Tag Archives: Sanctification

“Our best havings are wantings” by C.S. Lewis

“All joy (as distinct from mere pleasure, still more amusement) emphasizes our pilgrim status: always reminds, beckons, awakes desire.

Our best havings are wantings.”

–C.S. Lewis, Letters of C.S. Lewis, eds. W.H. Lewis and Walter Hooper (New York: Harper, 1966), 565.

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“Put first things first” by C.S. Lewis

“You can’t get second things by putting them first; you can get second things only by putting first things first.

From which it would follow that the question, ‘What things are first?’ is of concern not only to philosophers but to everyone.

It is impossible, in this context, not to inquire what our own civilization has been putting first for the last thirty years. And the answer is plain.

It has been putting itself first.”

–C.S. Lewis, “First and Second Things,” God in the Dock: Essays on God and Ethics, Ed. Walter Hooper (New York: Harper, 1970), 280-281.

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“The picture of a father” by Charles Spurgeon

“Survey the picture of a father who sees his child returning from the error of his way. In the New Testament, you see the portrait Divinely drawn.

When the prodigal was a great way off, his father saw him. Oh, to have quick eyes to spy out the awakened!

The father ran to meet him. Oh, to be eager to help the hopeful!

He fell upon his neck, and kissed him. Oh, for a heart overflowing with love, to joy and rejoice over seeking ones!

As that father was, such should we be; ever loving, and ever on the outlook.

Our eyes, and ears, and feet should ever be given to penitents. Our tears and open arms should be ready for them.

The father in Christ is the man to remember the best robe, and the ring, and the sandals.

He remembers those provisions of grace because he is full of love to the returning one.

Love is a practical theologian, and takes care to deal practically with all the blessings of the covenant, and all the mysteries of revealed truth.

It does not hide away the robe and ring in a treasury of theology; but brings them forth, and puts them on.

O my brethren, as you are the sons of God, be also fathers in God!

Let this be the burning passion of your souls.

Grow to be leaders and champions. God give you the honour of maturity, the glory of strength!”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, An All-Round Ministry: Addresses to Ministers and Students (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1900/1960), 193-194.

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“Did He set about it by organizing a monster Conference, or by publishing a great book?” by Charles Spurgeon

“Let me remind you how the Saviour lived. He never settled down in desires and resolves, but girded Himself for constant service.

He said, ‘My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me, and to finish His work.’ (John 4:34)

Soul-winning must be meat and drink to us. To do the Lord’s work must be as necessary as food to us.

His Father’s work is that in which we also are engaged, and we cannot do better than imitate our Lord. Tell me, then, how Jesus set about it.

Did He set about it by arranging to build a huge Tabernacle, or by organizing a monster Conference, or by publishing a great book, or by sounding a trumpet before Him in any other form?

Did He aim at something great, and altogether out of the common line of service?

Did He bid high for popularity, and wear Himself out by an exhausting sensationalism?

No. He called disciples to Him one by one, and instructed each one with patient care.

To take a typical instance of His method, watch Him as He paused in the heat of the day. He sat upon a well, and talked with a woman,– a woman who was none of the best.

This looked like slow work, and very common-place action. Yet we know that it was right and wise.

To that single auditor, He did not deliver a list of clever maxims, like those of Confucius, or profound philosophies, like those of Socrates.

But He talked simply, plainly, and earnestly with her about her own life, her personal needs, and the living water of grace by which those needs could be supplied.

He won her heart, and through her many more; but He did it in a way of which many would think little. He was beyond the petty ambitions of our vain-glorious hearts.

He cared not for a large congregation; He did not even ask for a pulpit.

He desired to be the spiritual Father of that one daughter; and, for that purpose, He must needs go through Samaria, and must, in His utmost weariness, tell her of the water of life.

Brethren, let us lay aside vanity. Let us grow more simple, natural, and father-like as we mature; and let us be more and more completely absorbed in our life-work.

As the Lord shall help us, let us lay our all upon the altar, and only breathe for Him.”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, An All-Round Ministry: Addresses to Ministers and Students (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1900/1960), 194-196.

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“We shall bring our Lord most glory if we get from Him much grace” by Charles Spurgeon

“One thing is past all question; we shall bring our Lord most glory if we get from Him much grace.

If I have much faith, so that I can take God at His word; much love, so that the zeal of His house eats me up; much hope, so that I am assured of fruit from my labour; much patience, so that I can endure hardness for Jesus’ sake; then I shall greatly honour my Lord and King.

Oh, to have much consecration, my whole nature being absorbed in His service; then, even though my talents may be slender, I shall make my life to burn and glow with the glory of the Lord!

This way of grace is open to us all. To be saintly is within each Christian’s reach, and this is the surest method of honouring God.

Though the preacher may not collect more than a hundred in a village chapel to hear him speak, he may be such a man of God that his little church will be choice seed-corn, each individual worthy to be weighed against gold.

The preacher may not get credit for his work in the statistics which reckon scores and hundreds; but in that other book, which no secretary could keep, where things are weighed rather than numbered, the worker’s register will greatly honour his Master.”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, An All-Round Ministry: Addresses to Ministers and Students (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1900/1960), 233.

