2445. The Last Sermon For The Year

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No. 2445-41:613. A Sermon Delivered On Lord’s Day Evening, December 26, 1869, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

A Sermon Intended For Reading On Lord’s Day, December 29, 1895.

Give an account of your stewardship; for you may be no longer steward. {Lu 16:2}

 For other sermons on this text:
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 192, “Sunday School Teacher — A Steward, The” 185}
   {See Spurgeon_Sermons No. 2445, “Last Sermon for the Year, The” 2446}

1. The first part of this text applies to us all; the second part will apply to each one of us before long. “Give an account of your stewardship,” is a command that may be addressed to the ungodly. They are accountable to God for all that they have, or ever have had, or ever shall have. The law of the Lord is not relaxed because they have sinned; they still remain responsible to God, even though they attempt to cast off the yoke of the Almighty. As creatures formed by the divine hand, and sustained by divine power, they are bound to serve God; and if they do not, and will not, his claims on them do not cease, and to each of them he says, “Give an account of your stewardship.”

2. This text may also be applied to the children of God, to the godly, — in a different sense, however, and in another way. For, first of all, the godly are God’s children, they are accounted as standing in Christ. They are no longer merely God’s subjects; for what they owed to God as sinners has all been discharged by Jesus Christ their Substitute and Saviour. They have, therefore, been placed on a different footing from other men; but having been saved by grace, and adopted into God’s family, they have had entrusted to them talents which they are to use for his honour and glory. Being the Lord’s children, and being saved, they become his servants, and as his servants they are under responsibility to God, and they will all have to give to him an account of their stewardship.

3. Look at Eli; I have no doubt that he was a saved man, but God made him a steward over his own family as well as a prophet to Israel, and he had to give an account of his stewardship, and because he had not been faithful in it, although he was not condemned eternally, yet he was made most miserably to suffer when he was told that his entire house should be swept away, and also when he heard of the deaths of his sons, and as the direst news of all learned that the ark of God was taken by the Philistines. God visited him in his capacity of steward, made him give his account, and awarded him in this life a heavy penalty for his unfaithfulness; and I do not doubt that many a child of God, who has been saved at the last, yet, being found unfaithful as a steward, has had to suffer much, has lost much of honour and much of fellowship with God, and much of high advancement in the way of grace which he might otherwise have obtained.

4. David also was another such steward. He was not a lost soul, I have no doubt that he is among the saved and blessed saints in heaven; but as a steward he was not found faithful. You remember how grievously he sinned, and from that moment his family was full of rebellion, his kingdom was full of trouble, and he went with broken bones all the way down to his grave. Hence I may say to you, children of God, who are not under the law, — and I do not address you at all in a legal strain when I speak to you so, — you also have a stewardship. Give an account of it, or else perhaps you may be no longer spared; or, being spared, yet still you may have signs of your Lord’s displeasure, which you may carry with you even to your tomb. Thank God, you shall leave them there! But it would be more for God’s glory, and for your own comfort, not to have them at all.

5. I desire, on this last Sabbath evening of another year, not so much to speak to you, as to get you to talk to yourselves. So, first, we will together think on the reasonable demand made in our text: “Give an account of your stewardship.” Next, we will examine some reasons why we should at once give an account of our stewardship; and, lastly, we will consider the weighty reason in the text, which will come with force to each of us sooner or later: “You may be no longer steward.”

6. I. First, then, let us consider this REASONABLE DEMAND, and let each one of us try to comply with it: “Give an account of your stewardship.” You man of God, you Christless soul, you aged man, you young sister, “Give an account of your stewardship.”

