the Second Week of Lent
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“He is altogether lovely.”
2 Corinthians 3:7-18
The apostle Paul gathers instruction from the veiled face of Moses, and presents it to us in 2 Corinthians 3:7-8.
1 Corinthians 3:8
Moses taught the letter the outward signs and details of rule and order but the gospel reveals the inner secret, the essence, the spirit of truth; surely this is more glorious than forms. Babes in knowledge may be most impressed with the glory which blazes before the eye, but men esteem most that inner light of spiritual beauty which irradiates the soul.
1 Corinthians 3:9
The law only reveals condemnation and death, how much more glorious is the gospel, which reveals righteousness and life! If the halberts and trumpets of a judge, when he opens an assize, are held in esteem, how much more the chariots of love and the banners of grace which adorn the procession of a beloved Prince!
1 Corinthians 3:10
As the moon’s light is no more bright when the sun appears, so is Moses eclipsed by our Lord.
1 Corinthians 3:11
Transient things can never, to the eyes of wisdom, shine with the same lustre as eternal realities. Sparks can never rival stars. It is the crowning excellence of the gospel that it shall never pass away. It is “the everlasting gospel”. Blessed be God for this.
Our Lord’s transfiguration was a visible token of the superior glory of the gospel, for not his face alone but his whole body glowed with a light excessive, which quite overpowered the three disciples. The glory of the gospel of grace astounds the angels, delights the perfect spirits, and deserves to be the constant theme of our reverent wonder. God in the gospel has laid open more of the glory of his nature and character than in all the world besides.
1 Corinthians 3:12-14
The glory of the gospel, in the types, was too great for the Jews, and a veil was needed; and now, alas, the glory of the unveiled truth has quite confounded them; but it is not so with us, we delight in a plain, unveiled gospel.
1 Corinthians 3:15
Or else they would clearly see Jesus revealed in their law, and would at once accept Him as Messiah. A veil over the intellect is bad, but a veil upon the heart is worst of all.
1 Corinthians 3:16
Poor Israel shall yet see her Messiah. The heart-veil shall be removed by His Spirit.
1 Corinthians 3:17
The Spirit of God forbids our standing afar off because of the terrible presence of the Lord, and gives us in lieu thereof liberty to draw near to our heavenly Father in the sweet familiarity of reverent love.
1 Corinthians 3:18
Ours it is to possess a spiritual faith which looks into the inner truth, whose brightness is too great for unregenerate eyes. The Spirit of the Lord has brought us near to God, opened our purblind eyes, and given us to see the character of the Invisible God, and to become partakers of it.
Thou glorious Bridegroom of our hearts,
Thy radiant smile a heaven imparts;
Oh lift the veil, if veil there be.
Let thy redeem’d thy beauties see.
Then on our faces shall the sight
Kindle a blaze of holy light,
And men with awe-struck wonder see
The glory we derive from thee.
“Ye are Christ’s.”
Exodus 35:4 , Exodus 35:5 , Exodus 35:20-29
The Lord loveth a cheerful giver. His revenues are his due, yet they are not levied as a tax, but given spontaneously by willing minds. Every Israelite should be a giver, for he is a receiver.
They went off at once to fetch their offering; promptness is a sign of willingness.
Some there were who loved their gold better than their God, but the majority were free hearted, and gave not of constraint but joyfully.
This is a good example. If Christian women would cast their ornaments into God’s treasury, and if godly men would present their superfluity of gold, there would be enough and to spare.
The gifts varied in value but not in acceptance; where they were willingly given they were graciously accepted.
Exodus 35:25 , Exodus 35:26
Work is as good as material. The women worked with their best skill. When the needle is used for the Lord it ought to be the best needlework in the world.
Shall we allow those who were under the law to outstrip us who are under the gospel? Nay, rather let us far exceed them in gifts unto the Lord our God.
Paul gives admirable directions for contributing to the cause of God in
2 Corinthians 9:6-8
2 Corinthians 9:6
Both in temporals and spirituals men will find that this rule holds good. Those who stint the Lord stint themselves. Little give, little have.
2 Corinthians 9:8
Notice the many “alls” here, may we have them all, and then abound in giving.
1 Corinthians 16:2
1 Corinthians 16:2
This is the true Christian custom to lay by the Lord’s portion weekly and then give from the Lord’s purse to the various works which need our help. From the oldest to the youngest let us all be cheerful givers.
The mite my willing hands can give,
At Jesus’ feet I lay;
Grace shall the humble gift receive,
And heaven at last repay.
Ne’er shall thy service stand in need
While substance, Lord, is mine;
To give to thee is bliss indeed,
For all I have is thine.