A Few Reflections for Reformation Sunday

These wonderful reflections below come from reading and reflecting upon Romans 8.

Christians are not guaranteed immunity to temptation, tribulation or tragedy, but we are promised victory over them. God’s pledge is not that suffering will never afflict us, but that it will never separate us from His love…Our confidence is not in our love for him, which is frail, fickle, and faltering, but in his love for us, which is steadfast, faithful and persevering. The doctrine of ‘the perseverance of the saints needs to be renamed. It is the doctrine of the perseverance of God with the saints.                                – John Stott

The apostle begins with no condemnation and ends with no separation, filling up the space between with priceless covenant blessings. No chapter in the Bible is more crowded with sublime and consoling teaching. Lord, grant us to know and enjoy all the inestimable privileges which it reveals.
Charles Spurgeon

If God, the God of spotless purity and perfect righteousness, justifies me, ‘who is he that condemns?’ Sin may condemn, but it is God that justifies! The law may alarm, but it is God that justifies! Satan may accuse, but it is God that justifies! Death may terrify, but it is God that justifies! ‘If GOD is for us, who can be against us?’ Who will dare condemn the soul whom He justifies?
Octavius Winslow

Have You Any Sickness in Your Family?

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 Savior 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.
– Spurgeon

Come Holy Spirit – A Prayer

O Holy Spirit, as sacred oil, anoint us and
Set us apart to the priesthood of all believers.
As the only truly purifying water, cleanse us from the power of sin
And set us apart to live godly lives,
Working in us to will and to do the Lord’s good pleasure.
As the light, reveal to us our lost estate,
As well as the Lord Jesus to us and in us,
And guide us in the way of righteousness.
As fire, both purge us from dross, and set our hearts ablaze for You.
As heavenly dew, remove our barrenness and fertilize our lives.
As the dove, with wings of peaceful love,
Brood over Christ’s church and over our souls.
As the comforter, dispel the cares and doubts which mar our peace
And bear witness to our sonship by working in us
A filial spirit by which we cry Abba, Father.
As the wind, bring the breath of life to us; blowing us into your safe harbor.

For we pray in the name of our beloved Savior on whom You continue to shine the spotlight! AMEN.
— Adapted from Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening

Walking a Difficult Road with Jesus

You have a difficult road before you:

O traveller to heaven, see that you go not without your guide.
You have to pass through the fiery furnace;
enter it not unless, like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego,
you have the Son of God to be your companion.
You have to storm the Jericho of your own corruptions:
attempt not the warfare until, like Joshua,
you have seen the Captain of the Lord’s host,
with His sword drawn in His hand.
You are to meet the Esau of your many temptations:
meet him not until at Jabbok’s brook you have laid hold upon the angel, and prevailed.

In every case, in every condition, you will need Jesus;
but most of all, when the iron gates of death shall open to you.
Keep close to your soul’s Husband,
lean your head upon His bosom,
ask to be refreshed with the spiced wine of His pomegranate,
and you shall be found of Him at the last,
without spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing.
Seeing you have lived with Him, and lived in Him here,
you shall abide with Him forever.

– Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Morning & Evening

The Cross Overcomes All the Enemies of Joy

“Here in the cross is where every enemy of joy is overcome:

  • Divine wrath, as he becomes a curse for us;
  • Real guilt, as he becomes forgiveness for us;
  • Lawbreaking, as he becomes righteousness for us;
  • Estrangement from God, as he becomes reconciliation for us;
  • Slavery to Satan, as he becomes redemption for us;
  • Bondage to sin, as he becomes liberation for us;
  • Pangs of conscience, as he becomes cleansing for us;
  • Death, as he becomes the resurrection for us;
  • Hell, as he becomes eternal life for us.”

C.H. Spurgeon

Reflections on Psalm 23

“I shall not want” is the theme of Ps. 23. I shall not lack for: rest and refreshment (v. 2), restoration and righteousness (v. 3), protection in trouble (v. 4), provision in the wilderness (v. 5), and a home to go to at the end of the days (v. 6).

More is implied than is expressed, not only, I shall not want, but, I shall be supplied, in my earthly pilgrimage, with all that I need; and, if I have not everything I desire, I may conclude it is either not fit for me or not good for me or I shall have it in due time.
– Adapted from Matthew Henry

The position of Psalm 23 is worthy of notice. It follows the twenty-second, which is peculiarly the Psalm of the Cross. There are no green pastures, no still waters without a God-forsaken, crucified Messiah. It is only after we have read, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” that we come to “The Lord is my Shepherd.” We must by experience know our need of Jesus’ shed blood, and see the sword awakened against the Shepherd, before we shall be able truly to know the sweetness of our good Shepherd’s care.
– Adapted from Charles Spurgeon

The Difference Between King Ozymandias and King Jesus

Percy Shelley wrote one of his famous sonnets in the early 1800s entitled: “Ozymandias.” It concludes like this:

“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
           

In contrast, King Jesus comes to us today and says: “My name is Jesus Christ, the King of kings. Look on my work, my children, and rejoice.

Because of my work, every enemy of your eternal joy has been overcome:

Divine wrath, since I became a curse for you;

Real guilt, since I became forgiveness for you;

Rejection since I have gained your acceptance with God;

Slavery to sin, since I have achieved your redemption;

Death, since I am the resurrection;

Hell, since I have given you eternal life through my cross.