Gems from E. Stanley Jones & Charles H Spurgeon

estanleyjones“I HAVE BEEN CRUCIFIED WITH CHRIST; IT IS NO LONGER I WHO LIVE BUT CHRIST WHO LIVES IN ME”     

EGO – WILLINGLY  CRUCIFIED,  OR UNWILLINGLY?  by  E. Stanley Jones

We are meditating on “self-abasement and severity to the body.”  Paul knew the secret of dealing with the self.  It is in this passage:  “I have been crucified with Christ;  it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me;  and the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”  (Galatians 2:20.)

Here the essential ego is not suppressed and hated and debased.  It is offered up lovingly as Jesus offered Himself on the cross as a sacrifice –“who loved me and gave himself for me.”  The offering was out of love.  Our offering of ourselves to be crucified with Him is out of the same love.  We love Him so much that we can withhold nothing from Him, not even the very self.

But if you don’t willingly consent to be crucified with Christ, then you unwillingly crucify your self through its own conflicts ad contradictions.  So it is crucifixion –willing or unwilling.   The unwilling crucifixion has no resurrection in it –it is death and only death.  But the willing crucifixion has a resurrection in it.  We die with Him and rise with Him.  I recently received a letter from a European turned Hindu ascetic.  He signs himself “Sunya Bhai” (literally, “Brother of Emptiness”);  he had emptied himself into nothingness.  The Christian empties himself into fullness –the very fullness of God.  But my brother above had reduced life to that of a vegetable and called it victory.  He has lived alone in the Himalayas in meditation for many years –does nothing but meditate, and vegetate.  You can see that he hates his ego and would destroy it, and that he has nearly succeeded.  He has been in our Ashram for several weeks at a time, and, after saying scarcely a word during such a period, he will say good-by and add:  “I’ve share with you my silence” –and his emptiness.

But after being crucified with Christ, Paul was more alive than ever –alive to his finger tips:  “Nevertheless I live” –and how!  For Christ who is Life was now living within him, heightening all his powers, putting a plus to everything, setting him atingle with LIFE. 

O Master of my heart, I give Thee the one and only thing I own, myself, and find that self mine again, no longer a conflict-self, but a concord-self.  I can live with it, because I can live with Thee.  I thank Thee, thank Thee.  Amen.

AFFIRMATION  FOR  THE  DAY:   Anyone  nailed  to  the  cross  willingly,  walks  the  earth  free

A MEDITATION PUBLISHED FOR LENT & EASTER from Christian Maturity by E. Stanley Jones page 54

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BODILY  HEALTH  AND  HEALING  by E. Stanley Jones

I, Daniel, was exhausted and lay ill for several days.  Then I got up and went about the king’s business.   I was appalled by the vision;  it was beyond understanding.    Daniel 8:27

We come to study this week the art of receiving bodily health and healing.  Many are mature at the place of receiving spiritual life for their souls but don’t know how to receive physical life for their bodies.  They have compartmentalized the power of their faith, confining it to the spiritual, but allowing it to function but faintly in the material.  “Wilt thou be made whole?” (John 5:6 K.J.V.). One would have expected Him to say:  “Wilt thou be healed of thy sickness?”  But Jesus was interested in something more than healing disease –He wanted people to be “whole,” of which the healing of sickness was a part.  The fact is that sickness cannot be cured unless the total person is cured.  For if there is sickness in any portion of the person –in his spirit, in his mind, in his emotion, in his body –it will pass over to the other portions and infect them. 

Sometimes the body gets sick and passes on its sickness to the mind and spirit.  And sometimes the mind and spirit get sick and pass on their sicknesses to the body.  Some doctors estimate that seventy-five per cent of illnesses are rooted in mind and spirit.  One doctor told me that every disease, either in its inception or in its development, is affected by mind and emotion.

The old adage “He who physics the mind will have no need of physics” has a truth in it –a real truth. Someone has defined the Christian Ashram (place of spiritual retreat, of which we have six throughout the United States) in this way:  “The Ashram is a positive healing of Christian love to mind, spirit and body.”  Is that the right order?  Is the mind first, the spirit second, and the body third?  Yes.  For if you put the body first, as some do, then you make Christianity a healing cult.  That puts us at the centre –God our servant.  The first thing in Christianity is reconciliation with God –God is the centre.  When you are reconciled to God you become reconciled to yourself and hence reconciled to your body.  The healing of that reconciliation with God is passed on to your body.

