Archive for February, 2015

The Little Messenger – A True Story

February 21, 2015

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I was challenged by the following true story, in tract form, which was kindly sent to me recently by a lady in County Fermanagh. It reminds me that God’s Word will not return unto Him void and that His will is for us to distribute that Word to needy souls in our own communities and wherever we travel. This little tract has an important message for both Christian and non-Christian…

On Sunday afternoons the Pastor and his eleven-year old son would go out to hand out Gospel tracts. This particular Sunday it was very cold outside and pouring down rain. The young lad bundled up in his warmest clothes said, “Father, I’m ready.” His father replied, “Ready for what?” “It is time to gather our tracts together and go out.” His father responded by saying, “Son, it is a very cold day and raining!” The lad gave a very surprised look, saying, “But Father, are not people still going to hell, even though it is raining?” “Son, we cannot go out in this weather.” Despondently the boy asked, “May I go please?” His father hesitated for a moment and then said, “Son, you may go, here are some tracts, but do be careful son.” And with that he was off and out into the rain.” The eleven year-old boy walked the streets of the town, going from door to door, handing to all he met, a Gospel tract. Two hours later he was soaked, bone-chilled, and down to his very last tract. He stopped on the street corner and looked for someone to whom he could pass on this very last one, but the streets were totally deserted. He then turned toward the first home he saw, went up to the front door and rang the bell. Nobody answered. He rang it again and again but still no answer. He waited and still no answer. Finally he turned to leave but something stopped him. Again he turned to face the door, ring the bell, and knock loudly on the door. He waited, something holding him there at the front door. He rang once again and this time the door slowly opened. Standing in the doorway was a very sad-looking elderly lady. She asked softly, “What can I do for you, son?” With radiant eyes and a smile that lit up her world, the little boy said, “Ma’am, I’m sorry if I disturbed you, but I just want to tell you that God really does love you and I am come to give you this my very last Gospel tract which tells you all about Jesus, His great sacrifice and love. With that he handed her his last tract and turned to leave. She called out to him as he departed – “Thank you son and may God bless you.” The following Sunday morning the Pastor and father was in the pulpit. As the service began, he asked, “Does anybody have a testimony they would like to give?” Quietly and slowly in the back row an elderly lady stood up. As she began to speak a look of glorious radiance was upon her face. She said, “No one in this meeting knows me. I’ve never been here before. You see, before last Sunday I was not a believer. My husband passed away some time ago, leaving me totally alone in this world. Last Sunday being a particularly cold and rainy day, it was even colder in my heart, for I had come to the end of all hope – I could no longer go on. I had no desire or will to live. So, I took a rope and a chair and ascended the stairway into the attic. I fastened the rope securely to a rafter in the roof, then stood upon the chair ad fastened the other end of the rope around my neck. Standing upon that chair, so lonely and miserable, I was about to leap off when suddenly the loud ringing of my doorbell downstairs startled me. I thought, I’ll wait a minute and whoever it is will go away. I waited and waited but the ringing of the doorbell seemed to get louder and more insistent. Then the person ringing the doorbell began also to knock loudly. I thought to myself, who on earth can that be? Nobody rings my bell or comes now to see me. I loosened the rope from my neck and headed for the front door as the bell rang louder and louder. When I opened the door and looked, I could hardly believe my eyes. For there was the most radiant and angelic-faced wee lad that I had ever seen. His smile, oh I could never describe it to you! And the words that came from his mouth, caused my heart that had so long been dead, to leap for life, for he said, “Ma’am, I just came to tell you that God really does love you!” Then he gave me this Gospel tract that I now hold in my hand and the angel-boy disappeared out into the cold and rain. I closed the door and read slowly every word of this tract. I then went up to my attic to take down that rope and chair. I would not be needing them anymore, for you see, I believed and became a happy child of God. Since the address of your place was on the back of this tract, I have come to personally say ‘thank-you’ to God, for his little messenger came in ‘just the nick of time’ and by so doing, spared my soul from an eternity in hell of separation from God.” By this time there were now no dry eyes, and shouts of praise and thanksgiving resounded to the very rafters of the building. Pastor-dad descended from the pulpit to the front seat where the little messenger was seated. He took his son into his arms and sobbed. Probably this universe had never seen a father that was more filled with love and thankfulness for his son…. except for One. That Father allowed His Son to go into a cold and dark world. He even sent Him into the world. He received back this Son with joy unspeakable, as all heaven shouted praises and honour to God. The Father seated His own beloved Son on His throne far above every principality and power and every name that is named. Jesus Christ is Son of God and Saviour of the world! He is God the Saviour. There may be someone who is reading this who is also going through a dark, cold and lonely time in his or her soul. You may even be a Christian, for Christians are not without problems, or you may not even know the Lord Jesus Christ as your own Saviour. Whatever the case and whatever the problem or situation or how dark it all may seem, I want you to know that I just came to tell you that God really does love you. He really does! He sent His Son to suffer, die and bear Himself the just punishment for the sins of the ungodly. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved. “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?”(Romans 10v14) © Christian Book Room, P.O. Box 81, Kent Town, S.A. 5071, Australia.

