Spurgeon on the blessings of praise

This is a wonderful exhortation on the blessings of praise. It comes from the devotional, “Morning and Evening.”

“I will praise thee, O Lord.”
— Psalm 9:1

Praise should always follow answered prayer; as the mist of earth’s gratitude rises when the sun of heaven’s love warms the ground. Hath the Lord been gracious to thee, and inclined his ear to the voice of thy supplication? Then praise him as long as thou livest. Let the ripe fruit drop upon the fertile soil from which it drew its life. Deny not a song to him who hath answered thy prayer and given thee the desire of thy heart.

To be silent over God’s mercies is to incur the guilt of ingratitude; it is to act as basely as the nine lepers, who after they had been cured of their leprosy, returned not to give thanks unto the healing Lord. To forget to praise God is to refuse to benefit ourselves; for praise, like prayer, is one great means of promoting the growth of the spiritual life.

It helps to remove our burdens, to excite our hope, to increase our faith. It is a healthful and invigorating exercise which quickens the pulse of the believer, and nerves him for fresh enterprises in his Master’s service. To bless God for mercies received is also the way to benefit our fellow-men; “the humble shall hear thereof and be glad.” Others who have been in like circumstances shall take comfort if we can say, “Oh! magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together; this poor man cried, and the Lord heard him.” Weak hearts will be strengthened, and drooping saints will be revived as they listen to our “songs of deliverance.” Their doubts and fears will be rebuked, as we teach and admonish one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. They too shall “sing in the ways of the Lord,” when they hear us magnify his holy name.

Praise is the most heavenly of Christian duties. The angels pray not, but they cease not to praise both day and night; and the redeemed, clothed in white robes, with palm-branches in their hands, are never weary of singing the new song, “Worthy is the Lamb.”

C.H. Spurgeon

Sit at Jesus’ feet

I love C. H. Spurgeon’s call to love Jesus with all we are for all that He is. This is from his devotional, “Morning and Evening”

Morning, October 14

 

“I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord.” 

— Philippians 3:8

 

Spiritual knowledge of Christ will be a personal knowledge. I cannot know Jesus through another person’s acquaintance with him. No, I must know him myself; I must know him on my own account. It will be an intelligent knowledge—I must know him, not as the visionary dreams of him, but as the Word reveals him. I must know his natures, divine and human. I must know his offices—his attributes—his works—his shame—his glory. I must meditate upon him until I “comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge.” It will be an affectionate knowledge of him; indeed, if I know him at all, I must love him. An ounce of heart knowledge is worth a ton of head learning. Our knowledge of him will be a satisfying knowledge. When I know my Saviour, my mind will be full to the brim—I shall feel that I have that which my spirit panted after. “This is that bread whereof if a man eat he shall never hunger.” At the same time it will be an exciting knowledge; the more I know of my Beloved, the more I shall want to know. The higher I climb the loftier will be the summits which invite my eager footsteps. I shall want the more as I get the more. Like the miser’s treasure, my gold will make me covet more. To conclude; this knowledge of Christ Jesus will be a most happy one; in fact, so elevating, that sometimes it will completely bear me up above all trials, and doubts, and sorrows; and it will, while I enjoy it, make me something more than “Man that is born of woman, who is of few days, and full of trouble”; for it will fling about me the immortality of the ever living Saviour, and gird me with the golden girdle of his eternal joy. Come, my soul, sit at Jesus’s feet and learn of him all this day.

 

Overlapping Devotional thoughts

As part of my daily devotions I read through Scripture and read from Kenneth Osbeck’s “Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions”. I also frequently read from C. H. Spurgeon’s excellent “Morning and Evening” devotional. Today there was a happy overlapping of the devotional thoughts from them. First, here is a quote from the Spurgeon:

“We are married unto Christ; and shall our great Bridegroom permit his spouse to linger in constant grief? Our hearts are knit unto him: we are his members, and though for awhile we may suffer as our Head once suffered, yet we are even now blessed with heavenly blessings in him. We have the earnest (down payment or guarantee) of our inheritance in the comforts of the Spirit, which are neither few nor small. Inheritors of joy for ever, we have foretastes of our portion. There are streaks of the light of joy to herald our eternal sunrising. Our riches are beyond the sea; our city with firm foundations lies on the other side the river; gleams of glory from the spirit-world cheer our hearts, and urge us onward.”

The hymn for today is called “The Sands of Time Are Sinking” by Anne Ross Cousin (1824-1906). Here is the hymn text, as quoted in the devotional:

The sands of time are sinking, the dawn of heaven breaks; the summer morn I’ve sighed for—the fair, sweet morn awakes. Dark, dark hath been the midnight, but day-spring is at hand, and glory, glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.

O Christ, He is the fountain, the deep, sweet well of love! The streams on earth I’ve tasted more deep I’ll drink above: There to an ocean fulness His mercy doth expand, and glory, glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.

