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Benno Zuiddam

 

 

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Hello everyone                                              

from the Editor 

 

Many Christians fail greatly in praising God.  They know that heaven is a place of all praise, and they seem to want to keep all their praising of God until they get there.   But God is to be praised here and now, every day and in all things. 

One preacher used to say, “A line of praise is worth a page of prayer.”  Perhaps he exaggerated; but he wanted to stir up people to praise God.  Have you ever noticed that the early Psalms are filled with prayer, but in the last four Psalms prayer seems almost forgotten and the theme is all praise to the Lord. 

In the book of Habakkuk 3:17-18 we read of the great loss and affliction the prophet endured.  He responds by saying, “Yet will I rejoice in the lord,  I will joy in the God of my salvation.” 

This reminds us of the little Welsh girl's father, who was a Christian, had died. Her mother was weeping uncontrollably, “What shall I do?” she cried. The little girl asked, “What's the matter, Mother?” The mother cried, “Oh, what shall I do?  Your father is dead and I don't know what to do.” 

The child replied meekly, “Mother, praise the Lord.” The mother felt reproved;  she went away and tried to thank the Lord.  She realised that she still had the Lord to care for her, she still had her child to care for.  The Lord had been good to her for many years and promised never to leave or forsake her, so she tried to thank Him for His goodness, and then was greatly comforted.  “Praise is a soul      in flower.”  Thomas Watson.  “Praise is comely for the upright.”   Psalm 33:1. 

Rowland Hill's wisdom 

Rowland Hill (1744-1833) was an English preacher. He was particularly gifted to wisely explain God's truth and to reprove those things which were wrong.  Here is a few of his wise sayings. 

Swearing checked: On one occasion he visited Ireland and when returning home the ship was nearly wrecked.  The Captain of the ship swore continually.  Mr Hill wisely checked his swearing: “Captain, let us have fair play.  You must not have all the swearing yourself.  It's my turn next.  You must not swear again till I am quite done.”   This wise rebuke had the desired effect.  The Captain never swore again on the trip.    

Christ's dwelling place:  A man who believed that he was well informed on prophecy visited Mr. Hill to convince him that Christ would come and live in Jerusalem to rule the world.  “Do you know, Sir, the name of the street in which he will live?” asked Mr. Hill.  “Why do you ask that question?” the man replied. “Because His personal presence at Jerusalem will do me no good, unless I am with Him.”   The man soon gave up the attempt to convince Mr. Hill. 

Cure for temper: Speaking to people who were troubled with bad tempers, Mr. Hill recommended that they place the chapter on love (1st Corinthians 13) between their bread and butter at breakfast-time – and they would find the benefit of it during the whole day. 

Noisy preachers:Mr. Hill greatly disliked those proud, noisy preachers, who preached empty sermons. “These sermons remind me of a hail storm on roof tiles, - they make a great deal of noise, but produce no good impression.” He also said, “I don't like those mighty fine preachers, who so beautifully round off all their sentences, that they are sure to roll off the sinner's conscience.” 

Cleanliness: Mr. Hill would often say; “I love the remark, 'Cleanliness is next to godliness,' and I don't know how godliness and filthiness can dwell together.” 

The Blood of the Lamb: was to be sprinkled upon the side door posts and above it, not upon the threshold or door step.  Christ's blood is not to be trampled upon,  but to be a security and protection. 

 

SIX SHORT RULES FOR YOUNG BELIEVERS 

and older believers too. 

By Rowland Hill (1744-1833) 

 

1:  Never neglect daily private prayer; and when you pray, remember that God is present and that he hears your prayers.  “He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.”  Hebrews 11:6. 

 

2.         Never neglect daily private Bible-reading;  and when you read, remember that God is speaking to you, and that you are to believe and act upon what he says.  I believe that all backsliding begins with neglect of these two rules.  “Search the scriptures”  John 5:39. 

 

3.         Never let a day pass without trying to do something for Jesus. Every night reflect on what Jesus has done for you, and then ask yourself, “What am I doing for Him?”  Matthew 5:16. 

 

4.         If ever you are in doubt as to a thing being right or wrong; go to your room, and kneel down and ask God's blessing upon it.  If you cannot do this, it is wrong. 

 

5.         Never take your Christianity from Christians, or argue that because such and such people do a certain thing,  therefore you may do the same. You are to ask yourself, 'How would Christ act in my place?'  And strive to follow Him. 

