the First Week of Lent
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“Be not faithless, but believing.”
Our Lord showed himself to an assembly of his disciples after his resurrection.
His presence among them when the doors were closed must have astonished and delighted them. While they were trembling he came to re-assure them both by his words and his smiles.
And well might they be, for his presence is ever a wellspring of joy. Mark the loving familiarity which thus unveiled his scars, and note the full proofs of his identity which those wounds afforded them. Even now the Lord reveals himself unto his chosen as he doth not unto the world. Oh, for a view of him by faith.
He gave them a commission and added the power to carry it out by the gift of the Holy Ghost. Moreover he promised to put force into the sentences which they pronounced in his name, so that when they preached remission to penitents, the Lord granted that remission, and when in the name of Jesus they declared that the sins of unbelievers remained upon them, it was so. The gospel is not our word, but the word of Jesus who has sent us.
He neglected the week-night service and lost a blessing, as many have done since.
He had no right to claim such a proof; unbelief is unreasonable in its demands.
Infinite was the Redeemer’s condescension. Knowing the doubts of Thomas he stooped to meet them, for he knew him to be sincere and willing to be convinced.
Thus in a moment reading the Deity of Jesus in wounds. A sweet lesson. Oh, to learn it every day afresh.
The richest blessing falls to the share of those simple minds who believe the word of God, even when surrounded with difficulty and unsupported by signs and evidences. The more childlike the faith the happier the heart.
Luke 20:30 , Luke 20:31
Have we so believed? If not, the Bible has been read by us in vain.
Crown him, the Lord of Love;
Behold his hands and side,
Rich wounds, yet visible above
In beauty glorified.
Crown him, the Lord of Peace,
Whose power a sceptre sways
From pole to pole, that wars may cease,
Absorb’d in prayer and praise:
His reign shall know no end,
And round his piercèd feet
Fair flowers of Paradise extend
Their fragrance ever sweet.
All hail! Redeemer, hail!
For thou hast died for me:
Thy praise shall never, never fail
“Lovest thou Me?”
John 21:1-6 , John 21:9-13 , John 21:15-19
It was well to keep together and enjoy the communion of saints. Good society makes good men better.
As they had as yet no directions to go upon their spiritual business, they acted commendably in following their daily callings, for nothing is more dangerous than indolence.
Everything tended to remind them of their old times with their Lord. Fishing in the old place, the old failures, the old miracles, and the old repast, would all help them to identify their Master. But what a new light was over all!
“Be of use! Forward! To Christ!” These were the watchwords of Peter, and should be ours.
Jesus here showed himself to be what he still is. the Provider, the Host, the Husband of his Church.
The Greek word means in this third question more than before, and might be rendered, “Lovest thou me dearly?”
He had three times denied, and he must three times avow his Lord.
Luke 21:18 , Luke 21:19
This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God namely, by crucifixion
Luke 21:18 , Luke 21:19
Thus was erring Peter fully restored. How mightily would that word “follow me” ring in his ears and influence his whole future. Follow me in doctrine, follow me in practice, follow me in sufferings, follow me in death, follow me to glory. May the Lord say to each one of us with power, Follow Me.
Do not I love thee, O my Lord?
Then let me nothing love:
Dead be my heart to every joy,
When Jesus cannot move.
Hast thou a lamb m all thy flock
I would disdain to feed?
Hast thou a foe, before whose face
I fear thy cause to plead?
Thou know’st I love thee, dearest Lord;
But oh, I long to soar
Far from the sphere of mortal joys,
And learn to love thee more.