"Dedicated to strengthening and encouraging the Body of Christ."

Spend Yourselves...

By Lois J. Stucky

    In Isaiah, chapter 58, we are given good instruction about true godliness. Isaiah warns against mere profession or formalism or hypocrisy. In verse ten we are exhorted: "…draw out your soul" to the hungry and the afflicted. This is part of true godliness. The New International Version words that, "…spend yourselves" on behalf of the hungry and the oppressed.

    The one who is truly a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ will not be found sitting smugly in his or her easy chair, surrounding himself, maybe gorging himself, in the luxuries of life, with little thought of helping others. The one who is not a true follower may attend church services and drop a few dollars in the offering plate, with a contented feeling of having done his part and performed his duty. But God’s Word tells us it will profit nothing if it comes not from a heart of love nor in the Name of Him whose hands and feet true Christians are privileged to be in this world (1 Cor. 13:3).

    Again and again we read that Jesus, "moved with compassion," reached out to the hungry, the hurting, the needy, the "lost sheep." The disciples who were present with Him in His ministry and who later wrote about it, would have seen the compassion in His eyes, and heard it in His voice, and sensed it in His tender touch.

    The gratitude of those of us who have experienced the compassionate touch of Jesus on us, knows no bounds. He came to us when we were lost in the darkness of sin and were without hope. He called us to Himself and in great mercy, He turned our darkness into light and our death into life. Who can tell the love of God our Saviour, what it is and what it does! Our gratitude in return is perhaps best expressed in our "spending ourselves" that others – spiritually hungry, oppressed by the enemy Satan, lost sheep without a shepherd – might hear about and come to know this wonderful Saviour of ours, He who has reconciled us to God and who makes us joint-heirs with Himself of unspeakable blessings that are meant to be shared with all mankind.

    The Apostle Paul was grateful that in Timothy he had a fellow worker willing to spend himself. Paul told the Philippians that he had "no man like-minded [to Timothy], who will naturally care for your state" (2:20)As Paul rejoiced in such a like-minded worker, so does God. God makes precious promises to those who are so given over to Him that His loving heart and hand can overflow to them and through them to meet those needs that His compassionate heart longs to fill. God promises that the darkness of such caring ones shall become as the noonday sun. He will satisfy their soul in drought and they shall be like a watered garden and a spring of water, whose waters fail not (Isa. 58:8-11). They may spend themselves poor of funds or time or strength, helping others in Jesus’ Name, not forgetting that Jesus forsook riches and became poor for our sakes, that we through His poverty might be rich (2 Cor. 8:9). If we are filled with the Holy Spirit and led by Him, we need not fear overspending ourselves, for it will be not I, but Christ living through me. How necessary that we be filled with the Spirit! (Eph. 5:18).

    God’s repayment may not be in like kind. But to have the light of His presence in our dark hours, and to have the dews of heaven refreshing our souls, and to have our lives rooted in streams of living water that never run dry, is worth much, very much! Whatever brings the riches of God into our lives is worth the price!

    It is likely that most of those reading this article are true followers of our Lord. Yet all of us must guard against the entering in of the selfishness, self-indulgence, and self-centeredness that keep us from spending ourselves. Especially is this true in this perilous hour when there is a strong trend toward selfishness in our society. These are days when the love of many is waxing cold (Matt. 24:12). Watchfulness is very needful when the darkness around us is deepening. Jesus has told us that we are the light of the world. The light must shine brightest in the darkest of nights. Keep God’s love glowing warmly in your heart!

    If you are one of our aged readers, you may feel you have little left at this stage of life by which to spend yourselves. There are words of a chorus which say, "…from the hearts of the weak…" let praise and prayer ascend. Ah, this is the way to be yet involved. As David Bryant mentions in his article, "Amen!" is a one-word prayer we can make. Put your finger on a precious promise of God in His Word, and even if it can only be a whisper, say it: "Amen!" Let your heart cry out, "So be it, Lord! Let it be so!"

