Tag Archives: Charles Spurgeon

Salvation is of the Lord

“…salvation is of the Lord.” Jonah 2:9 KJV

By 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 OmegaSalvation 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 liveth 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 His Word? The 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 cometh 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.

Sharing Christ at Christmas

This Christmas don’t just look at it as a time for food, gifts, and fellowship with friends and family, but look at it as an opportunity to share Christ with your loved ones.  Most of us know how difficult and sometimes awkward it can be to bring up Christ with family and friends because we have a fear that it might make the other person feel uncomfortable.  Most people would probably prefer to share Christ with a complete stranger than with someone with whom they have a preexisting relationship.  Why is that?  It’s likely a deceitful scheme by Satan, because truthfully sharing Christ with those closest to us should not only be a priority, but it should be something we feel comfortable doing.  To ease into this conversation, try sharing how the Lord has blessed your life this year, the things He has taught you, or the growth that you’ve made and then invite others to do the same.  For those who may not have anything to share, invite them to share areas in their life where they would like to see God work in the coming year and then encourage them to seek Him daily in prayer and reading of His word such that they might see those changes made.  Below is an encouraging sermon by Charles Spurgeon on sharing the Gospel during the holidays.  Some great advice from a wise sage and well worth the read.

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Going Home: A Christmas Sermon*
C.H. Spurgeon
December 21, 1856

The demoniac’s story

This poor wretch, being possessed with a legion of evil spirits had been driven to something worse than madness. He fixed his home among the tombs, where he dwelt by night and day, and was the terror of all those who passed by. The authorities had attempted to curb him; he had been bound with fetters and chains, but in the paroxysms of his madness he had torn the chains in sunder, and broken the fetters in pieces.

Attempts had been made to reclaim him, but no man could tame him. He was worse than the wild beasts, for they might be tamed; but his fierce nature would not yield. He was a misery to himself, for he would run upon the mountains by night and day, crying and howling fearfully, cutting himself with the sharp flints, and torturing his poor body in the most frightful manner.

Jesus Christ passed by; he said to the devils, “Come out of him.” The man was healed in a moment, he fell down at Jesus’ feet, he became a rational being—an intelligent man, and what is more, a convert to the Savior.

The demoniac’s commission

Out of gratitude to his deliverer, he said, “Lord, I will follow you wherever you go. I will be your constant companion and your servant, permit me so to be” [Mark 5:18].

“No,” said Christ, “I esteem your motive, it is one of gratitude to me, but if you would show your gratitude, go home to your friends and tell them of the great things the Lord has done for you, and how he has had compassion on you.”

Christmas is suited for sharing the gospel with family and friends.

True religion does not break the bonds of family relationship. True religion seldom encroaches upon that sacred—I had almost said divine—institution called home. It does not separate men from their families, and make them aliens to their flesh and blood.…

Christianity makes a husband a better husband, it makes a wife a better wife than she was before. It does not free me from my duties as a son; it makes me a better son, and my parents better parents. Instead of weakening my love, it gives me fresh reason for my affection; and he whom I loved before as my father, I now love as my brother and co-worker in Christ Jesus; and she whom I reverenced as my mother, I now love as my sister in the covenant of grace, to be mine for ever in the state that is to come.…

For my part, I wish there were twenty Christmas days in the year. It is seldom that young men can meet with their friends; it is rarely they can all be united as happy families….I love it as a family institution, as one of England’s brightest days, the great Sabbath of the year, when the plough rests in its furrow, when the din of business is hushed, when the mechanic and the working man go out to refresh themselves upon the green sward of the glad earth.

Aim to share the story of God’s grace in your life.

It is to be a story of personal experience: “Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.”

You are not to repair to your houses to preach. You are not to begin to take up doctrinal subjects and expatiate on them, and endeavor to bring persons to your peculiar views and sentiments. You are not to go home with sundry doctrines you have lately learned, and try to teach these. You are to go home and tell not what you have believed, but what you have felt—what you really know to be your own; not what great things you have read, but what great things the Lord hath done for you; not alone what you have seen done in the great congregation, and how great sinners have turned to God, but what the Lord has done for you. And mark this: there is never a more interesting story than that which a man tells about himself.…

Go home, young man, and tell the poor sinner’s story; go home, young woman, and open your diary, and give your friends stories of grace. Tell them of the mighty works of God’s hand which he hath wrought in you from his own free, sovereign, undeserved love. Make it a free grace story around your family fire.

