Paul was a master illustrator. His epistles use illustrations that help impress the Gospel truth upon our minds. In each one he gives as it were a gift-wrapped package. The shape of his message is clear, but he invites us to unwrap the gift to see the wonderful detail. So what seems to be a simple illustration becomes a profound vehicle of truth.
For example, he urges us to “Run with patience the race that is set before us” [Hebrews 12:1]. No doubt he had in mind the famous Greek race commemorating the run of Pheidippides across the Plain of Marathon with news of the victorious stand of 192 Athenians against the Persian army in 490BC.
Paul now invites us to unwrap the package, and we think of how a race must have a starting line. Jesus Christ is the “Author,” or start, of our race of faith. As the runner must come to the starting line, not vice-versa, so we must come to Christ. Like good athletes, we must divest ourselves of every hindering thing.
We must run with patience, for the Christian race is a marathon, not a sprint. The spectators, the “great cloud’ of saints, urge us on to the prize. Eyes must be on the finishing line, which again is Christ. What a supreme moment when we receive the eternal prize from His nail-pierced hands.
When reading your Bible today, pause for a moment and ask the Lord to show you some new thing from His Word. Carefully unwrap the treasured words, meditate upon them, and He will give you some gem to enrich your spiritual experience. Many miss the blessing because they hurry through their Bible reading as a chore, rather than a delight.
Pause at every verse of Scripture and shake, as it were, every bough of it, that if possible some fruit at least may drop down
HOW TO PULL TOGETHER AS A CHURCH
Pull Together in Prayer: “Pray without ceasing.” [1 Thessalonians 5:17]. “And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive” [Matthew 21:22]. Pray for each service of the church and the church staff.
Pull Together in Attendance: “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together” [Hebrews 10:25]. Our faithful attendance will keep our church strong. It will also be a strong testimony for Christ to others in our community.
Pull Together in Giving: “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse” [Malachi 3:10]. The scriptural method of giving is the tithe. Give to God what belongs to Him. And do it in a generous, joyful spirit.
[TFPC Directory. May 2000].
PRESENTATION TO TORONTO ORGANIST
Last Sunday, May McClelland ended forty-six years as organist in the Toronto Church. She loved the task, playing at all the services, and on other special occasions. She did not want to stop, but some mild arthritic concerns made it difficult to continue. The minister, Dr. Saunders, paid tribute to her faithful labours and presented her with suitable gifts. Mrs. Hannah Kim will take over from May.
THE WONDERS OF SPACE
God speaks to us through two books – the Book of Nature and the Word of God. Nature teaches us how great God is, but it takes the Word to show us what He is like as a moral agent. With all the modern inventions the Book of Nature is more open than it has ever been, but man still can’t seem to see Him.
This week, the $10 billion James Webb telescope (launched by the U.S. on December 25, 2021) sent back the first pictures of deep space. It certainly is an amazing piece of engineering. As always people tend to focus on their own achievements and miss the wonder of God’s creation.
At a recent White House briefing President Biden boasted that America can do great things, “there’s nothing beyond our capability.” What a statement from a mere man. Confronted with the awesomeness of space you would think they would cry out like David, “What is man, that thou art mindful of him?” [Psalm 8:3]. He had it right when he said, “Put them in fear, O Lord: that the nations may know themselves to be but men” [Psalm 9:20]
Scientific minds have assembled all the ingredients to make life, but have totally failed. God alone is the author of life. Even the simplest spatial details are awesome. When you look at the Sun you are looking at it as it was 8 minutes ago! The light from the closest star, Proxima Centauri, takes four years to reach earth. If that star disappeared it would take four years for us to realize it. How much more those heavenly bodies that are billions of miles away?