Bulletin Edition February 2022

The Lord is my Shepherd — I shall not want!

(“Every Day!” 1872 Author unknown)

“The Lord is my Shepherd — I shall not want!” Psalm 23:1

“I shall not want!” Surely not! He is the Good Shepherd who gave His life for His sheep; and if He has loved me, and given Himself for me — then what will He withhold?

Oh that I knew Him better, and trusted Him as He deserves! Then I would be kept quiet from fear of evil, and be ever assured that He will supply all my needs, according to His riches in glory.

Do I need guidance? The Good Shepherd goes before His sheep — He instructs and teaches us in the way we should go.

Do I wander — and need to be reclaimed? He seeks and finds His straying ones, “He restores my soul, and leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.”

Am I wounded? He binds up my wounds, and heals me.

Do I need rest and refreshment? “He makes me to lie down in green pastures, and leads me beside the still waters.”

Do I need encouragement? “His rod and His staff, they comfort me.”

Do I need provision? “He spreads a table before me in the presence of my enemies.”

My Shepherd is infinitely wise and kind and gracious. Surely then, “Goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever!”

“The Lord my Shepherd is,

 I shall be well supplied;

 Since He is mine, and I am His,

 What can I want beside?”


(John MacDuff, 1874)

Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.

Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.

Isaiah 49:15-16

“Behold,” says infinite God, “I have engraved you on the palms of My hands!”

Not on the mountains, as colossal as they are, for they shall depart;

not on any page of nature’s vast volume, for the last fires shall scorch them;

not on blazing sun, for it shall grow dim with age;

not on glorious heavens, for they shall be folded together as a scroll.

But on . . .

  the hand which made the worlds,

  the hand which was transfixed on the cruel cross,

  the hand of infinite might and unmeasurable love;

I have engraved you there! No corroding power can efface the writing, or obliterate your name!

You are Mine now, and Mine forever!

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you. I have summoned you by name—you are Mine!” Isaiah 43:1

No Pre-Requisites for Saving Faith

“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”                                                                                                                        (John 3:36)

       Self-righteousness is like the pesty mole. Drive it out of one hole, and it will quickly find another in which to make its den. We have fairly well beaten it out of the den of good works as a ground of hope before God. But it has found another hiding place.

      The dark den where self-righteousness hides with little possibility of detection is called by many names: “Fitness for Faith,” “Conditions of Conversion,” “Suitability for Salvation,” “Qualifications for Grace,” and “Saving Knowledge.”

      No matter what name you hang over the hole, it is a den of iniquity. It teaches sinners that in order to have true faith in Christ there are certain conditions that must be met. The doctrine goes like this: “Salvation is by grace alone. It is not what you do, but what Christ has done that saves you. But before you can truly trust Christ and be saved, you must be terrified with conviction, you must weep and mourn over your sin, you must desire holiness, you must repent, you must long for Christ, you must come to see yourself as a lost sinner, you must earnestly seek the Lord, or you must acquire a certain measure of doctrinal knowledge. Then, once you’re qualified, once you’ve met the required conditions, you may trust Christ.”

      Such doctrine may sound good on the surface to those who are not taught of God, but it is only a round-about way of preaching salvation by works. —— Anything set by men between Christ and the sinner (works, feelings, experience, knowledge, anything!) is damning doctrine. It is not to be tolerated.

      There are no pre-requisites, no conditions, no qualifications to be met by sinners before they trust Christ. The gospel of Christ is addressed to sinners as sinners, not awakened sinners, not sensible sinners, not convicted sinners, not lost sinners, not repentant sinners, just sinners!

      God does not command sinners to feel a certain way, experience something, to acquire a certain level of knowledge, or come to realize something about themselves. God commands sinners to believe on his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

      The moment a preacher places any condition or qualification of any kind upon the sinner before he can trust Christ and be saved, he ceases to preach a gospel of pure grace. Repentance, conviction of sin, lamentation and sorrow over sin are not prerequisites for coming to Christ and trusting him. These things do not precede faith. They are the results of faith (Zechariah 12:l0; John 16:7-14). — “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

      “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?” No other question is relevant. “Dost thou believe on the Son of God?” May God the Holy Spirit give you grace to believe!

