Bulletin Edition February 2018

"For A Certain Woman"
Mark 7:24-30

The brightest jewels are usually found in the darkest places. And our
Lord Jesus Christ usually finds jewels for his crown not among moral,
enlightened, refined, religious people, but among the depraved,
despised,degraded,and degenerate(I Cor.1:26-29).He digs his diamonds
from the pit of fallen humanity and hews his gems from the quarry of
transgressors (Isa. 51:1).
For three years the Lord of glory had walked among his kinsmen, the
children of Israel. He taught in their synagogues, performed miracles in
their streets, preached upon their mountains, and revealed himself in
their temple. But the Jews had no faith. "He came unto his own and his
own received him not" (John 1:11). They were content to observe their
meaningless ceremonies, practice their useless rituals, perform their
legal services, and defend their religious traditions. Disgusted with
their unbelief, the Lord departed from Jerusalem and went into the
borders of Tyre and Sidon. There he would hide himself from the
self-righteous, religious crowd and put himself in the path of an elect,
Canaanite woman, who was in desperate need of mercy. Her darling
daughter was "greivously vexed with a devil."
Who is not familiar with her story? Every reader of God's Word knows
about the Syrophenician woman. What parent has not felt her pain? Her
darling daughter was in the hands of the devil. Satan had taken
possession of her child's body and was determined to destroy her soul.
But this mother was not willing for her daughter to be damned. As soon
as the Lord Jesus came into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, she "heard of
him", sought him out,and spread her case before him. Read the story
carefully and learn these four things: (1.) Whenever God is pleased to
give mercy and faith to a sinner, he will cause that sinner to "hear of
Christ" (v. 25). (2.) Wherever there is a seeking sinner, there is a
seeking Savior (vv. 24-25). Christ went to where she was before she
could come to where he was. (3.) Sinners in need of mercy will take
whatever ground God gives upon which they may plead for mercy (vv.
27-28). (4.) All who need mercy and seek mercy by faith in Christ shall
obtain mercy (vv. 29-30).

Don Fortner

The will that cleanses
Mark 1:40
40 And there came a leper to him, beseeching him, and kneeling down to
him, and saying unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
Salvation is not by the sinners will but by the will of the Lord Jesus
Christ. This leper did not come to Christ making demands or boasting of
his will—he said unto him, If thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.
This man knew he was full of leprosy. The Spirit of God must reveal to
us our desperate need. We only come to Christ asking his will to be done
when we believe we are nothing but sin and only Christ can cure us. The
will of Christ by which we are saved begins by Christ sending us the
Holy Spirit to purge our conscience from dead works by his blood and
convince us that we are nothing but sin—a loathsome disease in God’s sight.
Salvation is by the will of our Lord giving us a new heart that is
broken and believes on Christ. The leper did not come to the disciples.
He did not merely come to Christ’s teachings. He came to Christ. When
you have a little sniffle then you might get curious. You might pick up
a book and try to learn what causes these symptoms. But when you are
deathly ill you go directly to a physician! When a sinner is given faith
to believe God’s own word against him and taught that Christ alone is
the Righteousness of God who heals then he will come to the great Physician!
How does Christ receive the sinner that he has made willing in the day
of his power? Our Lord Jesus moved with compassion. He said, “I will
have compassion on whom I will have compassion.” Christ is our
compassionate High Priest! (Heb 4:15) Christ put forth his hand and
touched him and cleansed him immediately. We are cleansed by a living
union with Christ! We were in him on the cross and he is in us by the
new birth that we might be made perfect in one, Christ Jesus. (Jn 17:23)
Clay Curtis.

Mark 1:23-24
And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he
cried out, Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou
Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou
art, the Holy One of God (Mark 1:23-24).

When the Lord Jesus went among the people preaching the gospel of the
kingdom of God, the people in the synagogue were astonished at His
doctrine, for He taught them with authority. They did not recognize,
acknowledge nor confess His person as God the Son, but they were amazed
at His words. What is most remarkable the "unclean spirit," knew exactly
Who He was and confessed that Jesus Christ is the, "Holy One of God."
The demon spirit also confessed he was deserving of God's righteous
judgment, "art thou come to destroy us." The demon spirit also cried out
and said, "Let us alone; what have we to do with thee."
The believer's cry before the Lord is similar, yet completely different.
We, by His grace do confess that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Saviour
(Phi. 2:9-11), but not only acknowledging His Lordship over us, but we
willingly submit to Him and love Him supremely (1Pet.2:7). We say with
Thomas, Jesus Christ is, "My Lord and my God" (John 20:28).
Believers also confess they are deserving of God's righteous judgment
against our sin and plead for mercy (Psa. 51: 1-4; Luke 18:13-14). Our
plea before the Lord is, don't leave us alone , we need thee every hour
in everyway. We need Thee, to be Surety and Sacrifice for us (Heb.
7:22), Mediator representing us (1Tim. 2:5), Advocate pleading for us
(1John 2:1), Captain guiding and fighting for us (Heb. 2:10), Redeemer
delivering us (Heb. 2:14-17), Great High Priest interceding for us (Heb.
4:14-16), the Chief, Great, and Good Shepherd providing all things for
us (Psalm 23:1-4; Phil. 4:19).
This is the Lord's unwavering and steadfast promise to His covenant
people that, He never will leave us. "Let your conversation be without
covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath
said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee" (Heb. 13:5). What sweet
comfort this affords the believer! As one old writer put it, "The Lord
Jesus Christ freely gives us all grace now and all glory hereafter"
(Rom. 8:32).
Tom Harding

