Bulletin Edition January 2022

I CAN’T MESS IT UP!

A dear friend was talking about how blessed the gospel of Christ’s grace was.  I can’t remember all the details we talked about.  I suppose we talked about electing love and redeeming grace and how the Lord in tender mercy called us out of darkness with a call we could not resist, and has kept us till that very day, and refused to let us go.  When saints get to talking about spiritual things they often talk about such subjects as these.  When our discussion was almost over, my dear friend put the icing on the cake, as it were.  “And the best thing about this gospel,” he said, “I can’t mess it up!”  Jesus has finished the work, it is already done, so, “I can’t mess it up.”  I am in Christ accepted and complete, and sealed unto the day of redemption; in Christ now and in Christ forever so, “I can’t mess it up.”  I feel like I have messed up everything else but, thanks be unto God I can’t mess this up.  I can’t mess this up.  It is un-messed-up-able.      

Bruce Crabtree

It will all end in mercy!

James Smith, “It Will All End in Mercy!” 1856

“We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God, and are called according to His purpose!” Romans 8:28

If you are a sincere believer in Jesus, whatever may be your present difficult circumstances, however trying, however perplexing: “It will all end in mercy!”

You may not think so now.

You may be writing bitter things against yourself.

You may be misinterpreting the designs of God’s providence.

You may be doubting the precious promises of God’s holy Word.

But notwithstanding your mistakes, your doubts, your fears, your false conclusions–“It will all end in mercy!”

You do not think so; nor did Jacob once, nor did Joseph once, nor did Job once–nor did thousands once, who are now in glory!

They were mistaken, and so are you.

They judged by appearances, and so do you.

They changed their minds, and so will you.

All your troubles are appointed in infinite love!

  They are all weighed out by sovereign goodness!

    They are all limited by perfect wisdom!

      There is no ‘chance’ in what happens to the Christian!

        Everything is divinely arranged and appointed!

Cheer up, my poor weary fellow-traveler! You will soon arrive at Home; and then you will see clearly and enjoy sweetly the blessed truth–that to the believer “all will end in mercy!”

Take comfort, poor afflicted fellow-Christian! Your afflictions are God’s furnace, in which He is refining you! He is only fitting you to occupy a mansion in Heaven, and to sing the sweet and everlasting song–the theme of which will be, “It all ended in mercy!”

Fear not, poor feeble, fickle, faltering follower of Jesus!

Though your faith is weak,

though your fears are strong,

though your doubts are painful,

though you conclude that your case is singular and your condition hopeless;

“the year of release is at hand,” and then . . .

  your doubts will expire,

  your fears will flee away,

  your groans will be silenced,

  your feeble hopes will be realised,

  for “It will all end in mercy!”

My brother, are you in poverty, under persecution, or in bodily sickness? Cheer up! Your light shall soon “break forth as the morning!” Write it down in your memorandum book, or impress it upon your memory. Or what is better still, pray the Holy Spirit to give you the sweet inward assurance of the fact that “It will all end in mercy.” For “we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God, and are called according to His purpose!” Romans 8:28 

I was listening to a man object to Romans 9:20, “Nay but O man, who are you to reply against God.”  I have heard that objection many times.  God is not giving a sufficient answer to, “Why does He yet find fault, for who has resisted His will.”  Simply answering that question with, “Who are you to reply against God” is not an answer but an authoritarian reply.  My answer to the man’s objection was this.  There is one difference between you and me that makes our response so different. I believe myself to be a sinner who deserves to be damned.  You do not believe that about yourself, therefore you believe God owes some kind of account to you. 

Todd Nibert

“A WORM, AND NO MAN”

Psalm 22:6

Hanging upon the cursed tree as our Substitute, our Saviour cried, “I am a worm, and no man.” Shall we for whom he suffered and died esteem ourselves higher than he esteemed himself? Yet, we act more like snakes than worms. Strike at a snake and he will lift his angry head, hiss at you, and strike back. Strike at a worm, and what does he do? Nothing. The worm is a humble creature, without any inclination or ability to defend itself or attack another. It is totally dependent upon its Creator. Its only defence is to retreat and take refuge. May God give us that spirit. It is the spirit of Christ. Let us, when attacked, retreat to and take refuge in him. He alone is our Rock, our Salvation, and our Defence.

Don Fortner

The King in His beauty

“Thine eyes shall see the King in His beauty.” Isaiah 33:17

J.C.Philpot

Where in heaven or on earth can there be found such a lovely Object as the Son of God? If you have never seen any beauty in Jesus you have never seen Jesus—He has never revealed Himself to you—you never had a glimpse of His lovely face—nor a sense of His presence—nor a word from His lips—nor a touch from His hand. But if you have seen Him by the eye of faith—and He has revealed Himself to you even in a small measure—you have seen a beauty in Him beyond all other beauties, for it is a holy beauty, a divine beauty, the beauty of His heavenly grace, the beauty of His uncreated and eternal glory.

How beautiful and glorious does He show Himself to be in His atoning blood and dying love. Even as sweating great drops of blood in Gethsemane’s gloomy garden, and as hanging in torture and agony upon Calvary’s cross—faith can see a beauty in the glorious Redeemer, even in the lowest depths of ignominy and shame! How is your Beloved better than others? My Beloved is dark and dazzling, better than ten thousand others!

Free!