 Don Fortner

The love that surpasses knowledge!

(Horatius Bonar, “The Chief Among Ten Thousand”)

Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood. Revelation 1:5

The name of Him who loves us is not given, because it would be superfluous to state it. Only One could be meant. His is love like Himself . . .



  never ending,

  yet free!

Love stronger than death or the grave — love that loves us . . .

  out of sin,

  out of the grave,

  out of Hell,

  into Heaven!

It is the love whose breadth and length, depth and height, are immeasurable — the love that surpasses knowledge!

“May you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should — how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is!” Ephesians 3:18

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

This is the God whom we adore!

(Letters of John Newton)

For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.

Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.

Psalm 135:5-6

God rules all! And though He is concealed by a veil of second causes from common eyes, so that they can perceive only the means, instruments, and contingencies by which He works, and therefore think He does nothing; yet, in reality, He does all according to His own counsel and pleasure, in the armies of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth.

Who can enumerate all the beings and events which are . . .

  incessantly before His eye,

  adjusted by His wisdom,

  dependent on His will,

  and regulated by His power!

If we consider the heavens, the work of His fingers, the moon and the stars which He has ordained; if we call in the assistance of astronomers to help us in forming a conception of the number, distances, magnitudes, and motions of the heavenly bodies — the more we search, the more we shall be confirmed that these are but a small portion of His ways! Without His continual energy upholding them — they would rush into confusion, or sink into nothing! They are all dependent upon His power, and obedient to His command.

To come nearer home, and to speak of what seems more suited to our scanty apprehensions — still we may be lost in wonder. With respect to mankind, He reigns with uncontrolled dominion over every kingdom, family and individual. Before this blessed and only Potentate, all the nations of the earth are but as the dust upon the balance, and the small drop of a bucket — and might be thought (if compared with the immensity of His works) scarcely worthy of His notice! Yet here He presides, pervades, provides, protects, and rules! All changes, successes, and disappointments — all that is memorable in the annals of history, all the risings and falls of empires, all the turns in human life — take place according to His sovereign plan!

In Him His creatures live, move, and have their being. From Him, is their food and preservation. The eyes of all are upon Him; what He gives, they gather — and can gather no more! And at His word they sink into the dust!

There is not . . .

  a worm which crawls upon the ground,

   or a flower which grows in the pathless wilderness,

   or a shell upon the sea-shore —

but bears the impress of His wisdom, power, and goodness!

He preserves man and beast, sustains the young lion in the forest, feeds the birds of the air, which have neither storehouse or barn, and adorns the insects and the flowers of the field with a beauty and elegance beyond all that can be found in the courts of kings!

All things serve Him, and are in His hands — as clay in the hands of the potter. Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of saints!

This is the God whom we adore! This is He who invites us to lean upon His almighty arm, and promises to guide us with His unerring eye!

My grace is sufficient for you!

(J.C. Philpot, “Strength Made Perfect in Weakness

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. 

2 Corinthians 12:9

Not your strength,

not your wisdom,

not your prayers,

not your experience;

but “My grace”–My free, My matchless grace:

  independent of all works and efforts,

  independent of everything in the creature,

  flowing wholly and solely, fully and freely, out of the bosom of Jesus to . . .

    the needy,

    the guilty,

    the destitute,

    the undone.

You who are tried in worldly circumstances, who have to endure the hard lot of poverty–“My grace is sufficient for you.”

You who are tempted, day by day, to say or do that which conscience testifies against–“My grace is sufficient for you.”

You who are harassed with family troubles and afflictions, and are often drawn aside into peevishness and fretfulness–“My grace is sufficient for you.”

Our weakness, helplessness, and inability are the very things which draw forth the power, the strength, and the grace of Jesus!

Believer, your case is never beyond the reach of the words–“My grace is sufficient for you!”