 

6.         Never believe what you feel, if it contradicts God's Word.  Ask yourself, “Can what I feel be true if God's Word says it is not?” If God's Word is true, then believe God and make your own heart a liar.  “Let God be true, but every man a liar.”  Romans 3:4.  “He that believeth not, hath made Him a liar: because he believeth not the record that God has gave of His Son.”  1 John 5:10. 

 

~Anecdotes~ 

 Unbeliever reproved:  A man who did not believe the Bible saw a young girl reading her Bible. He rudely said, “Why are you wasting your time reading that rubbish?  Surely you don't believe that a whale swallowed Jonah?” “Is that in the Bible?” she asked. “Yes it is,” “Then,” she said, “I believe it.”  “It's not true.” he replied.  “Then,” said the girl, “when I go to heaven I will ask Jonah.” “And supposing he is not there, what then?”   “Then you can ask him.” she replied. 

 

Afflictions are for our good:  Often Christians wish that they had no affliction and that they could help others to be delivered from theirs as well. 

A man was watching a young butterfly trying to extract itself out of its cocoon.  It struggled and twisted itself and seemed to be in great pain and distress, so he decided to help the little creature. He snipped some of the fine threads which held the insect, and soon it broke free.  But the butterfly was always a cripple, it could not fly or walk properly. Trying to help the butterfly had prevented its complete  development. 

Often trying experiences seem hard and cruel and we would like to cut ourselves completely free from them.  However, this would mean that we would not go through those experiences which are needful for Christian growth and maturity – we would be lame and weak Christians all our life.     

 

Being Biblical:  A father agreed to lend his car to his teenage son  for six weeks if he studied hard, read his Bible and had his hair cut.  The son studied hard, read his Bible, but not his hair cut.  He said to his father, “People, like Samson, in the Bible had long hair, so I think it will stay long.”  “But did you notice”, replied the father, “that all those people with long hair, walked everywhere they went.” 

 

Good Motto: Do all the good you can in the world, and make as little noise about it as possible. 

How do we know the Bible is true? 

 

The Bible claims to be the word of God and the truth.  While we accept that by faith, knowing that God would never deceive us in any way.  There are however, a number of things which may re-assure us that it is God's word. 

It reveals things which the greatest minds of men could never fathom.  It tells us who God is and His great nature. Wise men have tried to discover what God really was like, but their ideas were foolish.  In Athens they had an inscription “To the unknown God.”The Bible alone reveals the creation of the world. Only an Almighty God could create the world and all things. Other ideas of men about the formation of the world are foolish and unreasonable   That which is made requires a Maker – which is God. 

The Bible describes the true nature of man.  It does not flatter and hide the sins of good men.  It alone tells us where sin came from and why it is in the heart of every man, woman and child. 

It tells us of the holiness of God, that He hates all sin.  The gods of  ancient nations were said to be more evil than human beings. 

It tells us of the perfect law of God.  No man has been able to produce laws like the Ten Commandments – so precise and just for all men. 

The Bible alone tells us of the way of salvation which is by free grace.  Every other idea of salvation claims that we must earn and pay for our own salvation, but the Bible tells us that Christ has paid our debt, therefore forgiveness and mercy is a free gift to us. 

The Bible cannot be understood by unsaved and natural men; only the Holy Spirit make it known to us, therefore it must be of God.   

Many of the prophecies of the Bible have come to pass even to the  smallest matter.  The words which Jesus said on the cross were foretold over 700 years before.  The destruction and overthrow of cities, such as Babylon, Nineveh and Tyre were foretold long before it happened to them. 

 

An old farmer saved 

 

Thomas Murray was a farm-labourer from his boyhood.  When he was forty-two years old he had an opportunity of buying a farm for himself in Ireland.  Thomas worked hard on his farm and became  prosperous. But he had no thoughts about God or the life to come. 

When he was seventy-five years old, he became ill and had to stay in bed; this sickness made him very irritable and angry because he was so used to working, now he could do nothing. 

A young girl who lived on the next farm, heard that Thomas was sick and unhappy, so she decided to lend him a book which she had received as a prize at the local Sunday School.  She thought that he might be unhappy because he had nothing to read.  So she went to the old man's house and offered to lend him her book. Thomas accepted the book and promised to read it – just to please the little girl. 