“If therefore the Son makes you free, ye shall be free indeed.” John 8:36

J.C.Philpot

To be made free implies a liberty from the WORLD and the spirit of covetousness in the heart. If we were to follow into their shops some who talk much of ‘gospel liberty,’ we might find that the world’s fetter had not been struck off their heart—that they had a ‘golden’ chain, though invisible to their own eyes, very closely wrapped round their heart.

And there is a being made free from the power of SIN. I greatly fear, if we could follow into their holes and corners, and secret chambers, many who prattle about gospel liberty, we would find that sin had not yet lost its hold upon them, that there was some secret or open sin that entangled them, that there was some lust—some passion—some evil temper—some wretched pride or other—that wound its fetters very close round their heart.

And also there is a being made free from SELF—proud self, presumptuous self, self-exalting self, flesh-pleasing self, hypocritical self—self in all its various shapes and turns—self in all its crooked hypocrisy and windings. If the Son sets you free, you will be freeindeed!

The way to escape from the power of sin!

(Charles Spurgeon, “The Way” #942)

The great object of a penitent soul is to get away from the tyranny and slavery of evil habits and of corrupt desires.

The saints in glory overcame through the blood of the Lamb—and there is no other way of overcoming. The precious blood of atonement wherever sprinkled, kills sin; and he who lives in the full belief of it will be purified from sinful habits.

It is living under a sense of divine love as manifest in Christ; it is living with the full conviction of pardon through the blood, which brings to us freedom from the reigning power of sin.

There is no way to get the likeness of Christ, except by learning of His love. You imitate Christ, and so become like Him. You commune with Christ—and as you talk with Him, His character sacredly operates upon yourself, and you are changed from glory to glory, as by the image of the Lord.

Christ is the way to escape from the power of sin! The moment we forget Christ, and then seek after personal sanctification—we are trying to get to our journey’s end by declining to tread the road to it.

It is impossible to grow in grace, except by abiding evermore at the foot of the cross.

He redeemed me! He redeemed me! He redeemed me!

(The Preacher’s Book, 1885) Author unknown
The tears of a slave girl just going to be put up for sale, drew the notice of a gentleman as he passed through the auction mart of a southern slave state. The other slaves of the same group, standing in a line, for sale like herself, did not seem to care about it — while each knock of the hammer made her shiver.

The gentleman stopped to ask why she wept, and was told that the others were used to such things, and might even be glad for a change from a hard, harsh master — but that she had been brought up with much kindness by a good owner, and she was terrified to think who might buy her.

“What is her price?” the stranger asked. He stood a moment in deep thought when he heard the greatness of the ransom, but paid it nevertheless.

But no joy came to the poor slave girl’s face when he told her that she was free. She had been born a slave, and knew not what freedom meant. Her tears fell fast on the signed parchment which her deliverer brought to prove it to her. She only looked at him with fear. At last he prepared to go on his way, and as he told her what she must do when he was gone, it began to dawn on her what freedom was.

With sudden joy, she cried out, “I will follow him! I will serve him all my days!” And to every reason urged against it, she only cried, “He redeemed me! He redeemed me! He redeemed me!

When strangers afterwards visited that master’s house, and noticed, as all did, the loving, constant service of the glad-hearted girl, and asked why she was so eager with unbidden service night and day — she had but one answer, and she loved to give it: “He redeemed me! He redeemed me!”

So may it be with us. When any note the joy in our looks, the love in our voice, the freedom of our service — we have but one answer, “He redeemed me!”

Psalm 126

Restoration from captivity is the Lord’s gracious work. In due time the sorrow of the righteous shall be swallowed up in joy.

1. “When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them who dream.”

When the days of Babylonish bondage were fully run, what transports of joy thrilled through Israel’s sons! Their minds were almost bewildered by the grand event. The good tidings seemed almost as the mocking of an illusive vision of the night. So when deliverance from Satan’s yoke is realized, what floods of delight overpower the soul! We were born captives in the devil’s prison-house, his shackles held us tightly bound. We were slaves toiling under a cruel tyrant. But when Jesus comes and grants liberty we awake to a new world of happiness. We breathe the air of freedom. We exult with joy unspeakable and full of glory. We are tempted to exclaim, “Can this be real?”

2. “Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing; then said they among the heathen, The Lord has done great things for them.”

Their homeward march was lively with exuberant thanksgiving. The voice of pious melody was heard around. The heathen beheld the marvelous return. At once they exclaimed that One mightier than man had come forth for their rescue. May we ever ascribe our redemption to free grace!

3. “The Lord has done great things for us, whereof we are glad.”

The Lord, indeed, has done great things for us. Omnipotence has mightily come forth to save us from the grasp of Satan. Jesus, the incarnate God, has grappled with our deadly foe. He has snatched us from his thraldom. The great God brings salvation. Shall we not rejoice and sing!

4. “Turn again our captivity, O Lord, as the streams in the south.”

When the heat of summer burns, many torrents show dry channels. The cattle, thirsting for refreshing waters, are mocked with empty beds. But when the rains return, their channels are again replenished, and gladness smiles beside their banks. So when the days of banishment are passed, the captives move homeward with delight. May the Lord speedily bring this joy to those who groan beneath Satan’s cruel yoke!

5-6. “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goes forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.”

An image from rustic life gives comfort. The husbandman in hopeful toil casts the seed into the furrows. Months pass and there is no sign of life. In due season spring returns. The fields again are clad with verdure. Summer glows with ripening rays. The harvest is gathered in amid full shouts of joy. So a long period of dreary waiting may depress the soul; but the promised deliverance comes, and sorrow flees in shouts of fervent joy. May this be speedily our glad experience.

Henry Law

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