Choice portions

‘The Lord is my portion, saith my soul.’ Lamentations 3:24

Suggested Further Reading: 1 John 4:7–19

The love of God changes us into its own image, so that what the Lord says concerning us, we can also declare concerning him. God is love essentially, and when this essential love shines forth freely upon us, we reflect it back upon him. He is like the sun, the great father of lights, and we are as the moon and the planets, we shine in rays borrowed from his brightness. He is the golden seal, and we, his people, are the wax receiving the impression. Our heaven is to be likeness to Christ, and our preparation for heaven consists in a growing imitation of him in all things. See, brethren, how the Lord gives the word, and our heart, like an echo, repeats every syllable. The Lord loves his people, and we love him because he first loved us; he has chosen his saints, and they have also made him their chosen heritage. The saints are precious to Jesus, and unto us who believe he is precious; Christ lived for us, and for us to live is Christ; we gain all things by his death, and for us to die is gain. The church is the looking-glass in which Christ sees himself reflected; she is like a fair songstress taking up the refrain of Jesus’ canticles of love; while he sings, ‘My sister, my spouse,’ she answers, ‘My beloved is mine, and I am his.’ It is most delightful to perceive how, through divine grace, believers come to have the same feeling towards their God which their gracious Lord has towards them. Our two texts present us with an interesting instance: the church is God’s portion, he delights in her, he finds in her his solace and his joy; but God is also, as the result of this, the church’s portion, her full delight and bliss. Beloved, the love is mutual.

For meditation: God has loved us (Malachi 1:2); how are you responding to him? With unbelief, self-justification and self-defence (Malachi 1:2,6–72:173:8,13)? Or with love displayed in thankful trust and obedience (Psalm 56:10–13116:1–2,12–14)? Are you being changed into his image (2 Corinthians 3:18)?

Sermon no. 451
25 May (1862)

365 Days with C.H. Spurgeon, Vol. 2: A Unique Collection of 365 Daily Readings from Sermons Preached by Charles Haddon Spurgeon from His Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit (365 Days With Series); edited by Terence Peter Crosby; (c) Day One Publications, 2002.


God with Us

Mark 8–10

God’s Story

After Peter rightly identifies Jesus as the Messiah, Jesus instructs his disciples to keep his identity a secret. He tells them he must suffer and die. Peter protests, and Jesus rebukes him. Only Satan would want Jesus not to die to pay for sins.

A few days later, Jesus unveils his glory while on a mountaintop with Peter, James and John; God booms his love for his Son. But once they travel back down the mountain, they’re greeted by the world’s brokenness again. A father has brought his young demon-possessed son to the disciples, but they aren’t able to drive out the evil spirit. Jesus does—this kind of demon can be removed only by prayer.

A rich man comes to Jesus; he has lived an outwardly righteous life but wants to know how to gain eternal life. The man’s possessions are a hindrance to him, so Jesus instructs him to give away all he owns. The rich man looks disheartened and walks away sad. Jesus explains that the cost of following him is high, but anyone who sacrifices for him will receive blessings in this life—along with persecutions—but also eternal life in the future.

Jesus and his disciples start their trek to Jerusalem, and he shares once more that he will lose his life there, but that God will raise him from the dead.

The King’s Heart

It had been a long, long time to be misunderstood. God yearned for his people to know him, but early on they broke their connection with him, leaving them fatally sick and spiritually blind.

God began the long process of reintroducing himself. He painted pictures of his heart through Passover, at Mount Sinai, in the tabernacle. But blind hearts can’t see even clearly presented truth. God must have heard people talking about him over the years—discussions at synagogues and around dinner tables. How often he must have wanted to break in so he could correct misunderstandings, so he could show himself for who he really is. Who are you, God?

Then Jesus came: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!” (Mark 9:7).

It must have brought the Father great joy as he watched Jesus live—correcting wrong thinking, loving people and setting them free. Finally his heart was being lived out.


When Peter rebuked Jesus for saying that he must suffer and die, Jesus rebuked him back. Peter was suggesting that there was a shortcut to saving the world, which was what Satan insinuated when he tempted Jesus (see Matthew 4:8-10).

Copyright © 2014 by Walk Thru the Bible Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved

The Bottom Line


“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6

The contradictory advice given in popular culture about what children need is enough to drive a conscientious parent to distraction. In days past, moms and dads learned child‐rearing from their parents, who learned from theirs. Rightly or wrongly, they had a sense of confidence about what they were doing. That’s because the traditional approach to parenting boils down to some very basic ideas.

Here are just a few:

—When your children ask, “Who’s in charge?” tell them.

—When they mutter, “Who loves me?” take them in your arms and surround them with affection.

—When they defiantly challenge you, win decisively. Talk to them. Set up clear boundaries and then enforce the rules firmly and fairly.

—Expose your children to interesting things. Help them use their time wisely.

—Raise them in a stable family with two parents who love each other and enjoy a strong marriage.

—Teach them to love the Lord and understand His Word.

—Treat them with respect and dignity and expect the same in return.

—Set aside time to build friendship and love between generations. Then enjoy the sweet benefits of competent parenthood and a wonderful family!

Just between us…

  • How are we doing on this list of parenting basics?
  • Where do we see progress?
  • Which ones need special attention?

Father, thank You for the timeless wisdom that we can follow to help us raise our children right. May we parent wisely and lovingly, trusting in Your blessing. Amen.

  • From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

Help at Home


You are the helper of the fatherless. Psalm 10:14

When Kathy’s husband died, her sons were seventeen and twenty. Both boys missed their dad terribly. When they encountered difficulties that Kathy’s husband normally would have handled, she felt inadequate. The issues they faced at that age were not ones she could “kiss and make better.” So Kathy laid the situation at God’s feet through prayer, knowing that she needed help to deal wisely with her boys.

The Lord responded. When one son faced losing his job because he didn’t have a vehicle that would make it over snowy roads, a friend unexpectedly offered the use of his four-wheel-drive rig. When the other son hit a coyote with the used car he’d just purchased, a friend was there to offer advice and arrange for repairs. And when Kathy saw that her eldest son needed spiritual grounding and guidance, a mentor was provided in the form of his Christian boss at the fire station where he was interning.

Single parents can’t do it all for their kids, especially in times of hardship or crisis. They need assistance from friends, relatives, neighbors, and fellow believers who heed the call of Scripture: “Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow” (Isaiah 1:17). Most of all, they need to take their needs in prayer to their loving Lord, the “helper of the fatherless” (Psalm 10:14).

Before you say good night…

Do you need to put your parenting issues before the Lord in prayer?

Do you know a single parent you could reach out to this week?

Lord Jesus, be our strength when we are overwhelmed, our hope when we are discouraged, and our confidence when we feel alone or afraid. May Your grace and power shine out of our weakness, for the sake of our children, and for the sake of all those who look to us for strength. Amen.

  • From Night Light For Parents, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.