Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer. — Ps 66:20
In looking back upon the character of our prayers, if we do it honestly, we shall be filled with wonder that God has ever answered them. There may be some who think that their prayers are worthy of acceptance—as the Pharisee did.
But the true Christian, in a more enlightened retrospect, weeps over his prayers, and if he could retrace his steps—he would desire to pray more earnestly. Remember, Christian, how cold your prayers have been. When in your closet you should have wrestled as Jacob did; but instead thereof, your petitions have been faint and few—far removed from that humble, believing, persevering faith, which cries, “I will not let You go—unless You bless me!” Yet, wonderful to say, God has heard these cold prayers of yours, and not only heard but answered them.
Reflect also, how infrequent have been your prayers, unless you have been in trouble, and then you have gone often to the mercy-seat. But when deliverance has come, where have been your constant supplications? You have ceased to pray as once you did—yet God has not ceased to bless. When you have neglected the mercy-seat, God has not deserted it but the bright light of the Shekinah glory has always been visible between the wings of the cherubim.
Oh! it is marvelous that the Lord should regard those intermittent spasms of importunity, which come and go with our necessities. What a God is He thus to hear the prayers of those who come to Him when they have pressing needs but neglect Him when they have received a mercy; who approach Him when they are forced to come but who almost forget to address Him when mercies are plentiful and sorrows are few. Let His gracious kindness in hearing such prayers, touch our hearts, so that we may henceforth be found “Praying always—with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.”
Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ. — Phil 1:27
This signifies the whole course of our life and behavior in the world. What sort of life is this?
In the first place, the gospel is very simple. So Christians should be simple and plain in their habits. There should be about our manner, our speech, our dress, our whole behavior—that simplicity which is the very soul of beauty.
The gospel is pre-eminently true, it is gold without dross; and the Christian’s life will be lustreless and valueless without the jewel of truth.
The gospel is a very bold gospel, it fearlessly proclaims the truth, whether men like it or not. We must be equally faithful and unflinching.
But the gospel is also very gentle. Mark this spirit in its Founder, “a bruised reed He will not break.” Some professors are sharper than a thorn-hedge; such men are not like Jesus. Let us seek to win others by the gentleness of our words and acts.
The gospel is very loving. It is the message of the God of love to a lost and fallen race. Christ’s last command to His disciples was, “Love one another.” O for more real, hearty love to all the saints—for more tender compassion towards the souls of the worst and vilest of men!
We must not forget that the gospel of Christ is holy. It never excuses sin. It pardons sin but only through an atonement. If our life is to resemble the gospel, we must shun, not merely the grosser vices but everything that would hinder our perfect conformity to Christ.
For His sake, for our own sakes, and for the sakes of others, we must strive day by day to live our life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ!
Morning and Evening - May 24
Public domain content taken from Morning and Evening by Charles H. Spurgeon.