C.H. Spurgeon exhorting us, as only he can, to remember our acceptance in God’s sight is based on the merit of Christ. Be encouraged with these words today:
“Mark, believer, how sure and unchanging must be our acceptance, since it is in Him! (in Christ) Take care that you never doubt your acceptance in Jesus. You cannot be accepted without Christ; but, when you have received His merit, you cannot be unaccepted. Notwithstanding all your doubts, and fears, and sins, Jehovah’s gracious eye never looks upon you in anger; though He sees sin in you, in yourself, yet when He looks at you through Christ, He sees no sin. You are always accepted in Christ, are always blessed and dear to the Father’s heart. Therefore lift up a song!”
Psalm 5:11”But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them ever sing for joy,
and spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may exult in you.”
Oh, let my heart sing with a continual song of praise!
Let my life be a continual song of praise.
For You have been my help all the days of my life.
In You I find refuge and strength.
You are my hope and my unfailing joy.
You have given me a song that will endure for all time.
Help me to sing Your praise.
John Calvin points us towards humility when he writes, “It is evident that man never attains to a true self-knowledge until he has previously contemplated the face of God, and come down after such contemplation to look into himself.”
May we this day contemplate upon the face of God as revealed to us in Jesus, and then look into ourselves rightly.
Often, the best thing I can do is bring the wisdom of others to light. In this case, it is Tim Keller who quotes C. S. Lewis on the subject of pride.
This excerpt comes from the wonderful little book by Keller, called “The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness.” It was originally a sermon by him, called “Blessed Self-Forgetfulness”. I’ll post some links to the two at the bottom of this entry.
Keller begins: “In his famous chapter on pride in Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis points out that pride is by nature competitive. It is competitiveness that is at the very heart of pride. ‘Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next person. We say that people are proud of being rich, or clever, or good-looking, but they are not. They are proud of being richer, or cleverer, or better-looking than others. If everyone else became equally rich, or clever, or good-looking there would be nothing to be proud about.’
In other words, we are only proud of being more successful, more intelligent or more good-looking than the next person, and when we are in the presence of someone who is more successful, intelligent and good-looking than we are, we lose all pleasure in what we had. That is because we really had no pleasure in it. We were proud of it. As Lewis says, pride is the pleasure of having more than the next person. Pride is the pleasure of being more than the next person.”
The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness
(note: if you choose the mp3 option for the sermon, the download is free)
By day the Lord commands His steadfast love,
and at night His song is with me,
a prayer to the aged of my life.
The deepest cry of the longing heart that has tasted and seen that the Lord is good comes in Psalm 42 & 43. Three times over the course of the two psalms, the cry goes out, “why are you cast down, o my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.”
Once we have tasted living water, nothing else will satisfy.
“As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.”
Doubt sees the obstacles—Faith sees the way.
Doubt sees the darkest night—Faith sees the day.
Doubt dreads to take a step—Faith soars on high.
Doubt questions, “Who believes?”—Faith answers, “I.”
(I read this today in “Amazing Grace – 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions” by Ken Osbeck)
Psalm 67:3 “Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!”
Praise of God will become the song of all peoples. This is not yet. There are many who do not praise Him. There are many who are outright haters of God. There are many who worship “god”, but not the God of the Bible.
God will judge, so says the next verse. He will judge “with equity”. He is the perfect judge, perfect in His righteousness. Those who have despised and rejected His rule will be judged equitably, fairly, according to the perfect standard of the righteous judge. This seems hard, but consider God’s mercy.
Many will be judged but pronounced “righteous.” They will be able to stand before God. They will praise Him.
The song of praise that His people will sing also contains a large measure of thankfulness.
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” There is not one of us who could stand before the righteous judge. We can stand before Him and praise Him because of the perfect righteousness of Another.
Praise and thankfulness are joined together through the One who has saved us.
Writing on the doctrine of regeneration, C. H. Spurgeon notes, “This great work (regeneration) is supernatural. It is not an operation which a man performs for himself: a new principle is infused, which works in the heart, renews the soul, and affects the entire man. It is not a change of my name, but a renewal of my nature, so that I am not the man I used to be, but a new man in Christ Jesus. To wash and dress a corpse is a far different thing from making it alive: man can do the one, God alone can do the other.”
“Think not that all praise is gathered up in singing! It is the praise of God when the mother tells her child of the goodness of Him who made the stars, and who spread the world with flowers. It is praise when the young convert tells of the joy of his heart to his companion and bids him fly to the Fountain where he has washed and been made clean. It is praise, praise of a high order, too, when the advanced Believer in his old age tells of the faithfulness of God, and how not one good thing has failed of all that the Lord God has promised!” C. H. Spurgeon