O Father, when I am reconciled to Thee, I can live with myself, I can live with my body, I can live with my brothers, I can live with nature –I can live!  Help me to be alive on all fronts – alive with Thy vitality – alive!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

AFFIRMATION  FOR  THE  DAY: My impact upon myself and upon others shall be a positive healing to mind, spirit and body.

Taken from Christian Maturity by E. Stanley Jones page 323

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THE  STEPS  FROM  CONVINCING TO CONTROLLING 
by E Stanley Jones

The work of the Holy Spirit in the subconscious mind can be summed up in these words – convincing, constraining, cleansing, co-ordinating, consecrating, contributing, comforting, controlling.

The first work of the Spirit is convincing – He brings us to the point where we see that the depths of us are out of our control, and that only divine power can reach and make sense of those depths.  We are at the end of our resources.

He then presses no further, constraining us to hand over to Him the depths which are too much for us.  So we inwardly surrender.

When that is done, then there is cleansing.  The Holy Spirit came on Jesus “like a dove,” but upon the disciples “as of fire.”  Why the difference?  They needed cleansing, so He came like cleansing fire.  But He needed no cleansing, so the Spirit came “like a dove” – the symbol of peace, expressing the divine approval.

After the cleansing comes the co-ordinating – life is unified at the centre.  The soul forces are fused into one.  All the conflicts, the pulling in difference directions, are taken out, and life is directed toward one great end.  We become inwardly unanimous for God.

Then comes the consecrating. The cleansed and co-ordinated soul forces are now consecrated to the purposes  of the Kingdom.  They take on purpose and mission.  Life is no longer hanging at loose ends.

Then life is contributing.  The Holy Spirit turns the forces of life outward to contribution.   The self is off its own hands and is now at leisure from itself, so it can give itself to others.   This is emancipation for participation – participation in helping others.

A school teacher who had found the full life put it this way:  “Inside of Him everything is safe and sanctified;  outside of Him all is bewildering and treacherous.”  Now your powers are “safe and sanctified” and usable.  You are in the hands of the eternally Creative.  He is comforting.

All of this is the result of the last:  controlling.  He does all these only where He is in control.

O Spirit of Grace, I give Thee control.  My control is chaos – Thy control is cosmos.  So I turn over to Thee everything, for when Thou hast the kingdom within, then peace and power reign there.  And all is order.  Amen.

AFFIRMATION  FOR  THE  DAY:  The Spirit’s sevenfold work at work in me perfectly today.  

Taken from “The Way To Power And Poise” by E Stanley Jones p111 (Romans 6:6-11)

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RESPONSIBLE  FOR  ALL  WE  KNOW  AND  ALL  WE  MIGHT  KNOW 
by E. Stanley Jones

Does what has been said about the mastery of not always being right open the door to indulgences, giving excuses for half-Christian living and providing for failure and sin?  The answer is an emphatic No!

Let us go back and look at the passage:  “If we walk in the light, as he is in the light” –that is clear and decisive.  A Christian is one who is responding to all the meanings he finds in Jesus –he is walking in all the light he finds in Him.  The moment we refuse to walk in the light as seen in Jesus, then the light ceases.  We begin to walk in darkness.  Only that man who is living up to the light that he has is getting more light.

I say “the light that he has,” but he is responsible also for the light that he might have.  One should be eagerly open to more and more light.  For new light breaks out from the Person of Jesus all the time.  “He will take what is mine and declare it to you” –the work of the Holy Spirit is to unfold an unfolding Christ.  Revelation is progressive –fixed in the historic Jesus but unfolding in the universal Christ.  The Holy Spirit makes you see that there is more to be seen.  That puts you on the tiptoe of opening expectancy.  If you sin against the light that you have, there is one penalty:  you get no more light.  In other words you cease to grow;  you deteriorate.  The punishment is in the person.  You are the pay-off.

But the moment we begin to obey again, begin to “walk in the light, as he is in the light,” then the fellowship one with another begins, and the blood of Jesus Christ begins to cleanse again.  The blood of Jesus cleanses those who walk in the light – and only those.  When we refuse to walk in the light, He automatically shuts off the cleansing  – and the fellowship.

But the person who is honestly walking in the light has fellowship and cleansing even though he blunders and sins while walking in the light.  If God sees the central intentions are right, He forgives and cleanses marginal mistakes and sins.  He is not a mote picker – He is a maker of men.

O Father, I thank Thee that Thou are not the all-seeing Eye looking for my weakness and blunders.  Thou art the all-saving Father, loving me in spite of my failures.  Amen.

AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY:  I shall walk in all the light I have today and then in the added light I shall get.

Taken from “Mastery” by E. Stanley Jones, page 350, commenting on Romans 8:1-8

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“SEALED  WITH  THE  PROMISED  HOLY  SPIRIT

by E Stanley Jones

Early Christianity was living, not on a remembrance of Pentecost, but on a realization of it. Pentecost was not a sigh for yesterday, but a song of today. Everything was being done “in the Spirit.”  Paul could say:  “Does he who supplies the Spirit to you ... do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith?” (Gal. 3:5.)  “Supplies the Spirit to you” – that is present continuous.  God was working by a law – the law of redemption – and in that of redemption is the intention to give the Holy Spirit to every open, receptive heart.

Peter said:  “And you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, everyone one whom the Lord our God calls to him.”  (Acts 2:38-39).  Here the promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit is to “every one whom the Lord our God calls to him.”  It is a promise to those who are called to him - to believers.  It usually, almost uniformly, is a gift subsequent to conversion. Out of two thousand examined, only eighty or ninety, according to Wesley, received the fullness of the Spirit at conversion;  the rest received it as something subsequent. That corroborates my own experience in many parts of the world. It works out that way.  And we can see why this is:  For in coming to Christ we want forgiveness, restoration;  but after we come to Him, we feel the need of a deeper cleansing and a greater power.  In conversion we are adopted into the Home; in the fullness of the Spirit we are adopted to the Home – we become at Home.  Everything is ours.

The promise is to “all that are far off” – and that reaches into this needy, nerve-shattered, conflict-ridden present.  The Holy Spirit is God’s offer now, and He is our need now.  That offer and that need can meet and can meet now.

In Ephesians 1:13-14 we are told:  “In him you also, who have heard the word of truth ... and have believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.”  Here those who “heard” and “believed” were “sealed” – the hearing and believing were conversion;  the sealing was later.  If you are not sealed by the Holy Spirit, your letter, being open, easily drops out or is stolen.  The Holy Spirit seals, brings permanence.

O Spirit of God, seal the open places in my life, places where grace leaks out;  save me from the fallings away I am prone to until sealed.  If the sealing means searing, let it come – but seal me.  Amen.

AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY:  I am saved by Grace, sealed by the Spirit, sent by Love.

Taken from The Way To Power and Poise by E Stanley Jones page 146

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THE  MASTERY  OF  SICKNESS AND  DISEASE by E Stanley Jones     
Matthew 4:23; 10:1

The next mastery in the Acts which we will consider is the mastery of sickness and disease. The Christian movement has a message for the body.  The body is included in Christian redemption. But it is not the central emphasis.  Christianity is not a healing cult.   Its main business is not keeping the body in repair.  Those who make Christianity a healing cult make God serve them, and they and their physical needs are at the centre.  They try to organize the universe about them as the center instead of God as the center, and that won’t work.  So the healing cults leave a lot of shattered faith and spiritual disaster in their wake which greatly overbalance the healing results.

The primary purpose of Christian redemption is to save us from sin and evil and get the ransomed self off its own hands into the hands of God.  Self-surrender is the pivot of the process of redemption.  But as a result of this redemption from sin and evil, and the transference of life from self-centeredness to God-centeredness, a great many sicknesses and diseases drop off as a by-product of that redemption.  This accounts for the amazing health pervading society in the Acts.  But it cannot account for all.    Apparently health came (1) through the direct healing of God in dramatic cures; (2) through what Paul calls the giving of “life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit which dwells in you” (Romans 8:11);  (3) through deliverance from underlying fears and worries, from resentments, jealousies, guilts, and self-preoccupation; (4) through right thinking and emotions;  (5) through the physician.  In these five ways health streamed into the mortal bodies of men.

Note that it was not one of these ways – the direct touch of God upon our bodies – that was the sole channel of healing.  It was a combination of all of these.  Where one way and only one way is selected – the way of faith producing an obvious miracle – and rigidly held to, in its wake there is strewn the wreckage of faith and unhealed bodies.  God cannot be strait-jacketed.

O Father, Thy heart and Thy purpose envelop many ways of healing.  Help us to discover and use Thy ways.  For Thou art health and willest health to Thy children.  Amen.

AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY:  I will have the best body I am capable of having to be used for the Kingdom.

