Bulletin Edition January 2021

             “Hallelujah! The Lord God omnipotent reigns!” 

                                     (Revelation 19:6)

        Believer! what can better support and sustain you amid the trials of your pilgrimage, than the thought that you have an Omnipotent arm to lean upon? The God with whom you have to do, is boundless in His resources! There is . . .
  no crossing His designs,
  no thwarting His purposes,
  no questioning His counsels.

His mandate is law! “He speaks–and it is done!” Your need is great. From the humblest crumb of providential goodness, up to the richest blessing of Divine grace–you are hanging from moment to moment, as a poor pensioner on Jehovah’s bounty!

But, fear not! “I am the Almighty God! Finite necessities can never exhaust My infinite fullness!”

John MacDuff

Water to Wine

The first miracle our Lord performed in his earthly ministry was at a wedding feast when he turned water into wine.  Clearly the water represents everything God has revealed in His Word. “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word.” Eph. 5:26. The wine pictures the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Without the shedding of which there is no remission of sins. 

This same miracle is performed over and over again every time the Bridegroom gets together with His bride.  He sends His Spirit in power, and in opening the eyes of our understanding He takes the water of His Word and turns it into blood. To see Christ and Him crucified in the scriptures is the first miracle of grace in the salvation of a sinner. “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God.” John 3:5.  

Greg Elmquist

A tender God!

“He shall feed His flock like a shepherd.

He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom,

and He shall gently lead those that are with young.” Isaiah 40:11

How soothing, in the hour of sorrow, or bereavement, or death–to have the countenance and sympathy of a tender earthly friend. Reader, these words tell you of One nearer, dearer, and tenderer still–the Friend who never fails–a tender God! By how many endearing epithets does Jesus exhibit the tenderness of His relation to His people!

Does a shepherd watch tenderly over his flock?

“The Lord is my Shepherd.”

Does a father exercise fondest solicitude (care) towards his children?

“I will be a Father unto you.”

Does a mother’s love exceed all other earthly types of affection?

“As one whom his mother comforts–so will I comfort you.”

Is the ‘apple of the eye’ (the pupil) the most sensitive part of the most delicate bodily organ?

He guards His people “as the apple of His eye!”

When the Shepherd and Guardian of souls finds the redeemed sinner, like a lost sheep, stumbling on the dark mountains–how tenderly He deals with him! There is no look of wrath–no word of upbraiding; in silent love “He lays him on His shoulders rejoicing!”

Reader, are you mourning over . . .

the weakness of your faith;

the coldness of your love;

your manifold spiritual declensions?

Fear not! He knows your frame! He will give ‘feeble faith’ tender dealing. He will “carry” those who are unable to walk, in His arms; and will conduct the burdened ones through a path less rough and rugged than others.

When the lion or the bear comes, you may trust the true David, the tenderest of Shepherds!

Are you suffering from outward trial? Confide in the tenderness of your God’s dealings with you. The strokes of His rod are gentle strokes–the needed discipline of a father yearning over his children, at the very moment he is chastising them. The gentlest earthly parent may speak a harsh word at times; it may be needlessly harsh. But not so with God. He may seem, like Joseph to his brethren, to speak roughly; but all the while there is love in His heart!

The ‘pruning knife’ will not be used unnecessarily–it will never cut too deeply!

The ‘furnace’ will not burn more fiercely than is absolutely required.

A tender God is seated by it, tempering the fury of its flames!

And what, believer, is the secret of all this tenderness? “There is a Man upon the Throne!” Jesus, the God-Man Mediator; combining with the might of Godhead–the tenderness of spotless humanity.

Is your heart crushed with sorrow? So was His!

Are your eyes dimmed with tears? So were His! “Jesus wept!”

Bethany’s Chief Mourner still wears the Brother’s heart in glory.

Others may be unable to enter into the depths of your trial–He can, He does!

With such a “tender God” caring for me, providing for me, watching my path by day, and guarding my couch by night, “I will both lie down in peace and sleep, for Thou alone, Lord, makest me dwell in safety!” Psalm 4:8

“He shall feed His flock like a shepherd.