Lay up Treasure in Abundant Measure… for the Great Accounting Day

February 11, 2015

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Just recently I discovered a very interesting old book: “Ways to Wealth – the Cust Family of Eighteenth Century Armagh,” by L.A. Clarkson & E.M. Crawford. The back page of the book declares: “This book gives a unique insight into the lifestyle and activities of an eighteenth century county family. It centres round Miss Annaritta Cust of Market Street, Armagh who died in 1797 aged well over eighty.” Apparently Miss Cust “left behind a house filled with an extraordinary collection of clutter ranging from valuable silver, elegant furniture, clothes in profusion and books in abundance, to useless scraps of rags and rubbish!” A list was drawn up by the executors of every single item possessed by this lady – what a nightmare to have to go through this lot!

I find the book interesting, from spiritual point of view, given that I have experienced the loss of two loved ones in recent years and have known something of the nature of the personal effects that they have left behind.  Certainly I have been especially touched by their little hand-written notes of a spiritual nature. My mother, by little notes she has written has made it clear that she loves me very much and I was moved to tears on reading these; it means so much to me to know in whom she had put her trust, when I read her references to her Lord and Saviour. In the end she was closer to Him than she ever had been in the rest of her life.

To hold my father’s Bible, studying the pieces of scripture that he had underlined and his handwritten references to how certain verses had touched him personally also means so much to me.

Being something of a sentimental hoarder I suppose that my personal effects could be a bit of a nightmare to go through too – so perhaps I should start tidying up now! However, I sincerely do want to leave behind those things which touch the hearts of those who find them.

With these thoughts in mind, I was recently reminded of the little choruses which were sung at the start of the Sunday night meeting in Sleepy Valley Mission Hall near Richhill; little choruses in the old “Songs of Victory” book, such as this one…

“Lay up treasure in Heaven,

Life will pass away;

Lay up treasure in abundant measure,

For the great accounting day;

Lay up treasure in Heaven!

Though men count thee poor,

Thou shalt reign with the sons of God

For evermore.”

William Drake Pennick (1884-1944)

We live in an incredibly materialistic world – materialism which would make the personal effects of Miss Cust pale into insignificance. Sadly there are many who appear totally oblivious to that fact that someday they will leave their possessions behind for others to sift through. We sojourn here for just a very little while.

Jesus said: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6v19&20)

What gladdens my heart most? The knowledge that someone has given me gold or silver – or the knowledge that a soul has repented and put his trust in the Lord for salvation? The joy that I have inherited gold and silver would be immediately robbed from me if I returned home to find those material things had been stolen. But no one can rob me of the incomparable joy that I would feel on hearing that a soul had put his trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

“Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” (Matthew 6v24)

“Today,” the book tells me “the Custs are forgotten in Armagh, the name unpreserved even as the name of a street, as in the case of their contemporaries, Ogle or Jenny or Dobbin.” “The ‘great house’ has been totally obliterated.”

And so it will be one day with our own homes, if this world continues. Our material possessions will some day pass away – but those unseen attributes: that love for our fellowmen, that burning desire to see souls saved and our love, witness and work for the Lord will endure for ever. These are the only treasures which should hold any meaning for those who serve Him and these treasures can only be the inheritance of those who have denied themselves and taken up the cross to follow Him. (Mark 10v21)