Tag Archives: Light

From “Evening Thoughts” by Winslow

“Then Jesus spoke again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” Joh_8:12

Are you, my reader, a searcher of this life? Are you breathing for it, panting after it, seeking it? Then be it known to you, that He who inspired that desire is Himself the life for which you seek. That heaving of your heart, that yearning of your spirit, that “feeling after God, if haply you may find Him,” is the first gentle pulsation of a life that shall never die. Feeble and fluctuating, faint and fluttering, as its throbbings may be, it is yet the life of God, the life of Christ, the life of glory in your soul. It is the seedling, the germ of immortal flower; it is the sunshine dawn of an eternal day. The announcement with which we meet your case-and it is the only one that can meet it-is, “THIS MAN RECEIVES SINNERS.” Oh joyful tidings! Oh blessed words! Yes, he receives sinners-the vilest-the meanest-the most despised! It was for this He relinquished the abodes of heavenly purity and bliss, to mingle amid the sinful and humiliating scenes of earth. For this He quitted His Father’s bosom for a cross. For this He lived and labored, suffered and died. “He receives sinners!” He receives them of every name and condition-of every stature and character and climate. There is no limit to His ability to pardon, as there is none to the sufficiency of His atonement, or to the melting pity of His heart. Flee, then, to Jesus the crucified. To Him repair with your sins, as scarlet and as crimson, and His blood will wash you whiter than snow. What though they may be as clouds for darkness, or as the sand on the sea-shore for multitude; His grace can take them all away. Come with the accusations and tortures of a guilty conscience, come with the sorrow and relentings of a broken heart, come with the grief of the backslider, and with the confession of the prodigal; Jesus still meets you with the hope-inspiring words-“Him that comes unto me, I will in no wise cast out.” Then, “return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon you; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon!”

 

From “Light and Truth: Bible Thoughts and Themes” by Horatius Bonar

The Holy Fire Of The Altar.

“For our God is consuming fire.”- Heb_12:29.

Is it not written, ‘God is love?’ Is it not also written, ‘God is light?’ Yet here we read, God, nay, ‘our God is a consuming fire.’ We have like words, once and again, in the Old Testament. ‘The Lord thy God is a consuming fire’ (Deu_4:24). ‘The sight of the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire on the top of the mount’ (Exo_24:17). ‘A fire goeth before Him, and burneth up His enemies round about’ (Psa_97:3).

There seems in our text special reference to the fire of the altar, which consumed the sacrifice without consuming the worshipper. ‘There came a fire out from before the Lord, and consumed upon the altar the burnt offering and the fat’ (Lev_9:24). ‘When Solomon had made an end of praying, the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices;…and when all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, they bowed themselves with their faces to the ground upon the pavement, and worshipped, and praised the Lord’ (2Ch_7:1; 2Ch_7:3).

It does seem strange to read, ‘Our God is a consuming fire.’ How is this? Where is the grace here? Where is the gospel, and the pardon, and the childlike confidence? Let us see. The expression is sacrificial and as such let us consider it. It is either the fire coming down from heaven upon the altar, or it is the fire upon the altar fed continually by the wood laid thereon. It is probably both of these; for these are properly one fire, its use being to consume the sacrifice.

I. The fire itself.-It is the symbol of divine anger against evil,- holy, righteous anger,-not the symbol merely of holiness or righteousness (the symbol of these is light), but of holiness and righteousness in their estimate of sin, and in their dealings with sin and the sinner. From Genesis down to Revelation fire is referred to, and always in connection with divine displeasure against the workers of iniquity. We have the flaming sword of Paradise, Sodom and Gomorrha, the doom of Korah, the destruction of the three fifties at the command of Elijah, and the lake of fire. Holy anger against sin,-holy anger consuming the object of its displeasure. It is this that is to blaze forth so terribly against the rejecters of the Son of God when He comes in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God.