As he began to read the book, he became aware of unusual feelings – not from his old age or eyesight, but he felt his heart  stirred  and  what  he  read  touched  his 

 heart.  As he read he prayed and wept.  The Holy Spirit had begun to work in his heart.  He realised that he was not prepared to die, that he had lived without God, that he was a sinner and he was not forgiven.   

He read the book again and again even though it convicted him and also told him of the way of salvation.  Eventually the light of God's grace broke in upon his soul and he was saved.  Now the Bible that he had completely neglected was read and treasured. 

When the little girl had heard that Thomas was well again, she called for her book, but he was unwilling to give it back. She was quite upset and went to her minister and told him her story. The minister quickly realised what had happened and promised to give her another copy of the book.  He then visited Thomas and found as he thought – Thomas was a new man in Christ. He was still reading the book.  Thomas only lived for a short time afterwards, but he had turned form his evil ways and continually rejoiced in Christ;  he also urged others to forsake evil and turn to the Lord.    

  

How God supplied a need 

A group of people in a small church collected clothes and items for an orphanage in China.  The goods were placed into wooden crates and shipped to the children.  A carpenter had the job building and securely nailing the crates. 

On one occasion he had just completed packing the cases and on his way home he reached into his shirt pocked to find his glasses and found that they were missing.  When he thought about where they could be, he realised that they must have fallen unnoticed into the crate he had nailed.  These glasses were brand new.  He had just bought them that morning.  He was quite upset about the thought of having to pay for a new pair of glasses, especially as he had a number of children and the family was quite poor. 

Several months later, the Director of the orphanage came home on furlough.   He wanted to visit the various churches that had supported them, so he came to speak at the carpenter's church.  The Director began by thanking them for their faithful support for the orphanage, “But most of all,” he said, “I must thank you for the glasses you sent last year. You see some rebels swept through the orphanage destroying everything, including my glasses.  I was in a desperate position, I had no way of replacing my glasses; I was unable to see very well; I experienced headaches every day, so the workers prayed  much about this need.  Then your crate arrived and when we removed the lid, we found a pair of glasses.  The Director continued, “When I tried on the glasses, it was as if they were custom made for me!” 

The people listened to this story, happy that the glasses had been wonderfully supplied, but they thought that he must have confused their church for another one, because there were no glasses among the items they had sent.  But the carpenter knew what had happened; he was overcome with joy and amazement of how the Lord had used his accidental loss to supply the need of one of His servants in another country.   The Lord has promised to supply all our needs.       

Smile a-while  - fishy jokes! 

 

What is a howling baby whale often called?  A little blubber. 

How do you help a deaf fisherman?  Give him a herring aid. 

How do you communicate with a fish?  Drop it a line. 

What kind of fish moves best on ice?  A skate. 

What kind of fish can be found in a bird cage?  A perch. 

Where do fish usually wash?  In a river basin. 

If fish lived on land, which country would they choose?  Finland. 

Why are fish-mongers often very mean?  Because their job makes            

them 'sell-fish' 

Why won't goldfish watch TV?    Because they might get hooked. 

What's stranger than seeing a cat fish?   Seeing a goldfish bowl. 

Boastful fisherman: “I never saw such a fish!” “I fully believe 

you.” replied his friend. 

Confused order, 'A shark and chips, and make it snappy.' 

A boy was asked, “How many fish have you caught?”  “Oh. I        couldn't count them”  “Why, you haven't caught any”  “No, that's why I can't count them” 

Customer: “Do you serve crabs in this dump?”   Waiter: “Yes, we do; what will you have?” 

Customer: “I'll have some oyster -not too small -not too salty -not too fat -not hot.”  Waiter: “Yes, sir, with or without pearls?' 

 

Bible puzzle 

Using the first letter of each name, find the name of a 'beggar'. 

 

Who said, “I have slain a man to my hurt”? 

Who erected a pillar to himself in his own life-time? 

Who was the lawyer of whom Paul wrote to Titus? 

Who said to his brother, “We have found the Messiah”? 

Who suggested throwing his brother into a pit? 

Which King of Judah became a leper? 

Who said, “For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation”? 

A miner taught about God 

Samuel Hughes grew up in a rough mining village in Shropshire, England.  When several mines were opened up, over five hundred people flocked to find work in them.  This was in a rough, hilly part of the country; houses were very poor, and there were no shops or other conveniences.  The people were rough and ungodly. 

