Wednesday, July 15, 2009

July 14th - Evening

When I read the devotional tonight, I was immediately convicted and humbled. So much of what Spurgeon writes in this book seems to be written directly AT me. Every line of this devotional spoke to my heart and rather than attempting to add anything to it, or to write out my thoughts on it, I will just let it speak for itself:

"Let us learn from Mary Magdalene how to obtain fellowship with the Lord Jesus. Notice how she sought. She sought the Savior very early in the morning. If you can wait for Christ and be patient in the hope of having fellowship with Him at some distant season, you will never have fellowship at all; for the heart that is fitted for communion is a hungering and a thirsting heart. She sought Him also with great boldness. Other disciples fled from the tomb, or they trembled and were amazed; by Mary, it is said, 'stood' at the tomb. If you would have Christ with you, seek Him boldly. Let nothing hold you back. Defy the world. Press on where others flee. She sought Christ faithfully--she stood at the tomb. Some find it hard to stand by a living Savior, but she stood by a dead one. Let us seek Christ after this mode, cleaving to the very least thing that has to do with Him, remaining faithful though all others should forsake Him. Note further, she sought Jesus earnestly--she stood 'weeping.' Those teardrops were as spells that led the Savior captive and made Him come forth and show Himself to her. If you desire Jesus' presence, weep after it! If you cannot be happy unless He come and say to you 'You are My beloved,' you will soon hear His voice. Lastly, she sought the Savior only. What did she care about angels? She turned herself back from them; her search was only for her Lord. If Christ is your one and only love, if you heart has cast out all rivals, you will soon enjoy the comfort of His presence. Mary Magadelene sought thus because she loved much. Let us arouse ourselves to the same intensity of affection; let our heart, like Mary's, be full of Christ, and our love, like hers, will be satisfied with nothing short of Himself. O Lord, reveal Yourself to us this evening!"

Friday, July 10, 2009

July 10 - Morning

The theme of both devotions today is Heaven. I couldn't help but marvel at the way in which Spurgeon, yet again, manages to dissect a passage in such a way that it reveals to us the meaning in a way that makes me want to slap my forehead and say "Why didn't I think of that?"

The passage for the morning's devotion is Eph. 2:19 - "So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God..." (ESV) What Spurgeon reveals in this passage is something that I have missed in my readings, and I would say that a great many other believers have missed it as well. What Spurgeon focuses on is this: We are, as the passage says, ALREADY citizens with the saints and members of the household of God. Spurgeon calls us "citizens of heaven."

What does this mean? Citizens of heaven? It gave me pause, because like most people, I view heaven as the place Christians go when they die. The end goal of Christianity is heaven, right? The Christian walk is a journey through a foreign country on our way back home, isn't it?

This is all very true, but Spurgeon argues that many of the expected rights and privileges are already ours. He says, "The glory that belongs to beatified saints belongs to us, for we are already sons of God, already princes of the blood imperial; already we wear the spotless robe of Jesus' righteousness; already we have angels for our servants, saints for our companions, Christ for our Brother, God for our Father and a crown of immortality for our reward."

This, of course, throws a whole different perspective on the present Christian life, and my responsibilities, and rewards in it. It challenges me to live every day, not as a citizen of this world, certainly, but more than that, to live as one who has already had a place laid for him at the Lamb's feast. It challenges me to never forget that, not only am I journeying through this life on my way to heaven, but that I am already a citizen of the Celestial City. It encourages me to remember that I will not be greeted at the heavenly gates as a wanderer seeking to find rest, but as a returning prince, as a well-known member of the family of faith, as a companion of the saints and full-blooded child of God.