Beverley Goldsack - First Meeting of Convention - Winchester I, Virginia - Thursday, December 5, 2005 - 7:30 pm

Opening hymn: 348

Hymn 173, "God Is Here"

 

I love the thought of God delighting to abide with His people. Doesn't it give us confidence in Him? I liked what we were singing, "God is here amongst His people, He delights there to abide." There is no greater thing to desire than that God would be here. We know that He is here; He is here amongst His people. “For the Lord's portion is His people; Jacob is the lot of His inheritance.” (Deuteronomy 32: 9) “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people: for all the earth is Mine.” (Exodus 19:5) This gives us a glimpse of how precious His people are to Him. Those that obey and do His will are like a peculiar treasure. Another rendering says special treasure. This is what God thinks of His people, they are like special treasure.

 

Another verse of that hymn says, "God is here and seeking labourers for the harvest field so wide." God is interested in His Kingdom, interested that there would be an extension to His Kingdom. No one cares more about His Kingdom than God. God will not fail us; isn't that special? God is here and will not fail us. In spite of what might have happened in the past year, God will be faithful to us if we are willing to obey Him and do as He asks us. “I will hear what God the Lord will speak, for He will speak peace unto His people, and to His saints: but let them not turn again to folly.” (Psalm 85: 8) The message that God has for us is a message of peace. We can have no greater desire than to hear God's message of peace. “And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, 'It is not in me; God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.'” (Genesis 41: 16) Pharaoh asked for an answer, but Joseph knew that he did not have an answer, but he knew that God would have an answer and it would be an answer of peace. Be obedient to His will and we will have peace, there is no doubt about that.

 

“Now Naaman, captain of the host of the King of Syria, was a great man with his master, and honourable, because by him the Lord had given deliverance unto Syria: he was also a mighty man in valour, but he was a leper.” (I Kings 5: 1) It tells us that the Lord had given deliverance by Naaman, so the Lord had been able to use him. Then there was a 'but' that changed the situation. But he was a leper. That 'but' in his life was the thing that separated him from God. Being a leper was the very thing that made the separation. “And it was so, when Elisha the man of God had heard that the King of Israel had rent his clothes, that he sent unto the King, saying, 'Wherefore hast thou rent thy clothes? Let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.' So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariot, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha. And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying, 'Go and wash in Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come again to thee, and thou shalt be clean.'” (I Kings 5: 8- 10)

 

He was told to go and wash; in that was a message of hope and a message of peace. There was the hope of being cleansed from his leprosy, the message of hope that he would no longer be separated from God. But Naaman was not ready to accept the message given him. He may have felt that being the man he was, he shouldn't have to do that. God's message will not change. The message did not change; he had to be willing to fit into the message given. The message was his hope of salvation and of being cleansed.

 

It was good that he was able to be reasoned with. He went to the river to wash, not just dipping once and thinking once was enough or even twice or five times; he dipped 7 times, he was willing for all of the message. The message of God to us these days is because He wants us to know peace in our heart. He wants to bring us closer to Himself. After Naaman had willingness, he was a changed man. There were no longer any 'buts' in his life; he was cleansed. God wants to cleanse us so that we can be at peace with Him.

 

“The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his Lord.” (Matthew 10: 24) We look to Jesus; He is our example and we follow Him. If we don't follow the light, we could stumble and fall. If we don't follow the person who knows where to go, we will not reach our destination; we will only end up being separated. Don't allow anything to separate us from God.