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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

Sermon for Saturday

Saturday, February 2nd, 2013

But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. John 20:24

I had other things to do that evening, so I opted to do them instead of going to the midweek prayer meeting. I succeeded in getting my tasks done, and felt I had made the right choice. But the next day, one of the Christians called to tell me about the meeting. Instead of the prayer meeting, they had held a missionary meeting. It turned out that a missionary we had been supporting was in town for a visit and had offered to give a report. I was disappointed, because I had missed hearing the report from the missionary. But I had actually missed an even more important Person who was in attendance.

How many meetings of your Assembly does the Lord Jesus attend? According to Matthew 18:20, He is at every one of them. At most meetings, one person or another is not able to make it, because of illness, work, or being away from home. And sometimes, some feel the meeting is not as important as other things they can do. Those people miss out on the presence of the Lord. We don’t know why Thomas failed to attend the first meeting when Jesus appeared to His disciples, so we can’t cast too much criticism at him for not being there. But we can make note of what he missed by not attending. Had he known that Jesus would be there, he would undoubtedly have made a great effort to attend. If we allow the realization that the Lord Jesus is going to be at each Assembly meeting to grip us as it should, we will miss very few of those meetings.

Our text identifies Thomas as one of the twelve. He was definitely within the fellowship of that special group. He had participated in all of the activities that the disciples engaged in during Jesus’ ministry. He had taken part in the discussions during and after the crucifixion. He must surely have known all about the gathering that night. There is no reason to believe that his doubting the resurrection was something that applied to him alone. If it had been another disciple who had missed that meeting, that other disciple would probably have done the same as Thomas. So it wasn’t a matter of who missed the meeting, but it was the fact that a meeting was missed.

Missing meetings can cause us to miss out on some very important events. Like Thomas, we should have been there. -Jim MacIntosh

Thought for Thursday

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body, and be ye thankful. Colossians 3:15

We took our three-year-old granddaughter to the hardware store, where she showed a keen interest in the many fascinating things she found there. Her bubbly personality and constant chatter caught the attention of one of the clerks, who talked to her and showed her how to use the big magnet to pick up loose nails that had fallen from their bins onto the floor. The clerk told Grace to be sure to collect a lollipop at the checkout, for being a good girl. At the checkout, the multicoloured lollipop was so fascinating that Grace almost forgot to thank the lady who gave it to her. Almost, but she did express her thanks, and was complimented for her good manners. Grace did better than most people nowadays, who are rarely thankful for anything. On the other hand, Christians should be thankful for everything.

Being thankful is far more than good manners. Being thankful shows a proper attitude to God for all his loving kindness and to those around us for their kindness and care. Perhaps thanklessness comes from the spirit of entitlement that is part of the baby boom generation, and their children. Living in a world where there was always enough and often too much, a world where raising a little fuss would often get us whatever we wanted, a world in which parents preferred to pamper rather than discipline their children, has produced a world where thanklessness is a way of life. This attitude became very obvious in the occupy moment that occurred in many major cities throughout our land and in other countries. Instead of appreciating what they had, occupiers demanded what other people have, regardless of whether they earned or deserved it. When it comes to the blessings of God, you and I could never earn or deserve them. That’s why we should always be thankful. That’s why everything we receive from God, or from anyone else for that matter, should cause us to respond with deep gratitude. As Christians, we have far more to be thankful for than others do. We should cultivate an attitude of thankfulness, and we should freely express our thanks.

Our thanks should always be the first thing mentioned in our prayers. Oh, how good our God has been to us! We must appreciate our salvation and all the great blessings that spring from it. We must also appreciate all the temporal blessings we receive, acknowledging that we did not even deserve the drink of cold water we last enjoyed. Our families also deserve a lot of thanks for putting up with us, and for all they do. So do the other members of our Assembly. And when was the last time you thanked the members of your Assembly oversight for their care and guidance? Keep in mind that a thankful spirit is a good testimony and goes a long ways in attracting sinners to the Gospel.

Counting our blessings ever day will help to keep us thankful, but we can never be thankful enough. -Jim MacIntosh

Corn Hill Gospel Meetings

Monday, July 18th, 2011

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Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity (love), I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. 1 Corinthians 13:1

This wonderful treatise on love that we find in this chapter is considered one of the most magnificent classics in all of world literature. Even ungodly men recognize in this chapter the splendour of expression and depth of meaning that have thrilled the hearts of believers for centuries. This opening verse of the chapter tells us what we are if we do not have love.

