“Christ’s promise is, ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.’
If you ask only for temporal mercies, and can be satisfied with them, you may get what you ask. There are gushing springs from which you might drink if you would, but the muddy waters of Sihor are evidently good enough for you.
But if you ask the Lord for spiritual blessings, He is sure to give them to you. It is more natural for God to give great things than little things; they are more in His line,—more in His way.
You know that certain men have certain ways. There are men whom you can get to do anything if it is in their way, but they will not act in another way. Well, now, the Lord’s ways are as high above our ways as the heavens are above the earth; yet David knew what God’s ways were, for he said, ‘Then will I teach transgressors thy ways.’
One of the ways of God is to do great things for His people. Some of them sang, ‘The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad.’ So you are more sure of getting blessings from God if you ask him for great things.
Therefore, be sure to ask for very great things. When you do get to the mercy-seat, do not begin asking for littles, and go home with trifles; but ask for as big things as ever your soul can desire, and as big things as the promises of God cover.
There you have a task before you that will tax your greatest powers, but give your heart and soul to it, and you will find it to be a very pleasant and profitable one.
Ask great things for yourselves, brethren.
Ask to know all the truth of God.
Ask to know the fullness of God.
Ask to know the riches of his grace.
Ask to know ‘the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge.
And when you have asked for all that, ask for holiness, and do not ask for anything less than perfect holiness.
Continue to open your mouth wide, that every grace may be given to you, adding ‘to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness love.’
And do not rest satisfied until you have all these Christian virtues.
You may ask also for joy. And, oh, what an ocean of bliss is before you in the joy of the Lord! In ‘the peace of God, which passeth all understanding,’ what a wondrous depth of joy there is laid up in store for you!
Our Lord Jesus said to his disciples, ‘These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.’ It may be the same with you; therefore, ask for great things.
Do not be satisfied with being little Christians. Seek to come to the full stature of men in Christ Jesus. I will be thankful to get just inside the gate of heaven.
But if I can sing more sweetly, and if I can have more fellowship with Christ, nearer His throne, why should I not get there? God grant that we may all have that high privilege!
Once more, I think that this exhortation, ‘Open thy mouth wide,’ means attempt great things for God as well as ask great things from God.
Brethren, go in for something great.
Go in for saving one soul; that is something great.
Go in for preaching the whole truth of God; that is something great.
Go in to be faithful to the teaching of the whole Word of God; that is something great. It is not sufficient if you have filled your own place;—a good many of you have not done that yet.
Go in to preach the gospel somewhere else as well. Open some other building for worship; penetrate into some region where the gospel is not yet known.
I wish that our College would open its mouth so wide as to include the whole world in the sphere of its operations. Brother Wigstone tells us that, if we open our mouth wide, we shall swallow up the whole of Spain and Portugal.
Other brethren want us to open our mouth wide enough to absorb France, and Germany, and Russia, and all Europe. Some of our brethren have gone to India; there is a mouthful for us.
If we open our mouth wide, India may be evangelized, and China, and the new world of America, and the far-distant world of Australia, will feel the power of the gospel that we take there in the name of the Lord.
Let us pray, as David did, long ago, that the whole earth may be filled with God’s glory.
What is the whole earth, after all, compared with the greatness of God, and with the infinite sacrifice that Christ has offered? Well may the Lord say to each one of us, “Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.”
–Charles H. Spurgeon, “The Wide-Open Mouth Filled,” in The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Sermons (vol. 50; London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1904), 50: 186–188.
“It is a good rule, after reading a new book, never to allow yourself another new one till you have read an old one in between. If that is too much for you, you should at least read one old one to every three new ones. Every age has its own outlook. It is specially good at seeing certain truths and specially liable to make certain mistakes. We all, therefore, need the books that will correct the characteristic mistakes of our own period. And that means the old books.”
–C.S. Lewis, “Introduction” in St. Athanasius, De Incarnatione Verbi Dei (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 1944/1993),