Sunday, January 06, 2008

What Spurgeon Saw

Hello All,

For those of you who have known me for some time, know that I love the works of Charles Haddon Spurgeon. In fact, I was recounting with some friends at lunch that his collection of sermons was the first Christmas gift that I received from my wife. Of course, this is after she pranked me by pretending to give me an alternate book: ALL THE WOMEN OF THE BIBLE! As a new husband, I smiled and politely said "thank you," while I mourned inwardly! She laughed and brought out the Spurgeon encyclopedia, which I love to this day.

If you are a "Kingsfeldian," you know that I had the opportunity to speak over these last two weeks. I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to address the congregation, and was blessed to share what the Lord had laid upon my heart for this time and this generation of our church. As usual, I wrote my sermon and then sought out sermon resources to "fill out the message." Generally, I use commentaries as salt and a safety net. Salt referring to historical or geographical points that I might not otherwise have access to, and safety net referring to the knowledge that if I come up with something brand new, it's probably wrong! However, I also find that sometimes, the preachers and teachers that I consult, have a very different emphasis to their message.

On this occasion, Spurgeon covered the same text that I did, but came away with an entirely different angle which I really enjoyed and thought I would share it here. The text is Joshua chapter 7 and the return of the spies from Ai. This comes on the heels of the victory that the Lord had won for the people of Israel at Jericho. The spies recommend that only a few thousand go into Ai because it is small. Spurgeon speaks of this as being akin to the prevailing attitude of the church, where the church at large, would assign the responsibility to only a privileged few, namely the clergy. Of course, that counsel only lands the people of Israel in the arms of defeat.

Later, when God gives His divine directive, He sends out the entire nation to fight, and the results are much more in character with His previous promise to Joshua and the nation of Israel. In the midst of these thoughts, Spurgeon lays out a few amazing thoughts.

"If we ever neglect to render universal service as a church in the cause of Christ we shall depart from our trust and call, for the Lord has sent all his disciples to testify of him and contend against sin. He has sent us all to make known everywhere, according to our ability, the glad tidings of his salvation; and he has not given his command to this or that man, or to this or that body of men, but to all His chosen. Every member of the body has it's own office and no part of it can be allowed to lie dormant. To none has he said, 'Go your way, eat the fat and drink the sweet, and find fault with those who do the work;' but to all the saints our Lord Jesus says- 'As my Father sent me, even so I send you.'...We shall get away from our true position and our high calling if we excuse ourselves or our brethren from personal service, and then go and take part in public meetings, and thank God for what other people have done on our behalf."
Charles Spurgeon, "All The People At Work For Jesus

And that says about it all!!

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

P.S. The camera is coming today! Lord willing, we'll have some pictures by this weekend.

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