7. First, give an account of the stewardship of your time. How have you spent it? Have not many hours been allowed to run to waste, or worse than waste, in frivolity and sin? Have you lived as a dying man should live? Have you employed your hours as remembering that they are very few, and more precious than the diamonds in an emperor’s crown? What about your time? Has there not been much of it spent in indolence, in frothy talk, or that did not minister to edification? You need not accuse yourself for time spent in lawful recreation that may sustain your body, and prepare it better for the Lord’s service. It is good that you should have such recreation; but how much time is utterly wasted by some people, neither used for the good of this world, nor of what is to come, but wholly frittered away in the service of sin, and self, and Satan! Where, for example, did some of you spend yesterday, and how did you use its precious hours? I will only bring that one day to your memory: was it a well-spent day? Is that hour well spent that is passed in the company of drunkards? Do you call that day well spent that is given up to riotings, or that night that is defiled with immorality? I charge you now to answer this question. For every moment that God has lent to you, he will ask for an account of what you did with it. There is not an hour since you began to understand right from wrong for which you will not have to give an account to God. If there were nothing but time entrusted to our stewardship, here is room, indeed, for heart searching and close reckoning.

8. “Give an account of your stewardship,” next, concerning your talents. We all vary in our natural gifts and in our acquirements; one has the tongue of eloquence, another has the pen of a ready writer, and a third has the artistic eye that discerns beauty; but, whichever of these gifts we may have, they belong to God, and ought to be used in his service. Some have only such gifts as qualify them to earn their daily bread by manual labour; they have very little mental power, yet for that little they must give an account, and also for the physical strength with which God has blessed them. There is no person here without a talent of some kind or other, there is no one individual here without some form of power either given by nature or acquired by education. We are all endowed in some degree or other, and each one of us must give an account for that talent. What an account must some give, who have been endowed with ten talents, but have wasted them all! What must be the account rendered by a Napoleon? What must be the reckoning given in by a Voltaire, with all the splendour of his intellect laid at the feet of Satan, and desecrated to the damnation of mankind? Yet, while you think of these great ones of the earth, do not forget yourselves. What has been your special gift? You can speak well enough in some companies; have you ever spoken for Christ? You can write well, you judge that you have a great gift in that direction; has your pen never written a line that will bring your fellow men to the service of the Saviour? What! having ten talents, are they all wrapped up in napkins, or all used for self, and nothing employed for God, for holiness, for truth, for righteousness? How sternly does the command come to you, “Give an account of your stewardship”; yet I am afraid that none of us can give an account of our talents without fear and trembling.

9. Next, give an account of your substance. We vary greatly concerning our temporal circumstances, I suppose there are a few present to whom God has entrusted great wealth, more to whom he has given considerable substance, and that to most of us he has given somewhat more than is absolutely necessary for our actual needs; but whether it is much or little, we must give an account for it all. I do not know what some rich professors will have to say concerning what they give to the cause of God. It is no tithe of their substance; indeed, it is, as it were, only the cheese-parings, and the candle-ends, and these they only give for the sake of appearance, because it would not look respectable if they were altogether to withhold them. The church’s coffers could never be so empty as they are if it were not that some of the stewards in the church are not faithful to their trust. It is very sad to think of some of the great men in our own country, who have incomes which, in a single month, would furnish a competent support for an entire family during their whole lives. I wonder what kind of reckoning theirs will be when they have to give an account of hundreds of thousands or even millions of pounds. With some of them, all that they can say will be, “So much lost on the race-course, so much spent on a lover, so much paid for diamonds, so much squandered in this form of waste, and so much in that.” But for the poor and needy, who are perishing in our streets, the multitudes who crave even necessary bread, some of them have done nothing at all. There are grand exceptions, names that shall live as long as philanthropy is prized among mankind; but the exceptions are so terribly few, that when the rich men of England are indicted at the judgment bar of God, as they certainly will be, the account of their stewardship will be a truly terrible one. Yet what are you, and what am I, to judge like this, if we cannot say that we have been faithful with our little? I ask you if you have, and please make a reckoning in your mind now of your stewardship of the gold, or the silver, or the copper, with which God has entrusted you.

