THE TOMB OF JESUS – Matt. 28:6 (Spurgeon Sermon Snippets)

“Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”
—Matt. 28:6.

An invitation given. “Come, see the place where the Lord lay.” Surely ye need no argument to move your feet in the direction of the holy sepulchre; but still we will use the utmost power to draw your spirit thither. Come then, for ’tis the shrine of greatness, ’tis the resting-place of the man, the Restorer of our race, the Conqueror of death and hell.

Come with me, moreover, because it is the tomb of your best friend…yea, one who “sticketh closer than a brother.” Is not the place sanctified where one so well-beloved slept, although but for a moment? Come, for angels bid you. Angels said, “Come, see the place where our Lord lay.”

Come for it is a pure and healthy place. Fear not to enter that tomb.

There is yet one reason more why I would have thee visit this Royal sepulchre—because it is a quiet spot. I wish I could be at ease for a moment. I have become a man of the world; my brain is racked, my soul is tired. Oh! wouldst thou be quiet, Christian? Merchant, wouldst thou rest from thy toils? wouldst thou be calm for once! then come hither. It is in a pleasant garden, far from the hum of Jerusalem; the noise and din of business will not reach thee there; “Come, see the place where the Lord lay.”

Attention requested. And first, mark that it is a costly tomb. It is a princely tomb: it was made of marble, cut in the side of a hill. Stand here, believer, and ask why Jesus had such a costly sepulchre. He was poor. Why, then, does he lie in a noble grave? We answer, for this reason: Christ was unhonourd till he had finished his sufferings; Christ’s body suffered contumely, shame, spitting, buffetting, and reproach, until he had completed his great work; he was trampled under foot, he was “despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; but the moment he had finished his undertaking, God said, “No more shall that body be disgraced; if it is to sleep, let it slumber in an honourable grave; if it is to rest, let nobles bury it; let Joseph, the councillor, and Nicodemus, the man of Sanhedrim, be present at the funeral; let the body be embalmed with precious spices, let it have honour; it has had enough of contumely, and shame, and reproach, and buffetting; let it now be treated with respect.”

But though it is a costly grave, it is a borrowed one. Yes, he was buried in another’s sepulchre. It was a borrowed tomb; and why? I take it not to dishonour Christ, but in order to show that as his sins were borrowed sins, so his burial was in a borrowed grave. Christ had no transgressions of his own; he took ours upon his head; he never committed a wrong, but he took all my sin, and all yours, if ye are believers. The grave, we observe, was cut in a rock. Why was this? The Rock of ages was buried in a rock—a Rock within a rock. But why? Christ’s sepulchre was cut in a rock. It was not cut in mould that might be worn away by the water, or might crumble and fall into decay. The sepulchre stands, I believe, entire to this day; if it does not naturally, it does spiritually. The same sepulchre which took the sins of Paul, shall take my iniquities into its bosom; for if I ever lose my guilt, it must roll off my shoulders into the sepulchre. It was cut in a rock, so that if a sinner were saved a thousand years ago, I too can be delivered, for it is a rocky sepulchre where sin was buried—it was a rocky sepulchre of marble where my crimes were laid for ever—buried never to have a resurrection.

You will mark, moreover, that tomb was one wherein no other man had ever lain. Christopher Ness says, “When Christ was born he lay in a virgin’s womb, and when he died he was placed in a virgin tomb; he slept where never man had slept before.” The reason was, that none might say that another person rose, for there never had been any other body there; thus a mistake of persons was impossible. Nor could it be said that some old prophet was interred in the place, and that Christ rose because he had touched his bones. You remember when Elisha was buried, and as they were burying a man, behold he touched the prophet’s bones, and arose. Christ touched no prophet’s bones, for none had ever slept there; it was a new chamber, where the Monarch of the earth did take his rest for three days and three nights.

We see the grave, but do you notice the grave-clothes, all wrapped and laid in their places, the napkin being folded up by itself? Wherefore are the grave-clothes wrapped up? The Jews said robbers had abstracted the body; but if so, surely they would have stolen the clothes; they would never have thought of wrapping them up and laying them down so carefully; they would be too much in haste to think of it. Why was it then? To manifest to us that Christ did not come out in a hurried manner. He slept till the last moment; then he awoke: he came not in haste. They shall not come out in haste, neither by flight, but at the appointed moment shall his people come to him. So at the precise hour, the decreed instant, Jesus Christ leisurely awoke, took off his cerements, left them all behind him, and came forth in his pure and naked innocence, perhaps to show us that as clothes are the offspring of sin—when sin was atoned for by Christ, he left all raiment behind him—for garments are the badges of guilt: if we had not been guilty we should never have needed them.

