Bits and Pieces is a random collection of news and views compiled by Dr. Frank McClelland for Toronto F.P.C.
We are now well into the second wave of the pandemic with a serious spike in cases. The Ontario government has closed the pubs, clubs. However, churches are not further affected at this time so public services will continue with the usual restrictions. The Sunday services will be at 11.00 am and 6.00 pm. The pre-evening prayer time will be at 5.50 pm and concurrently on Zoom. The Wednesday prayer meeting will be at 7.30 pm on Zoom.
PLEASE PRAY FOR THE CAIRNS
Frank Cairns sent out the sad news this morning that his father and mother Dr. Alan and Joan Cairns are both ill. He writes “my dad is in the hospital with severe pneumonia and is receiving medication and oxygen.” Joan is under self-isolation at home for two weeks and is quite discouraged that because of Covid she cannot visit him in hospital. The Cairns family would appreciate your prayers.
Andrew Louis and Michal were blessed with a baby boy, Zev, on September 25. He weighed in at 7lbs. and is a welcome grandson for Maher and Ria Louis who have been long-time members of the Toronto church. Maher is a deacon in the congregation
NOT A PRETTY PICTURE
“Let a man examine himself” [I Corinthians 11:28]
The Bible does not present a very flattering picture of sinful man. It variously describes the evidence of sin in the soul by likening it to the diseased body. The head is sick, the eyes blind, the ears deaf, the tongue set on fire of hell, the poison of asps under the lips, the throat an open sepulcher spewing forth the sounds and smells of death.
The mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. It goes on to speak of the neck as being stubborn and rebellious, the heart deceitful and desperately wicked, the legs unequal with a natural bias to sinful pathways, the feet swift to evil, and the hands wicked. The whole body is full of putrefying sores. The Lord does not paint a very flattering picture of the natural man but reveals him exactly as he is, a sinner in need of Go’s salvation. (Use your concordance to locate all of these texts).
But there is a “balm in Gilead” [Jeremiah 8:22]. The “Sun of Righteousness” has arisen with healing in His wings [Malachi 4:2]. The believer is a new creature in Christ [2 Corinthians 5:17].
However, the “old man” still lurks within and will not be completely eradicated until we enter heaven. That is why Paul encouraged the Corinthian Christians to examine themselves, especially, before sitting at the Lord’s Table. We all need to carefully examine ourselves to make sure no symptom of sin manifests itself in our lives.
JESUS CHRIST, THE GREAT HIGH PRIEST
“We have a great high priest” [Hebrews 4:14].
Why is Jesus called a great high priest? “This is something never said of any other high priest in Scripture. He is great because He is the only priest between God and men, since He alone has offered a sacrifice that satisfies divine justice. He is great because He never dies. The priests of Aaron’s line died, but “this man…continueth ever [Hebrews 7:24]. He is great because at God’s right hand He prays for us and is “touched by the feelings of our infirmities” [4:15]. [Rev. John Greer in Eagles’ Wings].
Christian dog lovers are not going to find much to encourage them in the Bible. They are not normally found in a good light. Cat lovers are worse off for cats are not even mentioned at all. Isaiah speaks of “dumb dogs, they cannot bark” [56:10].
There are many kinds of dog – sheep, sled, hunting, seeing eye, and, of course, domestic pets. This chapter is speaking of watchdogs. Dogs with their superior sense of hearing and smell make excellent watchdogs. But in Isaiah, they picture “watchmen” – every Christian, especially church officers, ministers and pastors.
Jude 4 speaks of those “certain men” who are “crept in unawares” who want to destroy the church. That can only happen if the “dogs” are “dumb”and do not bark out a warning. A watchdog is a wise investment, but if a prowler comes and the dog is asleep the owner is robbed twice – of property stolen and the price of the dog!
Why is the dog dumb? Was he afraid of the prowler? Did he not want to disturb the peace by raucous barking? Perhaps he was too comfortable, well-fed, and afraid of losing his privileges. Christians must be strong and bark out a warning against apostasy. The hymn exhorts us, “stand up, stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross.