A Scottish preacher of the last century, Robert Murray McCheyne, said to his people, "I do not know, but I think that the ministry is not esteemed much among you as it ought to be; I may be wrong, but I think it. You are like the horses that have so much hay that they pull it down among their feet and trample on it." Christ described this ministry of the gospel in His words to Peter. He said, "Feed my sheep." The gospel preacher is to feed God's sheep with the water of the Word, the sincere milk of the word and the green pastures of the Word. Christ said, "I am the bread." The evidence of all life is the necessity of sustaining it by feeding. If something is alive, it feeds; and if it is to stay alive, it feeds. I fear, as did McCheyne, that many have little regard for the ministry of God's Word. My fear is born out of what I see in those who profess to have life in Christ. At least two times weekly the table is spread for all who have an appetite for spiritual things, the things of Christ. How few there are who avail themselves of these opportunities. Have we had the gospel so long, in such plenty and abundance, that like the horses who have so much hay that we trample it beneath the feet? Do we assume that it will be there when we want to hear it? Do we think it will go on if we do not support it? Do we have no hunger for the truth of God? That is what I fear the most. The lack of desire, the lack of need which reveals the lack of life! Our God says, "Come and dine!" "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness." (Isa. 55:1,2) It is the Lord who gives a gospel ministry and it is the Lord that can take away. Like McCheyne I say, "Ah brethren, though I feel that I have been unfaithful, far more than I can bear, yet you have been so too. Scotland has abused the ministry of the gospel for a long time; many come to hear, and go away displeased; many come to hear and criticize. Ah! think if God take away your candlestick, it will be righteously done." Do not lightly esteem the gospel ministry!
--- Gary Shepard
Beware of the Cunning Enemy
"Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices" (2 Corinthians 2:11).
That one which our Savior labeled, "a murderer from the beginning," will do everything within his power to interfere with public worship as well as private worship, prayer and the reading and study of the Scriptures. When he is unsuccessful in that attack, he will tempt us to rely upon those works as being meritorious before God. Let us ever be on guard as to his intention. His aim is to have us rest upon our own works, thereby turning away from the righteousness of Christ. Do not be fooled by his craftiness and deceitfulness. We must not make an idol out of anything that we do. "All of our righteousnesses are as filthy rags" (Isaiah 64:6). By all means worship the Lord publicly and privately, but never look to those things as reasons why God should accept you. Be content, now and always, to be "accepted in the Beloved" (Ephesians 1:6). "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us" (Titus 3:5). Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness, My beauty are, my glorious dress! --- Pastor Jim Byrd
Who Gets the Glory?
The grand controversy between corrupt nature and the Almighty is, who shall have the glory of salvation, God or the creature. The pride of man says – "The glory of salvation is due to me, for I can save myself." But Jehovah takes the glory of salvation to Himself, and says, "I will have all the glory thereof: for it is by My sovereign and efficacious grace that men are saved." Thus pride is a principal cause of the enmity there is in the carnal mind against God; it is at the bottom of all the opposition made to those doctrines of Scripture which illustrate and advance the almighty power and free grace of God in the salvation of sinners