So I wake. I sit with coffee and thoughts. But on the table is a devotional.
‘Beside Still Waters’ by CH Spurgeon, sits there with it wooing title, ‘Come, and sit beside still waters . . .’
So I pick it up and open it to a random page: “No Smell of Fire.” (Daniel 3:27).
I read on: “When you cherish Christ, the things of the world are of little value, and their loss is not heavily felt.”
‘Cherish?’ The word stops me in my tracks.
I think of traditional wedding vows, to love and to cherish. Spurgeon incites me to think, “When you cherish Christ . . .”
“Do I cherish Christ?” for better, for worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer? Can I? Do I cherish Christ? as long as I live?
But then it hits me – Death will never part us, if we have received the gift that God has given us, with our personal names written on His Son’s sacrifice on the cross. Instead of a bow on the greatest gift to the world, His blood was shed that we would be washed, white as snow. This is what the Good Book says. The Lord loves me so.
“My beloved is mine, and I am his. He feeds his flock among the lilies.” This is the Song of all Songs, Song of Solomon 2:16.
Do I cherish Christ? This is the question. And so continues CH Spurgeon: “When you cherish Christ, the things of the world are of little value, and their loss is not heavily felt. If you feel your losses and if your trials are so ponderous that Christ’s love cannot lift you from the dust, then you have made too much of the world and too little of Him.”
“I see a pair of balances. I see on one scale the loss…, but I perceive on the other scale the great love of Christ. Now we will see which weighs the most. If Jesus lifts the light affliction, all is well, but if the trouble outweighs Jesus, then it is indeed ill for us.” (Spurgeon, beside Still Waters, pg. 161).
The devotion counsels with gentleness. Yet, kicks me hard in the midst of the world’s darkness: “If you are so depressed by your trials that you cannot rejoice, even though your name is written in heaven, then I think you do not love Jesus as you should.”
“Get delightful thoughts of Him, and you will feel as if you lost a pebble but preserved a diamond. If you have a high sense of your Master’s preciousness, you will rejoice in the deepest distress. The sweet love of Christ, when placed on the deepest wound the soul can ever know, heals at once.”
I will repeat words perhaps this sheep forgets: “The sweet love of Christ, when placed on the deepest wound the soul can ever know, heals at once.”
Beside Still Waters, has spoken to me, and even given words of the prayers we must pray: “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. Be within us, and we will make no choice of situations. Put us in Nebuchadnezzar’s furnace (Daniel 3:20); if Jesus walks the glowing coals as a companion, the fire will have no power, the hairs of our heads will not be singed, our garments will not be affected, and even the smell of fire will not be on them ” (Dan. 3:27).
So I pray for myself this morning as well, “Bring to remembrance, bring revival in my heart. Dear Jesus, mold me, and make into a new lump of clay and create in me a loving heart as I walk through my day. Teach me what it means to ‘cherish You, Lord.’ That I might be a blessing this Christmas. Help me spend time in Your word.” In Jesus name, Amen. and Amen again.