It seems amazing that this is the fiftieth issue of Bits and Pieces. Where does the time go? The first copy went out on Sunday, March 8, 2020. It is to be hoped that God’s people will benefit from the random collection of bits and pieces of Christian news.
BE ON THE ALERT
The Russellite sect, also known as Jehovah’s Witnesses, has no authority to use the name Jehovah in its title. These people are not witnesses of Jehovah. Jehovah is the incommunicable name of God that ought not to be used by humans. The names god and lord are used of people in the Bible but never Jehovah, the name of the great “I am.”
Normally, the J.W.s use door-to-door visitation as their primary means of outreach. It seems they must reach a certain number of doors per week. Their religion is basically one of works. With the pandemic, they have now had to change, as they cannot go door-to-door.
They are now using the phone to call people, ostensibly as a neighbourly concern for their health and to encourage them with some Bible verses. Generally, they will not identify who they are. The best response is to give a brief personal testimony of your saving and satisfying faith in Jesus Christ.
UNITED OR UNTIED?
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity” [Psalm 133:1].
The unity of the saints is a precious gift. This oneness is spoken of as “the unity of the Spirit” [Ephesians 4:3], and therefore it is the work of the Holy Spirit to bind in Christ, the members of His blood-washed church.
There is another force abroad, a demonic spirit that tries to destroy the essential unity of believers. That alien power was at work in the Corinthian church when Paul said, “Let there be no divisions among you” [1 Corinthians. 1:10].
In local churches, like Corinth, there is the danger that Christians will divide over personalities, not understanding that God can call a James and John, sons of thunder and also can call a Barnabas, a son of consolation. They split over prominence given to one and not another, not realizing that God gives different gifts to each child.
Others divide over performance and grumble because someone else seems to be doing better than they are. They forget God’s word to Cain: “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?”
Prophetical interpretation can divide. The study of eschatology is difficult, and many an interpretation is speculative. It seems unwise to divide because someone else’s speculation does not match yours. Still, others squabble over political issues. But human policies are fallible. It is the Scripture that is infallible.
Paul exhorted the Corinthians to “speak the same thing” to have “the same mind” and pursue a united witness for Christ.
The word united becomes untied when the personal pronoun “I” is displaced. Let us think less of the “I” today and more of Him.
S.T. VALENTINE’S DAY
Today is St. Valentine’s Day, and we had a phone call a few days ago inquiring about the meaning of the Day.
There has been more than one St. Valentine, and some of them have been martyred for their faith. The day is observed, not always on February 14, by the Anglican, Lutheran and Roman Catholic Churches. In modern society, St. Valentine’s Day is more of a commercial venture focused on sales of cards and accompanying gifts.
In our society, the Day has little meaning outside of the romantic twist with which it has been endowed. Today it is a rather innocuous celebration.
LIFE IN THE CITY
“If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, blessed shalt thou be in the city” [Deuteronomy 28:2,3].
The city is full of care, and he who has to go there from day to day finds it to be a place of significant wear and tear. It is full of noise, stir, bustle, and sore travail: many are its temptations, losses, and worries. But to go there with the divine blessing takes off the edge of its difficulty; to remain there with that blessing is to find pleasure in its duties and strength equal to its demands.
A blessing in the city may not make us great, but it will keep us good; it may not make us rich, but it will preserve us honest.
Whether we are porters, clerks, managers, or magistrates, the city will afford us opportunities for usefulness. It is good fishing where there are shoals of fish, and it is hopeful to work for our Lord amid the thronging crowds. [C.H. Spurgeon].