03 Aug True Joy
Read: Nehemiah 8
Last Sunday, Pastor Jason Smith preached from Nehemiah six and seven, where we considered how we must rely on God’s strength to carry out his call on our lives. This Sunday, Pastor Ken will preach from chapter eight, where we will see that God’s joy strengthens us as we pursue him. As you prepare your heart for our corporate gathering, let these words from Spurgeon spur you on to greater joy in our Lord Jesus Christ.
FOR YOUR LOVE IS BETTER THAN WINE. — SONG OF SOLOMON 1:2
Nothing gives the believer so much joy as fellowship with Christ. He has enjoyment as others have in the common mercies of life—he can be glad both in God’s gifts and God’s works; but in all these separately, yes, and in all of them added together, he does not find such substantial delight as in the matchless person of his Lord Jesus.
He has wine that no vineyard on earth ever yielded; he has bread that all the cornfields of Egypt could never bring forth. Where can such sweetness be found as we have tasted in communion with our Beloved? In our esteem, the joys of earth are little better than husks for pigs compared with Jesus, the heavenly manna. We would rather have one mouthful of Christ’s love and a sip of his fellowship than a whole world full of carnal delights. What is the chaff to the wheat? What is the sparkling paste to the true diamond? What is a dream to the glorious reality? What is life’s merriment compared to our Lord Jesus in His most despised estate?
If you know anything of the inner life, you will confess that our highest, purest, and most enduring joys must be the fruit of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God. No spring yields such sweet water as that well of God, which was dug with the soldier’s spear. All earthly bliss is of the earth earthy, but the comforts of Christ’s presence are like Himself, heavenly. We can review our communion with Jesus and find in it no empty regrets; there are no dregs in this wine, no dead flies in this ointment.
The joy of the Lord is solid and enduring. Vanity has not looked upon it, but discretion and prudence testify that it abides the test of years and is in time and in eternity worthy to be called “the only true delight.” For nourishment, consolation, exhilaration, and refreshment, no wine can rival the love of Jesus. Let us drink to the full this evening.
“January 8th, Evening Reading,” in Morning and Evening, by C. H. Spurgeon
Song List for Sunday
1. “This We Know,” Arr. by Shane & Shane
2. “Great I Am,” by New Life Worship
3. “Forever Reign,” by Hillsong Live
4. “Come Thou Fount,” by Robert Robinson
5. “Grace and Peace,” by Sovereign Grace Music