If someone handed you a piece of gold ore, would you take it, or would
you cast it aside saying, “Most of this is just junk rock, worthless
dross”? I doubt you would let the predominance of dross move you to
reject the small amount of precious metal contained in it. You would be
glad to take it recognizing that the value of the relatively small
amount of gold is well worth enduring however much dross may encompass it.

Over the years I have come to realize that God’s people on this earth
are much like gold ore: they are mostly the dross of human weakness,
fleshly failure, and natural foolishness. But there is gold in them. The
grace of God has done a work in them, and that work of God in them is so
precious and valuable that it overwhelms any detraction the dross of the
flesh might cause.

I believe that if someone handed me a handful of gold ore, I would not
consider the dross at all in my estimation of its value. Let us esteem
our brethren the same way. Let us be done with looking for dross and let
us be occupied with looking for gold. And even if the dross is so
evident that it cannot be missed, let us simply ignore it, counting it
irrelevant to the value of the person. Let us highly esteem one another
for Christ’s sake, counting the gold of His gracious work worthy our
tolerance of all the dross that surrounds it. -JoeTerrell

Evening—Mark 16:9
"Now when Jesus was risen early, the first day of the week, he appeared
first to Mary Magdalene, put of whom he had cast seven devils."—Mark xvi. 9.

My Lord! I have often found occasion to stand amazed at the wonders of
thy grace, as set forth in thy blessed word. Every thing manifests that
it is altogether free and undeserved; nothing, in the objects of it,
having the least tendency to call it forth into exercise; no, not even
our misery: for though our misery afforded an opportunity for the
greater display of it, yet thy grace was long before our misery,
originating as it did in thine own everlasting love. Every circumstance
connected with the manifestation of thy grace calls forth astonishment.
The greatness, the continuance, the unceasing nature of it,
notwithstanding all the undeservings of the objects of thy rich bounty;
all tend to excite astonishment in my soul. But, Lord! when at an time I
behold abounding grace shewn, where there have been abounding
transgressions ; and, as the apostle expresseth it, "where sin hath
reigned unto death, that there more eminently grace should reign unto
eternal life;" my soul is overwhelmed in the contemplation; for here I
discover, as upon numberless other occasions, that "thy thoughts are not
my thoughts, nor thy ways my ways." Will Jesus, this evening, graciously
tell me, why the poor Mary Magdalene was first blessed, before any of
the disciples, with the sight of her risen Saviour? Was it to teach her,
and all poor:sinners like her, that "where sin hath abounded, grace
shall much more abound?' Was it indeed to encourage every poor
broken-hearted sinner, long exercised with the power and temptations of
Satan, that it is to such more especially that Jesus hath an eye, that
he knows their sorrows, and will assuredly relieve them? Did my honoured
Lord mean, by this wonderful act of grace, to shew that he will take yet
delight to inhabit that I precious soul out of which more he hath cast
seven devils, than where legions of evil spirits have not been, suffered
so long, and so powerfully to triumph? Am I, blessed Lord, authorized by
this gracious act of thine, so to construe thy wonderful love? Shall a
poor Magdalene, who only ventured, while thou wast upon earth, to fall
at thy feet, behind thee, weeping, be first blessed with a sight of thy
Person after redemption-work was finished, before the beloved apostle
who lay in thy bosom at thy table? Oh! thou dear, thou gracious thou
condescending Lord! what am I to interpret of this kind act of thine,
but that the heart of Jesus yearns over poor sinners, and can and will
administer consolation to them in their most desperate circumstances?
Yes! thou dear Lord! such hath been thy mercy, love, and grace, in every
act. Rebellious angels are passed by, and fallen man calls forth thy
pity! And among men, thy grace is shewn, not to the wise, and noble, and
self-sufficient; but to the poor, the needy, the maimed, the, halt, the
blind. Yea, Lord! thy grace is frequently manifested to tempers the most
unpromising, to stubborn and rebellious persons; whilst those who are
wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own conceit, starched in
the ceremonies and forms of religion, live, and it is to be feared die,
without the knowledge of salvation by Jesus. Hence the young man in the
gospel, who thought himself from his own goodness just ripe for heaven,
shall go from thee sorrowful, while Jesus will take up his abode in the
heart of a Magdalene, which had before been occupied by seven devils!
Oh! for grace "to comprehend with all saints, what is the breadth and
length, and depth and height; and to know the love of Christ, which
passeth knowledge, that I may be filled with all the fulness of God."
Robert Hawker
Poor man's morning and evening potions.

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