JANUARY - LETTER-WRITING MONTH
For the past several years we have asked our readers to favor us with a letter during the month of January - just to assure us that you are still receiving and reading the CLARION HERALD. It is always a blessing to hear from you and encourages us to move forward with renewed zeal. Thus, we would be most grateful if YOU would take the time to drop us a note during the first month of 1985 - as we near the end of our fifteenth year
In anticipation of our annual request, some have already written, or called, during December. Their remembrance has been a special blessing.
We desire your continued prayers on behalf of Landmark Church and our missionary outreach. And it is our earnest prayer that the Lord will bless you richly in all that you undertake for His glory in the year to come! -- the Editor
ONE YEAR NEARER JUDGMENT!
As we come to the end of another year it would be well that each of us ask ourselves: is the Lord pleased with the way I have used this year
? AM I?
OH! that we might put first things first!!
THE MIND OF CHRIST -
"And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of the skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha", (John 19:17).
The cross-bearing of Jesus was not limited to the crisis whereupon the bitter tree was placed on His shoulders on the way to Golgotha. Its reality began from His infancy in the cradle at Bethlehem; and He did not cease to carry it until His work on earth was finished - His victory won! In ancient times a cloud had hovered over the mercy-seat in the tabernacle and temple. So it was with the Great Antitype; there was ever a cloud of woe hanging over Him. "He CARRIED our sorrows!"
If we consider the weight of our Master's cross, it will enable us to think more lightly of our own. If He murmured not one word of complaint, while suffering in our stead; should we complain of the necessity of suffering for his sake?
The cross that our Lord has appointed for His people may assume many and varied shapes. it may be some bitter trial, the crushing pang of bereavement - desolate
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households and aching hearts. Again it may involve the necessity to crucify some sin - a determined battle with "fleshly lusts which war against the soul"! It may involve resistance to evil maxims and practices of a lying world; vindicating the honor of Christ, in the midst, perhaps, of taunt, abuse and shame.
And, as there are different crosses, so are there different ways of bearing them. To some God gives the order to shoulder the burden; lift it up, and bear it on; working, toiling and laboring! Others are simply to BE STILL - bearing and suffering.
Your cross may be difficult to endure. It may involve deep struggles - tears by day, and watchings by night. Bear it meekly and patiently - justifying God's wisdom in laying it upon you. REJOICE in the assurance that He gives no more trials than He deems necessary for your perfection; not one
redundant thorn ever pierces the foot of His children!
In the very BEARING of the cross, for HIS SAKE, there are mighty compensations! What new views of the Saviour's love! of His truth, His promises, His sustaining grace, His sufferings and His glory! What new filial nearness: increased delight in prayer; an inner sunshine when it is darkest without! Though the waves may roll over our heads, we have the assurance that, underneath it all, the everlasting arms of our Beloved sustains us.
Let us not even search for situations wherein there will be no crosses! Smooth paths are not always for our good. We must beware of seeking worldly pleasure and material wealth. To many they are the source of crushing trials!
Let us remember that a share of the "glory" of our Lord is promised ONLY to those who SUFFER FOR HIS SAKE! And one of the loveliest passages in the Word of God is the dialogue between John and one of the elders, who inquired: "What are these which are arrayed in white robes
, and whence came they
? And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation!"
Let us arm ourselves with this mind!
FELLOWSHIP A BLESSING
During the past month it has been my privilege to enjoy the fellowship of brethren in two special meetings.
On November 17-18 our son, Derek and I drove out to Garnett, Kansas
for a Bible Conference with Pastor Melvin Gray and his brethren. Then, on December 7-8, I was privileged to be with Pastor Mark Cox, and the Antioch MBC, of Greencastle, Indiana, as they ordained Bro. Jim Amis to the work of the Gospel Ministry. A preaching service followed that ordination, on Saturday morning. I had the opportunity to speak in both of these meetings - to share as well as to receive.
The Lord is still working among His people, and in this we greatly rejoice! E.G.
On Sunday morning, November 2, Sister Renee Garner (the wife of our son, Derwin) was received as a candidate for baptism, upon the profession of her faith in Christ. We greatly rejoice in this dedication of her life in loving loyalty to our Lord, and expect to administer the ordinance of baptism on Sunday morning, December 23.
"Let no root of bitterness
Creeping in, defile",
For 'tis just another way
Satan would beguile!
Have you seen a bitter person
Ever try to smile?
Or would one with bitterness
Stop and sing awhile?
Bitterness can rob your joy,
Ruin your peace of mind.
It will shrivel up your soul,
Make you deaf and blind -
To the blessings God has giv'n,
And you soon will find,
That your daily words and talk
Are no longer kind.
Do you fret and fuss and fume
Over some past wrong?
'Til you can no longer pray,
Never sing a song -
Never really read God's Word,
Never for it long -
Drifting, drifting, bitterly -
You are missing, oh! so much -
Being unforgiving -
Missing out on many things
That give joy to living,
Disobeying God's Dear Word -
'Tis 'gainst Him
Are you really, really
You can't pray the model prayer
And be bitter still -
For you know that bitterness
Is against God's
of bitterness -
Christ your heart will fill
With forgiveness and with love,
-- Alice June Rogers
ISAIAH COMMENTARY DELAYED
Due to a printer's error, the editor's commentary on Isaiah is running about two weeks behind the original schedule for release. It should be delivered from the bindery within the next week. Copies will then be shipped to those of you who have requested it.
Thanks, for your understanding.
-- Eugene L. Garner
SPECIAL SERVICES DECEMBER 21-23
Anticipating a visit from Bro. Matt Tauscher, during the latter part of December, Landmark Church has planed a series of Special Services on December 21-23 in which he will be speaking. His visit and ministry among us last Spring was a blessing, and we look forward to hearing him again.
Meeting time will be at 7:30 P.M. on Friday and Saturday - the usual meeting times on Sunday. Let us ALL be diligent in prayer and attendance upon these special meetings E.G.
BEWARE OF SELF-DELUSION!
Psalm 10:4 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts. 6 He hath said in his heart, I shall not be moved: for I shall never be in adversity.
Prov. 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death.
Prov. 30:12 There is a generation that are pure in their own eyes, and yet is not washed from their filthiness.
Matt. 7:21-23 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
James 4:13-15 Go to now, ye that say, today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this or that.
IN ALL OUR GIVING THIS SEASON, LET US NOT FORGET HIM WHO IS THE GIVER OF LIFE -- AND THOSE WHO STAND AS WITNESSES OF HIS MARVELLOUS SAVING GRACE TO THE UTTERMOST PARTS OF THE EARTH!!