the Second Week of Lent
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“Occupy till I come.”
He would turn their thoughts away from the thrones and glories, which they fondly expected, to the service and duty which really lay before them.
Luke 19:12 , Luke 19:13
Use my money in trade till I return.
Great grace is modest. He did not say I have gained ten pounds, but thy pound hath gained it. Good men say as Paul did, “I laboured, yet not I, but the grace of God which was in me.”
Those who are alike faithful may not be all equally successful; there is a sovereignty in the results of service as well as in the gifts of grace. Yet all faithful servants are acceptable to their Master.
Luke 19:22 , Luke 19:23
with usury or interest.
He met him on his own ground, and condemned him out of his own mouth. The character of the master is no rule for the servant, he was bound to do his lord’s will, and if he knew that lord to be severe, this should have quickened him into greater diligence.
It is always so; the gracious and faithful man obtains more grace and more means of usefulness, while the unfaithful man sinks lower and lower, and grows worse and worse. We must either make progress or else lose what we have attained. There is no such thing as standing still in religion.
Will there be one of this dear family among those unhappy rebels who will miserably perish? O Lord, forbid it!
There is an hour when I must stand
Before the judgment seat;
And all my sins, and all my crimes,
In awful vision meet.
There is an hour, when I must look
On one eternity;
And nameless woe, or blissful life,
My endless portion be.
O Saviour, then, in all my need
Be near, be near to me;
And let my soul, by steadfast faith,
Find life and heaven in thee.
“She loved much.”
Our Lord never seems more lovely than when reposing in the delightful family circle of Bethany. We there see his gentle heart unveiled amid domestic joys and sorrows, and we perceive how near akin he is to us, how much at home with us, and how able to bless us. Jesus in the heart and Jesus in the house make up heaven below.
Christ had once reproved Martha for being cumbered about much serving, but we find her serving still; she had not taken it amiss, and peevishly forsaken her post of duty, as some would have done; she loved her Lord too well for that. This time she served within hearing of the Lord’s gracious words, and served without complaining, or exhibiting over-anxiety. It is well when good people grow better. As for Lazarus, he was highly favoured, and yet his lot was only such as the Lord gives to all whom he quickens, for those who are made alive by him are made to sit together with him.
This was her grand testimonial of love. She thought nothing too good for her Lord. The expense was nothing in her esteem; she brought him the best she had, for her love was generous. She poured out the precious ointment with her own hands, for she desired to render him personal service, and she poured it not on his head but on his feet, to show both her own deep humility and her Lord’s superlative worth. There was also in her loving act an intelligent faith, which recognised his office as Priest and King, and treated him as the anointed of the Lord. Her loving lowliness in wiping his feet with her hair, set forth her entire devotion to his service. Enlightened affection suggested the whole deed, and we shall do well to imitate her therein, by giving our best treasure, and our most intense personal service without stint to him who has redeemed us with his blood.
Here was a devil condemning a saint, and charity to the poor made into an argument against an act of piety. Many in these days argue in the same manner if a liberal heart gives largely to the cause of Christ. To their question, “Why was not this money given to the poor?” we reply, Because it was better still to give it to Jesus.
Her act had gone beyond her own intention. Christ places his peoples actions in the best possible light.
We can always give to the poor, for as long as the church lasts there will be such; but Jesus in his flesh was only once on earth, and it was meet that he should have honour done him by those who loved him.
John 12:10 , John 12:11
This was concentrated wickedness. Did they hope to baffle Omnipotence itself? Were they so enraged at the Lord’s success as even to defy the life-giving God? To what extremities of sin will men go!
Though all the world my choice deride,
Yet Jesus shall my portion be;
For I am pleased with none beside;
The fairest of the fair is he.
Sweet is the vision of thy face,
And kindness o’er thy lips is shed;
Lovely art thou, and full of grace,
And glory beams around thy head.
Thy sufferings I embrace with thee,
Thy poverty and shameful cross;
The pleasures of the world I flee,
And deem its treasures only dross.
Be daily dearer to my heart,
And ever let me feel thee near;
Then willingly with all I’d part,
Nor count it worthy of a tear.