Bulletin Edition May 2023


John 11:3

Our Lord’s friend, Lazarus, was very sick. When his sisters saw their brother in grave danger, they sent this message to the Lord Jesus, “He whom thou lovest is sick.” Martha and Mary knew that Lazarus’ sickness was not an indication of the Lord’s anger or displeasure. And they knew that the Lord Jesus could, if he would, heal Lazarus of his ailment. So they simply sent a word to Christ to inform him of their hearts’ trouble: “He whom thou lovest is sick.” In that brief sentence they implied their faith in and submission to the Lord Jesus. You can almost read between the letters and see the comfort of their hearts. These two dear women were hurting. Their brother was dying! But they found comfort in Christ.

How much sickness we have seen! It hurts to see loved ones and friends suffer and die, even when we are confident of their saving interest in Christ. But, in the midst of pain, there is comfort and strength for God’s people in Christ. Our Lord himself has been there (Matt.8:17). Our Saviour will never call upon us to walk any path he has not walked before us.Whatever we suffer in this world, our Lord suffered that and more to redeem us. We have a sympathising High Priest in heaven (Heb. 4:15-16). Because Christ lived as a man upon the earth, he is touched with that which touches our hearts, moved by that which moves us, and feels that which we feel. How it helps to know that a friend understands what we feel in our hearts. And when that Friend is God our Saviour, that is help indeed! The Lord assures us of his presence to help in the time of trouble (Isa. 43:1-4). He will hold you, when you have nothing to hold. He will strengthen you, when all strength is gone. He will help you when you are helpless. Our tender Lord will, himself, be a nurse to help us (Psa. 41:3). He will turn you upon the bed of languishing and make you comfortable in the midst of great sorrow, pain, and trouble. And the sickness of God’s saints is never unto death (John 11:4). It may bring about the dissolving of this tabernacle of clay. But when this body is dissolved, then we begin to live; for to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.

 “You will not come to me that ye might have life.” When our Lord says that they will not come, who dares to say they will? But you say- they could if they would, but I am not talking about that, the question is: “WILL THEY?” “NO”—they never will by nature.

Scott Richardson

Today’s gospel is so “slick” that men swallow it without realising it, lose it without regretting it, and go to hell without remorse!

Scott Richardson

The Holy Spirit was at the feast (of Pentecost) but did not speak of himself, his office, His gifts or his power. He glorified Christ. He pricked the hearts of sinners convicting of sin and revealing the sovereign Saviour. The people were at the feast but they were not entertained by noted celebrities, choirs, elaborate programs, and wooed to make decisions for God. They heard a word of condemnation; they had rejected and crucified God’s Christ. They heard a word of conviction; this same Jesus was raised from the dead, for no power can-hold Him. Not death—for he is Life, not darkness—for he is light, not sin—for he is righteousness, not men—for he is God. They heard the word of promise; HE is exalted and made both Lord and Christ, with the power to save and the power to damn. It may be that God will visit our generation with revival but it will NOT come through the preaching of a defeated, weak, powerless door mat and reformer. It will come when preachers again sound forth clearly the gospel of God’s glory, power, and sovereignty. CHRIST IS LORD—bow down sinner to the claims of KING JESUS.

Scott Richardson

See that your tongue does not lay claim to MORE than your heart has received, be SURE that your lips and your life are completely agreed.

Scott Richardson

Who Maketh Thee to Differ?

While there is no difference between men in that –“All have sinned and come short of the glory of God”– there is also a vast difference between men.  Some are raised in privilege and have opportunities others could never dream of.  Some are raised in homes where parents care.  Others are raised in homes with people who do not care to be parents.  Some are born more gifted and intelligent than others.  Who made that difference?  God did!  If I am saved by the grace of God, there is a vast difference between me and the man who is not saved.  I have a new nature, given in the new birth that the unsaved man does not have.  Because of that, the differences are myriad.  But who made that difference?  God did!  God the Father elected me, God the Son redeemed me, and God the Holy Spirit gave me spiritual life from the dead.  While this completely excludes any reason for pride on my part, it gives me every reason to thank the Lord for His infinite grace toward me!    ~Todd Nibert

Don Fortner

True spiritual life!
The following is adapted from
Bonar’s “The Night of Weeping”

Some, by their continual contact with
the outward things of religion, hinder
their inward growth and damage
their spiritual life.

There are many Christians who are always
steadily at ‘church work’ and apparently with
fervour too. Yet too little communion with God
shows that they are not really growing spiritually.
They work so much more than they pray, that they
soon become like vessels without oil.

The true spiritual life is different from all this.

It is a thing of intensity and depth. It ever
carries about with it the air of calm and restful
dignity, of inward power and greatness. It is
fervent, but not feverish; energetic, but not
excited; speedy in its doings, but not hasty;
prudent, but not timid or selfish; resolute and
fearless, but not rash; unobtrusive and at times
it may be silent, yet making all around to feel
its influence; full of joy and peace, yet without
parade or noise; overflowing in tenderness and
love, yet at the same time, faithful and true.
This is true spiritual life!

(Are you so busy doing ‘church work’, that your
 personal relationship with Jesus is suffering?)

He who believes shall be saved, be his sins ever so many

(Charles Spurgeon)

” He who 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

He who believes shall be saved, be his sins ever so many.
He who does not believe shall be damned, be his sins ever so few.
There is no sin which can damn the one who sincerely believes.
There is absolutely nothing which can save the one who does not believe.

“The only way to be saved is by faith in Christ. Apart from faith in Him—no one, anywhere, at any time, in any culture, at any period in history, at any age, is saved.”

Your burden

(Octavius Winslow, “Daily Need Divinely Supplied”)

“Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall
 sustain thee.” Psalm 55:22

Wonderful words! Their sense is magical—their
sound is music—their very utterance is repose!

