Monday, 3/23/20 – Pressing on…

Shouting above the din…

20200322_173742I’ve got to say a big public Kudos to Don Longworth for wonderfully pulling together the first interactive online Sunday service of Lincoln Baptist Church. Hats off also to Don’s wife Erin for her assistance and to Becka and Gerry for their remote connection and ministry. The Lord is good and taking good care of His people.

Elder Don shared with us from Isaiah 30, in particular from verse 15,

“This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: ‘In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.’”

photo of opened bible book on brown table

I touched on the first part of this passage last Thursday, but it’s that last line that is so chilling “but you would have none of it.” It reminds me of Hoses 4:17 where we read “Ephraim is joined to idols; leave him alone.” I remember Billy Graham once preached on this passage. I can hear his firm, resonating voice now, see his penetrating  unwavering eyes, “…leave him alone!”

adult child daylight enjoyment

The Lord had plead long and hard with His people, but still they shunned Him. “The Israelites are stubborn, like a stubborn heifer,” He spoke through the prophet, “How then can the Lord pasture them like lambs in a meadow?” (v. 16). Then the acknowledgement that “Ephraim is joined to idols…” That word “joined” means “to be united, coupled together, to make an alliance with.” In other words Ephraim had made its decision, the people had turned from God and locked them selves in with sin. “Leave him alone!”

Our world should thank God Almighty that He has not yet “left us alone.” He is shaking the world once more to get us to turn to Him. God’s people know this. Jesus told us this was all coming… like pains of labour of a pregnant woman!

woman carrying baby

All these are the beginning of birth pains,” said Jesus (Matt. 24:8; Mark 13:8). “…destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman,” wrote Paul (1 Thess. 5:13). “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” (Rom. 8:22)

I do not know if this is that final hour, that hour which births the eternal kingdom. It may well be, or there may be more intense spasms yet to come. Only God the Father knows.

But I do know God is shaking our planet right now, or as Elder Don said, “God is shouting!” He is trying to get our attention above the din of our sin.

He’s doing this because He loves us. Sin leads one to destruction. The only way to escape it is to turn around. Leave the sin… turn to Him. You know you must leave it one day, for your flesh will most certainly one day die. Leave it now. Run to Him. Good things await you… a warm bed, a loving Father, eternal peace. “In repentance and rest is your salvation.”

More tomorrow…

To see and hear Elder Don’s Sunday message, go to the Facebook page of Lincoln Baptist Church… look under Videos for the March 22 upload.

Thursday, 3/19/20 – Faint or stand firm – Evangelism

Faint or stand firm…

hands in front of white and black background

We’ve grown rather accustomed to trusting in man… trusting in science. We get sick and ask, “OK what should I take for this?” We expect medical science to have a ready-made response to any discomfort.

But ultimately all good gifts come from God (James 1:17). Trust in science or wealth alone is no more than trust in humanism and materialism. We neglect the exhortation of Deut. 8:18 to “…remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability...” Shaky business indeed.

airport bank board business

A few weeks ago in one of the adult Bible classes pastor Andrew said something I thought noteworthy. He saièd, “Materialism and humanism are really just extreme ungratefulness.” I like that. You see mankind is very reluctant to take honor from self and give it to God. The prophet Jeremiah warned “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord.” (Jer. 17:5). Every translation I consulted uses that word “cursed.” It is a serious thing to ignore the Lord in times of need.

woman looking at sea while sitting on beach

Pestilences! Plagues! Diseases! All that without a cure! They are beyond man’s ability to respond with a remedy! In the same chapter where Christ tells of coming pestilence, He says “People will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world,” but to His own He adds “…do not be frightened… “ (v. 7) …make up your mind not to worry beforehand…” (v. 14) “Stand firm….” (v. 19).

In Isaiah we read “This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: ‘In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength…’” (Isa. 30:15).

praying man looking up

Repentance, agreeing with God about your sinfulness and with His help turning from it, this is repentance. Rest, putting all your concerns upon Christ, resting in Him, taking up His yoke and walking in stride, in obedience, to Him. This is true “rest,” as Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. “ (Matt. 11:29).

Sharing this singular path to peace, especially during this troubling time, is true evangelism. These COVID-19 days may indeed be one more appeal from our loving Lord to bring souls to Him. Perhaps like Esther He has an appointed role for you in this crisis to reach out with hope to those around you. “..who knows but that you have come to your [sphere of social contacts] for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14).

Stand firm…

Press on…

believe bible black and white book

Perhaps the Lord us calling to you in these difficult days. Perhaps you would you like to respond by turning from your current path and committing your path to Christ? — Use the Contact page… we’ll help get you started.