This is from Charles Spurgeon book “Evening by Evening” a devotionary, but a very different kind of devotionary compared to so many out there today. This devotionary is faithful to Scripture and its main purpose is that the reader, in the solitude and quiet of the night, glorifies the Creator, that his soul may rest. Many entries have caught my attention and convicted me, but this one in particular got me, it’s from December 29th:
The great test of your soul’s health is, What think you of Christ? Is he to you “fairer than the children of men” (Psalm 45:2)—”the chief among ten thousand” (Song of Songs 5:10)—the “altogether lovely?” (Song of Songs 5:16) Wherever Christ is thus esteemed, all the faculties of the spiritual man exercise themselves with energy.
I will judge of your piety by this barometer: does Christ stand high or low with you? If you have thought little of Christ, if you have been content to live without his presence, if you have cared little for his honour, if you have been neglectful of his laws, then I know that your soul is sick—God grant that it may not be sick unto death! But if the first thought of your spirit has been, how can I honour Jesus? If the daily desire of your soul has been, “Oh that I knew where I might find him!” (Job 23:3)
I tell you that you may have a thousand infirmities, and even scarcely know whether you are a child of God at all, and yet I am persuaded, beyond a doubt, that you are safe, since Jesus is great in your esteem. I care not for thy rags, what thinkest thou of his royal apparel? I care not for thy wounds, though they bleed in torrents, what thinkest thou of his wounds? are they like glittering rubies in thine esteem? I think none the less of thee, though thou liest like Lazarus on the dunghill, and the dogs do lick thee—I judge thee not by thy poverty: what thinkest thou of the King in his beauty? Has he a glorious high throne in thy heart? Wouldest thou set him higher if thou couldest? Wouldest thou be willing to die if thou couldest but add another trumpet to the strain which proclaims his praise? Ah! then it is well with thee. Whatever thou mayest think of thyself, if Christ be great to thee, thou shalt be with him ere long.
Though all the world my choice deride,
Yet Jesus shall my portion be;
For I am pleased with none beside,
The fairest of the fair is he
“I care not for thy rags, what thinkest thou of his royal apparel? I care not for thy wounds, though they bleed in torrents, what thinkest thou of his wounds? are they like glittering rubies in thine esteem? I think none the less of thee, though thou liest like Lazarus on the dunghill, and the dogs do lick thee—I judge thee not by thy poverty: what thinkest thou of the King in his beauty? “
What in the world?? this does not fit the modern preaching in many churches today! I am not generalizing, but most churches where there is not a proper view of God and a proper self view (Isaiah 57:15) preach something like this: “God wants to heal your heart, he wants to comfort you, it’s ok if you go through problems, God knows them, He knows you suffer, He created you to love you and be with you.” Before you say I criticize too much, let me clarify something. As Christians, we do suffer, we do go through trials and we do need the love of our Savior God, He does comfort us and He is there for us. But the problem I see with this sort of preaching is self-centeredness. We reduce God to being a problem-solver or the one who will always be like “aww poor thing come here let me give you a hug.” We stand before the cross, before the dying Savior and lick our wounds instead of weeping over the bleeding Christ. We think we’re poor, that our problems are the worst in the world, and I see this a lot in youth groups in churches. Yes, we do go through problems: parents breaking up, alcoholic parents, sinful family life, etc. But can you compare your suffering to that of the Lord? He stripped Himself of all…yet we dare to tremble before our wounds and not before the Lord who suffered, died, and resurrected. Do you find a problem with this? Shouldn’t someone be disturbed? We teach our youth that the reason we come to Christ is so we’re comforted of “a friend backstabbing you in high school” and we mutilate the Bible into tiny verses that are many times taken completely out of context (e.g. Jeremiah 29:11) to satisfy our loneliness or hurt feelings…what do you think of His wounds??? what do you think of His suffering? He came to His own and His own rejected Him! Where do you find your comfort? In Christ’s wounds! in His sacrifice for you! if the Cross loses its power, if you for one moment take your eyes off the cross, then you have indeed lost everything. What think ye of Christ??