“The books, but specially the parchments” [II Timothy 4:13]
The end is drawing near for God’s valiant servant Paul. He writes his last epistle from Rome, and closes it with a simple request for his cloak to be brought from Troas, along with his books and parchments. In his unconverted days Paul was a notable man, well educated, and endowed with authority as well as earthly goods.
A remarkable change came to Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus. He met Jesus Christ, and his life was transformed to that of a spiritual giant. He gained in the spiritual realm, but he also suffered loss for the cause of Christ. Away went his character and reputation (in the eyes of the world), and away went his wealth, so that a cloak, a few books, and some parchments became dear to him.
The books? An apostle must read, and Paul had recently exhorted young Timothy to “give attendance to reading” [I Timothy 4:13]. One reason many believers are weak is that they do not read. Spurgeon said, “The man who never reads will never be read.”
Dear Christian reader, in this present age of computers and advanced printing methods, you have available to you the very best of Christian literature. Take time to read.
Paul requested “especially the parchments.” These were probably scrolls of the Scriptures. Especially should the Christian read the Bible. How amazing it is that many who loudly profess their belief in the Bible know so little of its contents. Determine to read it right through this year and not to miss a day.
Paul desired to spend his last days in that occupation. Let us do likewise.
IT WAS FORTY YEARS AGO
– That the Greenville SC congregation bought land on which to build their present church. It was also forty years ago when the theological school to train our ministers was commenced. It is now known as Geneva Reformed Seminary.
– That on March 24, 1983. the Rev. John Greer was installed in Newtown Square, near Philadelphia. Under his leadership, the congregation bought a church that became Malvern FPC. After a very successful time there, Rev. Greer returned to Northern Ireland to take up the ministry of Ballymena F.P.C.
– That the World Council of Churches (WCC) held its Sixth Assembly in Vancouver. We raised a mighty protest of about two hundred evangelicals led by Drs. Bob Jones and Ian Paisley. Over nine hundred attended two protest rallies addressed by the Protestant leaders and heard of the errors of the W.C.C. More on this in July DV.
THE CHRISTIAN AND ALMSGIVING
The Bible teaches us to be kind and generous to those who are poor in money or bodily strength. “Blessed is he that considereth the poor” [Psalm 41:1]. But that doesn’t mean we are to put money into every coffee cup that is shoved under our noses. We are all familiar with those who beg at the highway ramps and in the coffee stores.
It is difficult to stop the practice when people make it profitable for them to continue. Christians are sometimes made to feel they fail the Lord by not giving. We should not feel guilty when the beggar can afford a cell phone, smoke cigarettes, and wear all kinds of facial piercings.
There is also the problem that any gift you give may well finish up in the local tavern or some such place – I have had that happen!
It was suggested to one recently that he should try work. His answer? “I have a job!.” On being asked why then was he begging? He said, ”It is just for something extra!”
The Christian should carefully plan his charitable donations. Better to give regularly to a reputable charity that is doing the Lord’s work than throw money away to encourage what is an increasing social problem.
Normally our television set is not used on Sundays, but since the Covid pandemic we have discovered two good programs on Vision TV. This is not a commendation for Vision TV for they play lots we would not endorse.
On Sunday evening at 9.00pm is “The Prophetic Connection.” Dr. John Tweedie, and others, present Gospel teaching from sites in Israel. Following that is “A Word for Today” from Montreal at 9.30pm. The speaker is Pastor Stephane Chauvette. Both programs are excellent, and I am surprised that they have not been barred because of their faithfulness to God’s Word.