II. The place of this fire.-The altar of burnt offering. God has set a place where this fire shall display itself perpetually, burning day and night. It touches nothing but what is on the altar. However many may be standing round, the fire touches them not. It exhausts itself on the sacrifice. The altar receives it, and the victim absorbs it. All else is safe. It is concentrated on this one spot, and pours itself out on the one object, like lightning attracted by a slender conducting-rod, and turning aside to nothing else, but expending itself there. Earth,-the whole earth,-is the guilty region, on which the fire should be poured. But God in His grace withdraws it from this wide sweep, and concentrates it on the one single point, the brazen altar. Nowhere else is it permitted to burn. Earth is safe. The wrath is gathered together and poured down on one spot and one victim. Here is substitution. Here is grace. Here is the withdrawal of the anger from its deserved objects. Here is the assurance that God has no pleasure in the death of the sinner.

III. The power of this fire.-It is the fire of God. It is consuming fire, irresistible fire. It has showed itself in former ages; it is yet to show itself more terribly in the great day. Who can stand before it? Who knoweth the power of Thy wrath? When it waxes hot, it devours all before it. O fire of God, how irresistible art thou! O wrath of God, how terrible art thou! Who can dwell with the devouring fire? who can dwell with the everlasting burnings? Shall not the sinner tremble before it? Shall not the saints of God stand in awe, and rejoice with trembling? An angry God is fearful. Let the sinner turn. A God whose anger is turned away is still to be reverenced and feared by His own.

IV. The effects of this fire.-It may be truly said to have all the properties of earthly fire: (1) it destroys; (2) it purifies; (3) it burns up wood, and hay, and stubble; (4) it separates the dross from the gold; (5) it draws out odor from what is odorous; (6) it makes the bright shine brighter.

But it is of the effects of the fire in connection with the altar that we speak. It quenches itself in the blood of the burnt-offering, and so completes the sacrifice. After this, the sinner who accepts this altar as his place of worship and of approach to God has nothing to fear. The fire is exhausted in so far as the sinner is concerned. The blood waited for the fire, and the fire for the blood. They came at last together, and all was done. ‘It is finished.’ The cry of the victim, ‘Why hast Thou forsaken me?’ showed the completion of the propitiation, and the exhaustion of the holy wrath. The fire is now satisfied. It needs no more. The sin which drew it down (transferred from the sinner to his offering) has been condemned and punished. The offerer is free. There is no condemnation for him. His guilt has been expiated. The fire has consumed the victim, and atonement has been fully made.

Stand by this altar, O man, and this ‘no condemnation’ becomes thine. Meet God here, where the fire and the blood have met, and thou hast nothing to fear. Righteousness propitiated and magnified bids thee come in peace, and go in peace, with ‘Who is he that condemneth?’ upon thy grateful lips, as thy song of praise.

 

 

From “Morning and Evening” by C. H. Spurgeon

“The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon.” – Jdg_7:20

Gideon ordered his men to do two things: covering up a torch in an earthen pitcher, he bade them, at an appointed signal, break the pitcher and let the light shine, and then sound with the trumpet, crying, “The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon! the sword of the Lord, and of Gideon!” This is precisely what all Christians must do. First, you must shine; break the pitcher which conceals your light; throw aside the bushel which has been hiding your candle, and shine. Let your light shine before men; let your good works be such, that when men look upon you, they shall know that you have been with Jesus. Then there must be the sound, the blowing of the trumpet. There must be active exertions for the ingathering of sinners by proclaiming Christ crucified. Take the gospel to them; carry it to their door; put it in their way; do not suffer them to escape it; blow the trumpet right against their ears. Remember that the true war-cry of the Church is Gideon’s watchword, “The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon!” God must do it, it is his own work. But we are not to be idle; instrumentality is to be used-”The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon!” If we only cry, “The sword of the Lord!” we shall be guilty of an idle presumption; and if we shout, “The sword of Gideon!” alone, we shall manifest idolatrous reliance on an arm of flesh: we must blend the two in practical harmony, “The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon!” We can do nothing of ourselves, but we can do everything by the help of our God; let us, therefore, in his name determine to go out personally and serve with our flaming torch of holy example, and with our trumpet tones of earnest declaration and testimony, and God shall be with us, and Midian shall be put to confusion, and the Lord of hosts shall reign for ever and ever.

From “Light and Truth: Bible Thoughts and Themes” by Horatius Bonar

The Coming Kingdom.