(Taken from the book Mastery page 204 by E. Stanley Jones)

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THE HOLY SPIRIT IS POWER – WHERE IT COUNTS
by E. Stanley Jones

The modern emphasis on psychology in the remaking of personality is good, but not good enough.  Psychology lays bare our problems and our motives.  But it lacks power to solve those problems and to unify those motives.  It lacks central dynamic.  The method of psychology is only successful where it is combined with religious faith that provides dynamic –one provides information;  the other provides transformation.

But religion without the Holy Spirit is also inadequate.  It imposes a set of rules and regulations but doesn’t give power to perform.  The Holy Spirit, however, when consented and surrendered to, moves in to be the spring of action and motive.  This divine reinforcement within makes the ideal real, the impossible possible.  The Holy Spirit is power –where it counts.  “He may grant you to be strengthened with might through his Spirit in the inner man ... Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think.”  (Ephesians 3:16, 20.)  It is the inner man that makes the outer man.  If the inner life is weak, then weakness spreads to the outer – a weak personality confronts the world.  If the inner life is confused, then confusion is written on the face.   We gradually chisel our exterior after the image of the interior.  When someone remonstrated with Lincoln for judging a man’s character by his face he replied:  “A man is responsible for his face after forty.”   He was right, for by that time the interior has been exteriorated –the inner facts have become the outer facial.  And not only the outer facial but the outer life.

So the Holy Spirit strengthens us with might where it counts – “in the inner man.”  Other remedies strengthen us with ultimate weakness – a shot in the arm that lifts us temporarily and lets us slump permanently.  But this is strengthening us “with might” – and inherently we become strong.  All the life forces are quickened under the impact of Life.  You feel alive in every fibre of your being.

Psychology can explain; religion as precepts can exhort;  the Holy Spirit makes us exult.  For the Spirit gives above “all we ask (religion) or think (psychology).”

O Spirit of God, when You are at work in my depths, I am safe and serene and secure.  Nothing can make me inadequate or afraid.  I am possessed where it counts – at the centre. I thank Thee, thank Thee.  Amen.

AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY: Serenity, not in myself but in Thee, shall be my inner climate this day.

Taken from THE WAY TO POWER AND POISE page 117

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UNCONSCIOUS  FEARS

by E Stanley Jones

We have looked at fear and anxiety as enemies to power and poise.  We have looked at conscious fears, but there remains another fear to look at before we pass on to the next:  unconscious fears.

Some of our fears have been dropped down into the subconscious and there the lid has been put down over them.  In the subconscious they work against us creating a vague anxiety, the cause of which we are not aware.  We are afraid and don’t know why.

Take three steps:  First, get alone with God and let down the barriers of your being;   take off the lid from the unconscious by relaxing and letting come to the surface any fear that may be buried there.  Don’t be afraid of letting it come up, for it is only dangerous as it is suppressed.  It may have come from some childhood experience where a fear has been imposed.  If you cannot find your way to release alone with God, then go over things with a sympathetic but wise friend.  Relax in the friend’s presence and tell all.   Only as a last resort should you go to a psychiatrist, and then only to a Christian, for many are left worse off than ever by going to pagan psychiatrists who pick you to pieces and don’t know how to put you together again in great affirmations.

The fact is that only God knows the depths.  And He has provided in redemption for the redemption of the depths.  When we surrender all we know, the conscious, and all we don’t know, the subconscious, then the Holy Spirit will cleanse at the depths.  He made them and He can remake them.  He can cleanse the ego from egoism, sex from sexualism, and the herd instinct from the domination of the crowd and fasten it on the domination of the Kingdom.  When these are adjusted to their God-ordained functions and place, then fears which arise from inward maladjustment drop off.  They are cleansed away en masse.   You will probably not have to deal with them one by one, they will just be dissolved by the inflooding of the Divine life and power.  Then the greatest release that can come to a person will come to you – you will be released from a fear-infested subconscious.  That is release indeed.

O Spirit of God, Thou who has fashioned my depths, now fashion them and make them over again, minus my fears.  For I cannot go through life weighted with inner fears.  In Thee I am free – and free now.  Amen.

AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY:  If I sink, I sink into the love of God.