10. We must give an account, in the next place, of our influence. Everyone has some kind of influence. The mother who never leaves the nursery has a wonderful influence over those little children of hers, though no neighbour feels the force of her influence, and no one except her own little ones is affected by her faithfulness. And who knows if she is not pressing to her bosom, perhaps a Whitfield, who will thunder out the gospel through the length and breadth of the land or perhaps, on the other hand, an infidel, whose dreadful blasphemies shall ruin multitudes? There is an influence that the mother has for which she must give an account to God. And the father’s influence, — oh! fathers, you cannot shake off your obligations to your children by sending them to school, whether to a Sunday School or a boarding-school. They are your children, and you must give an account of your stewardship concerning your own offspring. Indeed, and even the young nanny, though she seems of small note in the commonwealth, yet she also has an influence over her little charge, which she must use for Christ. Not only he who thrills a senate with his oratory, but also he who speaks a word from the carpenter’s bench, each has his influence, and each must use it, and give an account of it; not merely the man who, by refusing to lend his millions, could prevent the horrors of war, but the man who with a smile might help to laugh at sin, or with a word of rebuke might show that he abhorred it. There is not one of you without influence, and I ask you now how you have used it. Has it always been on the side of the Lord? “Give an account of your stewardship,” for that influence will not always last.

11. We might pass on to consider all the other things that God has entrusted to us, but time would fail us; so I will remind you, my dear friends, with much affection, that the account which you will have to render, and which I ask you to render now, is not an account concerning other people. Oh, how nice it would be if we had to do that! would it not? With what gusto some would undertake the task if they had to give a report on other people’s characters! How easily each of us can play the detective on our fellows! How ready we are to say of this man, “Oh, yes! he gives away a good deal of money, but it is only out of ostentation,” or of that woman, “Yes, she appears to be a Christian, but you do not know her private life,” or of that minister of the gospel, “Yes, he is very zealous; but he makes a good thing out of his ministry.” We like to evaluate our fellow creatures like this, and our arithmetic is amazingly accurate, at least we think so; but when other people evaluate us according to the same rule, the arithmetic seems terribly out of order, and we cannot believe it to be right. Ah! but at the great judgment we shall not be asked to give an account for others, neither will I ask any of you now to be thinking about the conduct of others. What if others are worse than you are, does that make you any the better, or the less guilty? What if others are not all they seem to be, perhaps neither are you; at any rate, their hypocrisy shall not make your pretence to be true. Judge yourselves, that you are not judged. Let each man thrust the lancet into his own wound, and see to the affairs of his own soul, for each one must give an account of himself to God.

12. Remember, too, that you are not called on to give an account to others. Alas! there are many people who seem to live only so that they may win the esteem of their fellows. There is someone to whom we look up to; if we only have that person’s smile, we think all is well. Perhaps some here are broken-hearted because that smile has vanished, and they have been misjudged and unjustly condemned. It is a little matter to be judged by man’s judgment; and who is he who judges another man’s servant? To his own Master the servant shall stand or fall, and not to this interloping judge. My dear friends, when the opinion of one leans this way, and of another goes the other way, when we see public opinion to be as restless and changing as the vane on the church steeple, swinging around with every wind that blows, we may ignore it all, and thank God that the last judgment bar is not swayed by the follies of the times, and that the Great Judge will not give his verdict according to the whimsies of an hour, but according to the rule of absolute equity. Yet remember that, if it is hard to be judged by man, it will be sterner still to be judged by God. If, weighed even in the balances of men, some of us are found wanting, how shall we bear to be put into the unerring scales adjusted by the divine hand, to be judged by him who cannot err, and to have our destiny fixed for all eternity, either in heaven or in hell? Remember this, my dear hearer, and be ready to give an account of your stewardship, not to your fellow creature, but to the great Creator and Judge of all.

13. Remember also, dear friends, that the account to be rendered will be from every man, from every man personally concerning himself; and whatever another man’s account may be, it will not affect him. Some men will not have been any better than others of you have been; yet if you perish as they perish, a numerous company will not make hell any the cooler. If some men shall have been worse than others of you have been, it certainly will not diminish your punishment if you know that their doom is heavier than your own. Forget, for a while, that there are any other men in the world, and stand individually and separately before those awful eyes which are searching you through and through, for God will judge each of you as if there were no other men to judge, and read your innermost heart, as if he had not another object to look at. Give an account, then, of your stewardship. May God grant us grace to give, on each of these individual items that I have mentioned, an honest statement not only to our own conscience, but to him who is the Judge of all!

