Christ’s Sympathy

This is true sympathy, “weeping with those who weep,” making their sorrow our own. How really our Lord does this with His people. So completely is He our Surety—that He takes our sins and infirmities, our trials and sorrows upon Himself as if they were all and entirely His own. Our sins were so completely laid upon Him—that not one remains charged to the account of those who believe in Jesus.

Our present griefs are so entirely absorbed in Him, that,softened by His love, soothed by His sympathy, supported by His grace— the trial is welcome, the affliction is sweet, and the rod of a Father’s chastening, buds and blossoms into delectable fruit.

Bereaved mourner, the sympathy of Christ is yours! The same Savior who wept at the grave of Bethany now shares your grief. Do not imagine that your sorrow is isolated, or that your tears are forbidden or unseen. You have a merciful and faithful High Priest who is touched with your present calamity.

There exists no sympathy so real, so perceptive, so deep, so tender, so sanctifying as Christ’s sympathy.

If your heavenly Father has seen it wise and good to remove from you the spring of human pity—it is but that He may draw you closer beneath the wing of Jesus’ compassion, presence, and love.

O child of sorrow, will not this suffice, that you possess Christ’s sympathy—as immeasurable and exhaustless as the ocean—as exquisite and changeless as His being! Yield your heart to His rich compassion!

-Octavius Winslow

Oh, That I Could Honor Christ!

According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:20, 21)

Paul desired to exhibit and exalt Christ!

If he wrote — he
wrote of Christ.

If he spoke — he
spoke of Christ.

If he suffered — he
suffered for Christ.

If he sorrowed — it
was because professors dishonored Christ.

Christ was to him dearer than the apple of his eye — and more precious than all things in earth or Heaven! He would live — if he could honor Jesus; or he would die for him — if that would honor him more. He felt his obligation. He was inflamed with his love. He was a sacrifice on his altar. He was a vessel for his honor. He would go anywhere, he would do anything — if he might but honor Christ. Heartily he would say, “Let the name of Paul perish, if the name of Christ can be magnified thereby!”

To him Christ was, in fact, all and all. He died for Christ; the honor of Christ was the end for which he laid down his life.

My brother, how is
it with you?

Does your heart cry,
“Oh, that I could honor Christ!”

Does your life make this impression on others, “That man aims to honor Christ!”

Is it your daily cry and prayer, “Let Christ be magnified in me, by me, and through me — in life, in death, in time, and forever!”

Oh my soul, let it be my constant desire and prayer — that Jesus, my Jesus, may be magnified by me!

-James Smith

The True Christian Is God’s Holy Miracle

He can tell you that he was so blind—but now God has given him eyes to see sin to be the greatest evil, and Christ to be the choicest good.

He can tell you that once he was so deaf—that though God called very often and very loudly to him—yet he could not hear! But now God has given him a hearing ear so that now he can with delight hear the sweet music of the promises on the one hand; and with a holy trembling listen to the voice of divine threatening son the other hand. 

He can tell you that once he was so dumb—that he could not have spoken a good word for God, His ways, His people, nor for any of His concernments. Oh!  but now his tongue is as the pen of a ready writer. Now he can contend for the faith, and speak for saints.

He can tell you that once he was so lame—that he was not able to move one foot heaven-wards, nor Christ-wards.  But now his feet delight, not only to go—but to run in all the ways of God’s commands!

Yes, he can tell you that once he was so dead—as to all his soul-concerns. But now he is alive, and the life that he leads in the flesh, is by faith in the Son of God, who has loved him and given Himself for him, Gal. 2:20. 

That the tide of sin, which before did run so strong —should be so easily turned; that the sinner who, a little before was sailing hell-ward, and lacked neither wind nor tide to carry him there—should now suddenly alter his course, and tack about for heaven—what a miracle is this!

To see an earthly man become heavenly, a carnal man become spiritual, a loose man become precise, a proud man becomes humble, a covetous man become liberal, and a harsh man become meek, is to behold the greatest of miracles!

-Thomas Brooks

The Church Is Espoused To A Glorious Bridegroom

“I am married unto you.” Jeremiah 3:14

Christ Jesus is joined unto His people in marriage-union. In love He espoused His Church as a chaste virgin, long before she fell under the yoke of sin. Full of burning affection He toiled, like Jacob for Rachel, until the whole of her purchase-money had been paid; and now, having sought her by His Spirit, and brought her to know and love Him, He awaits the glorious hour when their mutual bliss shall be consummated at the marriage-supper of the Lamb!”

Not yet, has the glorious Bridegroom presented His betrothed — perfected and complete, before the Majesty of Heaven. Not yet, has she actually entered upon the enjoyment of her dignities as His wife and queen. She is as yet – a wanderer in a world of woe, a dweller in the tents of Kedar; but she is even now . . .

 the bride of Jesus,
 His beloved spouse,
 dear to His heart,
 precious in His sight,
 written on His hands,
 and united with His person!

On earth He exercises towards her, all the affectionate offices of Husband. He makes rich provision for her spiritual needs, pays all her debts, allows her to assume His name and to share in all His wealth. Nor will He ever act otherwise to her. The word divorce He will never mention, for “He hates divorce.” 

Death must sever the marital tie between the most loving mortals — but it cannot divide the union of this immortal marriage.

“Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!” (Revelation 19:9)

– C.H Spurgeon

I Am Sure Only Of Two Things

When I was young, I was sure of many things. But now that I am old, there are only two things which I am sure of:

One is that I am a miserable sinner! Secondly, that Christ is an all-sufficient Savior!

He is well taught who learns these two lessons.