“That ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God.” – 2Th_1:5.

“The kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”- Rom_14:17.

We are ‘kings and priests unto God’ (Rev_1:6). The exercise of this royalty and priesthood is not yet. It will come in due time. ‘If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him;’ and the song which the redeemed sing above is, ‘We shall reign on the earth.’ It is an ‘everlasting kingdom’ (2Pe_1:11). It is a ‘heavenly kingdom’ (2Ti_4:18). It is a ‘kingdom which cannot be moved’ (Heb_12:28). It is called the ‘kingdom of heaven’ (Mat_8:28); the ‘kingdom of Christ’ (Eph_5:5); the ‘kingdom of God’ (1Co_15:50). This last name is the most frequent.

There is a kingdom for us. Not for angels, but for the sons of men. It is truly what its name implies-a region ruled over by a king, and filled with subjects, happy, holy subjects; governed by laws, good and blessed laws. It is here called the kingdom of God,-God’s kingdom,-because originated by Him, set up and ruled over by Him. Elsewhere it is called the kingdom of heaven, or the kingdom of Christ.

It is a kingdom to which we are invited,-invited by Him who is its King and Lawgiver, God Himself. He has revealed to us its nature, and proclaimed the law of entrance and exclusion. For no man may make what he please of this kingdom; no man may enter it in his own way, or take possession of it at his own pleasure. The law of entrance is very explicit: ‘Except a man be born again, be cannot see it.’

It is of less moment that we should know the locality, than that we should know its nature and entrance-gate. A right knowledge of these lies at the root of all true religion; and mistakes on these points are fatal. It is a perilous thing not to know the King, or the kingdom, or the way of entrance-the warrant for taking possession of it as our own.

Let us gather from the second of our texts, first, What this kingdom is not; and, secondly, What it is. And let this solemn warning sound in the ears of all who name Christ’s name: ‘The kingdom is not meat and drink;’ or put it in this way, ‘Heaven is not meat and drink;’ or put it in this way, ‘Religion is not meat and drink.’ Take it in any or in all of these forms or senses, it enunciates the same searching truth, and touchingly rebukes the materialistic religions of our day.

I. What it is not.-Of course one might enumerate a hundred things which it is not. But let us take those directly suggested by our text.

(1.) It is not forms-There must be forms in this kingdom; but the forms do not constitute the kingdom. Under Judaism there were many rites, sacrifices,-there was the passover; but these did not make the kingdom. ‘He is not a Jew that is one outwardly.’ ‘The kingdom is not meat and drink.’ So with us there are sacraments, prayers, worship, baptism, the Lord’s Supper, the weekly Sabbath and gathering; but these are not the kingdom. All these may exist, and yet men may be far from it.

(2.) It is not moralities-There must be these, and yet these are not the kingdom. Without them the kingdom cannot be won; yet they are not the entrance. A man may have the gate shut against him, though presenting himself clothed with all the moralities that ever distinguished humanity. So was it with him who came to the Lord saying, ‘All these things have I kept from my youth up.’ He went away sorrowful. It was not the kingdom for him.

(3.) It is not carnalities.-The theory of a large school in our day is, that we are to enjoy the world and its pleasures as much as may be, and that this is real religion,-that thus we honour God by enjoying His world. But this is worldliness, not religion; it is not the kingdom, nor does it resemble it or fit us for it. No doubt, ‘whether we eat or drink,’ we are to do all to His glory; but the mere physical or carnal enjoyments of the world have nothing to do with that glory. Self-denial, not self-indulgence; flesh-crucifying, not flesh-enjoying, is the law of that kingdom now.

Yes, nothing outward, nothing in the flesh, nothing of external display, nothing that feeds self-none of these is the kingdom, or can give us a title to it, or prepare us for it. The body can never be the soul, nor the dress the man, nor the word the deed. Externalism is not the kingdom.