14. II. Now for a few minutes let us examine SOME REASONS WHY WE SHOULD AT ONCE GIVE AN ACCOUNT OF OUR STEWARDSHIP.

15. It was a maxim of Pythagoras that each of his disciples should, every evening, give a record of the actions of the day. I think it is good to do so; for we cannot too often take a retrospect of the past. But since, perhaps, some of you may have been lax in this duty, let me remind you that we have come, as it were, to the evening of the year, and it seems to be most suitable that, before we cross into another year of grace, we should in our heart and conscience take stock, and give an account of our stewardship. Sit down for a while, pilgrim; sit down for a while. Here is the milestone marked with the end of another year; sit down on it, put your hand to your brow and think, and lay your hand on your heart, and search and see what is there. This last Sabbath evening in the year is a most fitting time for giving this account, and I ask you to use it in making up the account which you have to present before God; and if you feel unwilling to do it, I shall all the more earnestly press you to do it. There are no people who so dislike to look into their account-books as those who are insolvent. Those who keep no books, when they come before the court, are understood to be rogues of the first water; and men who keep no mental memoranda of the past, and bring up no memories with regard to their sins, having tried to forget them all, may depend on it that they are deceiving themselves. If you dare not search your hearts, I am afraid there is a reason for that fear, and that above all others you ought to be diligent in this search.

16. Permit me to remind you that, if all should be wrong with you, it is best for you to know it. It is only the most reckless seaman who would rather not know whether there is a rock in the course that he is sailing. Oh sirs, are you like the ostrich that, having covered its head in the sand, and shut its eyes to the hunter, thinks it is all secure? Please, seek to know the worst of your case. It seems to me that any honest and sane man would want to do this. There is nothing a wise man hates more, when he is sick, than to have a doctor attending him, who will always, if he can, give a flattering report, but will never speak the truth about his patient. Do not let your heart flatter you any longer, but say to it, “My soul, make out an honest account, see what and where you are, and whether you are God’s servant or not, doing as God would have you do.”

17. Believer in Christ, it will be good for you to make out this account, because you will find that it will help you to prize your Saviour more. I never look into my own heart without first feeling shame, and afterwards feeling greater love for him who has eternally loved such a sinner as I am. I am sure it will drive you to your knees if you honestly search your own lives. There is enough in the history of a single week to make you prize your Redeemer more than ever, if you fully comprehend the guilt of that one week, and the greatness of his grace in pardoning it. Oh Christian, if you would be driven nearer to your Lord, search and see, confess, repent, and seek forgiveness. Go again to the cross because you have again felt the burden of the sin that nailed your Saviour there.

18. And, ungodly man, I press you also to give an account of your stewardship, because, maybe, the same result may come to you, if you find that you cannot give so good an account as you thought you could when you were wrapped up in self-righteousness. Perhaps you may be alarmed and dismayed when you see the true state of the case, and it may be that God the Holy Spirit will lead you to say, “I will go to Jesus, for I am undone without him. I will hurry to his cross, for I need the pardon that his blood has bought. I will now go with the language of confession on my lips, and beseech him to accept me before another year begins.” It seems such a long time since I have talked to some of you. Tossing to and fro on my bed, suffering great pain, I have thought that those of you to whom I have preached now for these many years will have to give an account of every address that I have delivered to you, and of every exhortation with which I have plied you. I beseech you, seek to make that account at once to your God in private, and ask him to humble you, and to draw you sweetly to trust his dear Son, so that you may be saved. I cannot bear the thought that any of you should be lost. I had hoped that those who have supplied my place during my illness might perhaps have been guided to shoot the arrow more directly than I can shoot it. One thing I know, there was not among them all, whoever they might be, one who more anxiously desired that you might find the Saviour than I do; and I do pray at this moment, since I shall never preach to you again on another Sabbath of this year, that this night may be the last one you will spend in sin, and that tomorrow may be a spiritual birthday for you, the first day in which you shall rejoice in a Saviour; indeed, that this very night you may be born again, and become a new creature in Christ Jesus.

