Our Top 5 Posts of February
Sat Mar 08, 2014
Resurgence Roundup, 3/7/14
Fri Mar 07, 2014
How to Replant a Church, Part 5: Rally Your Troops
Thu Mar 06, 2014
by Bubba Jennings
The 4 Pillars of Pastoral Work
Thu Mar 06, 2014
by Dave Bruskas
10 Ideas For Keeping Lent
Wed Mar 05, 2014
by Winfield Bevins
Spurgeon Sermon Notes: The Life-look
Isaiah 45:22—“Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.”
The nations have been looking to their idols for all these weary centuries, but in vain. Many of them are looking to their boasted philosophies, and still in vain. False religions, politics, alliances, theories, organizations, men—all will be in vain to save the nations.
They must look to God: the God of all the families of the earth. Happy are we that we live in a time when God’s command to the nations is proclaimed abroad. Be it ours to spread the saving truth, and bid men look and live. The same principle applies to individuals. If they would be saved they must look to the Lord.
If you, O hearer, would be saved, here is the only method: ‘Look.’
What does this word “look” mean in reference to God? It includes many things:
- Admit his reality by looking to him. Consider that there is a God, and enthrone him in your mind as a real person, the true God, and your Lord. Let the invisible God be to you as real as that which you see with your eyes.
- Address yourself to him by prayer, thanksgiving, thought, obedience, and reverence, looking to him so as to know him, and recognize his presence.
- Acknowledge that salvation can come only from him. Regard him as the only possible Savior. “There is no other.”
- Anticipate that he will bless you: look for his interposition.
- Abide alone in him for salvation. Keep your eyes fixed on him, as the Morning Star of your day.
For what part of salvation are we thus to look?
- For every part of it from beginning to end.
- Pardon. This must be God’s act, and it can only come through the atonement which he has provided in Christ Jesus.
- Preparation for pardon: namely, life, repentance, faith. Grace must prepare us for more grace.
- Renewal of heart is the Holy Ghost’s work: look to him for it. Regeneration must be of the Lord alone.
- Sustenance in spiritual life is of the Lord alone. All growth, strength, fruit, must be looked for from him.
- Daily succor in common things is as much a divine gift as great deliverances. Our look should be constant, and it should comprise expectancy for time as well as eternity.
Any one matter left to self would ruin us altogether.
What is our encouragement to look?
- His command. He bids us look, and therefore we may look.
- His promise. He says, “look, and be saved,” and he will never run back from his own word.
- His Godhead. “For I am God.” All things are possible to him: his mercy is equal to our salvation, his glory will be manifest thereby.
- His character, as “a just God and a Savior.” (See verse 21.) This combination is seen by those who know the cross, and it is full of hope to sinners.
- His broad invitation: “all the ends of the earth.” Each seeking soul may be sure that he is included therein. Who will refuse so simple an act as to look?
When is the best time in which to look?
Look now, at this very moment.
- The command is in the present tense: “Turn to me.”
- The promise is in the same tense: “and be saved.” It is a fiat, like “let there be light.” It takes immediate effect.
- Your need of salvation is urgent: you are already lost.
- The present time is yours, no other time is yours to use; for the past is gone, and the future will be present when it comes.
- Your time may soon end. Death comes suddenly. Age creeps on us. The longest life is short.
- It is the time which God chooses: it is ours to accept it.
This is a great soul-saving text: give earnest heed to it. All who have obeyed it are saved: why should you not at once be saved? This is the one command— “Look! Look!”
Stories & Brevities.
A striking example of prayer to “gods that cannot save” is given by Miss Isabella Bird, who describes a service in a Buddhist temple in Japan, when a popular priest preached to a vast congregation on future punishment, i.e., the tortures of the Buddhist hells. When he concluded, the people, slightly raising the hands on which the rosaries were wound, answered with the roar of a mighty response, “Eternal Buddha, save!”
To this text, under God, I owe my own deliverance from despair. An explanation of the work of Jesus, given by a humble, unlettered lay preacher, was followed by a direct appeal to me. “Young man, you are miserable, and you will never be happy unless you obey this message. Look! Look!” I did look, and in that instant lost my crushing load of guilt. It was all clear to me. Jesus had taken the sins of all believers. I believed, and knew that he had taken mine, and therefore I was clear. The matchless truth of the substitution of the divine Lord for me was light and liberty to my soul. A look saved me, and for my present salvation I have no other resort but still to look. “Looking unto Jesus,” is a motto both for penitent and preacher, for sinner and saint.
To this text, under God, I owe my own deliverance from despair.
There is an affecting story of a celebrated literary man, Heinrich Heine, who was prematurely disabled by disease, and utterly heart-sick and weary. In one of the art palaces of Paris there is the famous statue called the Venus of Milo, the bewitching goddess of pleasure, which, by the rude accident of time, has lost both her arms, but still preserves much of her supreme, enchanting beauty.
At the feet of this statue Heine cast himself down in remorse and despair, and, to use his own words, “There I lay a long time, and wept so passionately that a stone must have had compassion on me. The goddess looked down compassionately upon me, but she was helpless to console me. She looked as if she would say—‘See you not that I have no arms, and that therefore I can give you no help?’” So, vain and useless is it to look to any for spiritual help and comfort, except to him of whom it is declared, “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save.”
Some preachers would need a week to tell you what you are to do to be saved: but the Holy Ghost only uses four letters to do it—“Look!”
Be not like the man, in the Interpreter’s house, whose eyes were fixed on the ground where he was raking together straws and dust, and who would not look up to him who was offering him a celestial crown.
Look up! Look up!