By sharing we edify believers.

If you want to make your mother’s heart leap within her, and to make your father glad—if you would make that sister happy who sent you so many letters, which sometimes you read against a lamp-post, with your pipe in your mouth—go home and tell your mother that her wishes are all accomplished, that her prayers are heard, that you will no longer chaff her about her Sunday-school class, and no longer laugh at her because she loves the Lord, but that you will go with her to the house of God, for you love God.…

Cannot you imagine the scene, when the poor demoniac mentioned in my text went home? He had been a raving madman; and when he came and knocked at the door, don’t you think you see his friends calling to one another in affright, “Oh! there he is again,” and the mother running up stairs and locking all the doors, because her son had come back that was raving mad; and the little ones crying because they knew what he had been before—how he cut himself with stones, because he was possessed with devils. And can you picture their joy, when the man said, “Mother! Jesus Christ has healed me, let me in; I am no lunatic now!”

By sharing we reach lost friends and family.

I hear one of you say, “Ah! Sir, would to God I could go home to pious friends! But when I go home I go into the worst of places; for my home is amongst those who never knew God themselves, and consequently never prayed for me, and never taught me anything concerning heaven.”

Go home to them, and tell them, not to make them glad, for they will very likely be angry with you, but tell them for their soul’s salvation. I hope, when you are telling the story of what God did for you, that they will be led by the Spirit to desire the same mercy themselves.

Be alert for one-on-one opportunities to share your story.

Do not tell this story to your ungodly friends when they are all together, for they will laugh at you. Take them one by one, when you can get them alone, and begin to tell it to them, and they will hear you seriously.…You may be the means of bringing a man to Christ who has often heard the Word and only laughed at it, but who cannot resist a gentle admonition.

Don’t expect this sharing to be easy.

For I hear many of my congregation say, “Sir, I could relate that story to anyone sooner than I could to my own friends; I could come to your vestry, and tell you something of what I have tasted and handled of the Word of God; but I could not tell my father, nor my mother, nor my brethren, nor my sisters.”

Overcome this fear by sharing to honor your Savior.

I know you love him; I am sure you do, if you have proof that he loved you. You can never think of Gethsemane and of its bloody sweat, of Gabbatha and of the mangled back of Christ, flayed by the whip: you can never think of Calvary and his pierced hands and feet, without loving him, and it is a strong argument when I say to you, for his dear sake who loved you so much, go home and tell it. If Christ has done much for you, you cannot help it—you must tell it.

Share your story with gratitude to God.

No story is more worth hearing than a tale of gratitude. This poor man’s tale was a grateful story. I know it was grateful, because the man said, “I will tell thee how great things the Lord hath done for me.” A man who is grateful is always full of the greatness of the mercy which God has shown him; he always thinks that what God has done for him is immensely good and supremely great.

Share your story with humility.

It must be a tale told by a poor sinner who feels himself not to have deserved what he has received. Oh! when we tell the story of our own conversion, I would have it done with deep sorrow, remembering what we used to be, and with great joy and gratitude, remembering how little we deserve these things. Why, then, my eyes began to be fountains of tears, those hearers who had nodded their heads began to brighten up, and they listened, because they were hearing something which the man felt himself and which they recognized as being true to him, if it was not true to them.

Tell your story, my hearers, as lost sinners. Do not go to your home, and walk into your house with a supercilious air, as much as to say, “Here’s a saint come home to the poor sinners, to tell them a story.”…

Do not intrude yourselves upon those who are older, and know more, but tell your story humbly; not as a preacher, but as a friend and as a son.

Share your story truthfully—don’t embellish it.

Do not tell more than you know; do not tell John Bunyan’s experience, when you ought to tell your own. Do not tell your mother you have felt what only Rutherford felt. Tell her no more than the truth. Tell your experience truthfully, for one single fly in the pot of ointment will spoil it, and one statement you may make which is not true may ruin it all.

Tell your story seriously—don’t share it flippantly.

Let them see you mean it. Do not talk about religion flippantly; you will do no good if you do. Do not make puns on texts. Do not quote Scripture by way of joke. If you do, you may talk till you are dumb, you will do no good, if you in the least degree give them occasion to laugh by laughing at holy things yourself. Tell it very earnestly.…

Perhaps when you are telling the story one of your friends will say, “And what of that?” And your answer will be, “It may not be a great thing to you, but it is to me. You say it is little to repent, but I have not found it so; it is a great and precious thing to be brought to know myself to be a sinner, and to confess it, do you say it is a little thing to have found a Savior. If you had found him too, you would not think it little. You think it little I have lost the burden from my back; but if you had suffered with it, and felt its weight as I have for many a long year, you would think it no little thing to be emancipated and free, through a sight of the cross.”

