Aches and Praise Four Hundred & Sixty One

July 10, 2020
Dear friends,

In last week’s blog, I wrote that life is filled with surprises and told about being pulled over for driving too slowly! This week I received a cheque from the government that was for an amount greater than I anticipated, so I phoned to ask if there had been a mistake. I was given a thorough answer by a very polite lady, who explained that the amount was correct. When I got off the phone, I had a good impression of the government department because of her manner of answering my questions. The Bible is full of questions and answers and we can learn so much by reading it and asking the Author to reveal His truths to us.

In his two letters to the church in Thessalonica, the apostle Paul addresses the concerns of those who had recently come to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Not only did Paul write to the church, but he also sent his protégé, Timothy, “our brother and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ” (1 Thess. 3:2) to check on them. We can see an important principle in this: it is important to encourage others by our words (letters, texts, emails, phone calls) and visits. Two years ago, Karen and I took a trip to regions east of Quebec City and had the joy of visiting some people who had phoned and written to us in the ministry office. What joy we experienced as we talked and prayed with these dear saints! Since the global pandemic has resulted in restrictions of travel, we now have a greater appreciation of the freedom that we experienced in the past to go wherever we wanted.

In his book “Hope in a Chaotic World,” the late Ray Stedman quoted the late Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse: “We have a relationship that can never be changed: we are children of the Most High. We have a righteousness that can never be tarnished: the very righteousness of Christ Himself. We have a resource that can never be diminished: the power of the Spirit of God. We have a peace that can never be destroyed: it is the God of Peace Himself. We have a joy that can never be surpassed: the Scriptures call it ‘joy unspeakable and full of glory.’ We have a love that will never let us go: God’s unconditional love. We have an Intercessor whose prayers can never go unanswered: the Spirit of Christ within us. We have a Sovereign Lord who can never lose control: the King of Kings Himself.” In his commentary on Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians, Dr. David Jeremiah observes: “Because God has done so much for them, His people are exhorted to stand fast and hold (cling tightly) to the truth that they have been taught. They may not understand everything that is happening, but they can be confident in the resources God has provided from eternity past to eternity future.”

We are living in extraordinary times and we have an extraordinary God who is worthy of all of our praise and adoration!

Scripture for the weekend: “Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.” 2 Thessalonians 2:15 (NKJV)

Thought for the weekend: “Discipleship, which means discipline, is the only road to freedom. We walk by faith now, for we do not see all the truth. Even Paul admitted that he knew only in part and saw through a glass darkly. But truth is God’s objective, and when the day comes for it to be fully revealed, faith will no longer be needed.” – Elisabeth Elliot (from “A Slow and Certain Light”)

By His grace,