Bits and Pieces – 41st Edition – December 13, 2020
Bits and Pieces is a random collection of news and views compiled by Dr. Frank McClelland for Toronto F.P.C.
READING THE BIBLE
In our Bible reading we must pay heed to “All of the counsel of God” [Acts 20:27]. Some Christians will return to their favourite portions of Scripture to the exclusion of the rest. That is one reason why it is good to read right through the Bible from beginning to end. We should pray for the help of God, especially in understanding the more difficult portions. We should also pray for grace to obey those promises and commands that are a little harder to put into practice.
The whole Bible is like a great orchestra, where all the instruments produce a beautiful, balanced harmony. To play just a few to the exclusion of the rest is likely to lead to unbalanced harmony. To focus on just s few favourites will produce an unbalanced Christian life. Read, meditate upon, and obey “all the counsel of God.”
THE BALAAM SYNDROME
Let me remind you again of what I call the Balaam syndrome. He was an Old Testament character whom Balak, the king of the Moabites, hired to put a curse on Israel [Numbers 22:5ff]. Balaam would have been happy to concur and make some money out of the transaction which Jude called a greedy error “for reward” [Jude 11]. But he was unable to do so because God stopped him. Christians should man the ramparts of prayer so that our politicians will be prevented from passing ungodly laws. The federal government is preparing to pass Bill C7, an amendment to change the criminal code, to make it easier for euthanasia, or doctor assisted suicide.
The medical, Hippocratic Oath bids doctors to help patients, not harm them. Euthanasia breaks the Sixth Commandment and tries to take our lives out of the hands of God, our Creator and Saviour. We need to pray fervently that, like Balaam, our politicians will not be able to pass sinful laws.
A ZEALOUS WORKER
The apostle Paul was a man of considerable status, first as a respected member of the nation of Israel, then after his conversion as the greatest Christian evangelist in the world. A man who was so busy that he could have been excused if he had allowed others to supply his daily financial needs.
But at Corinth we find Paul working with his hands at his trade of tent making, while at the same time continuing his ministry in the Gospel. Time and again he made it clear that he wished to be as little burden as possible to the fledgling Christian churches.
He also wrote, “If any would not work, neither should he eat” [2 Thessalonians 3:10]. Not a pleasant sentiment to those who wish to live off the resources of others, but nevertheless a solid principle from the Word of God.
The Christian should be a worker, not having to be, but gladly, voluntarily, and lovingly caring for personal and family needs. The Lord blesses that sort of industry, but how sad it is to hear of believers with a bad work ethic.
Paul was a zealous worker in both the physical and spiritual realms. The believer should also be a zealous worker in the church, not having to be forced into the service of the Lord but gladly, willingly, and lovingly dedicated to the extension of His kingdom. The need of the hour is great, with countless adults and children needing to be taught the Gospel of Christ. Jesus said, “Go work today in my vineyard” [Matthew 21:28]. Will you go?
We have been looking recently at the benedictions –- good words – in the New Testament epistles. We have already seen Hebrews and Romans. Today, it is the lovely benediction of Jude who was probably the half-brother of Jesus. [v24 – 25].
“Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for evermore. Amen.”
Covid19 vaccines are all the talk now as the first of them is rolled out, starting in Britain. Canada was number three, and they should begin to be administered by Tuesday. Priority is to be given to doctors, nurses and other health care workers who are working on the front lines of the anti-covid battle. Next in line will be those in seniors’ homes.
The Toronto Sunday church services today will be held on-line only on sermonaudio at 11.00am and 6.30pm. The Wednesday prayer meeting will be at 7.30pm on Zoom.