Friday night, June 23, was a great night for the Cloverdale, B.C., congregation. After a pulpit vacancy since the retirement of the Rev. Ian Goligher, the people welcomed the ordination and installation of their new minister, the Rev. Andrew Fitton. The new Free Presbyterian moderator, Dr. Larry Saunders, conducted the service and prayer was given by Rev. Andy Foster, Penticton F.P.C. Dr. Stephen Pollock, clerk of presbytery, put the necessary questions to Andrew Fitton and the ordination prayer was given by Dr. Saunders.
Rev. Reggie Kimbro, Winston-Salem, N.C., brought the charge to the congregation and minister. The newly ordained minister thanked the people for the confidence they had placed in him, and asked for prayer that the Lord would bless both minister and congregation as they face the future together.
"THE DEVIL, AS A ROARING LION" [1 Peter 5:8]
The devil has two approaches in trying to make unbelievers out of believers. He comes as the ‘roaring lion.” In this, he is fierce, aggressive, and strikes fear into many a heart. He also comes as an “angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:14]. In this guise, he stalks his hapless prey, and then springs! He has six thousand years of experience in tempting and frustrating God’s people. We are no match for him. We cannot defeat him ourselves, but be encouraged. With the Lord’s help, we can be overcomers.
(Read the following article by C.H. Spurgeon.)
Jeremiah [50:17] speaks of Israel as “a scattered sheep; the lions have driven him away.’ The devil would love to scatter us away from the Lord. He is sneaky. He brings blasphemous thoughts to the mind. He is well aware of “the sin which doth so easily beset us” [Hebrews 12:1] and will try to trip us up using it.
The lion is best known as a killer. What a picture is found in Amos 3:12. All that is left of Israel is ‘two legs, or a piece of an ear” after the devil’s attack. He would do the same to us if he could. But he can’t because “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.’ [1 John 4:4].
In every pride of lions there is one dominant male. Over against the devil, the “roaring lion’ stands the “Lion of the tribe of Juda” [Rev. 5:5).
Before Him the devil is an utterly defeated foe.
FEAR NOT THE ENEMY
“Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning the king of Assyria, he shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there.” [2 Kings 19:32]
Neither did Sennacherib molest the city. He had boasted loudly, but he could not carry out his threats. The Lord is able to stop enemies of His people in the very act. When the lion has the lamb between his very jaws, the great Shepherd of the sheep can rob him of his prey, our extremity only provides an opportunity for s grander display of divine power and wisdom.
In the case before us, the terrible foe did not put in an appearance before the city that he thirsted to destroy. No annoying arrow could he shoot over the walls, and no besieging engines could he put to work to batter down the castles, and no banks could be cast up to shut in the inhabitants.
Perhaps in our case also, the Lord will prevent our adversaries from doing us the least harm. Certainly He can alter their intentions or render their designs so abortive that they will gladly forego them. Let us trust in the Lord and keep His way, and He will take care of us. Yea, He will fill us with wondering praise as we see the perfection of His deliverance.
Let us not fear the enemy till he actually comes, and then let us trust in the Lord.
[C.H. Spurgeon, Chequebook]
THE WEAVER HYMN
“My life is but a weaving
Between my Lord and me.
I cannot choose the colours
He weaveth steadily.
Oftimes He weaveth sorrow
And I, in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.”
[Come Ten Boom]
“I never knew the meaning of God’s Word until I came into affliction.” [Martin Luther]
SOME BIBLE VERSE FACTS
Most believers are familiar with the fact that the shortest verse in the Bible is John 11:35, Jesus wept.” But very few could tell that the longest verse is Esther 8:9. It contains 90 words in English.
Another interesting verse is Ezra 7:21. It contains all but one of the letters of the English alphabet. Can you identify the missing letter? Answer next week.