Taken from The Way To Power And Poise page 232 by E Stanley Jones

c h spurgeon

“I AM THE LORD, I CHANGE NOT.”   -  Malachi  3 verse 6  by Charles Haddon Spurgeon

It is well for us that, amidst all the variableness of life, there is One whom change cannot affect; One whose heart can never alter, and on whose brow mutability can make no furrows.  All things else have changed – all things are changing.  The sun itself grows dim with age; the world is waxing old; the folding up of the worn-out vesture has commenced; the heavens and earth must soon pass away; they shall perish, they shall wax old as doth a garment; but there is One who only hath immortality, of whose years there is no end, and in whose person there is no change.  The delight which the mariner feels, when, after having been tossed about for many a day, he steps again upon the solid shore, is the satisfaction of a Christian when, amidst all the changes of this troublous life, he rests the foot of his faith upon this truth – “I am the Lord, I change not.”

The stability which the anchor gives the ship when it has at last obtained a hold-fast, is like that which the Christian’s hope affords him when it fixes itself upon this glorious truth.  With God “is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”  Whatever His attributes were of old, they are now;  His power, His wisdom, His justice, His truth, are alike unchanged.  He has ever been the refuge of his people, their stronghold in the day of trouble, and He is their sure helper still.  He is unchanged in His love.  He loves his people with “an everlasting love;”  He loves them now as much as ever He did, and when all earthly things shall have melted in the last conflagration, His love will still wear the dew of its youth.  Precious is the assurance that He changes not!  The wheel of providence revolves, but its axle is eternal love.

“Death and change are busy ever,
Man decays, and ages move;
But His mercy waneth never;
God is wisdom, God is love.”

Taken from Morning & Evening Daily readings by C. H. Spurgeon

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And it shall come to pass that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered (Joel 2:32) 

by Charles Hadden Spurgeon

Why do not I call on His name? Why do I run to this neighbour and that when God is so near and will hear my faintest call? Why do I sit down and devise schemes and invent plans? Why not at once roll myself and my burden upon the Lord? 

Straightforward is the best runner – why do not I run at once to the living God? In vain shall I look for deliverance anywhere else; but with God I shall find it; For here I have His royal shall to make it sure. I need not ask whether I may call on Him or not, for that word “Whosoever” is a very wide and comprehensive one. Whosoever means me, for it means anybody and everybody who calls upon God. I will therefore follow the leading of the text, and at once call upon the glorious Lord who has made so large a promise. 

My case is urgent, and I do not see how I am to be delivered; but this is no business of mine. He who makes the promise will find ways and means of keeping it. It is mine to obey His commands; it is not mine to direct His counsels. I am His servant, not His solicitor. I call upon Him, and He will deliver. 

"Selected on May 7th 2009 in celebration of my 19th anniversary of being delivered by Jesus"

James

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IMMANUEL – GOD NOW WITH US, OR RATHER WE WITH HIM
CHRISTMAS DAY MEDITATION by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name I Immanuel.”   -  Isaiah   9:14.

Let us to-day go down to Bethlehem, and in company with wondering shepherds and adoring Magi, let us see Him who was born King of the Jews, for we by faith can claim an interest in Him, and can sing, “Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.”  Jesus is Jehovah incarnate, our Lord and our God, and yet our brother and friend;  let us adore and admire.

Let us notice at the very first glance His miraculous conception.  It was a thing unheard of before, and unparalleled since, that a virgin should conceive and bear a Son.  The first promise ran thus, “The seed of the woman,” not the offspring of the man.  Since venturous woman led the way in the sin which brought forth Paradise lost, she, and she alone, ushers in the Regainer of Paradise.  Our Saviour, although truly man, was as to His human nature the Holy  One of God.  Let us reverently bow before the holy Child whose innocence restores to manhood its ancient glory;  and let us pray that He may be formed in us, the hope of glory.

Fail not to note His humble parentage.  His mother has been described simply as “a virgin,” not a princess, or prophetess, nor a matron of large estate.  True the blood of kings ran in her veins;  nor was her mind a weak and untaught one, for she could sing most sweetly a song of praise;  but yet how humble her position, how poor the man to whom she stood affianced, and how miserable the accommodation afforded to the new-born King!

Immanuel, God with us in our nature, in our sorrow, in our lifework, in our punishment, in our grave, and now with us, or rather we with Him, in resurrection, ascension, triumph, and Second Advent splendour.

