Arthur Shearman, Worcester, England
In reading the accounts of the ministry and life of the Lord Jesus, a paradox seems to confront us. As His sufferings ended on the cross, He cried, ‘Finished!’. This sounds final. But the record of Acts 1 says, ‘. . . all that Jesus began both to do and teach . . .’. We are left wanting to know more, Acts 1. 2. The gospel record presents us with the same picture. Each record is open-ended. The Acts presents us with the same feeling. Much was recorded, but much more was done. And that is the story of Chirstianity today. ‘We face a task unfinished’.
As we enter another year, we review past events with the realization that although we have many regrets about things we should have done or said, the opportunities have gone beyond recall. They are lost to time, passed into eternity. We remember opportunities to witness that were missed, fellow-believers we could have comforted and helped. Vain regrets! What shall we say?
The delayed return of the Saviour gives us both opportunity and hope. It could provide possibilities and prospects and better things to come. To the Philadelphian church the Lord said, ‘I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it . . .’, Rev. 3. 8, NKJV. Wonderful privilege; awe inspiring responsilbility! How long will this be so? Only the Lord Jesus knows. Of one thing we can be certain, in the pathway of spiritual blessing there are no short cuts, no quick fixes.
Let no man think that sudden in a minute All is accomplished, and the work is done; Though with thine earliest dawn thou shouldst begin it Scarce were it finished by thy settting sun.
F. W. H. Myers
We are glad to commend this, the first issue of 2001.
It is our hope, that during this year we may address some of the concerns that are being shared with us, relevant to the present needs in assemblies. We ask for your prayers that we may be given articles that will, in a positive way, stimulate and strengthen things that remain.
Here are words from a past century that challenge:–
‘Rouse thee, O believer, from thy low condition. Cast away thy sloth, thy lethargy, thy coolness, or whatever interferes with thy . . . pure love for Christ . . . Aspire to a higher, a nobler, a fuller life upward to heaven – nearer to God.’
C. H. Spurgeon
The Lord is surely coming. May His blessing be ours in 2001.