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“I’m talking about Charles Haddon Spurgeon” by John Piper

“Mountains are not meant to envy. In fact they are not meant even to be possessed by anyone on earth. They are, as David says, ‘the mountains of God’ (Psalm 36:6).

If you try to make your Minnesota hill imitate a mountain, you will make a fool of your hill.

Hills have their place. So do the plains of Nebraska. If the whole world were mountains, where would we grow bread? Every time you eat bread say, ‘Praise God for Nebraska!’

I’m talking about Charles Haddon Spurgeon. I am warning my wavering self that he is not to be imitated.

Spurgeon preached as a Baptist pastor in London from 1854 until 1891—thirty-eight years of ministry in one place.

He died January 31, 1892, at the age of fifty-seven.

His collected sermons fill sixty-three volumes equivalent to the twenty-seven-volume ninth edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica and stand as the largest set of books by a single author in the history of Christianity.

He read six serious books a week and could remember what was in them and where.

He read Pilgrim’s Progress more than one hundred times.

He added 14,460 people to his church membership and did almost all the membership interviews himself.

He could look out on a congregation of 5,000 and name the members.

He founded a pastors’ college and trained almost 900 men during his pastorate.

Spurgeon once said he had counted as many as eight sets of thoughts that passed through his mind at the same time while he was preaching.

He often prayed for his people during the very sermon he was preaching to them.

He would preach for forty minutes at 140 words a minute from a small sheet of notes that he had worked up the night before.

The result? More than twenty-five thousand copies of his sermons were sold each week in twenty languages, and someone was converted every week through the written sermons.

Spurgeon was married and had two sons who became pastors.

His wife was an invalid most of her life and rarely heard him preach.

He founded an orphanage, edited a magazine, produced more than 140 books, responded to 500 letters a week, and often preached ten times a week in various churches as well as his own.

He suffered from gout, rheumatism, and Bright’s disease, and in the last twenty years of his ministry he was so sick that he missed a third of the Sundays at the Metropolitan Tabernacle.

He was a politically liberal, conservative Calvinistic Baptist who smoked cigars, spoke his mind, believed in hell, and wept over the perishing, tens of thousands of whom were saved through his soul-winning passion.

He was a Christian hedonist, coming closer than anyone I know to my favorite sentence: “’God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.’

Spurgeon said, ‘One thing is past all question; we shall bring our Lord most glory if we get from Him much grace.’

What shall we make of such a man? Neither a god nor a goal. He should not be worshiped or envied.

He is too small for the one and too big for the other. If we worship such men, we are idolaters. If we envy them, we are fools.

Mountains are not meant to be envied. They are meant to be marveled at for the sake of their Maker. They are the mountains of God.

More than that, without envy, we are meant to climb into their minds and hearts and revel in what they saw so clearly and what they felt so deeply.

We are to benefit from them without craving to be like them. When we learn this, we can relax and enjoy them.

Until we learn it, they may make us miserable, because they highlight our weaknesses. Well, we are weak, and to be reminded of it is good.

But we also need to be reminded that, compared with our inferiority to God, the distance between us and Spurgeon is as nothing. We are all utterly dependent on our Father’s grace.

Spurgeon had his sins. That may comfort us in our weak moments.

But let us rather be comforted that his greatness was a free gift of God—to us as well as him. Let us be, by the grace of God, all that we can be for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 15:10).

In our smallness, let us not become smaller by envy, but rather larger by humble admiration and gratitude for the gifts of others.

Do not envy the mountain; glory in its Creator.

You’ll find the air up there cool, fresh, and invigorating and the view stunning beyond description.

So don’t envy. Enjoy!”

–John Piper, “Mountains Are Not Meant to Envy: Awed Thoughts on Charles Spurgeon,” A Godward Life: Savoring the Supremacy of God in All Life (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Publishers, 1997), 263–265.

Charles Haddon Spurgeon was born on June 19, 1834.

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“Grace is the beginning of glory” by Thomas Manton

“Grace is the beginning of glory, and glory is but grace perfected.

Grace is glory in the bud, and moulding, and making; for when the apostle would express our whole conformity to Christ, he only expresseth it thus, ‘We are changed into his image from glory to glory,’ (2 Cor 3:18), that is, from one degree of grace to another.

It is called glory, because the progress of holiness never ceaseth till it comes to the perfection of glory and life eternal. The first degree of grace is glory begun, and the final consummation is glory perfected.

All the degrees of our conformity to Christ are so called. It is a bud of that sinless, pure, immaculate estate which shall be without spot and wrinkle; the seed of that perfect holiness which shall be bestowed upon us hereafter.

Thus the spiritual life is described in its whole flux; it begins in grace, and ends in glory.

See the golden chain: Rom. 8:30, ‘Whom he hath called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified.’

There is no mention of sanctification, for that is included in glory.

Grace is but young glory, and differs from glory as an infant doth from a man; therefore by degrees the Lord will have you enter upon your everlasting inheritance.”

–Thomas Manton, The Works of Thomas Manton, Vol. 13 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1870/2020), 13: 331.

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