Somewhere Spurgeon quotes an earlier saying that, ” Sometimes God causes His’ ministers to be rain clouds pouring over a desert instead of forests and green fields”.
It would seem to mean that a lot of Christian ministry and service as in the parable, “falls on stony ground”. The toil and effort seems to be fruitless . That the work is God’s and the end is His’ glory it is hard to see it fail to effect.
I am doubtful many people will read what I write. Inasmuch as it was written for no other end but to glorify God and to do good to the ” household of faith” , I pray it will be owned by Him for the intention at least.
We all feel sometimes that our work is not fruitful, yet we are assured, “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.1 Cor 15:58
Martin Luther said of Saint Jerome,”that he spoke not of Christ but merely carried His’ name around in his’ mouth”.
How many “tele evangelists”, and religious teachers are doing the same? Seeking the fleece but not the good of the flock. Asking for your gifts of money and promising large amounts in return. Talking about Christ but not faithful to His’ truth. We need a sieve through which to sort out the genuine from the false. Here is one,
“To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”Isaiah 8:20
A falling out
James Stewart and Henry Fonda were the best of friends for many years. They only had one falling out which led to blows and that was an argument about politics. When they made it up they vowed never to discuss politics again. They spent most of their time together silently making model planes.
In the best of relationships there are arguments and disagreements. The relations between Christians are certainly not immune. How we deal with them is critical.
“”In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,” Eph 4:26, is something that we need to practice. To hold grudges is very human but never Christian. Sensitivity to sore points and doctrinal differences is the way to douse the spark before it alights. Yet faithfulness to the Word of Truth must not be a casualty to our seeking of peace with all men.
A Hindu man who became a Christian was given a clock and then a Bible. The clock to show how the time goes and the Bible to tell him how to spend his’ time.From “The Salt Cellars by C.H. Spurgeon.
Whistling in the Dark
“ O our God, will you not execute judgment on them? For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” 2Chronicles 20:12
When I was younger I heard a broadcast sermon entitled “Whistling in the Dark.” . It was based on the story of king Jehoshaphat facing an attack by a massive army. Facing certain doom, king and people alike seek the Lord and march off to face the invaders believing God’s promise to fight for them. “ You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed. Tomorrow go out against them, and the Lord will be with you.” 2 Chron. 20:16-17
This sermon and story stuck in my memory and kept with me.
Faith was here exercised in a way we find difficult to emulate. Yet how many God worked rescues do we know from history and our own experience. When we face sickness , poverty or trouble of any kind do we find our faith activating? Are we comforted and encouraged?
“Lord increase our faith”.