Emotion Excited. Now, if I had power, like a master, I would touch the strings of your hearts, and fetch a glorious tune of solemn music from them, for this is a deeply solemn place, into which I have conducted you.

First, I would bid you stand and see the place where the Lord lay with emotions of deep sorrow. I slew him—this right hand struck the dagger to his heart. My deeds slew Christ. Alas! I slew my best beloved: I killed him who loved me with an everlasting love. Ye eyes, why do ye refuse to weep when ye see Jesus’ body mangled and torn? Oh! give vent to your sorrow, Christians, for ye have good reason to do so. It seemed so sad a thing that Christ should have to die; and to me it often appears too great a price for Jesus Christ to purchase worms with his own blood. It seems too costly for him who is the prince of life and glory to let his fair limbs be tortured in agony; that the hands which carried mercies should be pierced with accursed nails; that the temples that were always clothed with love, should have cruel thorns driven through them. It appears too much. Oh! weep, Christian, and let your sorrow rise. Is not the price all but too great, that your Beloved should for you resign himself.

Now, Christian, change thy note a moment. “Come, see the place where the Lord lay,” with joy and gladness. He does not lie there now. Weep, when ye see the tomb of Christ, but rejoice because it is empty. Thy guilt hath murdered him, but his righteousness hath restored him. Oh! he hath burst the bonds of death…crushing death beneath his feet. Rejoice, O Christian, for he is not there—he is risen.

“Come, see the place where the Lord lay” with solemn awe, for you and I will have to lay there too. Do you ever try to picture to yourself the moment of your dissolution? My friends, there are some of you who seldom realize how old you are, how near you are to death. We can scarcely say “He is gone,” before the ransomed spirit takes its mansion near the throne. Come to Christ’s tomb then, for the silent vault must soon be your habitation. Come to Christ’s grave, for you must slumber there. And even you, ye sinners, for one moment I will ask you to come also, because ye must die as well as the rest of us. Your sins cannot keep you from the jaws of death. I say, sinner, I want thee to look at Christ’s sepulchre too, for when thou diest it may have done thee great good to think of it.

Instruction imparted. The first thing you perceive, if you stand by his empty tomb, is his divinity. There is no better proof of Christ’s divinity, than that startling resurrection of his, when he rose from the grave, by the glory of the Father.

A second doctrine here taught, well may charm thee, if the Holy Spirit apply it with power. Behold this empty tomb, O true believer: it is a sign of thine acquittal and thy full discharge. If Jesus had not paid the debt, he ne’er had risen from the grave. He would have lain there till this moment if he had not cancelled the entire debt, by satisfying eternal vengeance.

One more doctrine we learn, and with that we will conclude—the doctrine of the resurrection. Jesus rose, and as the Lord our Saviour rose, so all his followers must rise. Die I must…but at the blast of the archangel’s trumpet every separate atom of my body shall find its fellow…and the breath shall return. Thou wilt lose thy partner body a little while, but thou wilt be married again in heaven; soul and body shall again be united before the throne of God. The grave—what is it? It is the bath in which the Christian puts the clothes of his body to have them washed and cleansed.

Spend this afternoon, my beloved brethren, in meditating upon it, and very often go to Christ’s grave both to weep and to rejoice.


JOSEPH ATTACKED BY THE ARCHERS -Gen 49:23-24 (Spurgeon Sermon Snippets)

“The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him; but his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; from thence is the Shepherd, the stone of Israel.”
—Gen. 49:23, 24.

It must have been a fine sight to see the hoary-headed Jacob sitting up in his bed whilst he bestowed his parting benediction upon his twelve sons. [O]h! when he came to Joseph, his youngest son but one—when he looked on him, I picture that old man as the tears ran down his cheeks. He has only one more blessing to give; but surely this was the richest which he conferred on Joseph.

Joseph is dead, but the Lord has his Josephs now. There are some still who understand by experience—and that is the best kind of understanding—the meaning of this passage, “The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him: but his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob.”

First, then, we commence with the cruel attack. “The archers have sorely grieved him.” [T]here seems something more cowardly in the attack of the archer, than in that of the swordsman…the archer stands at a distance, hides himself in ambuscade, and, without your knowing it…they shoot the bow from a distance. The archers sorely grieved poor Joseph.