19. III. And now, lastly, let us consider THE REASON WHICH THE MASTER GIVES: “Give an account of your stewardship, for you may be no longer steward.”

20. This may happen in various ways. It may be that some here may live for years, and yet be no longer stewards. A preacher may be laid aside, his voice gone, his mental faculties weakened, — he is “no longer steward.” One is thankful to have further opportunities for serving the Lord, and trying to bring sinners to the Saviour. Oh my dear brother, work for God while you can! It is one of the bitterest regrets a man can know, to lie on his bed, to be unable to speak, and to think to himself, “I wish I could preach that sermon over again. I did not drive that nail home with all the force I ought to have used; I have not been earnest enough in pleading with sinners, I have not wrestled even to agony over the salvation of their souls.” It may be possible, my dear brother minister, that you and I may have twenty or thirty years of being laid aside from active service; then let us work while we can, before the night comes when no man can work. Brother, let us seize the oar of the life-boat, and row out over the stormy sea, seeking to snatch the drowning ones from that wreck, for the time may come when our strong right arm shall be palsied, and when we can do no more.

21. Yes, and rich professors may have to give an account of their stewardship, and be no longer stewards. There were some of that kind when the recent financial panic came; {a} though they had much before the crash, they had nothing left afterwards, so they could be no longer stewards of the wealth that had been taken from them. It must be a cause of deep regret for men in that position if they cannot give a good account of their stewardship, because they have done very little good with their wealth while they had it; and think, sirs, you to whom God has given great possessions, how soon he may take them from you, for riches do not last for ever. Behold, they take to themselves wings, and fly away. I know of no better way of clipping their wings than by giving generously to the cause of God, and using in his service all that you can. It would be a subject for continual regret to you, I am sure, if you came down to poverty, not so much that you had descended in the social scale, for that you could bear, if it came by mere misfortune through the providence of God; but if you felt, “I did not do what I should have done when I had wealth,” — that would be the arrow which would pierce you to the heart. It may be so, dear brother, it may be so with some of you. At any rate, I feel that there are some of you who are poor because God will not lend his money where he knows that it will be locked up, and not put out at good interest in his cause. What little you have is all hidden away, so the Lord will not trust you with more; he sees you are not fit to be one of his stewards. There are some, on the other hand, whom God has entrusted with much because he sees that they use it wisely in promoting the interests of his kingdom.

22. But, after all, to every man, whether he is rich, or whether he is in the office of the ministry, there may be an end of his stewardship before he dies. The mother has her little children swept away one after another; this is the message to her, “You may be no longer steward.” The teacher has his class scattered, or he himself is unable to go to the school; the word to him also is, “You may be no longer steward.” The man who went to his work, who might have spoken to his fellow workman, moved, perhaps to another land, or he is placed in a position where his mouth is shut; now he can be no longer steward. Use all opportunities while you have them, catch them on the wing, serve God while you can today! today! today! today! Let each golden moment have its pressing service rendered to God, lest it should be said to you, “You may be no longer steward.”

23. But we shall soon be no longer stewards in another sense. The hour must come for us to die. Out of our large congregation we have constant reminders that those who have served us as a church, and have served God faithfully in his church, cannot remain with us for ever. One or another, whom we have loved and honoured, turns in his account, and passes to his rest. So it will be in turn with the pastor, with the deacons, and with the elders. Do not put away the thought of that day, my fellow workers, as though you were immortal. It may come to us suddenly; no grey hairs may cover our heads, but while we are yet in the full strength of manly vigour, you or I may be called to give our account. What do you think? What do you think? Could you gather up your feet in the bed, and look into eternity without feeling the cold sweat of fear stand on your brow? What do you think? Could you face the great judgment seat, and say, “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep what I have committed to him against that day. …… I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith?” Oh! God be praised if we are able to say that! What monuments of mercy will you and I be if we are able to say this at the close of our service, and to hear our Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servant; enter into the joy of your Lord.”