It is one of those flowers culled from the Lord’s
garden—penciled with beauty and laden with
perfume, which defies all human art to heighten
the loveliness of the one, or to increase the
sweetness of the other.

And yet, as most flowers are more fragrant when
crushed, and as the grape yields its sweetest
juice when pressed—a simple exposition of these
precious words, however gentle the pressure, may
prove a spiritual fragrance and refreshment to some
burdened child of God.

O my soul, what is thy burden? Remember the
invitation is a personal one, and therefore includes
every care and need, sin and sorrow, that you have.
“Castthy burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain

Whatever thy burden, cast it in the prayer of faith
on the Lord. Peculiar and heavy though it may be,
His strength and grace and love will sustain you.

Encircled by His almighty arm,
upheld by His promises,
strengthened by His grace,
soothed by His sympathy,
comforted by His Spirit,
you shall not sink, for it is written, “Cast thy
 upon the Lord, and He shall  sustain thee.”

Reader, is this vile viper lurking in your heart?

(Henry Law, “The Gospel in Numbers“)

“The LORD said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke Me? and how long will it be ere they believe Me, for all the signs I have shewed among them?” Numbers 14:11

“They could not enter in because of unbelief.” Hebrews 3:19

Reader, survey the Israelites in the wilderness—will they ever reach the promised land?

Alas! two, and two only, steadfastly adhere. The multitude distrust the Lord. They wilfully provoke Him. Therefore just indignation dooms them to exclusion from the promised land. Their corpses strew the desert. One by one they dot the sand with graves. They fall, a solemn proof, that outward privileges alone do not save. Unbelief nullified their many means of grace. It poisoned their cup of blessing!

Ah, unbelief! It is the sin of sins—the misery of miseries—the hopeless malady—the death of souls—the bar which shuts out Christ.

Oh! drag it to the cross, and slay it there!

Implore the Spirit, by His mighty sword, to hew it into shreds! If it survives, you die!

Can he be healed, who scorns the only cure?

Can he reach home, who leaves the only homeward path?

Can he be cleansed, who flees the only cleansing stream?

Can he escape from the fast-sinking wreck, who spurns the life-boat?

Who can reach God, who puts aside the only Mediator?

Who can be saved, who tramples down the only Saviour?

Unbelief rejects the Gospel, and so perishes. It turns God’s truth into a lie, and it goes hence to learn its folly, where faith never comes.

“He who 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

I know your sorrows!

(John MacDuff, “The Faithful Promiser”)

“I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you.”
    John 14:18

Blessed Jesus! How Your presence . . .
  sanctifies trial,
  takes loneliness from the chamber of sickness,
  and the sting from the chamber of death!

Bright and Morning Star! precious at all times,
You are never so precious as in “the dark and
cloudy day!”

The bitterness of sorrow is well worth enduring,
to have Your promised consolations. How well
qualified, Man of Sorrows, to be my Comforter!
How well fitted to dry my tears, You who shed
so many Yourself! What are . . .
  my tears,
  my sorrows,
  my crosses,
  my losses,
compared with Yours, who shed first Your tears,
and then Your blood for me!

Mine are all deserved, and infinitely more than
deserved. How different, O Spotless Lamb of God,
are those pangs which rent Your guiltless bosom!

How sweet those comforts You have promised to the
comfortless, when I think of them as flowing from . . .
  an Almighty Fellow Sufferer;
  a Brother born for adversity;
  the Friend that sticks closer than any brother;
one who can say, with all the refined sympathies of a
holy exalted human nature, “I know your sorrows!

My soul! calm your griefs! There is not a sorrow
you can experience, but Jesus, in the treasury of
grace, has an exact corresponding solace: “In the
multitude of the sorrows I have in my heart, Your
comforts delight my soul!” 

“Brethren, farewell.” 2 Corinthians 13:11


To fare well, spiritually understood, is to have everything that God can make us happy in. All God’s people will eventually fare well. They all stand complete in Christ–nothing can touch their eternal safety; for they are all complete in him, “without spot, or blemish, or any such thing.” In this point of view, they must all in the end and for ever fare well.

But when we come to the matter of experience, we often find that those very times when God’s people think they are faring ill, may be the seasons when they are really faring well; and again, at other times, when they think they are faring well, then they are really faring ill. For instance, when their souls are bowed down with trouble, it often seems to them that they are faring ill. God’s hand appears to be gone out against them–he has hidden his face from them; they can find no access to a throne of grace; they have no sweet testimonies from the Lord that the path in which he is leading them is one of his choosing, and that all things will end well with them. This they think is indeed faring ill, and yet perhaps they never fare better than when under these circumstances of trouble, sorrow, and affliction.

These things wean them from the world. If their heart and affections were going out after idols, they instrumentally bring them back. If they were hewing out broken cisterns, they dash them all to pieces. If they were setting up, and bowing down to idols in the chambers of imagery, affliction and trouble smite them to pieces before their eyes, take away their gods, and leave them no refuge but the Lord God of hosts.

If you can only look back, you will see that your greatest sweets have often sprung out of your greatest bitters, and the greatest blessings have flowed from the greatest miseries, and what at the time you thought your greatest sorrows–you will find that the brightest light has sprung up in the blackest darkness, and that the Lord never made himself so precious as at the time when you were sunk lowest, so as to be without human help, wisdom, or strength.

So that when a child of God thinks he is faring very ill, because burdened with sorrows, temptations, and afflictions, he is never faring so well. The darkest clouds in due time will break, the most puzzling enigmas will sooner or later be unriddled by the blessed Spirit interpreting them, and the darkest providences cleared up; and we shall see that God is in them all, leading and guiding us “by the right way, that they might go to a city of habitation” (Psalm 107:7).

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