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Sermonette for Saturday

Saturday, August 24th, 2019

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread and blessed it, and brake it and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat, this is My body. Matthew 26:26

The bread that the Lord Jesus used to institute the Lord’s Supper did not look much like the loaves that we use to carry out this feast today. That which He took in His hands to break and distribute to His disciples was the unleavened bread that was part of the Passover meal. It was prohibited to have a raised loaf of bread, so the Lord Jesus took the Passover bread – or matzoh – and made His illustration from it. This bread was large, round, and very flat, and would have been browned on both sides. Its surface would have borne the marks of a knife or fork that was used to release air and allow the bread to lie flat in the pan as it baked. Matzoh was often sweetened with honey. This type of bread is almost unknown among Gentiles but it does provide us with some lovely pictures of the body of the Lord Jesus, as our text makes clear.

Because leaven speaks of sin, so unleavened bread reminds us that the Lord Jesus was without sin. Because the bread was flat, it reminds us that the Lord Jesus was humble and obedient even to the death of the cross. Because the bread was pierced, we are reminded that the Lord Jesus allowed His wicked creatures to pierce His head, His hands and feet, and His side. The very appearance of that unleavened bread causes us to give thanks to the One Who proclaimed Himself the Bread of Life, Who gave Himself that we might have life through Him.

Consider how, in contrast to the Seder meal in which each participant takes his portion of the bread, the Lord Jesus broke the bread, and gave to the disciples. This difference must have been noticed by them. We notice it today, as we realize that for each of us, the Lord Jesus allowed His body to suffer for our sins, and to each of us as individuals He offered His great gift of salvation. We have received from Himself that portion that gives to us everlasting life.

We can watch a loaf of bread as it rises, browns, and bakes in an oven, just as an Israelite could watch as the matzoh was baked in a frying pan. We can see how the heat affects the dough, and how there is that moment when the baker knows the bread is cooked. But when we turn our minds to Calvary, we can with difficulty grasp the terrible torments that wicked men placed on the body of our Lord. The battering, bruising, lashing, and piercing were not anything that we have ever seen or felt. When the cloak of darkness fell over that scene, we lose all ability to grasp the impact of the wrath of God against our sin as it fell on His righteous Son.

The taking of the bread fills our hearts with eternal thanks that the Lord Jesus gave His body for us. -Jim MacIntosh

Word for Wednesday

Wednesday, May 8th, 2019

Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you. Matthew 7:6

Consider the picture of the altar in the temple, with a offering burning upon it. As the offering is being consumed, the attending priest takes one of the hooks used for tending to the offering, and pulls a piece of the meat off the body of the sacrifice. Carrying the meat with the hook, the priest makes his way out of the temple and casts the meat to one of the hungry half-wild dogs that frequented the streets of Jerusalem. The people watching would be shocked and would declare the act to be blasphemy. They would be angry that a sacrifice offered to God had been tossed to an unclean beast that was never to come into God’s presence. It is highly unlikely that such a scene ever occurred in ancient Jerusalem. But something very near to it is occurring among some who would call themselves Christians today.

Just as the ancient Israelites worshipped God in the offering of sacrifices, the Lord’s people of today worship God in offering the sacrifice of praise, in particular in the partaking of the bread and cup in remembrance of the Lord’s death. Care is taken that those who participate in this holy ordinance are true worshippers, those who have a genuine appreciation for the One Who is being remembered. If some would wonder why we do not open the participation to all who want to do so, we point to today’s text. No more holy or sacred event occurs in our lives than the weekly participation in the Lord’s Supper. Dare we allow participation by the unredeemed or the unappreciative?

There are groups, some claiming even to resemble our Assemblies, that make no restriction on those who would participate in the Lord’s Supper. They leave the determination of whether to participate up to the person. But consider the ancient temple, where dogs were not allowed. Neither were Gentiles, often referred to as dogs by the Jews. No Gentile could enter that holy place and make an offering. But some places today see no connection between the ancient principle and the modern practice. So the dogs are given that which is holy, and God is mocked, and His Son dishonoured. As the temple guards prevented dogs from entering the place of sacrifice, so must we today prevent those with no discernment of Christ from participating in our act of worship.

The dictionary defines casting pearls before swine as giving things of value to those who do not understand or appreciate them. Let us not be guilty of casting pearls before swine by giving that which is holy to dogs. -Jim MacIntosh

Community Gospel Services

Sunday, February 10th, 2019

Title: Community Gospel Services

Commencing Feb 10 into March. Every Night @ 7pm except Saturday night. Located at 60 Maple Ave, Sussex, NB.