The love that is spoken of here is agape, the Greek word that expresses God’s great love to the world and the Christian’s love for the souls of men. Our verse tells us that without this love, we are nothing more than the boom from a gong or a jingle from a little bell. Nothing but a noise, empty and meaningless.

Speaking with the tongues of men and of angels sounds like quite an achievement. Such a person is able to converse ably with the wisest of earth in any place and situation. This is no mean feat. And as for the tongues of angels, this person has a grasp of heavenly truths, a knowledge of the Word of God, is able to express in preaching and praying the great knowledge of scripture. Such a person must be a wonderful help to people, a wonderful blessing to those around him. Not unless this person has a heart of love. Without love, such a person provides only for the eardrums.

What do you know about this love? What do you do about this love? Do I love as this verse commands? -Jim MacIntosh

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you, for I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them in Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago, and your zeal hath provoked very many. 2 Corinthians 9:1,2

What would the apostle have written if this was his letter to your Assembly? Would his words sounded anything like this? What has your Assembly done lately to help poor Christians, or others living in poverty and difficult circumstances? How much money has been distributed this year? And how much last year? How many hours do the folks in the Assembly spend gathering clothes and other articles to send to very needy places such as Ukraine?

What about you personally? How deeply into your pockets have you reached to help a saint in need? What is your budget for helping those with less resources than yourself? How many items have you assembled to contribute to this very worthy cause? And have you sought out bargains for supplies that you can buy to contribute? How much inconvenience have you accepted to enable others to obtain the food and clothing and other materials that they need?

The Lord Jesus spoke frequently about the poor, in fact, He majored on it many times. It’s important, actually one of the most important aspects of our lives. But we in North America have developed the ability to keep the needy out of sight and out of mind, and therefore out of pocketbook. We don’t know about the need, so we don’t offer to help out.

That’s no excuse. Scripture reminds us often to seek out the needy, to look for the need, and be quick to offer what we can to help.

When was the last time you went without a meal? There are many who can’t remember the last time they had a good meal, and others who have no idea where the next meal is coming from. We have it in our power to do something.

Be among the many who have been provoked to generosity by the example of the Corinthians. -Jim MacIntosh

Monday, August 9th, 2010

On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the people, and therein was found written that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God forever. Nehemiah 13:1

Unlike the Edomite and the Egyptian, who could come into the congregation after three generations, the Ammonite and the Moabite was forever barred from the congregation. If we read the portion in Deuteronomy that is referred to here, we find that the Ammonites and Moabites refused hospitality to God’s people as they made their way through the wilderness, and they hired Balaam to curse the Israelites.

The Lord told His disciples that the world would hate them because it hated Him. But that is not an excuse for their hatred. The Lord will not and does not excuse the world’s hatred and evil treatment of His own. Undoubtedly a major reason why so many perish in their sins is their despising and cursing of Christians. Mark well those who speak evil of the Lord’s own children; they will not escape punishment for their words and deeds.

Something important happened when this portion of Scripture was read. The people took notice, and separation occurred. The mixed multitude found itself on the outside. This should come as no surprise, because a careful and accurate reading of Scripture always produces separation. God makes a difference between the holy and the profane, between the redeemed and the unrepentant, between the worshipper and the despiser, between the believer and the blasphemer. And He marks that difference clearly, and expects his people to do so as well.

We have become slack concerning the mixed multitude. Those who do not appreciate the things of God are allowed to dabble in those things. Let us be careful that only those with a clear profession of faith and a genuine love for God’s truth and presence enter into the holy place of our worship. Ours is a blood-bought right to be there. Outsiders have no right. -Jim MacIntosh