He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom,

and He shall gently lead those that are with young.” Isaiah 40:11

John MacDuff, 

“I will declare mine iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin.” – Psalm 138:18

Yes, these are the words of David, but they are also the words of the Lord Jesus from the cross. He owned the sins of the elect as His own. My confession of sin always feels inadequate and my sorrow over my sin is not sorry enough. My confession of sin and sorrow for sin is sin! He is the only one who truly confessed sin aright and had genuine sorrow for it. Just as we are justified by the faith of Christ, we look to Christ for the true confession of sin and sorrow over sin. All that God requires of us, He looks to His Son for. All that God requires of us, we look to His Son for.

Todd Nibert


“It is required in a steward that a man found faithful”

The faithful man is the man who believes and can be believed. He trusts and he can be trusted. He relies and he can be relied on. There is nothing more beautiful and beneficial than faithfulness. Faithful to the Gospel of Christ. Faithful to believe all that is written. Faithful to view himself as a sinner. Faithful in humility. Faithful in whatever the Lord puts in his hand to do. Faithful to prayer and reading the Word. Faithful to attend worship services. Faithful in giving. Faithful in loyalty. Faithful as the friend who loveth at all times. May the Lord enable us and may we seek to be faithful. Joshua and Caleb were the only adults over 20 years old that entered the Promised Land. Joshua is the Hebrew word for Jesus, the Saviour. Caleb’s name means faithful dog. Oh, for grace to be a faithful dog. 

So long as two men are walking together, you cannot tell which one of them the dog belongs to. But let the two men part company and it then becomes evident; the dog will follow his master!  The dog does not hesitate, debate, or remain undecided; he quickly follows the one he loves.

Where Christ and men separate; where the Word of God and the traditions of men divide; where the ways of God and ways of the flesh part, the servant of Christ does not hesitate, debate, or remain undecided; he follows Christ, whom he loves, regardless of the cost.

The master may go to a simple cottage, a meal of dry bread, and a lonesome existence while his companion enjoys all the luxuries of the world. But the faithful dog cares little for these things so long as he is with his master.                                            

Henry Mahan

Consider Jesus– as Afflicted

Octavius Winslow

“He was afflicted.” –Isa. 53:7

For this Jesus was born. His mission to our world involved it. In the righteous arrangement of God, sin and suffering, even as holiness and happiness, are one and inseparable. He came to destroy the works of the devil; and sin, being Satan’s master-work, Jesus could only destroy it as He Himself suffered, just as He could only ‘abolish death’ as He Himself died. He was truly “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” In the gospel according to Isaiah–the fifty-third chapter of which might have been written by a historian recording the event of the Saviour’s sufferings after it had transpired, rather than by a prophet predicting it seven hundred years before it took place–the circumstances of our Lord’s afflictive life are portrayed with a fidelity of narration and vividness of description which can only find their explanation in “the Spirit of Christ, which was in him, testifying beforehand of the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow.”

“He was afflicted.” What touching and expressive words are these! Consider them carefully, my soul. Attempt, if it be possible, an analysis of your Lord’s afflictions. And the first feature that presents itself is, that He was afflicted BY GOD. How clearly is this fact put–“We did esteem Him smitten by God and afflicted. It pleased the Lord to bruise Him. He has put Him to grief.” Was Jesus, then, afflicted of God? So are we! The God that smote Him, smites us; the paternal hand that mingled His cup, prepares ours. O my soul! refer all your trials to God. Be not tossed about amid the troubled waves of second causes, but trace all your afflictions, however dark, bitter, and painful, directly to the wisdom, righteousness, and love of your Father in heaven. “Himself has done it.” Enough, Lord, if I but see Your hand and Your heart guiding, shaping, and controlling the whole.

Jesus was afflicted BY MAN. “He was despised and rejected by men.” Beloved, how many of our trials, and how much of our wounding, springs from the same source! This should teach us to cease from man, and to put no confidence in the arm of flesh, since ofttimes the staff we thought so pleasant, and on which we leaned so confidingly, is the first to pierce the hand that too fondly and too closely pressed it.

