Today’s Sunday Share comes from Charles Spurgeon’s Morning & Evening devotional. The entire morning entry for March 25th is copied below:
“Betrayest thou the Son of Man with a kiss?” —Luke 22:48
“’The kisses of an enemy are deceitful.’ Let me be on my guard when the world puts on a loving face, for it will, if possible, betray me as it did my Master, with a kiss. Whenever a man is about to stab religion, he usually professes very great reverence for it. Let me beware of the sleek-faced hypocrisy which is armour-bearer to heresy and infidelity. Knowing the deceivableness of unrighteousness, let me be wise as a serpent to detect and avoid the designs of the enemy. The young man, void of understanding, was led astray by the kiss of the strange woman: may my soul be so graciously instructed all this day, that ‘the much fair speech’ of the world may have no effect upon me. Holy Spirit, let me not, a poor frail son of man, be betrayed with a kiss!
But what if I should be guilty of the same accursed sin as Judas, that son of perdition? I have been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus; I am a member of His visible Church; I sit at the communion table: all these are so many kisses of my lips. AM I sincere in them? If not, I am a base traitor. Do I live in the world as carelessly as others do, and yet make a profession of being a follower of Jesus? Then I must expose religion to ridicule, and lead men to speak evil of the holy name by which I am called. Surely if I act thus inconsistently I am a Judas, and it were better for me that I had never been born. Dare I hope that I am clear in this matter? Then, O Lord, keep me so. O Lord, make me sincere and true. Preserve me from every false way. Never let me betray my Saviour. I do love Thee, Jesus, and though I often grieve Thee, yet I would desire to abide faithful even unto death. O God, forbid that I should be a high-soaring professor, and then fall at last into the lake of fire, because I betrayed my Master with a kiss.”
Today’s (early) Sunday Share comes from Marshall Segal, writing at desiring God.org on Romans 5:3-4, which says: “We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.”
Segal asks “how we can rejoice even while still in the midst of our sufferings,” and notes that “suffering in itself does not produce hope from scratch. Suffering will not create hope where there is none. But it can serve to strengthen and refine an already living hope.”
Gospel literally means “good news.” What impact should receiving that news have on you and I, and on how we approach all the bad news around us?
This article by Steve Brown at Key Life is worth the read. I’ve been thinking a lot about joy, and part of the journey toward that is taking what the Bible says about it seriously (apparently an oxymoron, but really it’s not). If Paul said he had joy in prison, he actually did. If you don’t believe joy is possible, it will never happen.
The article by William Edgar linked below describes Francis Schaeffer’s “hayloft experience,” a period of about three months when the well-known Christian philosopher, author, and professor struggled with depression and serious questions about his faith. This faith crisis was brought about when he realized the religious movement he had helped create was “zealous for theological precision, but not for obeying Jesus’s command to “love one another as I have loved you.” Schaeffer found himself asking: if Christians aren’t loving, is Christianity real?
Some days we are able to follow Jesus’ advice in Matthew 6:34 – “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” Other days we feel overwhelmed by our responsibilities, and on some days, we feel like we’re carrying all the problems of the world. Whether it’s something in a sermon, on the news, a book we’ve read, the multitude of notifications on our phones and other devices, or something in our own conscience, we feel that the world needs more than we have to give.
In the linked article, author Kevin DeYoung writes that “most Christians hear these urgent calls to do more (or feel them internally already) and learn to live with a low-level guilt that comes from not doing enough. We know we can always pray more and give more and evangelize more, so we get used to living in a state of mild disappointment with ourselves.” He shares some thoughts on how to relieve this anxiety and focus on what we need to focus on. After all, even Jesus “did not try to do it all. And yet, he did everything God asked him to do.”
(Estimated reading time 7 minutes)
I discovered this through fellow blogger Barbara Harper, who posts a weekly list of good reads on Saturday.