‘Wait for the Finals,’ [Spurgeon]

I have gained much from reading Spurgeon over the years. I read this this morning, and I could hear the Holy Spirit speaking into my soul. I need more of this “peaceful perseverance” working in me.
Eric Liddell

Eric Liddell, 1902-1945, Winner of Gold Medal at 1924 Olympics in Paris

From Charle Spurgeon’s “Faith’s Checkbook”
Wait for the Finals

“Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last.”

Genesis 49:19, KJV

“Gad will be attacked by marauding bands, but he will attack them when they retreat.”

NLT

Some of us have been like the tribe of Gad. Our adversaries for a while were too many for us; they came upon us like a troop. Yes, and for the moment they overcame us; and they exulted greatly because of their temporary victory. Thus they only proved the first part of the family heritage to be really ours, for Christ’s people, like Dan, shall have a troop overcoming them.

This being overcome is very painful, and we should have despaired if we had not by faith believed the second line of our father’s benediction, “He shall overcome at the last.” “All’s well that ends well,” said the world’s poet; and he spoke the truth. A war is to be judged, not by first success or defeats, but by that which happens “at the last.” The Lord will give to truth and righteousness victory “at the last”; and, as Mr. Bunyan says, that means forever, for nothing can come after the last.

What we need is patient perseverance in well-doing, calm confidence in our glorious Captain. Christ, our Lord Jesus, would teach us His holy art of setting the face like a flint to go through with work or suffering till we can say, “It is finished.” Hallelujah. Victory! Victory! We believe the promise. “He shall overcome at the last.”

–C.H. Spurgeon

(A Brokenbelievers favorite.)

 

cropped-christiangraffiti1 (1)

*

From the Faith’s Checkbook Mobile Devotional Android app – http://www.LookingUpwardApps.com/fcb

Charles Spurgeon’s Bio on Wikipedia- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Spurgeon

The Swamp of Despondency, [Pilgrim’s Progress]

 

Trapped, and unable to move

“Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out!
      Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies.
     For he has gathered the exiles from many lands,
      from east and west,
      from north and south.

 4 Some wandered in the wilderness,
      lost and homeless.
 5 Hungry and thirsty,
      they nearly died.
 6 “Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
      and he rescued them from their distress.”

             Psalms 107:2-6

Recently watched the new release of the movie “Pilgrim’s Progress” and I have to say, it’s remarkably close to the book, which often is not the case when a movie is based upon a book.  In his book, Pilgrim’s Progress, John Bunyan has written one of the most beautiful allegories about the journey we all travel as a believers.

The book describes the hero, Christian, and his journey from the City of Destruction to his heavenly destination, the Celestial City. Now there’s one part of Pilgrim’s Progress that I want to focus on today — walking through the Swamp of Despondency!

At one point during their travels, Christian and his companion suddenly find themselves there….in the Swamp of Despondency. Still bearing his burden, Christian, begins to sink in the mire.  His traveling companion manages to get out, but he returns to the City of Destruction without giving aid to Christian.  Christian is left all alone and sinking even deeper in the mire, until Help, the allegorical figure for the Holy Spirit, pulls him free from the swamp.

Christian then asks Help why this dangerous plot of land has not been mended so that poor travelers might go safely to the Celestial City. Help replies, “This miry slough is such a place that cannot be mended.”

How true it is in real life!  As hard as we try to avoid them, whether young in the Lord, or spiritually mature…swamps of despondency seem inevitable, and we must struggle through them!

Charles Spurgeon once wrote to his students in the book, “Lectures to my Students”,

  • “Fits of depression come over most of us.  Usually cheerful as we may be, we must at intervals be cast down.
  • The strong are not always vigorous, the wise not always ready, the brave not always courageous, and the joyous not always happy.
  • There may be here and there men of iron…but surely the rust frets even these.”

There are times in our lives when we will struggle through the swamps of despondency — but praise God that He has provided us a helper for those times of need!  We need to press through, seeking and trusting the power of the Holy Spirit to pull us out of those nasty swamps, and set our feet back upon the Rock of our salvation.

Let’s also look around us to see our brethren who may be struggling in the swamps of despondency, so that, rather than abandoning them, we might give them a hand on their journey to “the Celestial city”!

ybic, Bryan

 

Source: http://www.worthydevotions.com/christian/depression

 

cropped-christiangraffiti1 (2)

About Barnacles and Masks

prayerforpast

‘THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS , 
BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM  ME .”

Matthew 15:8, NASB

“Of all bad men, religious bad men are the worst.”  C.S. Lewis

This singular verse is set in a series of other verses– it certainly does not stand alone.  When these come together, we realize how much the Holy Spirit despises hypocrisy. He hates it, I suppose, because of the destructiveness wreaked on our spirits.

A father or mother may feel a hatred at the dealers who sell the drugs to their child. It’s not that they have any special animosity toward the pusher, but rather, they love their son so much. They will do whatever it takes to protect him.

