? Effective prayer is real conversation. Ritualistic words are pretty much useless. Either he is our friend or he is just God.

The Great Apathy


Reflecting on the Great Flood, Charles Spurgeon says this:

“How marvellous the general apathy! They were all eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, till the awful morning dawned.”

Of any moment, place or identity of Man is just this way. What meager number of this day will refuse to be one of the apathetic? God will know who they are. We all either know or can guess the rest of the story.

Golden Silence?


Every day more babies are born. Every day more children come of age to understand the complicated things of life. Every day adults are faced with their own unrighteous inadequacy before God. Every day there are people who have struggled to grasp the gospel and are losing their faith little by little because no one comes along to encourage them. Every day senior citizens reach the precipice of death, never having understood the gospel of Christ. Every day dirt covers the body of errant souls who have gone to the judgment without any shield. Considering all that, when is it OK for a Christian to stop speaking about their life in Christ?

Isn’t it a little bit like secretly nibbling from your vast resource of food in a famine struck land? While the others waste away from malnutrition you appear to be a miracle among them. All the while, the Christian knows the secret of life.

The really sad thing is that simple fear of embarrassment is what is causing so much death. If we yearn to be like Christ let us remember this: he did not fail to open his mouth.