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Monday, October 2nd, 2023
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
Devotional: September 20th

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“Strive to enter in at the strait gate.”

Luke 13:23-35

Luke 13:23 , Luke 13:24

A question which has been asked many times since. If a book could be published by authority detailing the number of the saved, many would hasten to read it. It would be far more wise to ask, “Shall I be saved?” We may get a clear answer to that personal inquiry, but upon the larger question we are not yet in possession of more than clouded light. “If but three persons are to be saved, why should not I be one of them?” was a sensible remark we once heard from an earnest seeker.

Luke 13:23 , Luke 13:24

Now is the accepted time, but ere long the day of grace and of this mortal life will end, and then it will be too late to seek for mercy.

Luke 13:25 , Luke 13:26

No doubt many rely upon the means of grace and participation in the sacraments; their confidence will utterly fail them at the last.

Luke 13:27 , Luke 13:28

Pushed out with indignation, because the gospel was rejected by them. It will be a great loss to lose the company of prophets and saints for ever.

Luke 13:29

It will very much aggravate the sorrows of the lost to. see so many saved whose prospects did not appear to be one half so hopeful as their own.

Luke 13:32 , Luke 13:33

He called Herod a fox because that crafty person was trying to frighten him out of his dominions by employing the Pharisees to alarm him with fear of death. Jesus, as Lord over all kings, had a right thus to describe the cunning monarch whose character was exactly that of the scheming, artful fox. Jesus defied his threats, and went on with his holy mission.

Luke 13:35

Wonderful sight! The Son of God in tears! He could not think of the ruin of men without deep sympathy, nor should we. We must not allow our hearts to become unfeeling in this matter, or we shall be very unlike our Lord and Master.

Did Christ o’er sinners weep,

And shall our cheeks be dry?

Let floods of penitential grief

Burst forth from every eye.

The Son of God in tears,

Angels with wonder see!

Be thou astonish’d, O my soul,

He shed those tears for thee.

He wept that we might weep;

Each sin demands a tear;

In heaven alone no sin is found,

And there’s no weeping there.


“All things are now ready.”

Luke 14:1 , Luke 14:7-24

Luke 14:1

It must have been a great vexation to the open-hearted Saviour to be thus perpetually surrounded by spies. None but he would have endured it with so much meekness. Instead of being distracted by their mean enmity, he calmly sought the good of the guests around him.

Luke 14:11

The parable is self-evident common sense, and the lesson from it is most important spiritual truth. Let us not lose its practical teaching.

Luke 14:14

We give to the rich, and think it a pleasure to do them service; and yet, they do not need it. Who would refuse anything to the queen? Yet the poor are not so welcome. Is this right?

Luke 14:15-18

Why not go to see the ground at another time? Had he bought it without seeing it?

Luke 14:19

Did he mean to plough at night? These bad excuses were worse than none.

Luke 14:20

Why not bring his wife with him? This was a pretence too flimsy to conceal his unfriendly feeling to the giver of the feast.

Luke 14:21

The anger of our Lord against some brought good to others. If those first bidden will not come to the feast, we Gentile sinners are enabled to fill the vacant room.

Luke 14:24

If mercy be refused by us now, we shall be refused mercy ere long. The Lord is very patient; but he will not always bear to have his love despised. May none of us delay accepting the gospel call, lest the Lord should declare that we shall not taste of his supper.

“All things are ready,” Come,

Come to the supper spread;

Come rich and poor, come old and young,

Come, and be richly fed.

“All things are ready,” Come,

The invitation’s given,

Through him who now in glory sits

At God’s right hand in heaven.

“All things are ready,” Come,

The door is open wide;

Oh feast upon the love of God,

For Christ, his Son, has died.

Oh that I could for ever sit

With Mary at the Master’s feet;

Be this my happy choice:

My only care, delight, and bliss,

My joy, my heaven on earth, be this,

To hear the Bridegroom’s voice.

God only knows the love of God:

Oh that it now were shed abroad

In this poor stony heart:

For love I sigh, for love I pine:

This only portion, Lord be mine,

Be mine this better part.

To wash the hands or bow the knee

While all is foul within,

Is but a base hypocrisy,

And addeth sin to sin.

Lord, search my heart and try my ways

And make my soul sincere;

Then shall I stand before thy face,

And find acceptance there.

Is there a thing beneath the sun

That strives with thee my heart to share?

Ah, tear it thence, and reign alone,

The Lord of every motion there!

Then shall my heart from earth be free,

When it hath found repose in thee.

Each moment draw from earth away

My heart, that lowly waits thy call;

Speak to my inmost soul, and say,

“I am thy Love, thy God, thy All!”

To feel thy power, to hear thy voice,

To taste thy love, be all my choice.

Lord, teach our sympathising breasts

That sacred joy to know,

Which lies in sharing others’ joys,

And cheering others’ woe.

To homes of want, and beds of pain,

We cheerfully repair;

And with the gift thy hand bestows,

Relieve the mourner’s care.

The widow’s heart shall sing for joy,

The orphan’s tongue shall sing;

And thus to thee our loving Lord,

We will new glory bring.

He comes with sudden stroke to smite

The busy sons of men;

He cometh as a thief at night,

But no man knoweth when.

Watch, therefore, since you cannot tell

Th’ appointed hour nor day;

Watch, that he find you girded well,

Watch, ye, I say, and pray.

Ask not for self a crown,

Let all ambition die;

Remember how thy Lord came down

And laid his glories by.

Drink thou with him the cup,

With him the baptism share;

Be this thy truest lifting up

Like to thy Lord to fare.

Jesus! Master! hear my cry;

Save me, heal me with a word;

Fainting at thy feet I lie;

Thou my whispered plaint hast heard.

Jesus! Master! mercy show;

Thou art passing near my soul;

Thou my inward grief dost know,

Thou alone canst make me whole.

Jesus! Master! as of yore

Thou didst bid the blind man see,

Light upon my spirit pour;

Jesus! Master! heal thou me.

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