Joseph had to endure the archers of envy. Oh! how his father loved him! for in his fond affection, he made him a princely coat of many colours, and treated him better than the others—a natural but foolish way of showing his fondness. Therefore, his brethren hated him. [T]hey put him into a pit…They then sold him for the price of a slave, stripped him of his coat, and sent him naked, they knew not, and they cared not whither, so long as he might be out of their way, and no longer provoke their envy and their anger.

But blessed be God’s name, it is sweet to be informed that “his bow abode in strength.” None of you can be the people of God without provoking envy; and the better you are, the more you will be hated. The ripest fruit is most pecked by the birds, and the blossoms that, have been longest on the tree, are the most easily blown down by the wind. But fear not; you have nought to do with what man shall say of you. If God loves you, man will hate you; if God honors you, man will dishonor you.

But a worse trial than this was to overtake him. The archers of temptation shot at him. Sold to a master who soon discovered his value, Joseph was made the bailiff of the house, and the manager of the household. His wanton mistress fixed her adulterous love on him; and he, being continually in her presence, was perpetually, day by day, solicited by her to evil deeds. Constantly did he refuse still enduring a martyrdom at the slow fire of her enticements. Oh! there was a power indeed within that heart of his; there was an inconceivable might, which made him turn away with unutterable disgust, with fear and trembling, while he said, “How can I? how can I—God’s Joseph—how can I—other men might, but how can I do this great wickedness and sin against God.”

Then another host of archers assailed him: these were the archers of malicious calumny. Seeing that he would not yield to temptation, his mistress falsely accused him to her husband and his lord believing the voice of his wife, cast him into prison. It was a marvellous providence that he did not put him to death, for Potiphar, his master, was the chief of the slaughtermen. Oh! it is no easy thing to feel your character gone, to think that you are slandered, that things are said of you that are untrue. So shall it be always with those who preach God’s truth, and all the followers of Christ—they must all expect it; but blessed be God, they have not said worse things of us than they said of our Master. Ah! friends, some now present know this verse by heart, “The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him.” Expect it; do not think it a strange thing; all God’s people must have it.

We have seen these archers shoot their flights of arrows; we will now go up the hill a little, behind a rock, to look at the shielded warrior and see how his courage is while the archers have sorely grieved him. What is he doing? “His bow abideth in strength.”

First, we notice that he has a bow himself, for we read that “his bow abode in strength.” Mark well his quietness. His bow “abideth.” It is not rattling, it is not always moving, but it abides, it is quite still; he takes no notice of the attack. The archers sorely grieved Joseph, but his bow was not turned against them, it abode in strength. He turned not his bow on them. Doth the sun stop in its course because of the officious cloud which veils it? Or doth the river stay because the willow dippeth its leaves into its waters? Ah! no; God’s universe moves on, and if men will oppose it, it heeds them not. It is as God hath made it; it is working together for good, and it shall not be stayed by the censure, nor moved on by the praise of man. Let your bows, my brethren, abide. Do not be in a hurry to set yourselves right. God will take care of you.

But we must not forget the next word. “His bow abode in strength.” Though his bow was quiet, it was not because it was broken. His chastity was his bow, and he did not lose that: his faith was his bow, and that did not yield, it did not break; his courage was his bow, and that did not fail him; his character, his honesty was his bow; not did he cast it away. Fear not, Christian. Let slander fly, let envy send forth its forked tongue, let it hiss at you, your bow shall abide in strength. Oh! shielded warrior, remain quiet, fear no ill; but, like the eagle in its lofty eyrie, look thou down upon the fowlers in the plain; turn thy bold eye upon them and say, “Shoot ye may, but your shots will not reach, half way to the pinnacle where I stand.

The third thing in our text is the secret strength. “The arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob.” It was real potency, true muscle, real sinew, real nerve. It was not simply slight of hand—the power of moving his fingers very swiftly—but the arms of his hands were made strong. I should not like to have a combat with one of God’s Josephs. I should find their blows very heavy. But they are a patient generation, enduring ills without resenting them, suffering scorn without reviling the scoffer. O ye foes of God, ye think God’s people are despicable and powerless; but know that they have true strength from the omnipotence of their Father, a might substantial and divine.

