Learning from Dead People

To me there’s something mysteriously wonderful about reading books written long ago by people dead for centuries. When you stop to think about it, when you read an old book, you’re actually learning from someone who lived many, many years ago. You’re actually hearing them speak to you! Since reading the biography on Martin Luther, I was inspired to purchase some books that contain his writings, and I’ve enjoyed being taught a fresh by such a devoted and devout Christian who lived 500 years ago. Pretty cool, when you really think about what’s actually happening. I’m being taught by someone who lived 500 years ago! Reading is such a wonderful, magical thing!

And that leads me to my main point in my blog entry today: Yesterday I read from my little devotional book by Charles Spurgeon, a baptist pastor who lived in the mid-1800’s in London. He is a fantastic teacher with excellent theology and practical insights, and whenever I read from his “Morning and Evening,” I’m sitting at his feet and listening to him teach me from his own walk with Christ. I’m actually learning from a guy who lived over 150 years ago! Wow, I think that’s really cool. And Spurgeon is a true gift of God to the church. We sell his “Morning and Evening” devotionals at our bookstore, and I highly recommend you give it a try. It’s a great way to kick-start your quiet time/devotionals with solid biblical doctrine that stirs the heart.

(You can also buy it for your Kindle here. Or you can buy another revised kindle version that is based on the ESV Bible and nicely laid out for daily readings here. But it’s more expensive. I bought the former and the latter, and the latter one looks very nice.)

Here’s the daily reading I read from Charles Spurgeon yesterday. As you read it, don’t take it for granted that you’re being taught the scriptures by a Christian dead well over a century now. What a gift he left behind for us.

“And of his fulness have all we received.” John 1:16

These words tell us that there is a fulness in Christ. There is a fulness of essential Deity, for “in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead.” There is a fulness of perfect manhood, for in him, bodily, that Godhead was revealed. There is a fulness of atoning efficacy in his blood, for “the blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanseth us from all sin.” There is a fulness of justifying righteousness in his life, for “there is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus.” There is a fulness of divine prevalence in his plea, for “He is able to save to the uttermost them that come unto God by him; seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” There is a fulness of victory in his death, for through death he destroyed him that had the power of death, that is the devil. There is a fulness of efficacy in his resurrection from the dead, for by it “we are begotten again unto a lively hope.” There is a fulness of triumph in his ascension, for “when he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and received gifts for men.” There is a fulness of blessings of every sort and shape; a fulness of grace to pardon, of grace to regenerate, of grace to sanctify, of grace to preserve, and of grace to perfect. There is a fulness at all times; a fulness of comfort in affliction; a fulness of guidance in prosperity. A fulness of every divine attribute, of wisdom, of power, of love; a fulness which it were impossible to survey, much less to explore. “It pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell.” Oh, what a fulness must this be of which all receive! Fulness, indeed, must there be when the stream is always flowing, and yet the well springs up as free, as rich, as full as ever. Come, believer, and get all thy need supplied; ask largely, and thou shalt receive largely, for this “fulness” is inexhaustible, and is treasured up where all the needy may reach it, even in Jesus, Immanuel–God with us. (Morning, January 27)

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