Tidings for Tuesday

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

The rich people of this world are divided into two very distinct classes: Those who have a great deal of money, and those who have very little need of things. If you are like me, you probably don’t know very many people of the first type. The Lord’s people are noted for being in humble circumstances, and while there are those among us who have large incomes and resources, they are few. But the interesting thing is that those rich people of the second type can be any of us, with the right attitude. If we reduce our expectations and desires significantly, we can be rich with what we have. I think Paul’s words in today’s text are directed at those saints who have a proper view of material things.
Note that Paul does not say God will supply our desires or our wishes. I might want a newer, more powerful computer. But the one I am using is still functioning. You might desire that lovely coat in the shop window, but your current coat is still serviceable and adequate. It’s nice to get new and better things, but God, Who knows what we truly need, does not promise us those things. However, He Who knows what we truly need has promised to supply those needs. If God’s provision has not extended to you something that you long for, maybe He’s telling you that you don’t need it. Otherwise, He would have supplied it.
Today’s text is a wonderful promise! Properly understood and accepted, this promise should eliminate ulcers among God’s people. We have nothing to worry about; all our needs are guaranteed. The Lord, who knows far better than we do what we need presents to us this unconditional guarantee of supply. His knowledge of our needs coupled with His perfect love for us ought to delight our souls today.

The more we understand and appreciate that God’s care for us extends to all our needs, the more wealthy we become. If we want what He wants for us, and if we allow Him to supply us, all our needs are met. And that makes us rich! -Jim MacIntosh

 

 

 

Monday, July 12th, 2010

Then said Jeremiah the prophet unto Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah, the Lord hath not sent thee, but thou makest this people to trust in a lie. Jeremiah 28:15

Hananiah was a prophet, but he was a false one who gave the people what they wanted to hear. He had prophesied that the yoke of Nebuchadnessar would be broken, and the people would be freed from the punishment that God had allowed the king of Babylon to bring upon them. Jeremiah challenged this false prophet, and within the year, Hananiah was in his grave.

The world abounds in false prophets, evil people who make their followers to believe lies. There are many well-known ones, such as the leaders of cults and other world religions. Such false and evil prophets as Mohammed, Joseph Smith, Charles Russell, and many others, have used their lies to deceive many millions of people. However, there are many others whose names are not well known, at least not recognized as false, who are just as dangerous and just as deceiving.

Information was recently circulated about a course on miracles being actively promoted by Oprah Winfrey. The woman who developed this course bases it on so-called revelations she received from a Christ who is definitely not the Christ of the Bible. This so-called Christ is said to have told her that the crucifixion was unnessary and that there is no such thing as sin, among other New Age nonsense.

We need to be on the lookout for such deceivers, and faithfully warn younger Christians to be careful about paying any attention to them.

Jeremiah was a faithful and true prophet. He knew that God’s people had sinned. He knew why they were being punished. And he knew they would be restored eventually.

The Bible is totally faithful. Trust its message today for all your needs. Ignore the liars. -Jim MacIntosh

Sunday, July 11th, 2010

Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His Person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. Hebrews 1:3

There is a saying regarding family-run businesses that become very successful: ‘Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations’. What this means is that a man who starts from humble beginnings to build a great business may see his own children carry on successfully with the business, but his grandchildren will bring the business down to destruction. But what we see in today’s text is the very opposite of that in that the person of the Lord Jesus went from the highly exalted position in His Father’s bosom, humbled Himself in obedience and went to the shameful and humiliating cross to die, and from there rose in triumph to be seated at the pinnacle of power and glory forever.

We cannot fathom the brightness of the glory that was His in Heaven. Peter, James, and John received but a slight glimpse of that glory as they viewed the Lord’s discussion with Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration. But they were unable to express much more than the brightness of it. And who among us can comprehend the depths of the expression that tells us that the Lord Jesus was – and is – the express image of God? We know that the Father and the Son are co-eternally equal. But that’s as far as we can take it. We also can accept, but only by faith, that the Lord Jesus did, and always will, uphold all of things by the word of His power. That includes all of earth, all of creation, all that is in Heaven above. And that is the position from which He stooped to rescue poor sinners.

Today, our attention is focused on what transpired when our Saviour set aside most of the evidence of the glory that was His. We remember what He had to endure in order to purge our sins. We remember the humility of His life, from the lowly Bethlehem birth to the shameful Golgotha crucifixion. We remember how the world had nothing but the outside place for Him, the only crown they would give Him was one of thorns, the only exalted position they would give Him was one that was accorded the worst of criminals.

We also remember today His resurrection. By His own power, He shed the shackles of death, which had no power over His sinless Person. On this resurrection morning, we also hail Him who has risen not only from the tomb but also from this earthly platform. His today is the highest position. And we worship Him who is worthy to receive all honour, glory, and majesty. -Jim MacIntosh