I really think this is what Jesus feels when it comes to the purveyors of religious legalism, or hypocrisy. He burns with a holy hatred against this particular form of darkness. His vehemence seems reserved, not for sin so much as these lies of “religious pretending”. His repeated “roughness” has to be considered– why?

This should jar us into what is real, and all that is not. The word for hypocrite is “two-faced”. It was used in the Greek theaters for the masks worn by the actors. They would wear whatever the script called for. The audience never knew what was real, and what was only theatrical props.

With our lips (speech) we will honor God. We’ll only speak good things, and words (and actions) become an issue of being appropriate. We put on the particular mask of the moment, and enter the theater. Our hearts are hardly touched, and the deepest part of us becomes inoculated to the real presence of God.

The deep hatred Jesus has is due to the enormity of this sin. It is spirituality gone bad. Twisted and confused, with the shallow veneer of “respectability”. It seems to work for many of us. When our discipleship gets used to wearing masks, things can get very religious.

One last thought. Ships and boats often have to go into dry dock to be scraped clean. Weeds and barnacles can actually cover the hulls; they can severely impede the ships function. Periodic inspection is needed. Jesus wants us to be truly clean.

“Beware of no man more than of yourself; we carry our worst enemies within us.”

Charles Spurgeon

&

ybic, Bryan

Bryan.Lowe1@live

An Astonishing Love

Oh, how He loves you!

By Charles Spurgeon and Bryan Lowe

____

A short conversation about love, grace and sin.

*flourish1

*

“Dost thou know, O saint, how much the Holy Spirit loves thee?”

 “Me? I can’t imagine why. I’m the chief of sinners. I’m rotten to the core. I can bring nothing at all to Him.”

“Canst thou measure the love of the Spirit? Dost thou know how great is the affection of his soul towards thee?”

“So you say. But I really can’t see why He would. I want to believe, I really do. I can only be a liability. My sin is heavy.”

“Go measure heaven with thy span; go weigh the mountains in the scales; go take the ocean’s water, and tell each drop; go count the sand upon the sea’s wide shore; and when thou hast accomplished this, thou canst tell how much he loveth thee.”

“If this is true, then perhaps maybe I am worth something, I suppose. But frankly, my imagination staggers just trying to grasp this.”

“He has loved thee long, he has loved thee well, he loved thee ever, and he still shall love thee; surely he is the person to comfort thee, because he loves.”

“This kind of love is fantastically amazing, isn’t it. I must try to tell others what has happened to me.”

*

From the Daily Help Devotional, and my imagination.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834-92) was England’s best-known preacher for most of the second half of the nineteenth century. In 1854, just four years after his conversion, Spurgeon, then only 20, became pastor of London’s famed New Park Street Church (formerly pastored by the famous Baptist theologian John Gill). The congregation quickly outgrew their building, moved to Exeter Hall, then to Surrey Music Hall. In these venues Spurgeon frequently preached to audiences numbering more than 10,000—all in the days before electronic amplification. In 1861 the congregation moved permanently to the newly constructed Metropolitan Tabernacle.

    Spurgeon’s printed works are voluminous, and those provided here are only a sampling of his best-known works, including his magnum opus, The Treasury of David. Nearly all of Spurgeon’s printed works are still in print and available from Pilgrim Publications, PO Box 66, Pasadena, TX USA 77501.

*

ybic, Bryan

Prone to Fall, I Feel It

Art by Lynda Finch

“It is true I am weak in faith, and prone to fall, but my very feebleness is the reason why I should always be where thou feedest thy flock, that I may be strengthened and preserved in safety beside the still waters. Why should I turn aside? There is no reason why I should, but there are a thousand reasons why I should not, for Jesus beckons me to come.”

“If he withdraw himself a little, it is but to make me prize his presence more. Now that I am grieved and distressed at being away from him, he will lead me yet again to that sheltered nook where the lambs of his fold are sheltered from the burning sun.”

 

–Charles Spurgeon
Art by Lynda Finch,

Sheep Who Stray Away

“It is well to be the sheep of God’s pasture, even if we have been wandering sheep. The straying sheep has an owner, and however far it may stray from the fold, it ceases not to belong to that owner.
 
I believe that God will yet bring back into the fold every one of His own sheep, and they shall all be saved. It is something to feel our wanderings, for if we feel ourselves to be lost, we shall certainly be saved; if we feel ourselves to have wandered, we shall certainly be brought back.”
 
–Charles Spurgeon
 
As mentally ill people we seem to be always straying.  We are usually very impulsive, and much more vulnerable to things that don’t seem to bother the “norms.”  But because our need is so much greater we find that grace is also multiplied.  We belong to His flock as much as the ‘wonderful’ sheep do.  We can rest (as well as we can) in Him and in His reputation as a ‘good’ Shepherd.