the First Week of Advent
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“The Lord of those servants cometh and reckoneth with them.”
Still further to warn us of his coming, our Lord delivered the parable of the talents.
We have all some talent. It may be only one, but, we are responsible for it. Are we acting up to the measure of our ability? Many wish they had more talents, but this is wrong, for the Lord has entrusted us with quite as many gifts as we shall be able to give a good account of. Our great concern should be to be found faithful stewards of such things as we have.
He probably thought that as he could not do much he would not do anything, and there are thousands of his opinion; they fancy that their little is not needed and will never be missed, and therefore they make no attempt to serve their Lord. Are we of that kind?
Matthew 25:24 , Matthew 25:25
Deep down in all unregenerate hearts there lurks the idea that God is too severe upon poor erring mortals, expecting more of them than is reasonable. Yet, if they think so they ought to be roused to greater carefulness to render to the Lord full obedience; their knowledge of what the Lord demands will make their disobedience the more criminal.
usury or interest
He was not rebellious, but only unprofitable, and that condemned him. How does this solemn truth bear upon us? Let us search and see.
Make haste, O man, to live,
For thou so soon must die;
Time hurries past thee like the breeze;
How swift its moments fly!
Make haste, O man, to live,
Thy time is almost o’er;
Oh, sleep not, dream not, but arise;
The Judge is at the door!
“Let Thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us.”
May our hearts be earnestly attentive while we read our Lord’s own account of the Day of Judgment.
Here we are mixed together, but the keen eye of the Great Shepherd will detect our real characters and place us in one or other of the two flocks into which all mankind will be divided. There will be no middle company, we shall be placed either with saints or sinners in that day. To which do we now belong?
All these are deeds of love; not one of them consists of words, or ceremonial acts. The truest worship of God is charily to the needy: does not the apostle James say, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction and to keep himself unspotted from the world.”
They were modest, and had never set so high a value upon their own virtues as to have seen that excellence in them which the Judge had long ago discovered, and which he now declares publicly before men and angels. They had only been kind to poor and afflicted men and women, and were surprised to hear that the Lord regarded their actions as rendered to himself.
How this ennobles charity! “He that giveth to the poor lendeth unto the Lord.” Who would not show kindness to his Redeemer?
They were not condemned for what they had done amiss, but for what they had not done. Sins of omission are glaring evidences of want of grace, especially the omission of those duties which common humanity requires of us.
They were self-righteous and had no eye to see their faults. Fain would they have justified themselves. Those who deny their sins may be sure that they are of the goats.
Matthew 25:45 , Matthew 25:46
There is no temporary punishment any more than temporary reward. As sure as heaven is everlasting, so also is hell. Flee, O flee from the wrath to come.
Thou Judge of quick and dead,
Before whose bar severe,
With holy joy or guilty dread,
We all shall soon appear!
Our caution’d souls prepare
For that tremendous day;
And fill us now with watchful care,
And stir us up to pray.