Thursday, January 15, 2015

Growing Downward - Thursday Devotionals

“Many there who cannot see these truths (the doctrines of God’s sovereignty), who yet are in a state truly pleasing to God; yea many at whose feet the best of us may be glad to be found in heaven. It is a great evil, when these doctrines are made a ground of separation one from another, and when the advocates of different systems anathematize each other…

In reference to truths which are involved in so much obscurity as those which relate to the sovereignty of God mutual kindness and concession are far better than vehement argumentation and uncharitable discussion.”
Charles Simeon

The most fundamental trial that Simeon had – and that we all have – was himself.

He had a somewhat harsh and self-assertive air about him.

Simeon came to know himself and his sin very deeply.

He described his maturing in the ministry as growing downward.

Sometimes Simeon felt utterly alone at the University of Cambridge where he lived.

The students held him in derision for his Biblical preaching and his uncompromising stand as an evangelical.

But harder to bear than the insults of the students was the ostracism and coldness of his peers in the University.

His parishioners did not want Simeon as their vicar.

For twelve years the church was so resistant to his leadership that they would not let him preach Sunday evenings but hired and assistant to keep him out.

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Matthew 5:11-12

According to Charles Simeon, his invariable rule was “to endeavor to give to every portion of the Word of God its full and proper force, without considering what scheme it favours, or whose system it is likely to advance...

My endeavor is to bring out of Scripture what is there, and not to thrust in what I think might be there. I have a great jealousy on this head; never to speak more or less than I believe to be the mind of the Spirit in the passage I am expounding.”
Charles Simeon

After twenty-five years of ministry, Charles Simeon’s health failed suddenly.

His voice gave way so that preaching was very difficult and at times he could only speak in a whisper.

He himself said, that after a sermon he would feel “more like on dead than alive”.

This broken condition lasted for 13 years, till he was sixty years old.

In all this time Simeon pressed on in his work.

He had promised himself a very active life up to age sixty, and then a Sabbath evening.

When he was sixty years old he says he was “almost as perceptibly revived in strength as the woman was after she had touched the hem of our Lord’s garment”.

According to him, he could hear is Master saying:

“I laid you aside, because you entertained with satisfaction the thought of resting from your labour; but that now you have arrived at the very period when you had promised yourself that satisfaction, and have determined instead to spend your strength for me to the latest hour of your life, I have doubled, trebled, quadrupled your strength, that you may execute your desire on a more extended plan”.
Charles Simeon

So at sixty years of age, Simeon renewed his commitment to his pulpit and the mission of the church and preached vigorously for 17 more years, until two months before his death.

This post is part of Thursday Devotionals series. Right now it is going through the life, work and faith of Charles Simeon.

Would you like to read the first part, Are You Ready To Suffer For Christ?

You might also enjoy the second part of the series, Growing Downward.

I also recommend the thrird part for the children of this generation called, All Consuming Interest.

The fourth part is called, Peace Flowed In Rich Abundance.

If you have not yet read the fifth part , This Sweet Hope.

Take some time to read the sixth part also, Blessed Are The Peacemakers.

Hope you will enjoy reading the seventh part, A Double Blessing To Your Ministry.

Are you willing for, A Little Suffering For Christ's Sake.


  1. This was really interesting to read. A lot of inspiration to ponder there. Thanks for sharing it at Booknificent Thursday this week!

    1. Thank you, Tina! I really enjoyed being part of the link-up!