Monday, 9/6/21 – Pressing on… The Special Day…

The Special Day…

Today in Canada it is “Labour Day,” a holiday which grew out of labour strife in both Canada and the U.S.A. An 1872 Printer’s strike in Toronto and a 1894 strike by Railway workers in the U.S. worked to bring the issue of overwork to a head. A twelve hour, workday was common at that time. Labour unions had appeared and had begun organizing workers to demand a shorter work week. In Canada the “Nine Hour Movement” began demanding a reduction of the work week hourly total to 58 hours.

In the U.S.A. President Grover Cleveland signed “Labor Day” into law on 28 June, 1894.

In Canada Prime Minister John Thompson passed a law making Labour Day official on 23 July 1894.

Today the first Monday of September is recognized as a national holiday in both countries on which we celebrate and honour the contributions of our workers to our respective countries and economies.

Taking a day off to rest and to savour one’s accomplishments is important. It refuels and refocuses energies and motivates one to reach higher. It provides refreshment and strengthening physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. But one day a year is vastly insufficient!

Our good Lord and Creator knew this centuries ago… on the first week of Creation. He set the example and principle Himself, and established such a day of rest on every one in seven days.

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.” (Gen. 2:1-3).

Was God tired? No… God does not tire.

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary…” (Isa. 40:28).

Why then did God rest? God rested simply to show us how it is done. He rested to set us an example. As the Word says, “God blessed the seventh day and made it holy.” Holy means “set apart.” He made this one day in seven to be different than the others, necessary for His Creation, and to be used in its own very “set apart” way.

So enjoy this special “Labour Day” holiday established by men for the purposes of men, but in all your enjoying forget not that more frequent “Holy Day” established by God and for the purposes of God.

More tomorrow…

To hear Pastor Andrew’s Sunday message, go to the Facebook page of Lincoln Baptist Church, or link to the livestream from the church website.

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.

Tuesday, 2/4/20 – Pressing on…

Rest stop…

close up photography of sleeping tabby cat

This past Sunday Pastor Andrew spoke to us of the “Rest” that awaits each believer. This word “Rest” is interesting. The author of Hebrews uses the term Κατάπαυσις [katapausis], meaning “a putting to rest, a calming of the winds, a resting place.” In its metaphoric sense the word refers to “the heavenly blessedness in which God dwells, and of which he has promised to make persevering believers in Christ partakers after the toils and trials of life on earth are ended.” (Thayer).

20200203_072834In English, it’s meaning stems back to the nugget idea of “ceasing from action,” of being stationary, immobile.

The word also has a continuative aspect to it… a “keeping on” idea. E.g. “rest assured” meaning continue to be assured, or as we sing at Christmas, “God rest ye merry,” which means to continue in your merriness of spirit.

Then we have compound words such as head-rest, arm-rest, leg-rest, foot-rest, bed-rest, even un-rest. Seems we’ve invented terms for resting our bodies head-to-toe, completely, or not at all. What restless grammarians!

photography of a persons hand with stop signage

After we rest, we may say we feel “restored.” We are made to stop if we are “arrested.” And it’s a medical emergency if we experience “cardiac arrest!”

Most of the time when we are “resting” we are doing (or I suppose not doing) it upon something. I suppose an astronaut might “rest” just floating about in his space capsule, but most of us need something to “rest upon,” something to support us while we stop moving. What do you rest upon?

Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matt. 11:28-29, NKJV)

The Christian ought, in all things, rest upon Christ.

As one “yoked” with Christ, the Christian must pace himself with Christ, one step at a time, matching stride for stride… looking down the path to the point He looks upon… not pulling ahead, not dragging behind, not veering to the left or right. This is the best way to keep the yoke comfortable, to plod on with peace.

What are you resting upon as you plod? Is it Christ, the Rock, the Cornerstone? Are you “yoked” with Him. If so, are you comfortable about your neck? Don’t tug at the yoke, don’t become “stiff-necked” or “hard-hearted.” At the end of the plowing a great Rest awaits!

20200119_082748More tomorrow…

To hear Pastor Andrew’s complete message, go to the Lincoln Baptist Church website and look under ‘Sermons Online’ for the Feb. 2 message.