November 4, 2009

Good ole' Spurgeon

I think I've talked about my favorite devotional here before; it's called Morning and Evening by Charles Haddon Spurgeon. I've read through it completely once and am working on my second time through it now; the passages are never old or redundant. Because Spurgeon was a 19th century preacher from London, his speeches/writings are not always the easiest to understand. Therefore, the version I have of the devotional uses updated language, revised by Alistair Begg (also from London, now based in Cleveland; a good modern-day preacher, as far as I know and have heard personally).

Anyhow, when I picked up the book this morning, I thought about how I would like to just re-read the morning passage from yesterday; it's my favorite in the entire book. (Crazy as it seems to me, I haven't posted on that passage specifically but have typed up others here and here.) I relented and moved forward, though, knowing that God has blessed this minuscule obedience many times by providing just the right word for me at just the right moment.

Today's passage was just what I had to hear today, especially after some stressful times yesterday and the great teaching I received last night in class. I thought I'd type it out for you today; put it out there and share it in case it brings some things to the surface for you or just reminds you of where true strength comes from. Enjoy!

Morning passage from November 4th
"For my power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9

A primary qualification for serving God with any amount of success, and for doing God's work well and triumphantly, is a sense of our own weakness. When God's warrior marches out to battle, strong in his own might, when he boasts, "I know that I will overcome - my own ability and my self-confidence will be enough for victory," defeat is staring him in the face. God will not enable the man who marches in his own strength. He who reckons on victory by such means has reckoned wrongly, for "not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts." (Zechariah 4:6) Those who go out to fight, boasting of their ability, will return with their banners trailing in the dust and their armor stained with disgrace. Those who serve God must serve Him in His own way and in His strength, or He will never accept their service. Whatever a man does, unaided by divine strength, God can never own. The mere fruits of the earth He casts away; He will only reap corn the seed of which was sown from heaven, watered by grace, and ripened by the sun of divine love. God will empty out all that you have before He will put His own into you; He will first clean out your granaries before He will fill them with the finest of wheat. The river of God is full of water; but not one drop of it flows from earthly springs. God will have no strength used in His battles but the strength that He Himself imparts. Are you mourning over your own weakness? Take courage, for there must be a consciousness of weakness before the Lord will give you victory. Your emptiness is but the preparation for your being filled, and you are being humbled to prepare you for being lifted up.

When I am weak then am I strong, grace is my shield and Christ my song.

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