    Many times we are touched by deep needs that we ourselves can do little about. There is still the prayer of faith, which moves the omnipotent hand of Him who does merciful and gracious and powerful things! Who knows what great blessings might come to hungry souls far away, what comfort to the afflicted, what liberty and deliverance to the oppressed when we pray! God has a vast store of blessings to bestow, more than we can ask or think. Each of us has great potential of releasing this marvelous store through prayer, if our hearts are right with God. That is a vital prerequisite and accompaniment of effective prayer. "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:16).

    Many can benefit from the good prayer helps given in this issue of Herald of His Coming. We encourage you to write for a package of this March issue to share and study together with your Sunday school class or prayer group or home cell group. We have available copies of the January and February 2004 issues which also have articles dealing with a Christ Awakening and prayer. You can bring a worthwhile and helpful prayer conference to your group by ordering some of each to study together. If writing for copies of the January, February and March 2004 issues of Herald of His Coming, it is helpful if you suggest how many copies you can effectively use.

    Brother Moore, founder of Herald of His Coming, often used to quote to the staff Matthew 18:19: "Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of My Father which is in heaven." "There are more than two of us here," he would continue. "How much more can we expect an answer." There is great prayer potential not only in each of you reading friends, but God may want to use you to unleash the prayer potential in the group and in the church you attend. Do what you can to spark more vital prayer in them! Seek God together to prevail in prayer!

Stepping Through Open Doors

    Here at Herald of His Coming it has been wonderfully encouraging to have a number of local friends, mostly retirees, come to "spend themselves" freely in packaging and preparing Herald papers for mailing. Likewise vital to the Herald ministry are you friends who send your gifts to put postage on the papers and to meet other expenses, and you who stand with us in prayer. We feel much privileged to have each of you, with us, spending yourself as God enables.

    The response from readers lets us know that our united efforts are not in vain. You will be encouraged reading excerpts from a few of the readers whom God has privileged us to benefit spiritually in a way that can count for eternity!

    From Kenya: "The Herald of His Coming papers have been very helpful in our theological college. I have been shedding tears when I remember the task that we have in the ministry…. The ten copies of Herald of His Coming you send have uplifted the spiritual growth of our college…."

    Another from Kenya: "I am indeed blessed with copies of Herald of His Coming that I get every month from you. I have received a lot of encouragement and I have grown spiritually from this text. I am a teacher of the Word in my local church…."

    From Eritrea: "Here in Eritrea our church is closed and the government is becoming antichrist. Therefore spiritual books, magazines, newspapers are more and more necessary to every Christian for encouragement and spiritual growth…."

    A Nigerian writes: "Recently I’ve been down with lots of troubles and distresses that came upon me suddenly, but to the glory of God, I am revived again. Herald of His Coming is one of the tools that God used to revive me. My revival came with a wide appetite for God’s Word, and the Herald of His Coming with its timely messages has been filling my hunger."

    From Tanzania: "The Herald of His Coming has been and is still a mighty tool of my spiritual warfare for defeating the power of the devil. I am still in need of the Herald. As a pastor, the Heralds I receive I use most of the materials in my teaching ministry…."

    The above letters are typical of the many from which we could quote. Note that a good number of those helped are teachers and preachers whose revived lives touch many others, multiplying the use of one paper. Claim the promise that in return as you draw out your soul for the blessing of others, your soul will be well watered, and your roots will draw living water from the wells that never run dry! Hallelujah to the Lamb upon the Throne, who spent His life for us even to death, and who now calls us to the honor of spending ourselves as His co-workers! Glory, glory to the Lamb!

Praise God With Us—

    * For the comfort and convenience we enjoy in our new location.

    * For all who are joining heart and hand under God, to keep Herald of His Coming going regularly to readers in about 150 countries of the world.

    * For the opportunities God gives the Herald to mail to chaplains in correctional institutions, servants of God who have heart concern for the ones to whom they minister.

Please Pray with Us—

    * That God will use this issue of the Herald in a significant way to edify His Church, which He loves and gave Himself for, that she might be the worthy Bride for which He longs. Pray that through the Herald’s evangelistic papers, there will be many souls born into the Kingdom of God.