Don’t neglect your personal devotions during Christmas.

When you are at home for Christmas, let no one see your face till God has seen it. Be up in the morning, wrestle with God; and if your friends are not converted, wrestle with God for them, and then you will find it easy work to wrestle with them for God.

Rest upon the Holy Spirit’s help to share.

Do not be afraid, only think of the good you may possibly do. Remember, he that saves a soul from death has covered a multitude of sins, and he shall have stars in his crown forever and ever.…Let your reliance in the Holy Spirit be entire and honest. Trust not yourself, but fear not to trust him. He can give you words. He can apply those words to their heart, and so enable you to “minister grace to the hearers” [Ephesians 4:29].

Remember that this story you share over the holidays is the story that will be on your lips eternally.

When we go home to our friends in Paradise, what shall we do?

First we will repair to that blest seat where Jesus sits, take off our crown and cast it at his feet, and crown him Lord of all. And when we have done that, what shall be our next employ? We will tell the blessed ones in heaven what the Lord hath done for us, and how he hath had compassion on us.

And shall such tale be told in heaven? Shall that be the Christmas Carol of the angels? Yes it shall be; it has been published there before—blush not to tell it yet again—for Jesus has told it before, “When he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbors, saying unto them, Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost.”

Poor sheep, when you shall be gathered in, will you not tell how your Shepherd sought you and found you? Will you not sit in the grassy meads of heaven, and tell the story of your own redemption? Will you not talk with your brothers and sisters, and tell them how God loved you and has brought you there?

Perhaps you say, “It will be a very short story.” Ah! It would be if you could write now. A little book might be the whole of your biography; but up there when your memory shall be enlarged, when your passion shall be purified, and your understanding clear, you will find that what was but a tract on earth will be a huge tome in heaven. You will tell a long story there of God’s sustaining, restraining, constraining grace. And I think that when you pause to let another tell his tale, and then another, and then another, you will at last, when you have been in heaven a thousand years, break out and exclaim, “O saints, I have something else to say.” Again they will tell their tales, and again you will interrupt them with “Oh, beloved, I have thought of another case of God’s delivering mercy.” And so you will go on, giving them themes for songs, finding them the material for the warp and woof of heavenly sonnets.

*From http://www.sovereigngraceministries.org/blogs/cj-mahaney/post/2010/12/14/Spurgeon-on-sharing-the-gospel-during-Christmas.aspx

Encourage One Another

By Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“Joshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall enter.  Encourage him, for he shall cause Israel to inherit it.“ Deuteronomy 1:38

God employs his people to encourage one another.  He did not say to an angel, Gabriel, my servant Joshua is about to lead my people into Canaan-go, encourage him.  God never works needless miracles; if his purposes can be accomplished by ordinary means, he will not use miraculous agency.  Gabriel would not have been half so well fitted for the work as Moses.  A brother’s sympathy is more precious than an angel’s embassy.  The angel, swift of wing, had better known the Master’s bidding than the people’s temper.  An angel had never experienced the hardness of the road, nor seen the fiery serpents, nor had he led the stiff-necked multitude in the wilderness as Moses had done.  We should be glad that God usually works for man by man.  It forms a bond of brotherhood, and being mutually dependent on one another, we are fused more completely into one family.

Brethren, take the text as God’s message to you.  Labour to help others, and especially strive to encourage them.  Talk cheerily to the young and anxious enquirer, lovingly try to remove stumbling blocks out of his way.  When you find a spark of grace in the heart, kneel down and blow it into a flame.  Leave the young believer to discover the roughness of the road by degrees, but tell him of the strength which dwells in God, of the sureness of the promise, and of the charms of communion with Christ.  Aim to comfort the sorrowful, and to animate the desponding.  Speak a word in season to him that is weary, and encourage those who are fearful to go on their way with gladness.  God encourages you by his promises; Christ encourages you as he points to the heaven he has won for you and the Spirit encourages you as he works in you to will and to do of his own will and pleasure.  Imitate divine wisdom, and encourage others, according to the word of this evening.