Building The Household
By Lois J. Stucky
In Ephesians 2:11 and following verses, the Apostle Paul reminds the Ephesian believers, and todayís believers as well, that in time past we were without God and without hope. What a WOEFUL condition to be in! And how many millions or billions are in that condition today!
Then Paul calls to our remembrance, that now through the Blood of Christ believers are made near to God. We are no more strangers and aliens. We are "fellow citizens with the saints, and of the HOUSEHOLD OF GOD," Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone. Believers are "consecrated and set apart for Himself" and built on a firm foundation, growing into a "holy temple" in the Lord! For what purpose? "For a habitation of God through the Spirit!" What a WONDERFUL position to be in! Do we realize and rejoice in the blessedness of it?
As believers we belong to a group that has a noble and a lofty and an eternal purpose. This should thrill us through and through. But besides the blessedness of belonging to the household of God, being no longer orphans or aliens, we have some serious responsibilities as members of His household. For Paul it meant years of selfless service to win and build up the household of God, enduring tribulations probably beyond compare as he strove to fulfill that to which he had been commissioned of God.
How about you and me? Besides all we do with the Spiritís enabling, to maintain unity with others in the household of God, and all we do to come to the fullness of the measure of the stature of Christ, and besides finding Godís gifts to us and doing all we should to develop and use them for the edification of others -- besides this, we are to "as we have opportunity, do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith" (Gal. 6:10).
At this point, the Apostle Paul exhorts us: "Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not" (Gal. 6:9). There are many sermons that could be preached about all of this, but not being a preacher, I gladly leave that to others. I simply want to share with you some opportunities for doing good to "all men, especially those of the household of faith" as seen in the mail coming to Herald of His Coming.
"Please, We Are Thirsty For The Word"
From a man in Kenya came this plea to Herald of His Coming: "I have access to young men in college, high school and villages. Herald materials will be of great help for follow up, because these are days when the Word is rare. Please, we are thirsty for the Word. The Herald quenches the thirst...."
You can sympathize with this brother if you have ever thirsted for more teaching in the Word of God, something deeper and more heart-searching and more soul-satisfying than that to which you have access. Each month we endeavor as God enables to send out articles that are highly beneficial for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for instruction in righteousness, that the readers will be built up and enabled to live the holy and useful life that God intends. We seek for that which will fit readers for the calling from God they long to fill to His satisfaction. Over and over appears in the Herald the theme of REVIVAL, for in genuine revival God intervenes in a mighty way to accomplish all the above and much more to prepare believers throughout the world to be part of that glorious Church without spot or wrinkle, ready to meet Christ at His coming!
The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, "The things you have heard of me, the same commit thou to faithful men who shall be able to teach others also" (2:22). The brother from Kenya is seeking to do that very thing, and he gives us the opportunity to work with him in it. It is vital that the oncoming generation be given Godís Word--the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth! More and more the Word of God is being "watered down" or replaced by something other than the truth. This gives easy opportunity for the devil to slip in with false doctrines that sometimes lead whole congregations into error. Sadly, this is happening in various places around the world where there is a dearth of godly teaching.
The brother in Kenya is typical of a host of others who write us with a similar plea, for more of the meaty messages from Godís Word, that of eternal value which they can transmit to others. I pick up another letter, this one from a brother in Africa who preaches in five local churches, not a paid minister, he says, "because I have never been trained, but the Herald has been my teacher. It has helped me over the years to get the truth to the underprivileged people...."
Many pastors write of the Herald messages touching their hearts with fresh fire from the Spirit, which then is transmitted to their congregations. One of the many who apologize that they cannot send funds to continue the help they receive through the messages, explains that he is pastoring out in the countryside in a mission church, and the members there are mostly peasant farmers and some others are jobless. The preacher himself has his needs met "by grace" but rejoices as he sees souls saved, the sick healed, the oppressed set free and the afflicted comforted. His support to Herald of His Coming is through prayer.
"Pray Our People Come to the Lord in Faith"
A brother in the Philippines writes that he is ministering in an area where terrorists are active. His congregation is only four years old. He uses Herald articles in forming his sermons and most of the deacons and lay preachers use the messages in their Bible studies and Sunday school classes. Recently three big malls were burned in their town by terrorists. A number were killed and almost a hundred were wounded and hospitalized.
He asks, "Please pray for us, that our people instead of fearing of what is happening around, they may come to God in faith. Please pray also that kidnapping shall stop. Pray for our people that through intercessory prayers and the reading of the Herald of His Coming, they would accept Christ as their personal Saviour and God, and that they may enjoy life as sons and daughters of God." None of us doubt that we can do good to these folk by providing them with faith building articles and praying for them in these extremely dangerous conditions.
There is a stack of letters here on my desk, presenting opportunity to do good to the household of God, to upbuild and mature her as the glorious Bride of Christ. Thank God for knitting the hearts of many of you readers with us to do good. Might we not grow weary for this has to do with doing good to the Household of God, to the Bride of our Lord Jesus Christ, those precious to Him, those for whom He gave His life. Like us, you involve yourselves for His sake, because you love Him, because you are grateful for all He has done for you, and you are aware that He wants to do good for others through you. How grand is Godís plan to place His love in the hearts of His own so we care about others and are willing to sacrifice if necessary to do so. Month after month your supporting gifts come. Be encouraged. You will reap bountifully as you have sown.
We encourage other of you Herald readers to put forth more faith and sacrifice to help fill more of these God-given opportunities. Please join with us with your much needed help. And may Godís grace abound to you, "that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work" (2 Cor. 9:8). Joy follows!
Please Pray With Us--
* That this issue of Herald of His Coming will have good response in homes and churches, encouraging many in a greater way to invite Christ to be present and in charge of themselves, their prayers and all their affairs.
* For strength and wisdom for the Herald staff. The work load is especially heavy now because of preparing more mailings in-house as an economy measure. Especially remember Rich Carmicheal and the Board of Directors who have important decisions to make.
* That God will help us His people to seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and that it will be reflected in our living and our giving so that everywhere His work will advance, regardless of conditions in the world.
* That we will not lose vision for God
to move in great power, bringing great conviction on sin and granting
repentance, that we might have His mighty revival blessings and not His
judgments upon us!