the First Week of Advent
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“Preach the gospel to every creature.”
Matthew 9:27-33 , Matthew 9:35-38
Dr. Adam Clarke has well said, “That man has already a measure of heavenly light who knows that he has no merit; that his cry should be a cry for mercy; that he must be fervent, and that, in praying, he must follow Jesus Christ as the true Messiah the son of David expected from heaven.”
They had been earnestly bidden not to do so, and therefore they were blameworthy. Our case is exactly the reverse, for if we do not bear testimony to the power of divine grace in our souls we shall be greatly guilty.
Diligent effort to do good was our Lord’s best reply to carping enemies. Imitate him.
Mark 9:37 , Mark 9:38
A prayer very seldom offered, and therefore real labourers for God are so few. It ought to be our daily petition. Our Lord used the fit means to answer his own prayer.
They were not to provide for themselves, others supply their needs. God’s servants are to be supported by those among whom they labour.
So doth the Lord set most solemn sanctions upon the preaching of the gospel, that none may dare to despise it. Have we received the glad tidings, or shall we die in our sins? These questions need to be pressed home, and answered prayerfully.
“Fear not them which kill the body.”
We will continue reading our Lord’s address to those whom he sent forth to preach the gospel.
Peculiar qualities are needed for a life involving undeserved suffering. We need the prudence which prevents others from wronging us, as well as the gentleness which does no wrong to others.
Though ignorant of this world’s wisdom they were not to be anxious as to how they should reply to their learned accusers: the gospel is its own defence, and the Spirit the best pleader.
Our business is to publish the gospel, whether we suffer for it or not. To suppress our testimony would be deadly sin.
The care of our heavenly Father is so minute that we ought to dismiss for ever all our fears. If he takes care of us even down to the hairs of our head, we are secure indeed.
The ultimate end of the gospel will be peace, but before it reaches that there must be a struggle. Carnal men will oppose the truth, and hence a warfare will arise.
Some have refused to burn at the stake, and have been burned in their own beds; and many more have dreaded the pains of persecution, and so have plunged into the flames of hell by apostacy.
Should persecution rage and flame,
Still trust in thy Redeemer’s name;
In fiery trials thou shalt see
That, “as thy days, thy strength shall be.”
When call’d to bear the weighty cross,
Of sore affliction, pain, or loss,
Or deep distress, or poverty,
Still, “as thy days, thy strength shall be.”