Ministry Address

110 of 12 items

Preservation Together

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We were speaking earlier today about how the Christian is to be preserved. That takes in, of course, how Christians together are to be preserved, but perhaps a good deal of what we were saying had to do with the individual Christian passing through this world, as under the eye of God, and needing to learn dependence in the same way as the Lord Jesus showed it when He was here. I would like to draw upon the Scriptures to turn rather more towards how the people of God may be preserved together, because there is a need for that, that we might be able to go on together in the things of the Lord, get the gain of fellowship in the things of the Lord, as sharing them, and make progress together so that there is a richer and sweeter response to God while we still remain here.
I thought the 17th chapter of John’s Gospel would be a good place to begin, because this is where we have the thoughts of the Lord Jesus on this subject. If we look back to the end of chapter 16 and the beginning of chapter 17, we find that the Lord took immediate account of the circumstances in which His disciples would be left here. He says, “In the world ye have tribulation; but be of good courage: I have overcome the world.” And that rings down the ages, and it remains true. The Lord Jesus personally has overcome the world. He was here as an Overcomer. He has maintained the rights of God and, in God’s own good time, the Lord Jesus will have His rights here. And He calls on us to be of good courage in the face of the trials and difficulties of the way.
And it says, “These things Jesus spoke, and lifted up His eyes to heaven.” This chapter follows immediately from what the Lord has been saying in the previous chapters. And this chapter, which is, of course, a very precious one and well known to many believers here, takes up a number of things which were on the Lord’s heart in the night in which He was delivered up.
We might well marvel that there was time for such an exchange with the Father to take place, but it evidently was so, and the Spirit of God has seen to it that what the Lord had to say was recorded.

Election

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I would like to say something tonight to believers. I say that because what I want to say is something that I would not tell you in the gospel. If you are not a believer in Christ, if you do not know Jesus as your Saviour, you are very welcome, and I hope you will hear something that is useful to you – but what I want to say is for believers.
Part of the reason for that is that I need you to think back to the time when you first believed. Each of us has come a different way to the Saviour. I first heard the gospel when I was too small to remember it now, and I heard it week by week for many years. I knew I was saved when I was about nineteen. That is a lot of preachings that I had heard. Before I was about twelve, I must have prayed a lot of times and asked God to forgive me my sins. When I was in my mid-teens, I hardly prayed at all. The only time I read my bible was probably when I was in a meeting.
Then, when I was in my late teens, I started to pray again. I cannot really tell you why. Eventually I knew that Jesus was alive. I knew that my sins were forgiven. I have talked to other Christians, and I know other people that have come to Christ like that.

Revival – 2

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I want to say a further word about revival. Revival implies that there has been the evidence of life, but that something has happened, so that life has become dulled or stifled. We all know what it is to droop and to flag. The need is to know the secret of being revived. We have all seen the plant in the house; after many days of neglect the flowers begin to droop. Once it is attended to and given food and water, it springs to life again – it revives. That is so like you and me as believers in Christ. If we stray from the source of our sustenance, we begin to droop. How important it is to get back to that source and to be revived!
In these Scriptures I have read, we have the personal service of the Lord Jesus seen in reviving and restoring the soul. Reviving, like the feeding, like the leading, like the anointing in this psalm, is the continuous service of the Shepherd towards His own. As believers, during our whole life, we need times of reviving, and times of restoring. The Shepherd is the key to that revival each day of our lives.

Standing

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I just had in my heart this matter of the day that we are in, and the need of standing.

The picture in Romans is that without Christ, outside of Christ, we are in the mud, we are in the mire, there is no standing, we cannot stand, we collapse, we fail, we fall back into sin, all the resolutions in the world do not work, all the willpower does not work, and we cannot stand. Mephibosheth could not stand – he was lame in both feet (2 Sam 9:13). And that is our position – we are unable to stand.

Now, that was not God’s purpose. And man is unique in that he stands! From all the animals, it is a distinguishing creatorial feature – standing. Why did God do that? Man is upright – man is standing. There is a glory connected with it. God is working to imprint His image and His likeness on man. We deal with a holy and upright God. And a God whose word stands whatever falls; His counsels stand, there is what is firm there – every blessing. And He would imbue that on the creature.

Prayer

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hese passages, on a first view, may not seem to belong together or have a similar thought, but I would like to present these passages as throwing light on the matter of prayer. Prayer can be seen in many ways. It is not just a prayer to do in the morning, or at night before going to sleep. Prayer is not only something to be seen from the viewpoint of man: prayer always has to be seen from the viewpoint of God. And so I would like to bring these passages before us concerning the matter of prayer.

Prayer should be a constant act in the life of a believer. I am sure – I can say it because I see my own failure – prayer is often put aside. It is a communication with our Lord and Saviour. Prayer is also a great part of worshipping, it is a great part of adoration. And so to go to Scripture, and to look what Scripture says about prayer, is a very precious thing. I was tested to bring that before you, before us all. I often say that it is important to know that what is preached and what is said is not only for those who hear, but also for the one who speaks, the one who preaches. I do not put myself outside this, or think that I fully understand this matter, or fully practise it in a right way: consideration of this is something that is helpful for us all.

The Lord helps us in our weakness

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There are times when all of us are particularly aware of the weakness that marks us in our Christian pathway: weakness in our faith, weakness in our understanding, weakness in our localities, and in many other ways. There are many ways in which that is brought home to us, and that is what led me to these three Scriptures.

John the Baptist was marked by weakness of faith; suddenly his faith wobbled. Sometimes that happens to us. Then in John 6 we have Philip overwhelmed by the need that he was faced with. Finally, we see the apostle Paul at his first defence, finding that all his companions left him, and in that situation he could only rely upon the Lord. I trust, as we consider these three passages, we may be encouraged ourselves, as seeing how the Lord strengthens people and brings in help and blessing.

In Matthew 11 we see that John the Baptist is in prison. He had spoken against Herod’s improper marriage, and as a result he was imprisoned, and in the prison, reports were reaching him of what the Lord was doing, blessing and healing, and so on. Perhaps John was beginning to think, ‘Well, if this is what is happening, why is not some of this power devoted to getting me released

The Name of the Lord

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With the Spirit’s help, I want to say something tonight about the name of the Lord. When I say, ‘The name of the Lord,’ I do not mean His title. He has many titles. The many titles of the Lord Jesus in Scripture is an interesting study: Saviour, Lord, Shepherd, one could go on! It is an interesting study, especially when you are younger, just to go through the different titles of the Lord. But that is not what I have in mind. Every Scripture we have read mentions the name of the Lord, or the name of Jehovah. What I think that actually means is not so much His title, but what He is and, more importantly, how He identifies Himself with His people, or how we, as His people, identify with Him.

Taking Possession

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I have an impression to speak about possession – about possessing our inheritance. As believers on the Lord Jesus, we have a wonderful inheritance. We have been blessed “with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ” (Eph 1:3). It is an inheritance that we shall enjoy when the Lord comes for us or we go to be with Him. But it is in God’s heart that we should enjoy that inheritance now. We know in natural things that it is not enough to know about an inheritance; we need to possess it to enjoy it. And possession involves spiritual conflict.

Understanding the Times

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UNDERSTANDING  THE  TIMES 1 Chron 12:32 Hag 2:4-7 1 John 4:1-6 Phil 2:14-16 Mark 14:3-9 I believe, dear brethren, that one thing that is needed by every lover of the Lord Jesus is to have an understanding of the times. That is, for us, the day we are in, the present time. We know the […]

Serviceability

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I have read these Scriptures in Daniel and Nehemiah because they speak of two lovers of God who made certain personal commitments to serve their God.