Consider helping today!
Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
Devotional: September 23rd
“Fret not thyself because of evil doers.”
Our present reading opens up to a terrible view of the state of the ungodly in the world to come, when all their earthly riches will be taken from them, and their guilty souls will be driven from the presence of the Lord.
He was a worldling in a choice position. The world does not always yield its servants such present comforts and enjoyments, for even the ungodly are often poor and sick. This man thought himself fortunes favourite, and he cared nothing for the favour of God. He was rich, and showed it in his clothing and his feeding. Self-indulgence and earthly honour were the gods which he worshipped every day. Many envied him, but could they have known his latter end, they would have pitied him.
Luke 16:20 , Luke 16:21
They were more pitiful than their master, and lent the moisture of their tongues where he refused his aid. Here was a saint at his worst, and yet it went well with him.
With gilded hearse, and plumes, and pall, and marble tomb, perhaps; but what of that?
This makes hell the more unbearable, that the lost can behold the bliss of the blessed.
Into what a case had he now come! His rare wines were far away, and even a drop of water was prayed for as a luxury. How sad to be rich here, and to be lost hereafter!
Luke 16:25 , Luke 16:26
The division is eternal. Once saved for ever saved: once lost for ever lost. The partings of the judgment are final: saint and sinner will never meet again when once their dooms are fixed.
Luke 16:27 , Luke 16:28
Their coming into hell would increase his wretchedness; their upbraidings would flog his conscience and increase his woe. It was not that he had any spiritual love for their souls, but he had love for himself, and did not wish to hear their reproaches.
If the Word of God and the ministry of the gospel be not enough to convert men, there is no hope for them; even a preacher sent from the eternal world would have no power over them, they would scorn his message. Are any of us unsaved? Let us see our condition, and yield to the gospel’s call. However happy our life may be in this world, it were better for us that we had never been born than that we should live and die unsaved. O Eternity, Eternity! what must it be to lose thy heavenly joys! What must it be to sink into thine infinite woes!
Ah! who can speak the vast dismay
Which fills the sinner’s mind,
When torn by death’s strong hand away,
He leaves his all behind.
Wretches who cleave to earthly things,
But are not rich to God,
Their dying hour is full of stings,
And hell their dark abode.
“Forget not all His benefits.”
We are not to pretend to do so, but to do it really and from our hearts. Though the provocation may be cruel and frequently repeated, still we are to meet it with love, and thus overcome evil with good. Is not this a hard task? The apostles evidently thought it so difficult that they placed it out of the region of common actions, and regarded it as a marvel which only great faith could perform.
They felt that to forgive as their Lord bade them needed mighty faith; and Jesus, pleased with their prayer, explained to them that faith would enable them to work both this and other spiritual wonders.
To remove a tree from the earth and plant it in the unstable ocean would not be so great a marvel as to transplant the forgiving nature of the Lord Jesus and make it flourish in our hearts: yet faith can achieve the miracle. Lord, work this in each of us.
Luke 17:7 , Luke 17:8
This is the season for service, and if grace enables us to be zealous and diligent, we are only acting as our position requires. To wish the Lord to give us honour and ease in this life, is as unreasonable as if a servant should expect his master to wait upon him.
Luke 17:9 , Luke 17:10
Boasting is excluded. If we have reached the highest degree of holiness, we are no better than we should be.
It is a good rule never to expect gratitude from any one, for it is a rare thing in the earth; and when we do receive it, it generally comes from those of whom we least expected it. Let us not ourselves forget to show our thankfulness to God for mercies received, for although gratitude to the Lord may not be in itself a sufficient sign of grace, yet its absence is a sure token of an unrenewed heart. In the case before us the thankful Samaritan was the only one of the ten who had true faith, and therefore he received the Saviour’s blessing.
Ten lepers felt the Saviour’s power
And straightway were restored,
But only one of ten returned
To bless the healing Lord.
So all among the sons of men,
His bounteous gifts obtain,
But few return with thankful love
To bless the Lord again.
Lord, let me not ungrateful prove,
For this were deepest shame,
But teach me how with all my heart
To magnify thy name.
the Sixth Week after Easter
Receive the newest devotional each week in your inbox by joining the "Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"" subscription list. Enter your email address below, click "Go!" and we will send you a confirmation email. Follow the instructions in the email to confirm your addition to this list.