Paul was a man of considerable status, first as a respected member of the nation of Israel, and then after his conversion as the greatest Christian evangelist in the world. A man who was so busy in his evangelistic efforts he could have been excused if he had allowed others to supply his daily financial needs.
But at Athens [Acts 18:3] we find Paul working with his hands at his trade of tent-making, while at the same time continuing his ministry in the Gospel. Time and again in his epistles he made it clear that he wished to be as little a financial burden as possible to the fledgling Christian churches.
In his second letter to the Thessalonians, he wrote, “If any would not work, neither should he eat” [3:10]. Not a pleasant sentiment to the ears of those who wish to live off the resources of others, but nevertheless a solid principle from the Word of God.
The Christian should be a worker, not having to be driven, but gladly, voluntarily, and lovingly caring for personal and family needs. That sort of industry is blessed of God. How good it is to hear occasionally from Christian employers who want to hire Christians because of their work-like attitude.
Paul was a zealous worker in both the physical and spiritual realms. The Christian should also be a zealous worker in the house of God, not having to be forced into the service of God, but gladly, willingly, and lovingly dedicated to the extension of His kingdom. The need of the hour is great, with countless thousands of adults and children needing to be taught the Gospel of Christ. Will you be a worker today?
THE NON-ZEALOUS WORKER
Nothing but leaves! The Spirit grieves o’er years of wasted life, o’er sins indulged while conscience slept, and reaps from years of strife, nothing but leaves!
Nothing but leaves! Sad memory weaves no veil to hide the past, and as we trace our weary way, and count each lost and misspent day, we sadly find at last- nothing but leaves!
Ah! Who shall thus the Master meet, and bring but withered leaves? Ah! Who shall at the Saviour’s feet, before the awful judgement–seat, lay down, for golden sheaves, nothing but leaves? [Anonymous].
MINISTERS’ WEEK OF PRAYER
The Free Presbyterian Ministers’ Week of Prayer was held in Greenville, South Carolina, this past week when about forty ministers, elders, missionaries and student ministers met each morning for prayer. Then, after lunch, the business meetings of the Presbytery were held. While most attendees were in person in Greenville, some attended by Zoom. Each morning, before the prayer time, a devotional message was brought that was a great encouragement. These were given by the Revs. Geoff Banister (Moderator), Samuel Murray, Stephen Pollock, Raymond Robinson and John Wagner. The Revs. Murray and Robinson represented the Ulster Presbytery. Presbytery officers were elected for another year, including deputy moderator Dr. Saunders.
PROPOSED PRAYER BAN DEFEATED
Every day in Ottawa Federal Members of Parliament from across Canada gather to pray and have done so since 1877. Recently, a Member of the Bloc Quebecois proposed that the traditional opening prayer should be removed from parliamentary practice. This is but another attack on Christianity in Canada.
The proposal was debated on Tuesday of this past week and soundly defeated by a vote of 256 to 56. Those opposing the removal of the prayer were the Liberals and the Conservatives. Those supporting the bill were the Bloc Quebecois, most of the New Democratic Party and the Green Party. The Lord answered the prayers of God’s people. The text of the prayer is given below.
THE FEDERAL PARLIAMENTARY PRAYER
“Almighty God, we give thanks for the great blessings which have been bestowed on Canada and its citizens, including the gifts of freedom, opportunity and peace that we enjoy.
We pray for our Sovereign, Queen Elizabeth, and the Governor General. Guide us in our deliberations as Members of Parliament, and strengthen us in our awareness of our duties and responsibilities as Members.
Grant us wisdom, knowledge, and understanding to preserve the blessings of this country for the benefit of all and to make good laws and wise decisions. Amen.”