Greeting to you in Jesus’ Precious Name.
Do we love Him for Himself, or do we love Him for what He is able to do for us?
Early this morning, while having my quiet time, I read Psalm 134:1-3 (NKJV) “Behold, bless the Lord, All you servants of the Lord, Who by night stand in the house of the Lord! 2 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord. 3 The Lord who made heaven and earth Bless you from Zion!”
There is a beautiful article written by George Matheson, the old Scottish Highland preacher who went blind at the age of 20 years old. He asks us the question, “Do we love Him only in the times of sunshine, or do we love Him also in the night?” He asked the question, “Do we love the gift or do we love the Giver of the gift.”
We know the farmer Job loved the Lord in times of hardship and in times of prosperity. He says very clearly in the book of Job 13:15, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”
Will we love the Lord Jesus up the Via Dolorosa road? I walked up that road in Jerusalem, the road up which Jesus carried His cross, and I can tell you it is a steady uphill climb and on a very hot, busy Friday morning it must have been a treacherous walk. Can we love Him in that situation? Can we love Him in the garden of Gethsemane? I have visited that garden many times and sat looking at the old olive trees, which are 2000 years old. I have tried to imagine my precious Saviour on His knees, sweating drops of blood because of the anxiety and stress He was taking upon Himself for you and me. Can we love Him in that situation? Can we worship Him when everything seems to be going wrong in our lives? When we can’t see a light at the end of the tunnel? Will we still spend one hour with Him in the garden?
My dear friend, God has given me an intimate relationship with Jesus, not because He is all-powerful, all glorious, omnipotent and omnipresent. No, God has given me an intimate relationship with Jesus, because I know that He can identify with my fear. He can identify with my hopelessness. He knows when I feel overwhelmed, because He’s been there Himself. So, I choose to worship Him in the good times, and I choose to worship Him in the tough times. He is such a real Savior, such a real person in my life, mainly because of the hardship that He went through for me when He walked on this earth. He had no place to lay His head, He even said that foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man has nowhere to lay His head. He understands every aspect of our hardship. Therefore, we need to make a decision today, to worship Him in the sunshine and to worship Him in the darkness of our lives, because He is worthy.
The old blind preacher said, “I have accepted Him for Himself alone.” Get to know Jesus more because as we see the hourglass starting to empty and we see His return growing closer we know that we need Him now more than ever before.
I believe the urgency of the hour is increasing. The year has barely begun and we have seen some of the greatest harvests that I have ever seen since I have been preaching. I preached at a church in Johannesburg last month and saw no less than 850 first time commitments. Just a week ago, I was at a large church in Pretoria where the alter call was so big that the councilors could not counsel anybody because of their sheer numbers coming forward right up the aisles. We are really in the time of harvest.
Let us use everything in our power to tell people about Jesus Christ. If ever the harvest was ripe it is now, in 2017. When I look back on our ministry of going for some 40 years now, it has never been so timely and urgent to tell people they need to be born-again (John 3:3). People have never been so open and willing, and ready to receive. We don’t have to be evangelists to be able to lead a soul to Christ. Remember, as the times get darker it becomes easier for us to show people the light. The Lord said if we lift him up He will draw all men to Himself and that is exactly what we are seeing now. It is time for us to let our light shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).
We are so excited that this year we have no less than 20 Mighty Men Conferences taking place throughout the country. I intend to do my level best to be at most of them, especially on the Sunday mornings when the women and children come together with the men. By the grace of God, I also hope to take contingent of my spiritual sons to Israel with me in October when I speak at the Feast of Tabernacles.
The Lord has laid heavily on my heart to remain in South Africa this year and reluctantly I have had to cancel my overseas invitations for this year. I believe that there is a great work and a great harvest to be undertaken in this beloved country of ours. Please continue to pray for the family as things continue to move at an accelerated speed.
Our oldest granddaughter is in university this year, our youngest grandson is walking, nearly two years. Ten grandchildren and counting. God has blessed Jill and I so much. We also have to say goodbye to Marc and Mandy Poree who have been with us for over 20 years. God has called them on to a ministry in the North Coast of Natal and we sent them off yesterday with our blessing. It was another reminder of the time which is fast passing us by. It feels like it was just yesterday that I performed their wedding ceremony. I also feel it is time that we need to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7), We need to stop operating according to our feelings and start operating according to God’s Word and promises towards us. Hence the reminder that we are to worship Him in the good times and we are to worship Him in the tough times, because God never changes and that is the most important guarantee that you and I will ever have. May God bless you, as you walk with Jesus.
Yours in Christ service,
Angus and Jill and all at Shalom