[O]bserve that the strength of God’s Joseph is divine strength. If I had a stone to lift, to work my own salvation, without God’s help to do that, I must be lost, even though it were so little. There is nought that we can do without the power of God. “[T]he arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob.” Marvellous condescension! Ye stars of glory, have ye ever witnessed such stoops of love? God Almighty, Eternal, Omnipotent, stoops from his throne and lays his hand upon the child’s hand, stretching his arm upon the arm of Joseph, that he may be made strong!

This strength was covenant strength, for it is said, “The arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob.” Now, wherever you read of the God of Jacob in the Bible, you may know that that respects God’s covenant with Jacob. Christ made the covenant to pay a price, and God made the covenant that he should have the people. Christ has paid the price, and ratified the covenant, and I am quite sure that God will fulfil his part of it, by giving every elect vessel of mercy into the hands of Jesus.

[O]ur fourth point—a glorious parallel. “From thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel.” Christ came into the world as a shepherd. As soon as he made his appearance, the Scribes and Pharisees said, “Ah! we have been the shepherds until this hour: now we shall be driven from our honours, we shall lose all our dignity, and our authority. It was the shepherds that hated him, because he took away their traffic, because he turned the buyers and sellers out of the temple, diminished their dignity and ignored their pretensions; therefore, they could not endure him. The Shepherd of Israel was despised, incarnate virtue was hated and abhorred; therefore, fear not Christians, take courage, for if your Master passed through it, surely you must.

To conclude: the text calls Christ the stone of Israel. He was a plebeian; he was of poor extraction; he was a man acquainted with sinners, who walked in poverty and meanness; hence the worldly-wise despised him. But when God shall gather together, in one, all things that are in heaven and that are in earth, then Christ shall be the glorious consummation of all things.

The Comforter – John 14:26 (Spurgeon Sermon Snippets)

“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.”—John 14:26.

We can imagine how readily the disciples would run to Christ to tell him of their griefs, and how sweetly with that matchless intonation of his voice, he would speak to them and bid their fears be gone.

But now he was about to die. It is right I should go away from you,” said Jesus, “for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come.” I will not leave you comfortless, I will pray the Father, and he shall send you another Comforter, who shall be with you, and shall dwell in you forever.”

Shall I set you up a Pope at Rome, to whom you shall go, and who shall be your infallible oracle? Shall I give you the councils of the church to be held to decide all knotty points?” Christ said no such thing. “I am the infallible paraclete or teacher, and when I am gone, I will send you another teacher and he shall be the person who is to explain Scripture; he shall be the authoritative oracle of God, who shall make all dark things light, who shall unravel mysteries, who shall untwist all knots of revelation, and shall make you understand what you could not discover, had it not been for his influence.” There is no doctrine of the Bible which can be safely, thoroughly, and truly learned, except by the agency of the one authoritative teacher.

[H]e is an advocate on earth to plead against the enemies of the cross. How was it that Paul could so ably plead before Felix and Agrippa? How was it that the Apostles stood unawed before the magistrates and confessed their Lord? How has it come to pass that in all times God’s ministers have been made fearless as lions, and their brows have been firmer than brass, their hearts sterner than steel, and their words like the language of God?

Brethen, I speak to your souls has not God in old times convinced you of sin? Did not the Holy Ghost come and prove that you were guilty, although no minister could ever get you out of your self-righteousness? Did he not advocate Christ’s righteousness? Did he not stand and tell you that your works were filthy rags? and when you had well-nigh still refused to listen to his voice, did he not fetch hell’s drum and make it sound about your ears, bidding you look through the vista of future years and see the throne set, and the books open, and the sword brandished, and hell burning, and fiends howling, and the damned shrieking forever? And did he not convince you of the judgment to come? He is a mighty advocate when he pleads in the soul—of sin, of righteousness, and of the judgment to come.

The Comforter
God the Holy Ghost is a very loving Comforter. I am in distress and want consolation. Oh! there is a voice in love, it speaks a language which is its own, it is a idiom and an accent which none can mimic; wisdom cannot imitate it; oratory cannot attain unto it; it is love alone which can reach the mourning heart; love is the only handkerchief which can wipe the mourner’s tears away. And is not the Holy Ghost a loving Comforter?

