Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Psalmist & The Preacher

1 I love the Lord, because He hears my voice and my prayers. 2 I will call on Him as long as I live, because He has turned His ear to me. 3 The strings of death are all around me. And the fear of the grave came upon me. I suffered with trouble and sorrow. 4 Then I called on the name of the Lord: "O Lord, I beg You, save my life!"
5 The Lord is loving and right. Yes, our God is full of loving-kindness. 6 The Lord takes care of the childlike. I was brought down, and He saved me. 7 Return to your rest, O my soul. For the Lord has been good to you. 8 For You, O Lord, have saved my soul from death, my eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. 9 I will walk with the Lord in the land of the living.
Psalm 116:1-9 New Life Version

On February 27th, 1859 the REV. C. H. Spurgeon delivered a sermon entitled "Prayer Answered, Love Nourished". The following is a portion of the introductory remarks.

"In the Christian pilgrimage it is well for the most part to be looking forward. Whether it be for hope, for joy, for consolation, or for the inspiring of our love, the future after all must be the grand object of the eye of faith. Looking into the future we see sin cast out, the body of sin and death destroyed, the soul made perfect and fit to be a partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light. And looking further yet, the believer's soul can see Death's river passed, the gloomy steam forded; he can behold the hills of light on which standeth the celestial city; he seeth himself enter within the pearly gates, hailed as more than a conqueror—crowned by the hand of Christ, embraced in the arms of Jesus, glorified with him, made to sit together with him on his throne, even as he has overcome and has sat down with the Father upon his throne. The sight of the future may well relieve the darkness of the past, the hopes of the world to come may banish all the doubtings of the present.

Yet nevertheless the Christian may do well sometimes to look backward; he may look back to the hole of the pit and the miry clay whence he was digged—the retrospect will help him to be humble, it will urge him to be faithful. He may look back with satisfaction to the glorious hour when first he saw the Lord, when spiritual life for the first time quickened his dead soul. Then he may look back through all the changes of his life, to his troubles and his joys, to his Pisgahs and to his Engedis, to the land of the Hermonites and the hill Mizar. He must not keep his eye always backward, for the fairest scene dies beyond, it will not benefit him to be always considering the past, for the future is more glorious far; but nevertheless at times a retrospect may be as useful as a prospect; and memory may be as good a teacher as even faith itself. This morning I bid you stand upon the hill-top of your present experience and look back upon the past, and find therein motives for love to God;"

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