II. What it is.-God’s kingdom has to do with the inner, not the outer man; with the soul, not the body. Everything connected with the kingdom and the King is spiritual, and real, and true, and holy. The words do not imply that the kingdom is not a real kingdom, and that its dwellers are not real men; but that its laws, its service, its employments, its enjoyments, are spiritual and divine. It is righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

(1) It is a righteous kingdom-Its King is the Righteous One. Its laws are righteous; its employments are righteous. The entrance into it is by the righteousness of the Righteous One. All in it and about it is righteousness. Only the righteous enter and dwell there; nothing that defileth.

(2.) It is a peaceful kingdom-There peace dwells. Dispeace has been banished from every heart. It is the kingdom of the reconciled; of men who have found Him who is ‘our peace.’ No variance, no estrangement, no wrath, no trouble yonder!

(3) It is a joyful kingdom-Everything about it is joy; not gloom, nor sorrow, nor darkness. We belong to it, ‘if we hold fast the confidence and rejoicing of the hope;’ if we have joy in God, and are partakers of what Christ calls ‘my joy.’ There are songs of joy; every being in it is full of joy; its King is anointed with the oil of gladness.

All this is in and through the Holy Ghost. He makes the kingdom what it is; and its dwellers what they are,-righteous, peaceful, joyful. It is He who imparts reality, spirituality, truth, holiness, to that kingdom. No Spirit, no kingdom. Ye speak of being heirs of the kingdom. Have ye received the Holy Ghost? Of this kingdom we are to ‘walk worthy,’ and to be ‘counted worthy,’- that is, ‘meet for,’ as it is said, ‘Meet for the inheritance of the saints in light.’

Worthy of the kingdom of God! What an expression! Yes, worthy of God and of His kingdom. Such are we to be even here. Such is to be our life on earth. A life of holiness, and self-denial, and devotedness to that God in whose kingdom we are kings; a life of righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

Yet though our life here is to be a life worthy of or corresponding to, the holy nature of that kingdom, still our right of entrance and possession does not depend on any such worthiness. That right comes from and through another. Another’s grace and another’s worthiness give us the introduction into that kingdom. It is absolutely and entirely on the ground of what Christ is, not of what we are, that we enter in. His excellency comes in the place of our unfitness, so soon as we accept the Father’s testimony to that excellency, and consent to be treated on the ground of it alone. A growing fitness for that glory, and a growing likeness to its inheritors, is unspeakably blessed and desirable. Nay, to this we are called. Yet that fitness has nothing to do with our right. The fitness is one thing, the right is another. Live enter the kingdom as does a little child who has had no time nor opportunity to acquire fitness, but gets in on the ground of another’s doings. We enter the kingdom as did the thief upon the cross, who all his life long had done nothing but evil, and seemed wholly unfit to possess a kingdom into which nothing that defileth shall enter.

O blessed freeness! Freeness absolute and unconditional; freeness which makes no exceptions, but receives all who come; freeness which does not suspend itself upon one good thought, or feeling, or wish on our part, of any kind whatsoever, but throws wide open the everlasting gate, that the chief of sinners may enter in freer than the air which we inhale; freer than the sunlight; freer than the rain of heaven, is this access into the kingdom of God.

The Father beseeches; the Saviour invites; the Spirit calls; good angels beckon; Christ’s ministers entreat; and the one dear sound which they make to echo through earth, and to pierce the wanderer’s ears, is, enter in. All is free; all is ready; all is for you.

 

 

From “Morning and Evening” by C. H. Spurgeon

“If we walk in the light, as he is in the light.” – Joh_1:7

As he is in the light! Can we ever attain to this? Shall we ever be able to walk as clearly in the light as he is whom we call “Our Father,” of whom it is written, “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all?” Certainly, this is the model which it set before us, for the Saviour himself said, “Be ye perfect, even as your Father who is in heaven is perfect;” and although we may feel that we can never rival the perfection of God, yet we are to seek after it, and never to be satisfied until we attain to it. The youthful artist, as he grasps his early pencil, can hardly hope to equal Raphael or Michael Angelo, but still, if he did not have a noble beau ideal before his mind, he would only attain to something very mean and ordinary. But what is meant by the expression that the Christian is to walk in light as God is in the light? We conceive it to import likeness, but not degree. We are as truly in the light, we are as heartily in the light, we are as sincerely in the light, as honestly in the light, though we cannot be there in the same measure. I cannot dwell in the sun, it is too bright a place for my residence, but I can walk in the light of the sun; and so, though I cannot attain to that perfection of purity and truth which belongs to the Lord of hosts by nature as the infinitely good, yet I can set the Lord always before me, and strive, by the help of the indwelling Spirit, after conformity to his image. That famous old commentator, John Trapp, says, “We may be in the light as God is in the light for quality, but not for equality.” We are to have the same light, and are as truly to have it and walk in it as God does, though, as for equality with God in his holiness and purity, that must be left until we cross the Jordan and enter into the perfection of the Most High. Mark that the blessings of sacred fellowship and perfect cleansing are bound up with walking in the light.

