Bits and Pieces – 131st Edition – September 11, 2022
HER MAJESTY QUEEN ELIZABETH II
Three months ago we all noted with joy the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. For seventy years she faithfully served as the monarch of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth countries, including Canada.
Now, sadly, it is all over as she died on Thursday 8th. September 2022, at the age of 96, and the nations were plunged into sorrow. The Queen was an amazing woman, much beloved by many. She lived an exemplary life through good times and hard times. It is to be hoped that the prayer “God save the Queen” will have been abundantly answered.
My brother James met an Anglican minister in England some years ago, who served as a chaplain for the Queen. He bore the testimony that the Queen was a born-again believer. We hope he was right.
Her son, King Charles III, has now replaced her. In accordance with God’s Word our prayers should now be, “God save the King.” [1 Timothy 2:1-3].
THE CHRISTIAN LIKE A CEDAR TREE
Last week we wrote about the “The Palm Tree Christian.” In the very same verse the Christian is likened to a cedar tree [Psalm 92:12].
“The righteous shall flourish as the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.”
The Cedar Grows in God’s Place. Cedars in Lebanon grow at an elevation of 6000 feet. The mountain top with the Lord is the place where He wants His people – it is the place of enlarged vision. Am I in God’s place?
The Cedar Grows in God’s Presence. High ground speaks of communion with God. The cedar tree is filled with aromatic resin that fills the air with its fragrance. Does the fragrance of Christ fill our lives?
The Cedar Grows in God’s Power. The cedar is a mighty tree as much as 40 feet in diameter. The secret of its power? A root system that goes deep to find a stable water supply. We draw the water of life from Christ. The wind cannot topple a cedar; neither can the winds of hell bring down God’s people. They are “kept by the power of God” [1 Peter 1:5].
The Cedar Grows for God’s Purpose. Like the palm the cedar has many uses. It is a durable wood with a multitude of applications.
In the Bible it had one major use. It was used to build the Temple in Solomon’s day, which was the glory of Israel. Likewise we, as Christians, are built into God’s eternal Temple [Ephesians 2:19-22]. What is our chief use? “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him forever” [Shorter Catechism. Q.1]. May God make us to be both palm and cedar tree Christians.
Two years before the well-known incident in Acts 27, Paul wrote, “Thrice I suffered ship-wreck” [2 Corinthians11:25]. Those experiences could not compare with this two-week nightmare on board an Alexandrian wheat ship with 276 souls on board. Worse still, Paul was a prisoner on his way to Rome. He prayed to go to Rome as a preacher, but God took him as a prisoner on a doomed vessel.”
A fierce hurricane replaced the south wind that blew them off course during the voyage until the battered ship lurched towards the perilous rocks. Seasoned crewmen and terrified passengers despaired of life, but Paul assured them that God would preserve them. God did preserve them even though the vessel was wrecked on the rocks.
Although Paul was in the eye of the storm, he was also in the centre of God’s will. God had told him he must go to Rome and stand before Caesar. The confidence in God’s Word gave him full assurance in the storm. Paul said, “Be of good cheer: for I believe God.”
We all must travel through the storms of life. It happened to the disciples during the ministry of the Lord Jesus. Let us learn from Paul, for although he tried to avoid the storm, he trusted Jesus in the midst of it.
For Paul, the storm was raging externally, but internally he had calm in his heart. Other passengers did not have that peace for they did not have the Saviour; “Thou hast been …a refuge from the storm …when the blast … is as a storm against the wall” [Isaiah 25:4]. Paul believed God’s promises and was confident that God would fulfil his purpose.
Paul had the blessing of having his life preserved, being used to save others and the blessing of answered prayer. [Dr. Alan Cairns]
“Life’s storms may rage, But God’s hand is on the tiller”
“The problem with political jokes is that they sometimes get elected.” [Indian Hills Community Ctr.]