Sunday Quote ~ Contentment

I copied this from my email inbox from Grace Gems and am sharing it in place of my Sunday Hymn this week.

A diligent pupil in the College of Contentment

(Charles Spurgeon)

“I have learned in whatever state I am, therewith to be content.” Philippians 4:11

These words show us that contentment is not a natural propensity of man. Grumbling, discontent, and murmuring are as natural to man–as weeds are to the soil. We need not sow thistles and weeds; they come up naturally enough, because they are indigenous to earth. Just so, we need not teach men to complain; they complain fast enough without any education.

“Ill weeds grow quickly.” But the precious things of the earth must be cultivated. If we would have wheat, we must plough and sow; if we want flowers, there must be the garden, and all the gardener’s care.

Now, contentment is one of the flowers of Heaven, and if we would have it–then it must be cultivated, as it will not grow in us by nature. It is the new nature alone which can produce contentment–and even then we must be especially careful and watchful, that we maintain and cultivate the grace which God has sown in us.

Paul says, “I have learned… to be content;” as much as to say, that he did not know how at one time. It cost him some pains to attain to the mastery of that great truth. No doubt he sometimes thought he had learned, and then broke down. And when at last he had attained unto it, and could say, “I have learned in whatever state I am, therewith to be content,” he was an old, grey-headed man, upon the borders of the grave–a poor prisoner shut up in Nero’s dungeon at Rome.

We might well be willing to endure Paul’s infirmities, and share the cold dungeon with him–if we too might by any means attain unto his high degree of contentment. Do not indulge the notion that you can learn contentment without discipline. It is not an ability that may be exercised naturally–but a grace to be acquired gradually. We know this from experience. Brother, hush that murmur, natural though it be–and continue a diligent pupil in the College of Contentment.

Quotes of the Week 14

I’ve subscribed to a daily email of Puritan¬†readings from Grace Gems recommended by Dianna at Forgiven. This was one of the readings this week that will be my Quotes of the Week…

From a devotional by John MacDuff, Day 22.

(J.C. Ryle, “Heirs of God” 1878)

“As many as are led by the Spirit of God–they are the sons of God.” Romans 8:14

All true Christians are under the leading and teaching of a power which is Almighty, though unseen–even the power of the Holy Spirit. They no longer turn to their own way, and walk in the light of their own eyes, and follow their own natural heart’s desire. The Spirit leads them. The Spirit guides them. There is a movement in their hearts, lives, and affections, which they feel–though they may not be able to explain; and a movement which is always more or less in the same direction.

They are all led . . .
away from sin,
away from self-righteousness,
away from the world!

This is the road by which the Spirit leads God’s children.
Those whom God adopts as His children–He teaches and trains.
He shows them their own hearts.
He makes them weary of their own ways.

They are all led to Christ.
They are all led to the Bible.
They are all led to prayer.
They are all led to holiness.
This is the beaten path along which the Spirit makes them to travel.
Those whom God adopts–He always sanctifies.
He makes sin very bitter to them.
He makes holiness very sweet.

When they are taken into the wilderness, and taught to see their own emptiness–it is the leading of the Spirit.

It is He who leads them to Mount Sinai, and first shows them the law–that their hearts may be broken.

It is He who leads them to Mount Calvary, and shows them the cross–that their hearts may be bound up and healed.

It is He who leads them to Mount Pisgah, and gives them distinct views of the promised land–that their hearts may be cheered.

Each and all of God’s children is the subject of these leadings.
Each and all is led by the right way, to bring him to a city of habitation.

Settle this down in your heart, and do not let it go: the children of God are a people “led by the Spirit of God,” and always led more or less in the same way. Their experience will tally wonderfully when they compare notes in Heaven.

“I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.” Proverbs 4:11

“In your unfailing love You will lead the people You have redeemed.
In Your strength You will guide them to Your holy dwelling.” Exodus 15:13