When the Holy Spirit was working on Spurgeon’s heart, drawing him to Christ, Spurgeon visited multiple churches seeking to find the answer to the question of how to get his sins forgiven.
Here’s a brief reflection of his from that time. It speaks to the necessity of presenting the Gospel in every sermon. Because a young Spurgeon might be in your midst at any time.
“One man preached Divine sovereignty but what was that sublime truth to a poor sinner who wished to know what he must do to be saved. There was another admirable man who always preached about the law, but what was the use of ploughing up ground that needed to be sown. Another was a practical teacher…but it was very much like a commanding officer teaching the maneuvers of war to a set of men without feet…what I wanted to know was ‘How can I get my sins forgiven?’ and they never told me that.”
From “Spurgeon” by Dallimore
- Age (longevity or relative age)
- Book smarts
- Having a blog (even a popular one)
- Economic success
- Lack of zeal
- Outward calmness
- Being well-travelled
Random reflection for the morning. What else?
Fascinating comment from Kevin Perotta from his book Leading Christians to Maturity. Chapter 7: “A Distinctive Way of Life”
“Christ, the apostles and the leaders of the early church considered the teaching about the Christian way of life to be the norm for Christians. They viewed the didache not as a distant ideal but as something that ordinary people would actually live out. Conversion meant new behavior. “By this it may be seen who are the children of the devil: whoever does not do what is right is not from God, nor he who does not love his brother” (1 John 3:10). “By their fruits you shall know them” (Matthew 7:20).
The early church was not perfect. But the early Christians followed the Christian way of life sufficiently well that their distinctiveness – along with their bold announcement of the gospel – brought to them almost three centuries of persecution in the Roman empire, and at the same time helped to attract thousands of men and women to Christ, even though commitment to Him could end in martyrdom.
In our own day it cannot be said that Christians in the West are following the teaching of Christ in a way that makes them particularly distinct. At a time when Western societies are swinging away from Christian values, Christians’ lives are generally failing to become more clearly distinguishable. Rather, as a society becomes less Christian, so do Christians’ own patterns life.”
This way of life is what is in view when Christians speak of “holiness” in the context of a human life.
What are your thoughts about the above comment? Is he right? What is the core of the problem? How ought we solve the problem?
…Just for fun…
Over Christmas break I became aware of “The Daniel Diet” which purports to be “God’s prescription for your health”* Rick Warren is even endorsing this diet all over national media. The diet is “based on” Daniel 1. That is, it loosely cherry picks a few rough concepts from an approximation of a possible reading of one verse in that chapter. It also totally ignores that Daniel and his men were FATTER than everyone else after their “diet” (See: Daniel 1:15)**. Okay, I’m done. There is so much to laugh about with the “theological” premise of The Daniel Plan I could write a series.
Now, the Daniel Plan may in fact be an excellent diet plan! It may help you become healthier and lose weight! It just has nothing to do with Daniel, or the Bible, and I resent people peddling God’s word. So here’s my alternative offering, call it my New Year’s Resolution.
I call it The Jonathan Edwards Diet, and I base it on my word-for-word cherry picking of a few of The Resolutions of Jonathan Edwards. Here is it, in the words of Edwards himself:
1. Resolved, that I will do whatsoever I think to be most to God’s glory, and my own good, profit and pleasure, in the whole of my duration, without any consideration of the time, whether now, or never so many myriad’s of ages hence. Resolved to do whatever I think to be my duty and most for the good and advantage of mankind in general. Resolved to do this, whatever difficulties I meet with, how many and how great soever.
4. Resolved, never to do any manner of thing, whether in soul or body, less or more, but what tends to the glory of God; nor be, nor suffer it, if I can avoid it.
6. Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.
20. Resolved, to maintain the strictest temperance in eating and drinking.
28. Resolved, to study the Scriptures so steadily, constantly and frequently, as that I may find, and plainly perceive myself to grow in the knowledge of the same.
40. Resolved, to inquire every night, before I go to bed, whether I have acted in the best way I possibly could, with respect to eating and drinking.
56. Resolved, never to give over, nor in the least to slacken my fight with my corruptions, however unsuccessful I may be.
And a final principle pulled from an entry in his diary.
By a sparingness in diet, and eating as much as may be what is light and easy of digestion, I shall doubtless be able to think more clearly, and shall gain time; 1. By lengthening out my life; 2. Shall need less time for digestion, after meals; 3. Shall be able to study more closely, without injury to my health; 4. Shall need less time for sleep; 5. Shall more seldom be troubled with the head-ache. (Works, I, xxxv)
Try applying these for a year and see where they get you. Edwards had a purpose for his diet: to maximize his effectiveness at God’s calling on his life. At this, history proves, he was imminently successful.
* The sad fact that people are looking for “Christian diets” or think that there might be a secret “diet code” hidden in the text of the scripture, or are so unfamiliar with the scriptures as to think that God prescribes a certain set of foods to Christians*** is grieving to me, whence this article.
** Yes, yes, I realize that “fatter” probably meant “healthier” and was probably more attractive in that culture, but you see my point.
*** God did restrict certain foods from the historic ancient nation of Israel, but this instruction is now obsolete
Devastating, unfathomable, bewildering, horrifying.
That’s the best my mind can do with today’s events at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut with an hour’s reflection. This post is one way I’m trying to process it all.
Politicians are posturing. Parents are weeping. The self-righteous are cursing.
My friends (and myself) are asking things like: “How could this happen?” “Who could do such a thing?” Some are asking “Where was God?”