24. My fellow member, by the fact that God is continually removing from us one and another, I ask you to remember that you also will soon depart. Therefore, be making up your account. Rest in Christ more confidently; love God more earnestly; serve your generation more intensely; live while you live; do not play at living, but live in real earnest, and let it never be said of you that you trod so lightly on the sands of time that you left no impression there. Make your mark on your age, and fill your appointed place as God shall help you, so that when you are gathered to your forefathers, you may not be forgotten, but the church may remember you because in her midst there are children born to God through your means.

25. As for the unconverted here, need I tell them that they must soon depart, and be no longer stewards? You must go from your business, oh trader; you must go from your merchandise, oh merchant; you must go from your bench, oh artisan; you must go from your machine, oh engineer; you must each depart, and go to that place from which no traveller returns. Be ready! Be ready! I will ring the alarm-bell for some of you; perhaps my text is a prophecy meant for some man here, “Give an account of your stewardship; for you may be no longer steward.” You have had children around you, and you have taught them blasphemy and drunkenness; or you have had workmen in your employ, and you have laughed at their religion, or aided and abetted them in sin; you have had talent, but you have used that talent in the service of the evil one; you have had gold, but you have lavished it on gluttony; now give an account of it all! Ah! sirs, you may not heed what I say; but you will have to heed what will be said to you at another time. You will see this matter in another light when the death angel shall put his cold, freezing hand on your shoulder, and shall say to you, “Give an account! Give an account! Give an account of your stewardship!” Oh Saviour, Son of God, put your pierced hand on these blind souls, and give them light, so that they may be able to render up their account with joy, and not with grief! Give them grace to believe in your name, and trust in your atoning sacrifice, for this is the way of salvation. Oh poor sinners, trust in Christ Jesus and him crucified! You cannot be saved by your stewardship, any of you; but unfaithful stewardship will ruin you. Christ crucified is your only hope for salvation. Look to him, and live. Oh, look to him now! Amen.

{a} Black Friday, September 24, 1869 was caused by the efforts of two speculators, Jay Gould and James Fisk, to corner the gold market on the New York Gold Exchange. See Explorer "https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Friday_(1869)"

Exposition By C. H. Spurgeon {Lu 12:13-44}

13, 14. And one of the company said to him, “Master, speak to my brother, so that he divides the inheritance with me.” And he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or an arbitrator over you?”

Our Lord was a Judge and an Arbitrator, but his sphere of action was spiritual; he did not interfere in the personal disputes of those who gathered around him.

15. And he said to them, “Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things which he possesses.”

Christ took advantage of this man’s request, and made it the text for a sermon against covetousness.

16-19. And he spoke a parable to them, saying, “The ground of a certain rich man produced plentifully: and he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there I will store all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years, take your ease, eat, drink, and be merry."’

Notice how fond the rich man was of the little pronouns “I” and “my.” He lived only for himself, and was an embodiment of that covetousness which our Lord abhorred and denounced. What a vivid contrast there is between what the man said to himself and the Lord’s message to him!

20. But God said to him, ‘You fool, tonight your soul shall be required of you: then whose shall those things be, which you have provided?’

This may also be said to any one of you; where would you be if the Lord said to you, “Tonight your soul shall be required of you?”

21-23. So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich towards God.” And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I say to you, ‘Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat; neither for the body, what you shall put on. The life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing.

Do not spend your care on the lower things; care most for what is most worth caring for, — more for the body than for clothing, more for life than for food, and consequently, more for the immortal spirit than for anything besides, and more for God even than for your own soul. Let your cares be rated according to their objects; to set a carking, anxious care on the lesser things, will be folly indeed.

24. Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them: how much more are you better than the birds?

It seems, then, that those who are fed by God are much better fed than those who are fed by men. The ravens know no care whatever, for God cares for them; and, if we could ever bring our hearts into such a condition that we felt that everything to do with us was in God’s hand, we should enter into a blessed, hallowed freedom from care in which we should find a sweet repose of spirit.