My Prayer to the Father, August 15, 2012

Heavenly Father
My cup overflows with Your love;
You who give me all that
I have keep giving me more.
Father, You have blessed me
Beyond measure.
Father, You have given me
Such a place
Within Your mind and heart
So filled with Your
Love and goodness
That I am overflowing with it,
And it’s strength
And it’s beauty
And it’s purpose
Is something that I cannot
Ignore.

Heavenly Father
You have given me
Streams of living water;
You have made me
A fountain that overflows
With love
& joy
& peace
& strength
& faith
& trust.
You have given me Wisdom
And Knowledge.
You have given me
In my inward parts
Truth!

Heavenly Father
All that is beautiful
I have
Because You have given
It to me.
You have held no good
Honorable
Beautiful
Praise worthy
Thing from me.
You have given me that
Greatest gift;
That most treasured,
And precious gift
That shines upon my soul
Brighter than the
Brightest light
In My beloved
Lord and Savior
Jesus.

Heavenly Father
I come to You tonight
And I ask You
In the name of He who is
Holy and Perfect and True
In the name of Jesus.
Father I ask You
To do only what You can;
Father
I pray for my brothers and sisters
In Christ
Who have stood beneath
The cleansing flood
Of His precious blood,
And I ask You
To give to them what
You have so graciously given
To me.
Father,
I pray that You do whatever
You have to do
To bring them to the point
Where they, too
Can feel the cup of joy
Overflowing within them.
Father
Make their light to shine
In the darkness;
Make their life
A beacon , a lighthouse
That can safely guide
Those who still
Sail upon stormy seas.

Heavenly Father
I see so many of my beloved
Brothers and sisters
Stuck in the quicksand
Of this grasping world
Struggling and in despair
Wanting and wanting to let go
Of sin.
Trying to hold on
And let go
To that which should it
Maintain it’s grasp
Will lead them
Where no one should have
To go.

Heavenly Father
I beg You to send
Those of your children
Who have Your strength
And Your love
And Your truth
Flowing ever onwards
In and through them
To those
Whom You love
To pull them from the
Quagmire.

Heavenly Father
Send Your faithful servants
With their loins girt with Your truth
And their feet shod with the
Preparation of the Gospel of peace,
And wearing the helmet of their salvation
Upon their heads;
With their shields of faith,
With their breastplates of righteousness,
And With their mighty swords,
And let them
Stand before and around
Your little ones,
And let them cut a swathe
Through the clutching hands
Of evil
To clear the path
To where You are ever waiting.

Heavenly Father
Show Your Children
All Your Children
That Love is mighty;
Love is true;
Love seeks not it’s own way
But the way for others;
Show them love
Holds no hand with compromise;
But stands against it
Ever ready with the truth.
Show them love
Is not to embrace or yield
To evil
But to confront it
And to turn from it’s path
Those who walk upon it.

In Jesus name, I pray
Amen.

 

 

My Prayer to the Father, August 9, 2012

Heavenly Father
I come to You, Father, as
The Father of Light
Piercing the darkness,
As the Truth
That cuts through all
That is false.
You are the Eternal
And Forever God.

I come to You, Father,
In worship and praise,
And with a humble heart
That is filled
With gratitude
And love.
I thank You Heavenly Father
For Your manifold blessings
And for all the ways
In which You
Bestow Your love
Upon us.

