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Sermonette for Saturday

Saturday, April 23rd, 2022

Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue. Numbers 15:38

What is a ribband of blue? The Hebrew word for ribband is petil, and it means a cord or thread twisted into a fringe. Our text tells us that such a blue cord or thread was to be part of the hem of each article of clothing that every Israelite was to wear. Such a ribband would make every Israelite stand out as easily identifiable in any crowd, because nobody else would be likely to include such a visual marker on their clothing. How would you like to see a rule where every Christian must wear something so distinctive at all times? Spiritually speaking, such a rule actually exists.

Just as every Israelite was to be marked by the ribband of blue in their clothes, so every Christian is marked for eternity by God with the presence of the Holy Spirit. As God looks down upon humanity, He immediately identifies those who are his because of the seal of the Holy Spirit. No Christian can get rid of that seal, regardless of anything. But it is possible for a Christian to cover up the evidence of that seal, just as an Israelite could cover his specially marked clothing with an unmarked cloak. By sinful or careless behaviour, by neglecting the Word of God, by forsaking the assembling with other Christians, and so forth, a Christian can quench and grieve the Holy Spirit. And nobody would suspect that the Holy Spirit was even there.

Blue was not a common colour for clothing, or even for any trimmings on clothing, back in Bible times. Blue was extremely expensive because it was extremely scarce. The blue colour came from a gland of a particular type of sea snail; it took some 8,500 sea snails to produce a single gram of blue dye. So the blue dye was worth far more than gold, and garments dyed blue were very costly. There is a portion of Scripture that comes to mind when we think of that special blue marking on the Israelites’ garments: ‘Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.’ 1 Peter 1:18,19. Whether we appreciate it or not, you and I are worth far more to God than any of the lost of this world because of the tremendous price paid to make us His. He has an investment in us that is far above gold or jewels. And it is His expectation that we would display the testimony of that great investment before Himself and before the world.

We have a ribband of blue in the fabric of our immortal souls, a ribband of eternal endurance and of immeasurable worth. Is that ribband on display today? – Jim MacIntosh

Food for Friday

Friday, April 30th, 2021

Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen. 1 Timothy 6:21

In the previous verse, Paul refers to ‘science falsely so-called’, and how those who had been led astray by it had lost sight of their faith. We are all aware of how the false science of evolution, despite being unproven and unprovable, is taught in the schools as fact. Children at an early age have their faith undermined and question the truth of the Word of God. Satan has won a great victory in destroying many souls with this doctrine.

A museum in Paris has three million books that used to be called science books but which have all been proven to be erroneous. Man’s so-called facts of science keep changing as new discoveries transform once well-established absolutes into nonsense.

Some years ago, Christians were able to chuckle at those who prophesied that the arms race would destroy the planet when somebody pushed the wrong button. We knew, because of Scripture, that this would not happen. And yet, it captured great attention in the news media and had many millions of people all worked up and worried for nothing. Including some Christians. It is all but forgotten now. The same thing is happening today with all the talk about global warming which has evolved into climate change because the world is not warming like the predictors expected. The Word of God tells us that the calamities predicted by these people also will not happen. Someone recently made a catalogue of 41 predictions about global warming over the past few decades, and all 41 have failed to come to pass. We as Bible believers should not be surprised.

We do well to rest our confidence concerning the future on the Word of God, and trust our Heavenly Father to care for us. Our faith is too precious to throw it away on the changing ideas and fancies of the world. If we have trusted God for His salvation, we can trust Him to take care of the world around about us.

Is your faith science-proof? Much so-called science is false. All scripture is true. -Jim MacIntosh

Food for Friday

Friday, April 23rd, 2021

For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. Romans 12:3

I remember a big man who came to our house when I was a little boy, to visit our father. He accepted a cup of tea from my mother, and sat telling stories to my father for a couple of hours. They were fantastic stories, and I hung on every word, as he described wartime situations in which he was able to overcome great odds and to single-handedly rescue many of his fellow soldiers. My father listened and nodded, saying little, smiling often, and restraining himself from interrupting. Finally, the big man looked at his watch, and declared his need to be on his way to a meeting in town. When he had gone, I remarked to my father about how wonderful the visitor was, to have accomplished so many wonderful things. My father grinned, and remarked, ‘Most of those things happened only in his mind!’ The big man was like many of us, desiring to appear bigger and better and greater than we really are.

Honestly, brethren, if we were half the men we think we are, we would be twice the men we are. Our text reminds me of the need to limit my opinion of myself. It’s a valuable reminder, because, just like you, I have a tendency to try to make myself look as good as possible in front of others. It’s a human trait, and it sells a lot of cosmetics, wigs, and clothing. It also generates a lot of lies and false impressions. As Christians, we should be aware that the only One Who really matters can read our thoughts and knows the truth about us no matter how much we misrepresent ourselves to others. God not only knows all about us, but He also points us to His Son as the perfect Example of how we ought to act.

The Lord Jesus never misrepresented Himself; He didn’t need to. He never sought to appear greater than He was; He couldn’t because He was, and is, greater than all. But He never sought public acclaim or popularity, or deliberately acted to draw attention to His power and glory. He is the ultimate Example of humility. and we should remember in every situation to try to follow His example.