Speakers: Shad Kember & Duncan Beckett

Special Gospel Meetings

Saturday, May 5th, 2018

Special Gospel Meetings January 2016

Monday, January 18th, 2016

Special Gospel Meetings are being held Monday-Friday during the months of January and February. All meetings will be at 7:30pm. See the invitation below for more details.


Click on the Invitation to view it in a larger form.

invitation20161

Sunday School Treat & Day’s Meeting

Monday, January 18th, 2016

Title: Sunday School Treat & Day’s Meeting

Location: Sussex Regional High School (Same Venue at the conference in October)

Description:

Saturday January 23: The annual Sunday School treat will commence with supper at 6pm and the Sunday School program immediately following supper.

Sunday January 24: The Annual Days meeting will commence at 10am in the High School on Sunday.

Lesson for the Lord’s Day

Sunday, May 31st, 2015

But a certain Samaritan, as He journeyed, came where he was, and when He saw him, He had compassion on him. Luke 10:33

Webster’s dictionary defines compassion as to suffer with another; hence, sympathy; sorrow for the distressed or unfortunate with the desire to help. If that is true (and who are we to argue with Webster?) then the compassion of the Lord Jesus was far beyond merely feeling sorry for us and wanting to help us. The parable of the Good Samaritan provides a wonderful demonstration of His compassion. Just as the Samaritan in the parable, the Lord Jesus journeyed and came to where we were. All the way from the ivory palaces to this world of woe, from the praise and devotion of seraphim to the shame and spitting of the Sanhedrin, from the pinnacle of glory’s praise to the depths of Golgotha’s sorrows, that’s the demonstration of Jesus’ compassion for us. He is our example of compassion.

Firstly, the Lord Jesus is our example by living His compassion. Not only was His coming into the world an act of compassion, but so was His walk through this world. think of all of those He ministered to who were sick and suffering, grieving and fearful. His deeply caring heart flowed with compassion that was manifested in every step He took, every act He performed, every sentence He spoke. The extent of His compassion is shown in His sacrifice for us at Calvary, His willingness to endure all of the suffering of body, soul, and spirit to purchase our redemption. He lived His compassion.

The Lord Jesus also taught compassion. The account of the Good Samaritan is not only a description of what the Lord Jesus has done for us, it is also a description of how we should respond to the needs of others. He is teaching us that we are not to discriminate in any way when we reach out to those who are hurting and perishing. He is teaching us not to limit our efforts when it comes to helping those in need, but to to as far as it takes to reach them. He is teaching us that our hearts should also be compassionate, and to display that compassion. He taught His compassion.

Thirdly, the Lord Jesus expects His compassion from us. Having given us an example and a description of compassion, He tells us ‘Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted (compassionate), forgiving one another’ (Ephesians 4:32). He asks us in 1 John 3:17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? If the primary goal of a Christian’s life is to be like the life of the Lord Jesus, we must allow compassion to be the dominant force in our life.

The Lord Jesus had compassion, far more compassion than we are capable of. But He has not set us a standard to meet, but an example to follow. -Jim MacIntosh

Tidings for Tuesday

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Ephesians 6:1

On October 22, 2013, police in Santa Rosa, California, noticed a teenager carrying what appeared to be an AK-47 assault gun in the city’s Moorland Avenue neighbourhood. Although it was an airsoft gun (a non-lethal replica), the device did not have an orange tip, which is a legal requirement for all toy guns. Carrying it was 13-year-old Andy Lopez, a grade 8 student who attended Lewis Opportunity School in Santa Rosa, who also had a replica pistol in his pocket. There are conflicting reasons given as to why Lopez was carrying the replica firearms, with some stating that he was returning them to a friend and others saying that he was supposedly going to use them to try and scare a friend as a joke. Two police deputies approached, one of them remaining in the police vehicle while the other called out to the teenager to drop the weapon. Instead, young Lopez turned and aimed his gun at the officer. At that moment, the officer in the police car opened fire, and the teenager was dead. Apparently, Andy Lopez had never been taught to obey his parents. So when it was critical that he obey the police, he didn’t think it was necessary. We do our children no favours by not expecting them to obey their parents.

Children who never learn to obey their parents have a difficult time adjusting to a world where obedience is a necessary part of society’s structure. Disobedient students get poor grades in school and find few opportunities for employment. Disobedient employees are usually demoted or fired. Disobedient citizens land in jail. Disobedient friends find themselves alone. There are times when every one of us need to do as we are told, and the place to learn how is in the home. Sadly, far too many homes are broken and disfunctional these days, and far too many children do not get their training they need. This should never be the case in the Christian home, where the Word of God is read and the order of God is observed. Children will thrive in such an environment, and will be prepared for a life of both service and leadership. But while our text is an important one for parents to note, it is not specifically directed at the parents, but at the children.

