Morning & Evening Devotional Reading–
September 30– Evening
by C. H. Spurgeon, revised and edited by W. C. Neff
“A living dog is better than a dead lion.”
Life is a precious thing; in its humblest form, it is superior to death. This truth is eminently certain in spiritual things. It is better to be the least in the kingdom of heaven than the greatest outside of it. The lowest degree of grace is superior to the noblest development of unregenerate nature. The divine implant of life in the soul is better than all the refinements of education. The thief on the cross excels Caesar on his throne. Lazarus among the dogs is better than Cicero among the senators. The most uneducated Christian is in the sight of God superior to Plato.
Life is the badge of nobility in the realm of spiritual things. Men without it are only more or less developed specimens of the same lifeless material. All are dead in trespasses and sins and need to be resurrected. A living, loving, gospel sermon, however unlearned in matter and unrefined in style, is better than the finest discourse devoid of spiritual passion and power. A living dog keeps better watch than a dead lion and is of more service to his master. In the same way, the poorest spiritual preacher is infinitely preferred over the exquisite orator who has only the wisdom of mere words.
The same holds true of our prayers and other religious exercises; if we are engaged in them by the Holy Spirit, they are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ, though we may think them to be worthless. On the other hand, our grand performances in which our hearts were absent, like dead lions, are mere carcasses in the sight of the living God.
O for living groans, living sighs, living despondencies, rather than lifeless songs and dead calms. Better anything than death. The snarlings of the dogs of hell will at least keep us awake, but dead faith and dead profession– what greater curses can a man have? O Lord, stir us and make us alive! [M&E]