Heavenly Father
I come to You with a plea
This night, a simple plea.
Father, please never
Let me forget why I’m here,
And what my purpose is.
Please Heavenly Father
Don’t let me fall into
Vainglory,
Do not for a second
Let me think that anything
I do is important,
Or anything that You can’t
And haven’t done
Through others.
Help me to remember
That it’s not about
My doing it,
But that someone
Does it.

Heavenly Father
help me to grasp the importance
Of looking to Your Word,
To prayer,
And to the wisdom of
Godly counselors,
And the leading of the
Holy Spirit
To guide me
In the living out of my life
In this world
As I walk as a pilgrim
Upon foreign soil.

Heavenly Father
I pray that You give me
A deep and abiding need
To know Your Word of Truth,
And to treasure Wisdom
Above rubies and gold, and
That You will give and
Increase my desire
To live by it And thus
be led by it.

Heavenly Father
Help me to realize
And understand
That living in wisdom
Is to look
At each and every
Situation
From an eternal perspective
And one that honors
All that You are.
Help me to know
That when wisdom
Is in the lead
It doesn’t lead me
Into thorns.

In Jesus name, I pray,
Amen.

 

 

My Prayer to the Father, August 6, 2012

Heavenly Father,
You, who are the builder
Of all.
You have allowed us
To build our houses
Within the realm
Of what You built first.

Heavenly Father
You, who are the Almighty God;
Great is Your name;
Great is Your faithfulness;
You are truth;
You are the eternal light
That makes the darkness
As bright as the
Noon day sun.

Heavenly Father
From where You sit
There is no hiding
From Your eyes.
You see everything, all;
There is nothing hidden
In the heart of man
That is not open and
Bare before You.

Heavenly Father,
You, who have made the secret place;
You who have made a place
Where all who desire to know
Truth can reside
In gladness of heart
And spirit.

Heavenly Father,
You, who are all and in all,
And through all
That which is good
And beautiful
And worthy of praise
Comes to man.
You, who made man
A little lower than the angels
And gave him honor
And glory
And put all within the
Grasp of his little hand
And underneath his feet.
Man, who is nothing more
Than a breath and
Sigh upon Your lips.

Heavenly Father,
How amazing it is, and
Beyond comprehension that
You could love us so.
How tragic that we who are
So valued in Your eyes
Cannot see how special
How valuable we are.
What sadness we bear
For nothing
Because of the blindness
Of our spiritual eyes.

Heavenly Father,
You, who in the beginning
Made us perfect;
Who gave all man could
Ever want, ever need;
Who You gave free passage to;
Who You allowed to partake
Of everything.
You, who held nothing back
But for one tree
And he could not stay away.

Heavenly Father,
You, who knew their coming failure
Knew from eternity past
That they would need a Savior,
And in Your eternal spirit
You made it possible
For man to be redeemed;
You, once again
Took it upon Yourself to
Provide that which
Man needed most of all;
Light to see by.

Heavenly Father,
You, provided in Your love,
In Your holiness, and justice
And perfection
What man in his chosen darkness
Did not deserve;
Your, Son.
He who from eternity past
Set upon the throne
Chose to take on the flesh of man
And to walk upon this earth
Tempted in every way
As we are,
Yet, He was without sin.
Perfect in every way.

Heavenly Father,
He, who knew no sin
Took sin upon himself;
The sins of the world,
Our sins,
And stood before royalty
With no word upon
His lips,
And like a sheep
Led to slaughter
Took not the easy way.

Heavenly Father,
He who bore our sins
Took all the worst that man
Can do, that we can do,
And turned not away;
And, carried His cross
Upon bleeding shoulders
To a hill far away.

Heavenly Father,
What agony to endure
A body wracked with pain,
Broken, bloody,
Who in His brokenness
Took all the darkness
That lay upon man
And lay upon His cross
As the nails were driven in.

Heavenly Father,
Thank You. Thank You.
You, who gave all
So that we might live.
Have you not the right
To expect our honor,
Our worship;
Our praise?

Heavenly Father
I have only one request of You;
Make me a reminder
To all I meet what precious blood
Was spilt upon that cross.
Make me a reminder
What sin costs.
Make me a reminder
Of what love is.
Make me a reminder
As long as I live.

In Jesus name, I pray,
Amen.