The free, the matchless, sovereign grace of God, is sufficient for all His people–in whatever state, or stage, or trouble, or difficulty they may be in!

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in your weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9


“This is the resting place, let the weary rest; and this is the place of repose”—

“All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” Matthew 28:18

Such was among the last whispers of the Heavenly Palm—while still rooted in the midst of the earthly encampments, and when about to be transplanted—the all-glorious ‘Tree of Life’—into the midst of the Paradise of God!

What more precious farewell truth, what more blessed Keepsake could the Saviour have confided to His people than this; that to Him has been committed the Sceptre of universal Empire! Many, among the multitude He was then addressing on one of the mountains of Galilee, had witnessed His poverty, His humiliation, His cruel buffetings, His bitter death. But now these were all past. His head was about to be “crowned with many crowns.” As King of His Church, “all things had been delivered to Him by His Father” (Matt. 11:27). He knew that “the Father had given all things into His hands” (John 13:3). He would impart the comfort of this ennobling truth to the orphaned Church He was to leave behind Him. When the chariots of God had borne Him away from their sight, they could still think of Him as boundless in His resources; that He who so often had spoken to them “in righteousness” was still “mighty to save.” To these very hands that were pierced on Calvary’s Cross had been entrusted the sovereignty of the universe!

John, in his exile, sixty years later, beheld in striking vision a Book or roll “sealed with seven seals.” Tears came to the aged eyes of the Evangelist, because no one in heaven or in earth was found “worthy to take the book” and decipher its mysteries. All at once, one of the redeemed from the earth conveys to him the joyous assurance that he need no longer “weep” for “the Lion of the tribe of Judah had prevailed to open the book,” and unveil its contents (Rev. 5:7). What was this but the announcement, in significant figure, of the Savior’s own last utterance, that He had committed to His keeping the roll of Providence; that roll in which is inscribed not only the fate of kingdoms, the destinies of nations—but whatever concerns the humblest and lowliest member of His Church on earth; with Him rests the unfolding of the roll—the breaking of the seals—the pouring out of the vials—the bursting of the thunders.

Need we wonder that, in taking “the Book” into His hands, the ransomed myriads in the Apocalyptic vision should be seen falling down at the feet of the Lamb, with their “harps and golden vials full of incense;” and exulting in the thought that the Great Ruler of all was a Brother of the human race; that they should attune their lips to the lofty ascription, “You are worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof; for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.”

Yes, who will not exult in the thought that this vast world of ours is committed to the rule of JESUS—that it was created “for Him”—that “by Him all things are held together.” I look up to the spangled dome of heaven with its myriad constellations. I am told these lamps, hung in the sky, are burning incense-fires to His glory; that they march at His word, and their eternal music is an anthem to His praise. I look at the landscape below; that vast furniture in the Palace of Nature is His providing. It is He who covers it in its robe of light, who wreathes the brow of Spring in living green, and decks the valleys in Summer glory. Not a breeze murmurs through the forests, nor a dewdrop sparkles on its leaves—the sun shoots not one golden arrow through its glades, but by His permission. It is He who pencils the flowers, and intones the thunder, and gives voice to the tempest, and wings to the lightning.

But these manifestations of His power in nature, are subordinate to a nobler sovereignty with which He is invested in the moral and spiritual world. There, too, nothing can happen but by His direction, nothing can befall us but what is the dictate and result of His loving wisdom. Often, indeed, as we have frequently said, that wisdom and love are veiled behind gigantic clouds of permitted evil. But, when we remember the pledge, in His own life’s-blood, which He has given of His love to His people, dare we challenge the rectitude of His dealings or arraign the wisdom of His ways?

No! this Saviour-God “reigns, let the earth be glad.” From the heart stripped of its beloved gourd by the gentle hand of death, to the more terrible cry of perishing thousands by famine, or pestilence, or “the grievousness of war,” what truth more sublime, what syllables fall with more soothing music on the soul than these, HE (the Saviour, who died for me, who now lives for me), “does as He pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth!”

Comments are closed.