Bits and Pieces is a random collection of news and views compiled by Dr. Frank McClelland for Toronto F.P.C.
The Toronto Church will reopen for public services (DV) on Sunday July 26th. Please see the church website, www.torontofpc.ca, for reopening details. So today, and next Lord’s Day, the services will continue to go out on sermonaudio at 10.00am and 5.30pm. The speakers today will be student minister Frankie D’Addurno (10.00am) and elder James Fraser (5.00pm). The Sunday afternoon pre-service prayer time is at 4.30pm on zoom, as is the Wednesday evening prayer meeting at 7.30pm. Those on the mailing list will be informed of any further changes.
MRS AMY FRANK
The whole North American Free Presbyterian Church is reeling with shock and sadness at the sudden accidental death of Amy Frank, wife of Alabama elder, Jerry Frank. While swimming on vacation on July 7 she had an accident from which she did not recover. She was 64. Our heart-felt sympathy goes out to her husband, children and grand-children. We think also of the trauma suffered by the congregation of the Free Presbyterian Church in Trinity, Alabama, in losing so valued a member in such sudden and tragic circumstances. The sweetest comfort we can find in a time like this is to know that Amy is happy in the everlasting presence of her Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Every person in the world, as part of their education, should be made to read the last five chapters of the book of Job. This is especially true of those who deny the existence of God, or live as if He did not exist. Chronologically Job belongs in the Genesis era sometime after the flood. As Matthew Henry put it, God found Job a good man and made him a better one. He lost his family, his possessions and his personal health and suffered greatly. (Read the whole book). Some “miserable comforters” (16:2) proposed that because of his troubles he must have been a wicked man to receive such judgment. If Job had a fault it was that he had a tendency to self-righteousness. This God removed by a series of questions He posed to Job, over 80 in all, starting with “Where was thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?” (38:4). With every question God became bigger and Job smaller in his eyes until at last he cried out, “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth Thee. Wherefore, I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” [42:5 & 6].
Everyone should read, and answer honestly these questions. They are the antidote to spiritual, and any other kind of, pride.
A NEW SWORD
Why is it that the news from the media is generally bad – murders, killings, disasters, and so on? Is this age worse than earlier ones? Probably not, but with today’s instant communications we quickly become overloaded, not to mention depressed, with all the bad news.
Any examination of the Old Testament will show the terrible wars that the children of Israel and their enemies engaged with innumerable people being killed, mostly by the sword. In our days armies have progressed from the simple sword to horrible weapons of mass destruction.
Thank God for the good news of the gospel of Christ. We are still called to fight the battle for truth. It is not a physical battle but a spiritual one: “We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”
[Ephesians 6:12]. Therefore, the weapons we use in our warfare are “not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds” [2 Corinthians 10:4]. God has put into our hands the “sword of the spirit, which is the word of God.” [Ephesians 6:17].
The world wants us to sally forth into battle but does not want us to bring our trusted weapon with us. That is because the world cannot stand against the wisdom and power of the word of God. They are happy if we used our own philosophical arguments; these they can easily defeat, but the word of God is endowed with invincible powers. Let us firmly grasp this sword today as we go forth in the crusade against the world, the flesh, and the devil.
[Frank McClelland in A Word in Season]
THE PSALMS OF DAVID
The Psalms of Tribulation. For David’s Psalms had ne’er been sung if David’s heart had not been wrung. The Psalms of Jubilation. For David’s Psalms had ne’er been sung if David’s heart had ne’er been strung. The Psalms of Inspiration. For David’s Psalms had ne’er been sung had David’s God ne’er touched his tongue. [Author unknown]