Austin Bevis - Sri Lanka Convention - 1983

Syd Maynard used to say that it is not possible to estimate the value of a soul who is in touch with God, and we cannot fail God and not leave others at a disadvantage. God has called us into this fellowship. God can help us if we remain humble. To the meek, the gospel is preached. When we are meek, God gives us Jesus. Jesus said, "I am meek and lowly in heart." Jesus is one who never saved Himself. He realized that if He failed, the salvation of man was finished. If we fail, a weaker brother or sister may be found outside the fold.

I have been thinking of our enemy, the world. Pharaoh was afraid of the Hebrews, and he felt that, if they increased, they would put him into trouble. He first asked the midwives to kill all the sons of the Hebrews but they feared God, and saved the sons. Then he gave the order that all the sons had to be cast into the river. This world has no mercy and no pity. He gave the Hebrews a very uncomfortable time, but we read of a man and his wife who were not afraid of the king's commandment. They looked upon their child and saw that he was a proper child. The time came when they could not hide him any longer, so they made an ark of bulrushes, and pitched it, made it water-tight, and put their son in it. They did not put the ark where the current could take it away, this couple did what they could, they put it by the edge. If we do what is possible, God will do the impossible, if we do not doubt Him, but trust Him. God will not play with our lives, He loves fellowship and He wants us in eternity for ever and ever. Let us not be afraid of what man can do.

When God made man He said, "Let us make man in Our image." God and Jesus were there together. Jesus said, "If a man love Me, he will keep My words and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him and make Our abode with him." Here we have the "we" of the New Testament, and before we had the "us" of the old Testament. Now, God has brought us into that fellowship. Jesus preached the gospel and brought the disciples into the same fellowship, and after Jesus went to the cross, the disciples went and preached, to bring people into this fellowship. 1 John 3, "That which we have seen and heard, declare we unto you that ye also may have fellowship with us, and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son, Jesus Christ." We have the "us" in the Old Testament, the "we" in the New Testament, and now the "our" in the New Testament, spoken by His disciples. We have been brought into a Godly fellowship that is supremely sweet.

Moses' parents prayed earnestly to God, they did the possible and God did the impossible. Pharaoh's daughter came down to the water that was carrying many a person to a lost eternity, the floods of ungodliness. People were getting drowned there. She saw the ark, and the child started to cry. She had compassion. Moses' sister said that she could call a nurse, and she ran straight to her mother. The world tried to separate mother and son, and in one day God brought them together again. If we do all that is possible for us to do, God will do the impossible. All we have to do is believe. God is all-powerful.

In John 20, we read that Jesus was crucified, and then later put in a tomb, with a stone rolled over the mouth of the tomb. The devil, in the heart of man, tried to separate Jesus from His faithful disciples. They did not fight against the government, they did not do anything, but just kept a love for Jesus. The stone was rolled away and Jesus was brought out of the tomb. Mary was preparing spices, and she had a true desire to preserve the body of Christ. It is a lovely thought that she did what she could. But when she got there, the stone was rolled away, there was nobody there, He was risen. Peter and John were there and they walked away, but Mary stood there, weeping. Good for us to have a love for Jesus as Mary had. She could not leave that place, she did not know what to do, and God sent two angels with a message of hope, and told her that He was risen. Mary's sorrow turned to joy. After three days God brought Jesus and His disciples together again. There is nothing impossible for God.

Mary prepared the spices, and that is like our Sunday morning meeting. It's good to prepare the spices, and take them to the fellowship meeting with the object of wanting to preserve the body of Christ, which is the church. This is what God expects of us. The world is looking on, and all in the world are not satisfied with the world, their eyes are upon us. What are we doing? Are we missing fellowship meetings, or are we present at every meeting? A man and his wife went to live in an empty house, and a neighbour said, "Don't go there because those people next door are terrible people." However, the couple went and lived in that house, and day by day these terrible people lived as they should live, they went every Sunday morning and every Wednesday evening to the little meeting. They left their house, and came back again, and after a time that couple was impressed, and they got the courage to speak to them, and said, "We see you going out every Sunday morning and every Wednesday evening, where do you go?" They told them that they went to a little meeting. They said, "Can we come?" It is not possible to estimate the value of a soul who is in touch with God. Let us be faithful in doing what we can.

We read of Joseph's brothers selling him to a Midianitish man. Jealousy and envy were in their hearts. The father had sent Joseph to see how his brethren fared. The flesh sought to separate father and son. Joseph was taken into Egypt, and God never let his brethren see what he went through down there. God lifted Joseph up to be the top man of the country; the king had respect for Joseph. Joseph was brought out of the prison, and later God brought father and son together, after 21 years. Joseph sent for his brethren and said, "Come, and I will nourish you." The world brought separation for one day; the devil brought separation for three days; the flesh brought separation for 21 years. This shows what the flesh can do, shows how very essential it is to keep the flesh under control that nothing will be allowed to come in to upset our peace. If we will be humble and meek, the devil will not be able to do very much. The meek God will lead in judgment, the meek will eat and be satisfied. God will lift up the meek, He will beautify the meek with salvation. Peter writes about the incorruptible ornament of a meek and quiet spirit. Joseph's life was saved; Jesus's life was saved, Moses' life was saved; three were saved. Joseph saved a family that family grew into a nation; God used Moses to save that nation; and then Jesus gave His life to save the world. This just shows us how far our lives can be used by God. We cannot fail, and not leave others at a disadvantage.

Joseph's brethren lied to their father. They saw his tears. When the father thought a wild beast had killed his son, they kept quiet, they deceived him. Twenty-one years of sorrow for this faithful man. How far-reaching a wrong influence in our lives can go. When Joseph was in Egypt, Potipher's wife lied to her husband. We can lie to God, too. Many people are living in this world, and they are lying to God. We read of Naaman when he stood before Elisha, and Elisha said, "I do not want to take anything," but Gehazi followed him and he lied to Naaman. He said, “Two men have come," he lied. Naaman gave double quantity. When Gehazi returned home, Elisha said, "Where have you been? Did not my heart go with you?" He became a leper as white as snow. Naaman would go back to his house, and would have brought sorrow to that faithful child of God who brought him the gospel. He would tell her what had happened, and she would say, "No, you did not pay him." Gehazi's lie would bring sorrow to Naaman's maid. Christianity is not a profession, but the possession of Christ in us.

This first thing that we have to deal with when we profess is our human nature. The children of Israel had to deal with Amalek. The first step in the ladder of salvation is the denial of self. The choicest cake is baked in the oven of self-denial. The fruits of the spirit grow and flourish in the soil of crucified flesh. When Jesus hung on the cross, from crucified flesh came the fruit of forgiveness. Forgiveness is love interceding for us. Joshua 4, tells us of two monuments. As the children of Israel cross Jordan, they took 12 stones from the midst of Jordan and erected a monument in Gilgal, and then there were 12 more stones that were placed in the midst of Jordan that are only known to the people of God. As we fight against our human nature, there is a monument that the world will see, they will see something in us, they will say, "Why are you so different?" But then there is also a monument in the midst of Jordan that only we know.

We are in a sacred family, the only family with an eternal future. Mary broke the alabaster box. There were voices against her, but Jesus said, "This shall be spoken of for a memorial of her." There will be a memorial in our lives as we are willing to break our lives for our heavenly bridegroom, to say, "No," to self, and be willing for one hundred percent obedience. If the enemy kills us, they will kill Jesus too, as Jesus is living over again in us. In the dark-room of sorrow and affliction, God develops His finest negatives.