Articles

Articles

Dress for Christians in Today’s World

by Michael Browne (1930-2016) It is frequently argued by way of excuse that dress is not the most important thing when attending meetings of God’s assembly. It is not so much the outward appearance that God looks for, we are told, but inward reality and sincerity of heart — so, hiding behind this argument, those who use it wear the most casual, often slovenly and even unlaundered (young men), clothing. This is a spurious argument made to justify (a) a…

The Secret of the Christian Life

From “Notes on the Pentateuch”, in comments on Deuteronomy Ch 25, Charles Henry Mackintosh (1820-1896) wrote the following profound words: “Earnest and constant occupation with Christ is the true secret of all practical Christianity. It is not rules and regulations that will ever make us Christ-like in spirit, manner and ways. We must drink into His spirit, walk in His footsteps, dwell more profoundly upon His moral glories, and then we shall, of blessed necessity, be conformed to His image.…

What is God’s Ultimate Purpose?

What is the ultimate purpose of God? To what goal is history heading? Commenting on Ephesians 1:19-23, W.W. Fereday (1866-1959) puts it as succinctly as it has ever been put: “Before the ages of time God, in His infinite wisdom and love, purposed to place the whole universe under His beloved Son in manhood, with the Church in union with Him as His body. The grace of this is overwhelming, for the body is composed of sinners, some of them of…

The Christian’s Pilgrim Character

As Christ was a stranger here, His people are to be “strangers and pilgrims” on the earth, not citizens or rulers in it, as if their calling were to earth, either to renovate it or to govern it. It is not that the Christian is to be heedless of the world’s need, or deaf to its cry; indeed, he cannot be, for the groan of creation without finds its response in the experience of his spirit within. But he knows…

5 Poems for Troubled Times

I Cannot But God Can I cannot but God can, Oh balm for all my care! The burden that I drop, His hand will lift and bear. Though eagle pinions tire, I walk where I once ran, This is my strength to know, I cannot, but He can. I see not but God sees; Oh all sufficient light! My dark and hidden way to Him is always bright. My strained and peering eyes may close in restful ease, And I…

How George Muller Started His Day

George Muller (1805-1898), one of the best known Christians of all time, was married Mary Groves, sister of the outstanding pioneer missionary Anthony Norris Groves (1795-1853). The story of the Mullers’ life’s work in feeding, clothing and evangelising thousands of orphans in Bristol, England, depending entirely on the Lord to provide the funds, remains hugely inspirational and deeply challenging. When George Muller died the Daily Telegraph’s obituary said he “had robbed the cruel streets [of Victorian England] of thousands of…

A Simple Request – “This Do in Remembrance of Me”

The request is about as simple as it could be. There’s no deep theology to ponder; there’s no ambiguity to make us wonder. The Lord Jesus plainly said, “This do in remembrance of Me.” Yet as simple as the request is, is it equally as simple to do? Can a believer come each Lord’s Day, meeting with the local assembly where they are in fellowship, and take part honourably at the Lord’s Supper by simply “showing up”? And having done…

Are Women to be Silent in Local Church Meetings?

In our secular, western world, any restrictions upon women suggests the worst sort of misogyny and sexism. The radical feminist movement and other equal rights advocates argue that any form of gender discrimination in leadership or public participation is both morally wrong and potentially illegal. And in the environment of a church, as a symbol of morality and righteousness, this burden, they argue, is particularly acute. But God’s assembly is not just any society or any church. It is a…

Fret Not

I have a confession to make. There is a Bible word I have read many times without actually knowing what it meant. How can it be, you ask, that having spent somewhat more than 45 years on this planet (give or take a few months) I am just now learning the meaning of this word? It’s not that I glossed over it, uninterested in its meaning. It’s that I read it, thought I knew what it meant, and consequently missed its application…

Hold the Fort, for I am Coming!

It was October 5, 1864. The US Civil War was raging and Union Major General William T. Sherman was determined to end it as early as possible by crushing resistance in the southern state of Georgia. Storing vital supplies at a Federal Garrison near Cartersville, Georgia, Sherman left Brigadier General John M. Corse in charge of protecting these provisions. Confederate Major General Samuel G. French, realizing the importance of the supplies to the Union cause, and determined to hinder Sherman’s…

Is Anyone Able to Help Us?

2020 has been a challenging year. As I write this it is Christmas Eve here in Ontario, Canada, and for many, this Christmas will not be particularly merry! There are heavy hearts, struggling spirits, anxious minds and questioning souls. Some have been hit much harder by events in the past months than others – but none of us have totally escaped the unique challenges which have crashed uninvited into our lives in these most unusual times. In working my own…

Do Appearances Really Matter?

We seem to be incurable creatures of extremes. Apogee and perigee have a strange appeal to us. That holds true as to the subject of this article. Some people act as though outward appearance means nothing, insisting that it is what God sees that counts. Others behave as though outward appearance means everything, that it is what the world sees that matters. As contradictory as it may sound, we tend to find extremes comfortable – they are easy to enforce.…