O I am my Beloved’s, and my Beloved’s mine! He brings a poor vile sinner into His “house of wine.” I stand upon His merit—I know no other stand, not e’en where glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.

The Bride eyes not her garment but her dear Bridegroom’s face; I will not gaze at glory but on my King of grace, not at the crown He giveth but on His pierced hand: The Lamb is all the glory of Immanuel’s land.

Spurgeon says, “we have foretastes of our portion”. The hymn says, “the streams on earth I’ve tasted more deep I’ll drink above.”

“There are streaks of the light of joy to herald our eternal sunrising”, says Spurgeon.  “The dawn of heaven breaks…the fair, sweet morn awakes” speaks the hymn.

There is also the comparison of the church and Christ as Bridegroom and Bride: “We are married unto Christ; and shall our great Bridegroom permit his spouse to linger in constant grief?” “The Bride eyes not her garment but her dear Bridegroom’s face.”

All, all of this is written to encourage our hearts towards thoughts of our eternal home. May we ever more be sighing for that “summer morn” of the Eternal Day in Heaven…

 

How Great Is the Love

“It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to Your name, O Most High” Psalm 92:1

This Sunday we’ll be singing a new song, called “How Great Is the Love”.

It’s a wonderful, sweet song of thankfulness. This is Paul Baloche’s version of the song.

How Great Is the Love

by Meredith Andrews, Paul Baloche, and Jacob Sooter

Thank You for the way that You love us

How You love us

Thank You for the way You have made us

We were created

For Your pleasure, for Your presence

For the glory of Your name

Thank You for the way that You love us

 

Jesus, faithful King

Lord, with grateful hearts we sing

How great is the love

How great is the love

Of our Savior

The weight of the cross, the curse of our shame

You carried it all and rose from the grave

How great is the love, how great is the love

Of our Savior

 

Thank You for Your grace that has saved us

You forgave us

Thank You for the way You have freed us

We have been ransomed

We’ve been rescued, we’ve been purchased

With the price of Your own life

Thank You for the way that You love us

Psalm for the day — Friday, Feb. 17, 2012

 

Psalm 48

1 Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised

in the city of our God!

His holy mountain, 2 beautiful in elevation,

is the joy of all the earth…

8 As we have heard, so have we seen

in the city of the Lord of hosts,

in the city of our God,

which God will establish forever.

Selah

9 We have thought on your steadfast love, O God,

in the midst of your temple.

10 As your name, O God,

so your praise reaches to the ends of the earth.

Your right hand is filled with righteousness.

We were practicing the song form of this Psalm just last night. We have sung it often through the years at FBC. “Great Is the Lord and Most Worthy of Praise” is the song we sing. The chorus is

“And Lord, we want to lift Your name on high;

And Lord, we want to thank You for the works You’ve done in our lives;

And Lord, we trust in Your unfailing love,

For You alone are God eternal, throughout earth and heaven above.”


So the song is a song of praise for God’s lovingkindness and work in our lives. This is based on God’s supreme majesty and unchangeableness. Because He is sovereign and eternal, He will not change. We can count on Him. Though the song doesn’t mention it per se, He grants us these blessings based on His generous grace, not on our worth. So then His grace is magnified in the light of His bestowing upon people like you and me.


The psalm is a paean to the City of God. vis.


1 Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised

in the city of our God!

His holy mountain, 2 beautiful in elevation,

is the joy of all the earth,

Mount Zion, in the far north,

the city of the great King.

3 Within her citadels God

has made himself known as a fortress.

12 Walk about Zion, go around her,

number her towers,

13 consider well her ramparts,

go through her citadels,

that you may tell the next generation

14 that this is God,

our God forever and ever.

He will guide us forever.


From the ESV Study Bible: “The singing congregation addresses one another, inviting them to review the strength of Zion; as vv. 1–3 made clear, this is not purely the city’s material defenses. The worshipers know that the people of God are secure, and are commissioned to tell the next generation of their security and their mission.”

The people of God are secure because God makes them secure, not the strength of their towers and walls. As in v. 3: “Within her citadels God has made Himself known as a fortress.” God is the fortress.


So we sing to God, our fortress. We give Him praise and thanks. Meditate upon this as we sing…

Psalm for the day — Feb. 9, 2012

 Psalm 40

9 I have told the glad news of deliverance in the great congregation;

behold, I have not restrained my lips, as you know, O Lord.

10 I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart;

I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;

I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness

from the great congregation.


It is my joy and privilege to speak and sing of God’s faithfulness and salvation, His steadfast love and righteousness, every Sunday before “the great congregation.” We get to do that with each other, too, as we address “one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” (Eph. 5:19, see also Col. 3:16). These are truths that we need to hear and speak/sing every day, but we get a special joy and encouragement when we do this in “the great congregation.” Don’t forget, too, that there is an evangelistic aspect to our worship. (See 1 Cor. 14:24-25)

My excitement is stirred afresh to go to the house of the Lord. Remember, dear saints, that you are that house (Eph. 2:19-22).