Jesus was afflicted IN THE SOUL. “My soul is sorrowful, even unto death.” Is not soul-sorrow our greatest, even as the soul is the most spiritual, precious, and immortal part of our nature? Is your soul-sorrowful? Are you conflicting with sin, harassed by doubts, depressed with fears, sorrowful almost unto death?–consider Jesus as having passed through a like soul-discipline, and uplift your prayer to Him–“My heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the Rock that is higher than I.”

Jesus was BODILY afflicted. We do not read of actual disease of body, but we do read of bodily suffering such as infinitely surpasses all to which we can possibly be subjected; and endured, be it remembered, O my soul! for YOU! This may be the Lord’s affliction in your case. A diseased body, distressing nervousness, extreme debility your daily cross. Be it so–it is all the fruit of everlasting and eternal love. Receive it believingly, endure it patiently, and be anxious only that the rod thus laid upon you by a Father’s hand should bloom and blossom with holy fruit to the glory of God.

Affliction was a SCHOOL for Jesus. “He LEARNED obedience by the things which He suffered.” Not less is it ours. We enter it, for the most part, with but a mere notional, theoretical acquaintance with God, and with Christ, and with our own selves; but sorrow’s hallowed discipline transforms us into experimental Christians, and, gazing upon the lowly Savior, we exclaim–“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” O my soul! if this be the result of affliction, let the scythe mow you, the furnace dissolve you, the flail thrash you, the sieve sift you; it will but conform you the more closely to your once afflicted, suffering Lord.

This ever-present Christ!

(Letters of John Newton)

“Lo (surely) I am with you alway — even unto the end of the world!” Matthew 28:20

In our natural state, we have very dark, and indeed dishonorable thoughts of God — we conceive of Him as at a distance.

But when the heart is awakened, we begin to make Jacob’s reflection, “Surely the Lord is in this place — and I knew it not!” Yes, though we cannot see Him — He sees us, He is nearer to us than we are to ourselves!

And when we are saved, we begin to know this ever-present Christ; that the government of Heaven and earth, the dispensations of the kingdom of nature, providence, and grace — are in His hands; that it is He with whom we have to do — who once suffered agony and death for our redemption, and whose compassion and tenderness are the same as when He conversed among men in the days of His humiliation.

Thus Jesus is made known to us by the gospel, in the endearing views of a Shepherd, a Husband, a Friend. With humble confidence, we may enter into the holiest of all, and repose all our cares and concerns upon the strength of that everlasting arm which upholds Heaven and earth, and upon that infinite love which submitted to the shame, pain, and death of the cross — to redeem sinners from wrath and misery!

There is a height, a breadth, a length, and a depth, in this mystery of redeeming love, exceeding the comprehension of all finite minds!

“May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully!” Ephesians 3:19

How To Avoid Times of Depression

Jude 1:20-21

Someone asked, “How can I avoid these times of depression, indifference, and bad attitude toward others?”

There is no perfection in the flesh! We do not approve of our infirmities, failures, evil thoughts, or back-sliding’s, but we are aware of their source, the flesh, and we are aware of the fact that this conflict and warfare will be with us until death. However, the next time you are plagued with coldness of spirit, prolonged bad attitude, and worldly spirit, check and see if you are not neglecting the means of grace and your fellowship with Christ.

I find that when I am walking with Christ in sweet communion, frequently engaging in private prayer, participating in worship services and Bible study, and reading the Word of God, it is easier to forgive others; easier to overcome pride, envy and jealousy; and I am less interested in material things and more interested in that which is of the Spirit. But if I neglect these means of grace suddenly I become more interested in those things which I really despise and begin acting in a way that is not glorifying to God.

If we will learn the power of His precious blood, dwell in Him, feed upon His Word, and seek to occupy our thoughts with His gracious presence, we will see our tempers controlled, our hearts filled with love for Him and others, and our feet and hands swift to do works of faith and labours of love.

“But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” (Jude 1: 20-21).

Henry Mahan 

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