"Be Not Faithless, But Believing"
Jesus’ disciple Thomas, not being present at the first post-resurrection appearance of Jesus to His disciples, had declared, "Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe" (John 20:25). How humbled must Thomas have been when Jesus appeared again in the midst of the assembled disciples and addressed him directly, saying, "Reach hither thy finger, and behold My hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into My side; and be not faithless, but believing" (v. 27).
The majority reading this can gladly attest to Jesus’ further words to Thomas after Thomas gladly owned the divinity and the resurrection of Jesus, his Lord and God: "…blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed" (v. 29). We are blessed beyond measure who believe that Jesus "died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures…" (1 Cor. 15:3-4). We have repented and believed (Mark 1:15), and the Spirit witnesses with our spirits that we are children of God (Rom. 8:16).
However, as Christians there are still many times when we must be "not faithless, but believing." The article on page 6, "Crucified With Christ," may touch an area in which our faith is challenged. How can we so identify with Christ in His death and resurrection that in actuality we can say with the apostle Paul: "I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me" (Gal. 2:20). We who envision a glorious Church worldwide, holy and without blemish, ready for Christ at His coming, know that as a member of that Church, we must take the responsibility of pressing in for this victorious life in Christ for ourselves first of all. While we are to reckon ourselves to be dead to sin, we are also to practice this in our lives daily. God has provided it for us and He calls us to it. The article on page 6 is suggested for prayerful re-reading and study to help us by faith to appropriate to ourselves this blessed life.
Crucifixion with Christ is necessary for the outflow of the fullness of the Holy Spirit through our lives, and it is the fullness of the Holy Spirit that makes possible fruitful service and the effective life of prayer that the above article sets before us. Think what God would accomplish in our needy, needy world today, if the Church as a whole laid hold of the Spirit-empowered life of service God intended! It would be like the early Church, which multiplied remarkably. As a member of the Church, the Body of Christ, how we ought to constantly press into this Spirit-filled, Spirit-empowered life of service.
"To Every Man His Work"
Jesus said in one of His parables shortly before His crucifixion: "…to every man his work…" (Mark 13:36). After saving us, God honors us by giving us a work to do with Him and for Him! "…to every man," He said. That excludes none. The great King of the universe has in mind a work for each of us to do. "The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few," said the compassionate Savior as He saw the throngs who were as sheep having no shepherd (Matt. 9:37). Some of us might find our faith challenged to believe God would be able to use an unworthy servant such as we see ourselves to be. Yes, we are all unworthy servants, but as written above, it is the divine life within that is our enabling.
Your place in God’s harvest field might be in prayer, or in giving of financial help that others might receive the Gospel. Don’t miss reading the first testimony (and other testimonies following it) on page twelve. Read of a yearning African boy deep in the jungle who reached out with eager but empty hand, while someone far away reached out through their gift to place in his hand the soul-saving, life-changing message his groping hand was stretched out to receive. God added His blessing to that transaction and there has been increase in His kingdom as a result.
Maybe the Lord is asking faith on your part to go in person – across the street or across the sea. Might we "be not faithless, but believing" in whatever He asks of us! Jesus said, "The night comes when no man can work" (John 9:4). Waste no time finding what God wants you to do, and then do it zealously by His enabling! Jesus said, "Behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be" (Rev. 22:12).
* For those of God’s people who are alert to the lateness of the hour and are giving high priority to His love plan that all the world be reached with the Gospel.
* That the Holy Spirit will search the hearts of Herald readers through the messages in this issue, and grant grace that there be a humbling rather than a hardening of hearts before God.
* For finances needed to mail out this issue of Herald of His Coming as well as to assist other language editions needing help.
* For protection under the Blood of Jesus of all Herald work and workers and vehicles. Thank God for His gracious help up to this point, seeing us safely through severe winter weather!