    Beneath the spreading heavens,
       No creature but is fed;
    And he who feeds the ravens,
       Will give his children bread.

25, 26. And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? If then you are not able to do that thing which is least, why do you take thought for the rest?

It would be a very little matter to you if you were a foot taller, or if you were a foot shorter. It is not that the making of yourself a cubit taller or shorter would be an insignificant thing to do, but it is an insignificant thing in its result; it is an inconsiderable matter whether a man is tall or short. If you, then, are not able even to reduce your stature, or to increase it, take no anxious thought about other things.

27. Consider the lilies how they grow: they do not toil, they do not spin; and yet I say to you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

So that God cares not only for things that have needs, as ravens have, but for things that have luxuries, as lilies have. When God does anything, he does it well. He is a grand Housekeeper; he does not measure out so many ounces of bread per diem, as if we were in a workhouse, but “those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.” “No good thing will he withhold from those who walk uprightly.” The lilies might do as well without their golden hues, they might ripen their seed without the lengthened stems that lift them where they can be observed; but God takes more care of them even than Solomon did of himself, for “Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.” Now, dear children of God, if you trust your Heavenly Father, he will see that you have no reason for care. If you trust him with your souls, he will not give you a bare salvation, but a rich robe of righteousness to cover all your nakedness. When he does any work, he does it in a better way than the wisest of men could do it; and nature herself, working as she does for the lilies, is only God working in another way. But when God himself, without the intervention of the laws of nature, works in the kingdom of his grace, he does it perfectly; he does it gloriously.

28. If then God so clothes the grass, which is today in the field, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, oh you of little faith?

Your life is not like that of the grass, or the flower of the field, that fades on a summer’s day. God will take care of you, and the everlasting things shall have from him a care even greater than he gives to the temporal. Yet how much God really does for flowers, — flowers that only open their cups in the morning, and shut them in death at night! How much of skill and wisdom there is even about them! Shall there not be greater skill and wisdom employed on you who, when you have once begun to bloom in the light of God, shall go on blooming, and flowering, and shedding your perfume throughout the endless ages?

29, 30. And do not seek for what you shall eat, or what you shall drink, neither be of doubtful mind. For all these things the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knows that you have need of these things.

For you, the immortal, the twice-born, the very body-guard of Christ, to live for such things as the men of the world live for, is to degrade the peerage of heaven, to bring those who are of the blood-royal of the skies down to a gross pursuit. No; let your whole thought, and heart, and life, be spent for something higher and better than these things; and leave the lower cares with your Father.

31, 32. But rather seek the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added to you. Do not fear little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

When Abraham had many sons, he gave to each one of them a portion, and sent them away; but Isaac had the family inheritance. It is the same with you. The Lord may give to others more than he bestows on you in this life, but for you he reserves the kingdom. Are you not content with that, whatever else your Father gives you or withholds from you?

33. Sell what you have, and give alms;

That is to say, do not merely give a little, which you can readily spare; but sometimes even pinch yourselves to relieve the poor.

33, 34. Provide yourselves bags which do not wear out, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches, neither moth corrupts. For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be.

You are sure to live for what is the choicest object of your love. Whatever you think to be first, will be first; and what you love in your heart, you will be sure to follow in your life.

35, 36. Let your waist be girded, and your lights burning; and you yourselves like men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he comes and knocks, they may open to him immediately.

Many people are thinking just now of Christ’s first advent, but this passage tells us to watch for his glorious second coming.

37. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he comes shall find watching: truly I say to you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to eat, and will come out and serve them.

I never read this verse without being amazed at the marvellous condescension of our Lord. Even in the day of his appearing in glory, his thoughts will be more about his people than about himself: “He shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to eat, and will come out and serve them.”

38. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants.

We cannot tell when he will come, but “Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he comes shall find watching.”