[H]e is a faithful Comforter. He ever loves, and loves even to the end—a faithful Comforter. [H]e shall visit thee on thy sick bed, and sit by thy side to give thee consolation. [H]e will be faithful to his promise. He loved thee when he foreknew thy sin; he loved thee with the knowledge of what the aggregate of thy wickedness would be; and he does not love the less now. Come to him in all boldness of faith; tell him thou hast grieved him, and he will forget thy wandering, and will receive thee again; the kisses of his love shall be bestowed upon thee, and the arms of his grace shall embrace thee. He is faithful: trust him; he will never deceive you; trust him, he will never leave you.

[H]e is an unwearied Comforter. [T]he Holy Ghost is never out of heart with those whom he wishes to comfort.

And oh, how wise a Comforter is the Holy Ghost. Sometimes, when we go and visit people we mistake their disease, we want to comfort them on this point, whereas they do not require any such comfort at all, and they would be better left alone than spoiled by such unwise comforters as we are. But oh! how wise the Holy Spirit is! he takes the soul, lays it on the table, and dissects it in a moment; he finds out the root of the matter, he sees where the complaint is, and then he applies the knife where something is required to be taken away, or puts a plaster where the sore is; and he never mistakes. Oh! how wise, the blessed Holy Ghost!

Then mark how safe a Comforter the Holy Ghost is. Ah, there have been many, like infants, destroyed by elixirs given to lull them to sleep; many have been ruined by the cry of “peace, peace,” when there is no peace, hearing gentle things when they ought to be stirred to the quick. Cleopatra’s asp was brought in a basket of flowers; and men’s ruin often lurks in fair and sweet speeches. But the Holy Ghost’s comfort is safe, and you may rest on it.

[T]he Holy Ghost is an active Comforter: he does not comfort by words, but by deeds. [H]e intercedes with Jesus; he gives us promises, he gives us grace, and so he comforts us.

[H]e is always a successful Comforter. [H]e is an ever-present Comforter.

The Comfort
I have heard many fanatical persons say the Holy Spirit revealed this and that to them. Now that is very generally revealed nonsense. The Holy Ghost does not reveal anything fresh now. He brings old things to our remembrance. “He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance whatsoever I have told you.” The canon of revelation is closed; there is no more to be added. God does not give a fresh revelation, but he rivets the old one.

Believer! there is enough in the Bible for thee to live upon for ever. If thou shouldst outnumber the years of Methusaleh, there would be no need for a fresh revelation; if thou shouldst live till Christ should come upon the earth, there would be no necessity for the addition of a single word; if thou shouldst go down as deep as Jonah, or even descend as David said he did, into the belly of hell, still there would be enough in the Bible to comfort thee without a supplementary sentence.

The Comforted
You may say, “How am I to know whether I am a recipient of the comfort of the Holy Ghost?” You may know it by one rule. If you have received one blessing from God, you will receive all other blessings too.  God will never divide the gospel. He will not give justification to that man, and sanctification to another; pardon to one and holiness to another. No, it all goes together. Whom he calls them he justifies; whom he justifies, them he sanctifies; and whom he sanctifies, them he also glorifies. Oh; if I could lay down nothing but the comforts of the gospel, ye would fly to them as flies do to honey.

I want to make a man feel his sins before I dare tell him anything about Christ. I want to probe into his soul and make him feel that he is lost before I tell him anything about the purchased blessing. It is the ruin of many to tell them. “Now just believe on Christ, and that is all you have to do.” If, instead of dying they get better, they rise up whitewashed hypocrites—that is all.

O God! may these people ever be kept from having comfort when they have no right to it! Oh! poor souls, if ye know not the Comforter, I will tell you what you shall know—You shall know the Judge! If ye know not the Comforter on earth, ye shall know the Condemner in the next world.

[BUT, w]hosoever—though he were as black as Satan, though he were filthy as a fiend—whosoever this night believes, shall have every sin forgiven, shall have every crime effaced, shall have every iniquity blotted out; shall be saved in the Lord Jesus Christ, and shall stand in heaven safe and secure. That is the glorious gospel.