We know how we ought to think about ourselves. We know, because we have studied the life of the Lord Jesus. Let us act like Him. – Jim MacIntosh

Tidings for Tuesday

Tuesday, April 6th, 2021

Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin, but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. Romans 6:13

There is nothing particularly attractive about a worm crawling along a branch of a tree. Some people might even find such a creature ugly. But we all know the story of the butterfly, don’t we, where the little worm spins a cocoon and goes to sleep, emerging some time later as a vision of loveliness, one of nature’s prettiest sights. The process is called metamorphosis, which involves a creature changing from one shape to a completely different shape. Even the diet changes. For example, a caterpillar eats the leaves of certain trees or bushes, while the butterfly that the caterpillar becomes eats only nectar and other sugar-containing fluids. It all sounds a bit like God’s salvation, doesn’t it? But there is one huge difference between metamorphosis and salvation: a resurrection from death is required for us to enter into God’s salvation.

Our text refers to those who have been raised from the dead. We were dead in trespasses and sins. And the devil had the use of our members and our abilities. But in Christ we have been made alive. We have been brought into a new creation. And within that new creation, that new life, we have the ability to submit ourselves to God, something we were unable to do before. Like the butterfly, we have a new diet, the sincere milk and the meat of the Word of God. All things have changed, including our alliance and our interests. And our members are now available to God, although, unlike the devil, He doesn’t demand. God wants us of our own free will to yield our members to Him. Only by such freewill service does God receive glory; all other service is of obligation or requirement.

When we think about the reasons why we can now serve our Lord, we must surely be ashamed not to. The resurrection into which our salvation brings us – death to the world and life unto God – is possible only because of the death of the Lord Jesus for us. What a tremendous price He paid for us to receive this liberty! The love that the Father had for us to send His Son, and the patience that the Holy spirit had for us to strive to bring us to repentance, are all reasons for us to yield our members in grateful and willing service.

Like a butterfly that glides through the air instead of crawling like a worm, let us rejoice in our new life. And let us live that life in service to the one who has raised us from the dead. -Jim MacIntosh

Word for Wednesday

Wednesday, July 1st, 2020

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you. Philippians 1:3

Memory experts tell us that whenever we hear someone speaking a name, a picture of a person comes into our mind. Unless it is an obscure name that you have never heard before, every name carries with it a memory, and that usually results in the face of a person with whom we associate that name. Give it a try; ask someone to toss a few names at you, and see if the memory experts are correct. Some names will trigger an emotional response because they bring before us a person who was – and maybe still is – very special to us. Other names will cause us to smile, or even laugh, as we are reminded of something pleasant or funny about somebody. And then there are those, like the folks the Apostle Paul is referring to in today’s text, whose names come before us and cause us to be thankful for them.

Looking over your spiritual life, who do you have to be thankful for? Surely the ones who brought you the Gospel and who were used of God in bringing you to conviction and repentance! The memory of these folks is precious. So too is the memory of a brother who God used to provide a word of ministry at a crucial time in your young Christian experience. Where would you have been without that important message? The names of the elders who interviewed you for baptism and Assembly reception are very precious to many, not only for those specific interviews but also for their care and direction in those early days. Thank God for the remembrance of such.

What about the missionaries and the Lord’s servants who we have seen go forth, and have taken an interest in? When their names come up, we bow and give God thanks that they are seeing blessing and God’s guidance. Let’s also not forget the Assembly oversight and the dear sisters in your assembly who are faithful in their care and interest in your spiritual welfare. Keep the list going; I am sure you can think of many others for us to be thankful for as we remember them.

Do you know if anybody gives thanks for you when they remember your name? We ought to live and serve Christ in such a way that our name will prompt thanks to God. -Jim MacIntosh

Meditation for Monday

Monday, June 22nd, 2020

And it came to pass, that, as they went in the way, a certain man said unto Him, Lord, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest. Luke 9:57

During a recent election campaign, as the various political parties clamored for as many votes as they could possibly wring out of the gullible public, I was reminded of an old saying about election platforms being like railway platforms: they’re not to stand on but to get in on. Many politicians seem to live on hope; hope that the voters will forget all the promises that were made during the campaign. But it’s not only in politics that broken promises abound. Look at the soaring divorce rates around us and see that every marriage breakup is the result of two people who are unable or unwilling to keep some lifelong promises they made to each other. Many children leave home because of broken promises by their parents, and many parents have broken hearts because of promises that their children never intended to keep. It’s actually pretty easy to make a promise… all it takes is a few words. But to keep a promise, that takes a commitment and often carries a price tag. Our text contains a promise that Jesus could tell was just the uttering of words.

Some promises are pretty trivial and their breaking has little consequences. But some are very important, and their breaking has dire consequences. No promise could be more important than that uttered by the man in our text. A promise to unconditionally and unreservedly follow Jesus was surely a great promise. But how great a commitment such a promise demands! As you and I consider this man’s promise, how much of it are you or I willing to make. And how much would we be willing to keep?

Following Jesus is what we should be willing to do as Christians. And the Holy Spirit gives us the power to do so, as we allow Him to control us. The man in today’s text did not know that Jesus was on his way to Calvary. But we do know that. Would we be willing to risk our lives, pour out our abilities and energies, and give up our own ideas and purposes to follow Jesus? Many have done so, and many have paid high prices. However, the high prices they have paid have all been eternally invested with no possibility of a failure in Heaven’s bank.

Jesus has kept His promise to us, and has forever sheltered our souls from wrath and guaranteed us the eternal bliss of His glorious presence. Can we make, and keep promises to Him, secure in the knowledge that He will forever appreciate? -Jim MacIntosh

Sussex Winter Weekend

Thursday, January 16th, 2020

Title: Sussex Winter Weekend

Location: Sussex, NB

Description: Annual Winter Weekend of Fun!Skiing at Poley, Swimming at the Civic Center, and Skating at CTR.
Supper and Hymn Sing at 6pm Jubilee Hall 50 Perry St, Sussex.

Date: January 25, 2020

Days Meeting to follow on Sunday, January 26th, 10AM @ Sussex Regional High School.

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