Helping Tell The World Of Jesus
By Lois J. Stucky
If you have read Harold S. Martin’s article on our magnificent Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, it will help you look with fresh wonder at the baby in the lowly manger that we see depicted so often this season of the year. In such a simple, ordinary, unpretentious way – God gave the marvelous Gift of His Son, the Prince of Glory, to be the Savior of mankind, that we need not perish but have everlasting life!
Might we hush our hurried hearts and minds into silent contemplation in this busy season, and concentrate on this wondrous truth. It is one of the paradoxes of the Bible that such great treasure is given in such a simple way. The dictionary would say that "marvelous" and "commonplace" are antonyms – opposites one of another. Yet the giving of God’s Son encompasses both. God’s ways are perfect. Sometimes they astonish us, but always they are right and excellent! They are so high and lofty that no one can transcend them; yet so lowly and humble that no one can be left out. But I leave you to your own contemplation of these grand and glorious ways of God. They are for me inexpressible.
From the Manger to the Cross
No less amazing is that Jesus, the Son of God, came of His own free will to give His life on the cross to redeem us from our sins. Might we never lose the awe of it! "I lay down My life," Jesus said. "No man taketh it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself" (John 10:17,18). This truth is restated by Paul who tells us in his letter to the Ephesians: "Christ hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savor" (5:2), and because of that sacrifice of Himself, the unspeakable blessings of the Gospel come to those who believe!
Surely we must say with Isaac Watts, the songwriter: "Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all."
Samuel Chadwick is very helpful to us in his article on page 6 in understanding more of how we can give our soul, our life, our all to Christ in everyday life, in bearing our cross as Jesus says we must if we would be His true followers. There is a reproach to bear, a being out of step with the world, maybe with our family, even with other church folk. For numbers of our dear brothers and sisters in Christ around the world, bearing the cross means a literal laying down of life in martyrdom for the sake of the beloved Lord Jesus Christ. Who knows what might yet be required of us, fellow Christians in lands where we are free to openly worship God according to the dictates of our hearts? Are we preparing ourselves should it become our lot to literally lay down our lives for our Lord?
Bearing the cross involves, in Chadwick’s words, "a life voluntarily surrendered to the will of God." This could well interrupt cherished hopes and plans. It could require leaving home and loved ones to walk a lonely pathway. It could result in carrying responsibilities heavy to be borne. Many are the crosses that must be borne if God’s will is to be done on earth as it is in heaven. Many of you dear readers know about bearing your cross for the Lord. May His grace abound to you!
We don’t hear it sung often any more, but it is still printed in some hymnbooks: "Must Jesus bear the cross alone and all the world go free? No, there’s a cross for everyone, and there’s a cross for me." Whatever cross God asks us to bear will not be "greater than His grace," writes another.
The Lord who said, "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me" (Matt. 16:24), also said, "If a man love Me, he will keep My words: and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him" (John 14:23). What could be more precious, more enabling, than having the Father and the Son abiding with us by the indwelling Holy Spirit! And beside that, Revelation promises eternal rewards to overcomers, to those who follow Jesus on to the end.
We do not deny ourselves to sit around in idle contemplation, but to be of service to God and man, Chadwick states. Read again what he says bearing the cross includes: "sorrowing over the world’s sin, bearing the world’s burdens, carrying the world’s shame, ministering to the world’s need, laying down our life for the world’s salvation."
Partnering with Herald of His Coming
Some of you reading this are friends whose hearts God has touched to support Herald of His Coming month after month. Please know that we thank God for touching your hearts and enabling you to be His means of carrying forward His work here. To be sure, we who do the hands-on work in the office and mailroom have been called and placed here as vital workers, but without you, the Herald ministry would soon cease to be. God called this ministry into being for a specific purpose at this particular time. His sustaining provision through you faithful friends is one proof that the Herald’s work is not finished. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your faithful support. God is using your gifts and prayers and our work and prayers to accomplish one little part of the vast work He is doing in the earth today.
"The Word of the Lord endureth forever" (1 Pet. 1:25). It will never pass away, though heaven and earth pass away (Matt. 24:35). And to think, God calls you and me and depends upon us to help spread it around the world! Do you not feel with me the blessing of being co-workers with God in that which is eternal? There are many voices in the world today, and tragically, many are false and anti-God or anti-Christ, leading many souls to destruction. But the Gospel with which we have been entrusted is everlasting Truth! It is the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16). He who so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son to redeem those who will believe – has commanded that we go with this blessed Gospel far and wide. May God help us to better fathom and to be compelled onward by the love, the passion which Christ feels for the souls for whom He gave His life and for the Church which He is sanctifying with His Word to be His holy Bride!
Be encouraged, you dear ones who are denying yourselves and making sacrifices to see the work of God go forward, and His Word go out. The more we put into His treasury, the more our hearts will be in heavenly places with Him! (Matt. 6:19-21). How much to be desired is that! Through whatever ministry God leads you to lay up treasures above, we encourage you to be faithful!
And always we welcome your prayer support. The Word of God must go out with His blessing upon it if it is to accomplish all He intends. And it is prayer that brings His blessing. Our God is mighty to save and strong to deliver. He is well able to awaken and stir into action sleeping and lethargic souls. For the Church to arise and go forward in His power let us ever pray and believe. We must work while it is day for "the night cometh, when no man can work" said Jesus (John 9:4). As earth’s day seems to fade away, let’s remember the words written by James M. Black: "Let us labor for the Master from the dawn to setting sun." Then comes eternity’s glorious daybreak!