You may never know just how much that phone call, text, or e-mail means to someone going through one of life’s many trials. The ministry of encouragement is something that even the weakest saint can be involved in.
It does not take great theological skill or higher education. It is a simple task that comes in the form of a kind word or gentle expression that communicates love and compassion. The Lord’s statement, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” [Acts 20:35], applies as much here as in any place. The joy that comes to our hearts when we have lifted up someone who is having a hard day is well worth the effort.
Maybe someone you know is climbing a rock face of difficulty and they are stuck. They can’t go up or down and a storm is closing on them. That word of encouragement from your heart, based on the promise of God’s Word, maybe just the ‘lifeline’ needed to hoist them to the top or lower them safely to the ground.
Life is busy, but taking the time to be a ‘helper’ is a precious ministry of encouragement. May the Lord help us to “love one another” [John 13:34] and so fulfill the law of Christ. [Dr. Larry Saunders].]
TORONTO YOUTH CONFERENCE
A youth conference was held in the Toronto church August 2 – 6, 2023, hosted by Dr. Larry Saunders. The guest preacher was Rev. Andrew Simpson of Prince George, B.C. About forty young people participated, some from as far away as the Czech Republic, Mexico and the U.S.
Each day the young people traveled to different places such as Niagara Falls and the Ontario cottage country. At each destination the opportunity was taken to do some outreach, distributing tracts etc. Each evening they returned to the church for a meeting followed by refreshments.
It is to be hoped that lasting fruit will be reaped in the lives of the youth, and that some others will be touched by the distribution of the Word of God.
THE PRE-EXISTENCE OF CHRIST
Many people who think of Christ believe He began His life in the manger at Bethlehem. This is not true for Jesus existed before the world was created. The fact that, “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made” [John 1:3[, proves the pre-incarnation of Christ. In the Bible there are three major names of Christ that prove His pre-existence.
He is called ‘Alpha.’ Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet and combined with Omega means ‘the beginning and the end.’ Jesus is first in existence. Take away the world, planets, sun, and stars and Jesus predates them all.
He is first in excellence. Neither man nor angel is preeminent, but Jesus is the living embodiment of the Father [Hebrews 1:3].
He is first in creation. He is the Originator of all things [John 1:3:10].
He is the first in Salvation. He is the “Author” of salvation [Hebrews 12:2]. We were chosen in Christ before “the foundation of the world” [Ephesians 1:4].
He is called ‘The Word.’ This is a unique title. Jesus is the divine ‘Logos.’ It is clearly taught in the first verse of John’s Gospel’ “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Just think of our speech. There are three aspects to speech. We have a thought within our mind. It is transported on a column of air to become words in our mouth.
God hath spoken [Hebrews 1:1-3]. Jesus Christ is the voice of God. You have a picture of the trinity here. The heart of God is revealed by the Holy Spirit through Christ.
He is called the ‘Angel of the Lord.’ In the Old Testament there are a number of pre-incarnate appearances of the Lord. These were times when Jesus appeared supernaturally to various Old Testament figures long before Bethlehem. We have not space to look at each one individually but here are some of those.
He was a Comfort for Hagar [Genesis 16:7ff]; A Deliverer for Isaac [Genesis 22:11]; An Instructor for Abraham [Genesis 18:33]; A Redeemer for Jacob [Genesis 48:16]; and many more.
Be encouraged, “The Angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him, and delivereth them” [Psalm 34:7].
THE WORD IN HISTORY
Hebrew was the first language in which God revealed His word to man in written form. It was not until Moses that God instructed and inspired men to write down that revelation. Our earliest records of writing reveal a complex, cumbersome system. The Phoenicians eventually developed an alphabet that reduced the number of signs from hundreds to less than thirty. This precursor of the Hebrew alphabet was perfected at the very time God instructed Moses to write.