This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” 1 Timothy 1:15

-John Newton

Necessary Dependence On Daily Grace

“He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)

The Lord works in us unto the very last.  After conversion, he continues his grace to help us do his will.  All we have is by his gracious gift.  What can we be proud of?  All of the excellencies that we might have, alas! they are borrowed.  Those most enlarged are also the most assisted, for all come from God.  We would laugh if the stableman is proud of his master’s horse; shall we then usurp the honor that is due solely to God?  ‘What do you have that you did not receive?’ (1 Corinthians 4:7). 

We receive grace from hand to mouth.  That which we have received will not continue to maintain us unless God supplies new influences of grace.  If we labored purely in our own strength, we would soon grow proud.  We must have renewed evidences of his love day after day.   If God gave us all spiritual blessings at once, we would soon fail to acknowledge our heavenly benefactor.  He weakens our corruptions by degrees, and by the renewing influences of his grace. 

God left Hezekiah, ‘to test him and to know all that was in his heart’ (2 Chronicles 32:31).  God so dispenses grace that he will be going and coming as to his actual influence upon us.  He sometimes will leave us to ourselves to reveal the weakness of our own hearts.  Though we have grace in our hearts, if God leaves us, how weak and foolish we are!  Though we are renewed, we have not fully recovered from the injury we received by the fall of Adam.  If God withdraws his life-giving strength, our secret corruptions will break forth and our interest in holy things will soon disappear. 

O, the glory of God’s grace!  From the first to the last we are indebted to it (Galatians 2:20).  We can do nothing without him.  When we come to heaven, how will our souls admire the riches of his glorious grace. (Works, 1:145-147)

-Thomas Manton (1620-1677)

Fixed Hearts Of The Saints In Public Worship

We have thought of thy lovingkindness, O God, in the midst of thy temple. (Psalm 48:9)

Every soul that is born again of the Holy Spirit sets his thoughts on the lovingkindness of God in the trinity of His persons. We think on God the Father who chose us in sovereign election. We think on God the Son who redeemed us by the blood of His cross. And we think on God the Holy Spirit who quickened us to spiritual life and faith in Jesus Christ.  And consider that even now we are kept in the faith by the power, grace, and love of God until we receive the kingdom He has prepared for us (1 Peter 1:5; Matthew 25:34). Now, where are the believer’s best thoughts of God’s lovingkindness experienced?  The Holy Spirit by the prophet here gives us the answer – “in the midst of thy temple.”  The temple was at this time the only place God met with Israel and manifested his abiding presence. It was there that the thoughts of Israel were fixed on the sacrifices which pictured Jesus Christ. Even so, now it is the church where God’s saints gather to worship and praise God through the preaching of the Gospel.  Wherever the gospel of Jesus Christ is preached, the minds and hearts of the saints are fixed on the lovingkindness of God.  It is here our affections are set on Christ because where two or three gather together in his name, Jesus is in the midst of them (Matthew 18:20).

Therefore, it is no wonder the Apostle Paul exhorts the saints to not to forsake the assembling of yourselves together. Because when we assemble to worship Christ, He meets with us. And as we hear his word, our thoughts are fixed on His lovingkindness. As the saints of God meet to think of God’s lovingkindness, we find great joy and peace for our


Happiness from Obedience

“I want to be happy.”  Who has not desired this phantom?  But we must understand that the quickest route to unhappiness is to make happiness that which we seek.  What we are to seek is obedience to Christ.  We will find happiness and contentment in doing what we are commanded to do. When we obey the command of the Gospel, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ”, what joy we have.  When we do what we know we should do, what contentment there is, even if the circumstances remain difficult.  The Lord said to His disciples in John 13:17, “If ye know these things, happy are ye if you do them.”  Don’t seek happiness, seek obedience!  True happiness will arise from that.

-Todd Nibert, pastor of Todd’s Road Grace Church, Lexington, KY, USA

Saved First, Then Called

“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” (2 Timothy 1:9)

Notice the divine order given here by the Holy Spirit of God. See that God first saved us then he called us. Salvation comes before our calling.

The experience of our salvation is only the manifestation of what God the Father had purposed, that is, an eternal covenant of Grace (Ezekiel 36:11). It is only the application of what God the Son has already accomplished by his one offering for sin (Hebrews 10:14).

Therefore Paul says “even when we were dead in sins (God) hath quickened us together with Christ…” (Ephesians 2:5).

All who reverse this order are deceived and know not the truth. But we who are called by the effectual call of God know that all our salvation was given of the Father in Christ Jesus before the world began. Salvation was accomplished by the Son at Calvary, and according to his exceeding great power and grace, it has been applied to our hearts.


That Unclean Donkey Is Yourself

“But the firstling of an ass you shall redeem with a lamb. And if you do not redeem it, then you shall break its neck.” Exodus 34:20

Every firstborn creature must be the Lord’s, but since the donkey was unclean, it could not be presented in sacrifice to Him. What then? Should it be allowed to go free from the universal law? By no means! God admits of no exceptions. The donkey is His due — but He will not accept it; He will not abate the claim — but yet He cannot be pleased with the unclean victim. No
way of escape remained, but redemption — the donkey must be saved by the substitution of a lamb in its place; or if not redeemed, it must die!

My soul, here is a lesson for you! That unclean donkey is yourself! You are justly the property of the Lord who made you and preserves you — but you are so sinful that God will not, cannot, accept you! It has come to this: the Lamb of God must stand in your stead — or you must die eternally! Let all the world know of your gratitude to that spotless Lamb who has died for you, and so redeemed you from the fatal curse of the law!

-C.H Spurgeon