Love For Jesus

Thoughts on a Saturday morning…

As I sit here this morning praying, contemplating prayer and petitioning God on behalf of my family, my church, friends, relatives and myself it occurs to me – quite simply – that all of the blessings I seek from God will be, indeed must be, if given, rooted and grounded in, and only in, a deep, abiding, passionate, single-minded, reckless, consuming, all-encompassing, “can’t get my mind off of it”, “never want to get my mind off of it”, spilling out of my heart, my mind, my mouth and my pockets LOVE for Jesus (Matt 22:37)! I am rebuked by the Spirit and am called to repent (Rev 3:19). As I pray in my “prayer closet”, with my family and in our church for revitalization it dawns on me that the reason we must now pray earnestly for renewal is that we scarcely love Jesus at all! We have, like the Church at Ephesus, busied ourselves with activities and obligations and giving (Rev 2:2-3), which is not a bad thing in itself, but we have “abandoned the love (we) had at first” (2:4). Were that not so we would not be petitioning God for revival, rather, we would be spending our time in prayer seeking what God would have us to do with the blessings he is already pouring out on us in such abundance we could not contain it (Mal 3:10-12 – I know this passage is in the context of giving but according to 2 Cor 9:6-8 what should be our motive for giving?). Is there anything in the child of God more pleasing to Him, more honoring to Him or more consistent with His will than this kind of love for Christ?

I can think of nothing more critical than my affection for Christ and yet, to my shame, I can think of little more lacking in me. I am a Pharisee…a white-washed tomb (Mat 23:25-28)…a hypocrite (Matt 23:2-4)…a stumbling block (Matt 23:13,15)…an attention-seeker (Matt 23:5-12)…self-centered (John 16:2-3, Rom 10:1-3)…legalistic (Mat 23:16-22)…double-minded (Mat 23:23-24, Jam 1:6-8)… Why are these apt descriptions of the Pharisees, and those of us guilty of these, if not, at their foundation, the result of a lack of this kind of love for Christ?

Is it any wonder that the Spirit’s felt presence among us – privately and corporately – is usually faint and intermittent, if not non-existent, when our love for Christ, rather than being as it ought, is more akin to the love we have for that rich uncle who, between family reunions, we only call on when we are in need? Can the man who leaves his wife and visits rarely, even though he sends money and speaks nicely of her to others, honestly be accused of loving her? He may object: “Well, I read her biography! I called her on the phone the other day! I admit she’s really done a lot of good things for me! That’s gotta count for something.” Does it?! It seems perhaps his “lukewarm” efforts are less an evidence of love and more of a slap in the face than if he just ignored her altogether (Rev 3:16).

While I love that my church has been focusing on prayer and, in fact, I admit this series has been incredibly helpful (indicting, rebuking, convicting) to me, I have discovered that my (and your) prayers are falling to the ground like stones if they are not being raised up to God out of this kind of love for Christ. If I have not (this) love (1 Cor 13) for Christ my prayers of confession are disingenuous, my prayers of adoration are flippant, my prayers of thanksgiving are anemic, my prayers of intercession are subdued, my supplication is muted and ineffectual – Jam 5:16, the operative word being “righteous”.

I want to love Christ. Then, I want to love Him more…and more…and more…and MORE!!! O God, Abba, Father – by your great mercy and grace I beg you to carve out of me, regardless the cost, anything in me that is a hinderance to loving Christ more. Based on the small amount of love I do have for your Son, please do that which is more consistent with your holy will than anything else in all of your revealed Word and create in me a clean heart that loves and esteems Jesus above all things. I want to love Christ for His honor but admittedly also for my own self-interest. I cannot and will not find my most satisfying joy, in this life or in eternity, if it is not found to be flowing out of the kind of love for Jesus that I am seeking. If I become known by men as a prayer-warrior but have not this love for Christ, “I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal”. If I can pray corporately in such a way as to move the hearts of men but have not this love for Christ, “I am nothing”. Father, I can attend church, go to prayer meetings, have accountability partners, engage in discipleship, do family devotions, sit in my prayer closet, listen to God-honoring, Christ-exalting music, read books all in an attempt to know Christ better that I may love him better but you do not super-naturally work in the deepest parts of my soul the kind of love for Christ I seek then I am lost and hopeless. Convert from my brain the potential energy of a knowledge of Christ and my need for him – which I too often allow to satisfy me as sufficiently pious – into my bloodstream the kinetic energy of a living, breathing, active, effective, emboldening, radical love for Jesus. Father, I know Christ has me and cannot and will not let me go but I do not want to be satisfied with Him having hold of me, I want to lay hold of him. I don’t want to spend another day being hindered by my sin and lack of affection for Christ. O God, please give me Christ in this measure, in this life, or take me home now! It is in Christ’s glorious and worthy name I pray. Amen.

May this continue to be my (and your) earnest, fervent, importunate plea to God until he is “wearied” into fully granting it and making it the basis for a third, world-wide Great Awakening for the sake of His Son.