However a man visited to preach once a month and God worked in some peoples' hearts and they built a place of worship. While Samuel and his sister Martha were young, they heard very little about the Lord.  Their mother taught them the Lord's prayer and some hymns. 

When Samuel was eighteen, his father died and his mother died soon after.  For a few years Samuel lived an evil life, and had no thoughts about the things of God.  When he was twenty two, Samuel was convicted over his sins and decided to attend the church.  In one sermon he heard something he could not understand; the preacher said that our salvation comes all from God Himself and not from us. 

He decided to search for himself whether this was true. He was amazed to read in Romans 9:15, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”  He thought this is not fair.  He said to his wife, “It's no use my trying.”  He argued against what the Bible said and was very offended.  Then he looked again at the chapter and read, “Nay, but, O man, who art thou that repliest (argues) against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it,  Why hast thou made me thus?” Romans 9:20. 

Now he felt helpless, lost and ruined, and realised that unless the Lord had mercy on him he was certainly lost.  He became so troubled that he did not want to eat and became very thin. No one could comfort him and he was filled with gloom and often began to weep as he walked to work. 

At last he read Romans chapter 10.  It seemed to speak directly to him; “The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth and in thy heart: that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Now he was lost for words to describe the richness, sweetness and comfort that entered his poor soul. His burden was taken away and he seemed like a man loosed from prison. He now was certain that salvation was all of the Lord. 

Strange to say, Samuel's sister Martha had a very similar experience.  She heard a preacher say that, “unless our names are written in the book of life before the foundation of the world, we are none of His.”   These words struck as a dagger to her heart.  She went home wringing her hands almost in despair, thinking, “If that is true, I am lost.” 

She asked her brother Samuel, who said it was true and showed her Revelation 20:15. She replied, “Then there is no hope for me.”  He replied, “Why? That does not prove you are lost. We do not belong to the Lord nor are saved by our righteousness.”    

She was filled with hard and angry thoughts against God because He had not put salvation within our own power and goodness.  For a  long time she thought about this matter and argued against God, but then the more distressed and troubled she became.  She had no one to talk to and kept these thoughts to herself. 

Then she remembered the same verses which reproved Samuel, “Nay, but O man, who are thou that repliest against God?.”  this made her mind quieter, but she felt that there was only destruction for her.  However, one day, some lovely verses of God's mercy came to remembrance, such as,  “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Matthew 9:13  She fell on her knees and called on the name of the Lord;  Hope now flooded her heart and the Lord gave her assurance that she was saved by His grace and forgiven.  Her whole life was changed from that day forward. 

 

She now rejoiced that the Lord had chosen her and saved her by His grace.  She realised that if it was left to her to earn her salvation she could never do it.  That all her best deeds were tainted with sin and so salvation must be all of God.  She read that He had chosen us in Christ before the foundation of the world, (Ephesians 1:4) and so the book of life must have been written before the world began.   

 

 

 

“The Sabbath Breaker” 

 

People have become more and more determined to break the Lord's Day by pleasing themselves or working rather than worshipping God. 

For many years people kept the Lord's Day holy, but gradually people became more bold to spend the day for their pleasure, but sometimes God's displeasure was shown against them. 

 

In the late 19th century a man began to build a pleasure boat which he was determined to use on the Lord's Day.  The local minister called on him and spoke to him about his intentions.  “I am afraid ,” said the minister, “that your boat will prove to be a Sabbath Breaker.” 

The man did not appreciate the minister's words and replied scornfully, “Yes it will; that's just the name I will give to my boat. I've been wondering what to call her.  I thank you for your suggestion of a name   The boat shall be called 'The Sabbath Breaker'. 

The boat was soon completed and launched on the Lord's Day, and named 'The Sabbath Breaker'.  People cheered loudly as the boat was launched. 

The first pleasure trip was scheduled for the next Lord's Day and an invitation was given to those who wished to sail on the first trip.  The boat set sail fully loaded with people who were excited and happy.  The boat had only sailed about four hours when it was struck with a sudden and fierce wind and high waves which caused the boat to capsize.  There was a complete panic on board, but sadly everyone perished among whom were forty young people. 

 

God has often shown His anger toward those who disregard His Day and do not keep it holy.  “Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy.”  Exodus 20:8. 

 

 

Prof. Dr. Benno A. Zuiddam