39-44. And know this, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have permitted his house to be broken into. Be therefore ready also: for the Son of man comes at an hour when you do not expect.” Then Peter said to him, “Lord, do you speak this parable to us, or even to all the people?” And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he comes shall find doing so. Truly I say to you, that he will make him ruler over all that he has.”

Wonderful words! We cannot at present tell all that they mean; but, by God’s grace, may they be fulfilled for us when our Lord comes to take us to himself!

 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Jesus Christ, Second Advent — A Prayer” 366}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “Jesus Christ, Second Advent — An Admonition” 365}
 {See Spurgeon_Hymnal “The Christian, Death — ‘The Time Is Short’ ” 823}
 End of Volume XLI


Jesus Christ, Second Advent
366 — A Prayer <8.8.6.>
1 When thou, my righteous Judge, shalt come
   To fetch thy ransom’d people home,
      Shall I among them stand?
   Shall such a worthless worm as I,
   Who sometimes am afraid to die,
      Be found at thy right hand?
2 I love to meet among them now,
   Before thy gracious feet to bow,
      Though vilest of them all;
   But can I bear the piercing thought —
   What if my name should be left out,
      When thou for them shalt call?
3 Prevent, prevent it by thy grace;
   Be thou, dear Lord, my hiding place,
      In this the accepted day;
   Thy pardoning voice, oh let me hear!
   To still my unbelieving fear;
      Nor let me fail, I pray.
4 Let me among thy saints be found,
   Whene’er the archangel’s trump shall sound,
      To see thy smiling face;
   Then loudest of the crowd I’ll sing,
   While heaven’s resounding mansions ring
      With shouts of sovereign grace.
      Selina, Countess of Huntingdon, 1774.


Jesus Christ, Second Advent
365 — An Admonition
1 How will my heart endure
      The terrors of that day;
   When earth and heaven, before his face,
      Astonish’d shrink away?
2 But ere that trumpet shakes
      The mansions of the dead;
   Hark, from the gospel’s gentle voice,
      What joyful tidings spread!
3 Ye sinners, seek his grace,
      Whose wrath ye cannot bear;
   Fly to the shelter of his cross,
      And find salvation there
4 So shall that curse remove,
      By which the Saviour bled;
   And the last awful day shall pour
      His blessings on your head.
                     Philip Doddridge, 1755.


The Christian, Death
823 — “The Time Is Short”
1 The time is short ere all that live
   Shall hence depart, their God to meet:
   And each a strict account must give,
   At Jesus’ awful judgment-seat.
2 The time is short, oh, who can tell
   How short his time below may be?
   Today on earth his soul may dwell,
   To-morrow in eternity.
3 The time is short; sinner, beware!
   Nor squander these brief hours away;
   Oh flee to Christ by faith and prayer,
   Ere yet shall close this fleeting day.
4 The time is short; ye saints, rejoice!
   Your Saviour Judge will quickly come;
   Soon shall you hear the Bridegroom’s voice
   Invite you to his heavenly home.
5 The time is short, ere time shall cease,
   Eternity be usher’d in,
   And death shall die, and joy and peace
   O’er the new earth benignant reign.
                  Joseph Hoskins, 1789, a.

Spurgeon Sermons

These sermons from Charles Spurgeon are a series that is for reference and not necessarily a position of Answers in Genesis. Spurgeon did not entirely agree with six days of creation and dives into subjects that are beyond the AiG focus (e.g., Calvinism vs. Arminianism, modes of baptism, and so on).

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Modernized Edition of Spurgeon’s Sermons. Copyright © 2010, Larry and Marion Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario, Canada. Used by Answers in Genesis by permission of the copyright owner. The modernized edition of the material published in these sermons may not be reproduced or distributed by any electronic means without express written permission of the copyright owner. A limited license is hereby granted for the non-commercial printing and distribution of the material in hard copy form, provided this is done without charge to the recipient and the copyright information remains intact. Any charge or cost for distribution of the material is expressly forbidden under the terms of this limited license and automatically voids such permission. You may not prepare, manufacture, copy, use, promote, distribute, or sell a derivative work of the copyrighted work without the express written permission of the copyright owner.

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