welcome to this Christian website

May 31st

 

Rev. E. Anderson

AN IN MESSAGE FOR TODAY

Never languish in failure or defeat. Such take place in the lives of the most gifted and successful of people. The important thing is to take fresh breath, renew your vision and get up and going. Failures are like hurdles and obstacles that have to be surmounted and put behind as a later testimony. The Lord has all the time in the world for those who have seemingly hashed up things and feel useless. So, today, whatever, choose to make progress. Let all your past be but a preparation for a glorious future in God and with Him.

LIFE’S EXPERIENCES

An Unforgettable Experience which was my lot in Lincoln. We often had the pleasure of having missionaries stay with us. I never forget the occasion when Teddy Hodgson came to visit and minister to our small congregation. Before tea he wanted to go for a walk. It was sheer inspiration and delight to be him on that stroll. He had so much to talk about and give and I was a welcome hearer to the choice dealings of God in his life. He had a unique, dynamic way of telling things and that hour will not be forgotten. Shortly afterwards he returned to Congo and was martyred for Christ.

DAILY MEDITATIONS

COSTLY SERVICE – Acts 14: 1-2

These two inspired missionaries, Barnabas and Paul, were to find that serving the Lord in the preaching the Gospel was to cost them a great deal. They were willing to give themselves unreservedly in devoted labour to bring the Good News to others, both Jews and Gentiles. Whilst the Lord confirmed His word in doing miracles, nevertheless, there were those who were opposed and spoke maliciously of them. But they were not put off by the activity of these evil people because they sensed the urgency of making known the truth of the Christian message.

At Iconium a hostile mob was intent on hurling not only abuse but stones. They managed to escape from this but later at Lystra it literally occurred. It states that“they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, apparently dead” – v19. In spite of this horrendous treatment and experience, he suddenly gets up and goes back into the city. He was not going to be put off by anyone or anything as he had made up his mind with Barnabas, cost what it may, he would serve the Lord. Later on in 2 Corinthians 11 & 12 he gives a list of the things that he had had to face for the sake of the Christian testimony. Christ was worthy of such devotion and sacrifice.

The Lord never declared that it would be easy in serving Him. In founding the Christian Faith and Gospel it had cost Him everything. Those who would love and honour Him may well have to pay quite a price in suffering and even in death for His cause and sake. Whilst it is a wonderful thing to know the blessing of miracles in evidence of the message preached, there may well be the cost of personal sacrifice in abuse and affliction as well. Do not be ashamed or afraid to make your stand for Him knowing He is worthy of your total allegiance.

FURTHER NOTES FROM THE MINOR PROPHETS

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THE DIVINE SHEPHERD

Zechariah 11-13

One of the principal ministries to be known and exercised within that of God’s ancient people was that of a shepherd. God’s people were likened to a flock of sheep. It can be readily understood because one of the main vocational factors was that of the shepherding. There were an abundance of sheep and sheepfolds and this called for people who knew how to tend sheep efficiently and successfully. The same could be said on the spiritual front. They had known some very great and good shepherds, namely Moses and David. At the time of Zechariah he could foresee what was going to occur down the line, the appearance of shepherd/leaders who did not care about the Flock of God and they are branded evil shepherds. However, he speaks prophetically of one who would stand out in Israel’s history in a unique way and give details regarding Him. The prophecy can only refer to Jesus Christ.

1/. HE STOOD IN CONTRAST TO THE EVIL SHEPHERDS AND EXPOSED THEMvv4-7

Regrettably Israel had been beset with leaders that simply fleeced the flock to their own end. They had never sought to care, feed and look truly after the Lord’s elect but had used and abused them to their own advantage. They were not genuinely interested in the good of the people but the looking after their own interests. Really, the people were like sheep without a shepherd. Christ came and exposed the falseness of these leaders in His day and they didn’t like it. In contrast, He went after winning and wooing the nation to Jehovah in caring for them in a magnificent manner.

2/. HE REVOKES THE DIVINE COVENANT THAT GOD HAD MADE WITH THIS PEOPLE- vv8-11

The time came however when a decision had to be made. There was an animosity and hatred towards Him in spite of all the good done. He had definitely tried and showed the heart of God when He said: “How often I would have gathered you.” Israel failed to respond to the previous prophets and now were to turn away from the greatest Shepherd of all. The Lord makes a definite decision to break covenant with this people. They are to be rejected and be in a position of lost identity and dignity and present destiny. What could have been was lost and it was to become a nation of wanderers without a divine leader.

3/. HE PAYS A PRICE FOR THE ROLE THAT HE FULFILLED – vv12-14

Israel rejected Christ and had Him done away in crucifixion. He was to be sold for ‘thirty pieces of silver’ and the amount ‘thrown to the potters in the Temple.’ From that moment the covenant was broken and it was carried through to the Cross. Thankfully a New Covenant of greater worth was being established and He was to become the Great and Good Shepherd on a greater scale.

4/. HE MAKES THE WAY FOR ANOTHER FALSE SHEPHERD TO ASSUME LEADERSHIP –vv15-17

Since that time, Israel has been exposed to worthless shepherding and it will not be rectified until the Messiah returns to manifest His grace.

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