07 September 2014

Turning then walking

Your weekly dose of Spurgeon
The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from the lifetime of works from the Prince of Preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon.  The following excerpt is from The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, volume 22, sermon number 1,300, "Life's need and maintenance."
"Conversion is a turning into the right road; the next thing is to walk in it. The daily going on in that road is as essential as the first starting if you would reach the desired end." 

To strike the first blow is not all the battle; to him that overcometh the crown is promised. To start in the race is nothing, many have done that who have failed; but to hold out till you reach the winning post is the great point of the matter. Perseverance is as necessary to a man’s salvation as conversion.

Do remember this, you not only want grace to begin with, but grace with which to abide in Christ Jesus. Learn, also, that we should diligently use all those means whereby the Lord communicates fresh support to our life.

A man does not say, “Well, I was born on such and such a day, that is enough for me.” No, the good man needs his daily meals to maintain him in existence. Being alive, his next consideration is to keep alive, and therefore he does not neglect eating, nor any operation which is essential to life. So you, dear friends, must labour for the meat which endureth to life eternal, you must feed on the bread of heaven.

Study the Scriptures daily—I hope you do not neglect that. Be much in private prayer, your life cannot be healthy if the mercy seat be neglected. Do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together, as the manner of some is. Be eager to hear the word, and endeavour both to understand and practice it. Gather with God’s people in their more spiritual meetings, when they join in prayer and praise, for these are healthful means of sustaining the inner life.

If you neglect these you cannot expect that grace will be strong within you, you may even question if there be any life at all. Still, remember that even if a man should eat and drink that would not keep him alive without the power of God, and many die with whom there is no lack either of air or food.

You must, therefore, look beyond the outward means, to God himself to preserve your soul, and be it your daily prayer, “Oh Saviour, by whom I began to live, daily enable me to look to thee that I may draw continuous life from thy wounds, and live because thou livest.” Take these things home and practice them.

Keep, dear friends, also clear of everything which has a tendency to destroy life. A sane man does not willingly take poison: if he knew it he would not touch the cup in which it had been contained. We are careful to avoid any adulteration in our food which might be injurious to life and health: we have our chemists busily at work to analyse liquids, lest haply inadvertently we should imbibe death in the water which we drink.

Brethren, now let us be equally careful as to our souls. Keep your chemist at work analysing the things of this life. Let conscience and understanding fit up their laboratory and prove all things. Analyse the sermon of the eloquent preacher, lest you drink in novelties of doctrine and arrant falsehoods, because he happens to put them prettily before you.

Analyse each book you read, lest you should become tainted with error, while you are interested with the style and manner, smartness and elegance of your author. Analyse the company you keep; test and try everything, lest haply you should be committing spiritual suicide, or carelessly squandering life away.

Ask the Lord, the preserver of men, above all things, to keep you beneath the shadow of his wings, that you may not be afraid for the pestilence that walketh in darkness, nor for the destruction which wasteth at noonday, because his truth has become your shield and buckler, and you are safe.

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