Ken Rudge, St. Austell, England
We are encouraged, as we publish yet another issue of the magazine, to receive so many letters and emails from believers speaking of the benefit they are getting from its contents. Thank you for this strengthening of our hands in the work. Our thanks are due also to the many who write the sound and uplifting articles we publish and have, we feel, the mind of the Lord for the ministry that we need just at the moment.
There are so many issues that require addressing as we try to live lives that are lovely for God and a blessing to fellow men. We need to constantly re-resource ourselves in the sufficiency of God’s provision – His word, His Spirit and His Son! What more do we need?
The Samaritan in the Lord’s parable in Luke chapter 10 reveals the character and quality of this provision. It was ‘as he journeyed’. This gives us a sense of the constant companionship and watchfulness along life’s road of our blessed Lord. As a result ‘he came where he was’. He is the One who is always alongside us, right there in our situation. The hymn has it, ‘There no stranger God shall greet thee, Stranger thou in courts above!’ He ‘saw him’. They all ‘saw’ the man in his desperate situation, but He ‘saw’ so differently to the others that day. He saw with ‘compassion’, ‘care’ and ‘concern’. He ‘pours in the oil and the wine.’ No stinting of that which was so essential for the healing process to begin. He ‘set him on his own beast . . . brought him to an inn,’ all the care and attention that declares nothing is to be held back. The final touch completes the picture; giving the innkeeper the money he says, ‘Take care of him . . .whatsoever . . . when I come again I will repay thee’. Every aspect of need is covered, there are no situations left to chance.
It is with this overwhelming provision of God for our every need that the articles in this issue find their common theme. We touch on the common experience of the sorrow of bereavement. We have a further personal account of his recent bereavement from our brother Ron Van Holst and walk the pathway with the widowed Naomi. And there’s solid counsel on the subject of ‘Grief’ from the notebook of our brother Colin Lacey. There is also that that will drive us back to the Lord Himself with help from Psalm 37 and the experience of King Jehoshaphat.
Make sure that you find the Keynote article from Jabe Nicholson on rediscovering the JOY of assembly life. Here surely is the ‘inn’ of God’s providing while we are here! Above all, our corporate lives should give us the deepest satisfaction and fulfilment. This article will help us on the road to recover what it is really all about. There is much more and we are glad to commend it to the Lord for His gracious blessing to every reader.