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Exposition by Charles H Spurgeon on the Scripture:  “Without shedding of blood is no remission” – Hebrews 9.22

THIS is the voice of unalterable truth.  In none of the Jewish ceremonies were sins, even typically, removed without blood-shedding.  In no case, by no means can sin be pardoned without atonement.  It is clear, then, that there is no hope for me out of Christ;  for there is no other blood-shedding which is worth a thought as an atonement for sin.  Am I, then, believing in Him?  Is the blood of His atonement truly applied to my soul?  All men are on a level as to their need of Him.  If we be never so moral, generous, amiable, or patriotic, the rule will not be altered to make an exception for us.  Sin will yield to nothing less potent that the blood of Him whom God has set forth as a propitiation.  What a blessing that there is the one way of pardon!  Why should we week another?

Persons of merely formal religion cannot understand how we can rejoice that all our sins are forgiven us for Christ’s sake.  Their works, and prayers, and ceremonies, give them very poor comfort;  and well may they be uneasy, for they are neglecting the one great salvation, and endeavouring to get remission without blood.  My soul, sit down, and behold the justice of God as bound to punish sin;  see that punishment all executed upon your Lord Jesus, and fall down in humble joy, and kiss the dear feet of Him whose blood has made atonement for you.  It is in vain when conscience is aroused to fly to feelings and evidences for comfort:  this is a habit which we learned in the Egypt of our legal bondage.  The only restorative for a guilty conscience is a sight of Jesus suffering on the cross.  “The blood is the life thereof,” says the Levitical law, and let us rest assured that it is the life of faith and joy and every other holy grace.

“Oh !  how sweet to view the flowing                                                                                                                                                     
Of my Saviour’s precious blood;                                                                                                                                                     
With divine assurance knowing
He has made my peace with God.”

Taken from Morning & Evening Daily Readings by C. H. Spurgeon: February 2 morning

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“SALVATION  IS  OF  THE  LORD”
Jonah 2 verse 9  Lent Meditation by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon               
      

SALVATION is the work of God.  It is He alone who quickens the soul “dead in trespasses and sins,” and it is He also who maintains the soul in its spiritual life.  He is both “Alpha and Omega.”  “Salvation is of the Lord.”  If I am prayerful, God makes me prayerful;  if I have graces, they are God’s gifts to me;  if I hold on in a consistent life, it is because He upholds me with His hand.  I do nothing whatever towards my own preservation, except what God himself first does in me.

Whatever I have, all my goodness is of the Lord alone.  Wherein I sin, that is my own;  but wherein I act rightly, that is of God, wholly and completely.  If I have repulsed a spiritual enemy, the Lord’s strength nerved my arm.  Do I live before men a consecrated life?  It is not I, but Christ who lives in me.  Am I sanctified?  I did not cleanse myself: God’s Holy Spirit sanctifies me.  Am I weaned from the world?  I am weaned by God’s chastisements sanctified to my good.  Do I grow in knowledge?  The great Instructor teaches me.

All my jewels were fashioned by heavenly art.  I find in God all that I want; but I find in myself nothing but sin and misery.  “He only is my rock and my salvation.”  Do I feed on the Word?  That Word would be no food for me unless the Lord made it food for my soul, and helped me to feed upon it.  Do I live on the manna which comes down from heaven?  What is that manna but Jesus Christ himself incarnate, whose body and whose blood I eat and drink? 

Am I continually receiving fresh increase of strength?  Where do I gather my might?  My help comes from heaven’s hills: without Jesus I can do nothing.  As a branch cannot bring forth fruit except it abide in the vine, no more can I, except I abide in Him.  What Jonah learned in the great deep, let me learn this morning in my closet:  “Salvation is of the Lord.”

Taken from Morning and Evening Daily Readings by Charles Haddon Spurgeon: February 26 morning 

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Christian, take good care of thy faith, for recollect that faith is the only means whereby thou canst obtain blessings.   Prayer cannot draw down answers from God’s throne except it be the earnest prayer of the man who believes.

Faith is the telegraphic wire which links earth to Heaven, on which God messages of love fly so fast that before we call He answers, and while we are yet speaking He hears us.  But if that telegraphic wire of faith be snapped, how can we obtain the promise?

Am I in trouble?  I can obtain help for trouble by faith.  Am I beaten by the enemy?  My soul on her dear Refuge leans by faith. 

But take faith away, then in vain I call to God.   There is no other road betwixt my soul and Heaven.  Blockade the road, and how can I communicate with the Great King?

Faith links me with Divinity.  Faith clothes me with the power of Jehovah.  Faith insures every attribute of God in my defence.  It helps me to defy the hosts of hell.  It makes me march triumphant over the necks of my enemies.  But without faith how can I receive anything from the Lord?

Oh then, Christian, watch well thy faith.  “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”

C. H. Spurgeon