Let my heart be sound in thy statues: that I be not ashamed.
We may regard this inspired prayer as containing within itself the assurance that those who keep close to the Word of God shall never have cause to be ashamed of doing so.
See, the prayer is for soundness of heart. A sound creed is good, a sound judgment concerning it is better, but a sound heart toward the truth is best of all. We must love the truth, feel the truth, and obey the truth, otherwise we are not truly sound in God’s statutes. Are there many in these evil days who are sound? Oh, that the writer and the reader may be two of this sort!
Many will be ashamed in the last great day, when all disputes will be decided. Then they will see the folly of their inventions and be filled with remorse because of their proud infidelity and willful defiance of the Lord; but he who believed what the Lord taught and did what the Lord commanded will stand forth justified in what he did. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun. Men much slandered and abused shall find their shame turned into glory in that day.
Let us pray the prayer of our text, and we may be sure that its promise will be fulfilled to us. If the Lord makes us sound, He will keep us safe.
For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance.
When the Lord has given to a man much grace, He will give him more. A little faith is a nest egg; more faith will come to it. But then it must not be seeming faith, but real and true. What a necessity is laid upon us to make sure work in religion and not to profess much, and possess nothing! For one of these days the very profession will be taken from us, if that be all we have. The threatening is as true as the promise.
Blessed be the Lord, it is His way when He has once made a beginning to go on bestowing the graces of His Spirit, till He who had but little, and yet truly had that little, is made to have abundance. Oh, for that abundance! Abundance of grace is a thing to be coveted, It would be well to know much but better to love much. It would be delightful to have abundance of skill to serve God but better still to have abundance of faith to trust in the Lord for skill and everything.
Lord, since Thou hast given me a sense of sin, deepen my hatred of evil. Since Thou hast caused me to trust Jesus, raise my faith to full assurance. Since Thou hast made me to love Thee, cause me to be carried away with vehement affection for Thee!
You remember the story of the three wonders in heaven. The first wonder was that we should see so many there we did not expect to see. The second was that we should miss so many we did expect to see there. But the third wonder would be the greatest wonder of all ~ to see ourselves there.
~ Charles Spurgeon,
[“The Glory of Grace,”] Sermon 2763
The apostle uses the perfect tense and says, “Who has saved us.” Believers in Christ Jesus are saved. They are not looked upon as people who are in a hopeful state, and may ultimately be saved but they are already saved. Salvation is not a blessing to be enjoyed upon the dying bed, and to be sung of in a future state above but a matter to be obtained, received, promised, and enjoyed now.
The Christian is perfectly saved in God’s purpose; God has ordained him unto salvation, and that purpose is complete. He is saved also as to the price which has been paid for him, “It is finished” was the cry of the Savior before He died. The believer is also perfectly saved in His covenant head, for as he fell in Adam, so he lives in Christ.
This complete salvation is accompanied by a holy calling. Those whom the Savior saved upon the cross, are in due time effectually called by the power of God the Holy Spirit unto holiness. They leave their sins; they endeavor to be like Christ; they choose holiness, not out of any compulsion but from the compulsion of a new nature, which leads them to rejoice in holiness, just as naturally as aforetime they delighted in sin.
God neither chose them nor called them because they were holy but He called them that they would be holy; and holiness is the beauty produced by His workmanship in them. The graces which we see in a believer are as much the work of God, as the atonement itself. Thus the fullness of the grace of God is brought out very sweetly. Salvation must be of grace, because the Lord is the author of it and what motive but grace could move Him to save the guilty? Salvation must be of grace, because the Lord works in such a manner that our righteousness is forever excluded. Such is the believer’s privilege, a present salvation; such is the evidence that he is called to it a holy life.
The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hind’s feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.
This confidence of the man of God is tantamount to a promise, for that which faith is persuaded of is the purpose of God. The prophet had to traverse the deep places of poverty and famine, but he went down hill without slipping, for the Lord gave him standing. By and by he was called to the high places of the hills of conflict; and he was no more afraid to go up than to go down.
See! The Lord lent him strength. Nay, Jehovah Himself was his strength. Think of that: the almighty God Himself becomes our strength!
Note that the Lord also gave him surefootedness. The hinds leap over rock and crag, never missing their footholds. Our Lord will give us grace to follow the most difficult paths of duty without a stumble. He can fit our foot for the crags so that we shall be at home where apart from God we should perish.
One of these days we shall be called to higher places still. Up yonder we shall climb, even to the mount of God, the high places where the shining ones are gathered. Oh, what feet are the feet of faith, by which, following the hind of the morning, we shall ascend into the hill of the Lord!
From every point, our Well-beloved is most beautiful. Our various experiences are meant to furnish fresh viewpoints from which we may consider the loveliness of Jesus!
How amiable are our trials when they carry us aloft where we may gain clearer views of Jesus, than ordinary life could afford us! We have seen Him from the languishing of a sick bed, from the borders of the grave we have turned our eyes to our soul’s spouse, and He has never been otherwise than “all beauteous.” Many of His saints have looked upon Him from the gloom of dungeons, and from the red flames of the stake yet they have never uttered a bad word about Him but have died extolling His surpassing charms! Oh, noble and pleasant employment to be forever gazing at our sweet Lord Jesus!
Is it not unspeakably delightful to view the Savior in all His offices, and to perceive Him matchless in each, to shift the kaleidoscope, as it were and to find fresh combinations of His peerless graces?
In the manger and in eternity; on the cross and on His throne; in the garden and in His kingdom; among thieves or in the midst of cherubim He is everywhere altogether lovely!
Examine carefully every little act of His life, and every trait of His character, and He is as lovely in the minute as in the majestic. Judge Him as you will—you cannot censure! Weigh Him as you please and He will not be found lacking. Eternity shall not discover the shadow of a spot in our Beloved! But rather, as countless ages revolve, His hidden glories shall shine forth with yet more inconceivable splendor!
The Lord Jesus gives special revelations of Himself to His people. Even if Scripture did not declare this, there are many of the children of God who could testify the truth of it from their own experience. They have had manifestations of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in a special manner, such as no mere reading or hearing could afford. In the biographies of eminent saints, you will find many instances recorded in which Jesus has been pleased, in a very special manner to speak to their souls, and to unfold the wonders of His person; yes, so have their souls been steeped in happiness that they have thought themselves to be in heaven, whereas they were not there, though they were well near on the threshold of it. For when Jesus manifests Himself to His people it is heaven on earth; it is paradise in embryo; it is bliss begun!
These special manifestations of Christ, exercise a holy influence on the believer’s heart.
One effect will be humility. If a man says, “I have had such-and-such spiritual communications, therefore I am a great man,” he has never had any communion with Jesus at all; for “God has respect unto the lowly but the proud He knows afar off.” He does not need to come near them to know them, and will never give them any visits of love.
Another effect will be happiness; for in God’s presence there are pleasures for evermore.
Holiness will be sure to follow. A man who has no holiness has never had this manifestation. Some men profess a great deal; but we must not believe anyone—unless we see that his deeds answer to what he says. “Do not be deceived; God is not mocked.” He will not bestow His favors upon the wicked for while He will not cast away a godly man, neither will He respect an evil doer. Thus there will be three effects of nearness to Jesus humility, happiness, and holiness. May God give them to you, Christian!
When Christ’s followers rise, they shall leave the old Adam behind them. Blessed day! One of the happiest aspects of Heaven will be freedom from the tendency to sin, a total death to that old nature which has been our plague and woe.
~ Charles Spurgeon, [“The First Resurrection,” Sermon 391]