Paul does not say, ‘Parents, make your children obey’. No, he directly addresses the children. The Greek term used in the original refers to children who are under their parent’s care, both pre-adolescents and teenagers. This verse is specifically for them, telling them that obeying their Christian parents is the right thing to do. The term ‘in the Lord’ refers to parents who are living for the Lord and who desire their children to do likewise. Such parents will use wise judgment and scriptural principles in leading and directing their children. And the children will be truly blessed to obey them.

Rather than suppressing children, our text offers them an opportunity to rise to the best that their parents – and the Lord – would have for them.  -Jim MacIntosh

Meditation for Monday

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Charity never faileth, but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall cease. 1 Corinthians 13:8

Some hardy little shrubs grew along the path behind the old schoolhouse, and we brushed past them as we made our way to play in the woods behind. We noticed those shrubs looked the same every year, never seeming to grow or shrink. Although they were shorter than the goldenrod that grew along the same path, these shrubs were different. The goldenrod, clovers, and other grasses that grew along the same path sprang up each spring, flourished through the growing season, then died in the fall. They were good for only one season. Those shrubs, on the other hand, were permanent, leafing in the spring, dropping their leaves in the fall, and enduring through the snowdrifts of winter to releaf the next spring. As far as I know, those shrubs are there yet. They remind me of love as the constant and eternal feature of all that we have in Christ.

Our text speaks of prophecies failing. Prophecies were integral to the early days of Christianity, as God would reveal His truth to faithful men. But as the Word of God was delivered, as the writings of the apostles filled the canon of Scripture, there came at time when prophecies had no more purpose. The Bible being completed, the Holy Spirit had no new revelations to impart. The revelations each of us receive nowadays come as the Holy Spirit instructs us from the Word of God as already delivered. We do not need prophecies anymore. But we need love.

Neither do we need the gift of tongues. This gift of languages was given at the time of Pentecost to deliver the Gospel message to all of those who heard the apostles preach. This gift continued for some time in some areas, as God proved the authenticity of what His people were delivering. These were real languages, not the gibberish featured by the charismatic organizations around us. And they were not intended to prove some advanced form of spirituality, as those charismatics claim. This gift soon became unnecessary as the Gospel spread, as people shared the message far and wide with others in their own tongues. Because this gift became unnecessary, it has ceased. But love has not.

The vanishing away of knowledge will take a little longer, but it too shall occur. Our text is speaking of our earthly knowledge, that which we have learned from Scripture, from study, from ministry and Bible studies, from experience. This knowledge provides the foundation for our Christian life, with instruction, encouragement, correction, and inspiration as we make our way through our sojourn here. But this knowledge is imperfect, flawed by our failing memories, our inability to understand, and our own ideas and impressions. We need perfect knowledge in the Glory, and we shall have it, leaving behind the imperfect knowledge that we now possess. But love will never be left behind.

The love of Christ that constrains us in time will only grow and flourish as we enter eternity, leaving behind those things that are no longer needed. -Jim MacIntosh

Food for Friday

Friday, February 15th, 2013

So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem, for he did eat continually at the king’s table, and was lame on both his feet. 2 Samuel 9:13

If Mephibosheth were living today, I believe he would have made a good addition to one of God’s Assemblies. There is much about this man that is comparable to Christians of today. Features of his life after he was brought from Lodebar by David are similar to the features of New Testament Assembly principles.

For one thing, Mephibosheth was occupying a place that was his solely by the grace of the king. We acknowledge that our place in God’s Assembly is not something that we in our unsaved days would have ever sought, or ever been able to attain. How gracious of God to bring us into the fellowship where the Lord Jesus has placed His Name! May we ever appreciate it as much as Mephibosheth appreciated his seat at David’s table.

We are also told that Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem. He has no interest in the old life in Lodebar. He has a new and better home; no other place will do, because David is there. Can we ever be content in a place that bears the name of men’s ideas or mortal heroes rather than the Name of the Lord Jesus? Our home is His presence.

Mephibosheth was continually at David’s table, just as members of God’s Assembly feast weekly on the emblems that remind us of His death, feast daily on the Word of His truth, and feast hourly on the goodness of His drawing us unto Himself and His Assembly.

Despite his newly exalted position, Mephibosheth remains lame. He can never forget that his place at David’s table is not because of his own capabilities but because of David’s grace. We too are reminded that despite our salvation, we are still in sinful bodies, still helpless to accomplish anything outside of God’s power and direction.

Are we like Mephibosheth? Do we appreciate the King’s table? Like him, we are former enemies who rejoice at His marvellous peace and eternal friendship. In God’s Assembly, we can fully appreciate our King. -Jim MacIntosh