The Wanderer

As I walked through the wilderness of this world …

Posts Tagged ‘Communion

Coming from God’s presence

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The story is an old one, and told of several different men. The details may differ slightly, but the essence is the same. A man is due to preach the Word of God. He is late. Someone is sent to find him. When they come near to where he is, they hear his voice. He is reasoning, pleading, remonstrating with someone. He will not go to preach unless he goes in the company of that person. Sometimes the one overhearing goes back or is sent back again and again, and again does not wish to interrupt; sometimes a door receives a timid knock. Eventually the preacher issues forth with shining face and preaches with the blessing of God. Of course, the longed-for companion was God himself, the presence of the Spirit with the preacher, the favour of Christ upon the ministry, the smile of the Father on his truth.

These stories were brought to mind by reading a comment of Andrew Bonar in his diary, for 6th February 1843: “Have been struck at noticing how often, especially no later than yesterday, in going forth to preach, I was like one seeking his own entrance into the holy place and fellowship with God; not like one coming out from enjoying communion to speak to others.”

What a humbling thought for the preacher! What an enticing one for the hearer! Do we go to preach in the hopes of meeting with God, or do we go to preach because we have met with God? While I think we need to be careful about divorcing those from each other, Bonar’s comment holds. Too often we are still seeking God when we come to the pulpit. Too often we have forgotten that we need not only to find God there, but to go there with God. Like Moses, whose face shone after he had been in the presence of God (Ex 34:29 ff.), we need to come to God’s people as men who who have already known the light of his smile lifted up upon us, and who are then ready and able to speak as those who have been with Jesus.

Let us not, then, dismiss the story of the men who would not go to preach unless they were confident that God was with them. We should not make something artificial of that, for often God is pleased to meet with us as we go. Nevertheless, what heavenly scents and celestial sense might we bring to God’s people if we more often spoke as those who have come out from enjoying communion with the Most High?

Written by Jeremy Walker

Monday 15 February 2021 at 06:58

Together?

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Stephen Rees of Grace Baptist Church in Stockport was asked this question by a correspondent:

We are thinking through the matter of whether or not to join a formal association of churches. We left the Baptist Union about fifteen years ago and have been formally independent, although we have enjoyed a warm informal relationship with other churches. We are now considering if it would be good to affiliate with the FIEC (Fellowship of Evangelical Churches) or the regional association of Grace Baptist Churches, or both. However, some friends have said to me that in their view linking formally with such organisations can be detrimental to church life. I am wondering if you are aware of any resources, or if you have written any yourself, on this subject …

Read his answer.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Wednesday 6 November 2013 at 15:49

Posted in Ecclesiology

Tagged with ,

“One swift glimpse of heavenly things”

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Hart’s  7 7. 7 7

One swift glimpse of heavenly things
Fills the soul with joy divine.
Think of Christ who reigns above;
Think: “By grace, this Christ is mine.”

One sweet taste of joys to come
Fills the mind and fires the heart.
Blood of Christ, so freely shed,
Washes sin from every part.

Glorious thoughts of heaven above
Rouse us to attain our goal.
Flesh of Christ, so freely given,
Wins God’s smile, and makes us whole.

Here we taste the wine and bread,
Symbols of the Christ we love.
Sweet they are, but sweeter still
Are those joys to come above.

When we reach our glorious home,
Bought by Christ’s atoning blood,
Clothed in righteousness divine,
We at last shall dwell with God.

©JRW

Lord's supper

See all hymns and psalms.

Written by Jeremy Walker

Tuesday 15 September 2009 at 09:00

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