M. Hill - Ireland Convention - Last Meeting, Tuesday, 2006

Hymn 397

I have enjoyed your testimonies and I have also enjoyed what the Workers have had to say to us, too. Someone said one time that Convention was like a pause between two steps. We have taken steps to come here and afterwards we will take steps to leave. So this is like a pause and the important thing is that we keep our next step faithful and that is what counts.

I remember reading some funeral notes of Fannie Hastings' funeral. She lived to be a very big age but it was said that the length is not important, it is that we keep our next step faithful. Someone mentioned in testimony about the secret ingredient.

This brother said that he noticed between meetings that the Workers went off quietly to their place of rest where they can think about the next meeting. Sometimes the friends may not know what goes on secretly in a Worker's life. Back in the field I work in we have a bach, it has been around a long time and one of the young friends there had this thought in her mind that it was the Workers' property so it was explained to her quite clearly that it wasn't our property. We don't own anything. Jesus said, "The foxes have holes....... Son of Man hath not where to lay His head." There were people in Jesus day who loved Him and took Him into their homes.

Mary and Joseph, they first of all opened up their hearts. That is the first thing you give before anything else can be accepted. You could give $1 million to the work but that wouldn't count or you could give two mites and that wouldn't count. What counts is what is behind what you give. The woman who broke the alabaster box gave a lot but it was the love that was behind it that counted. Submission in a person's heart is what counts. The wise men who came to Jesus, they bowed down and they worshipped Jesus and then they presented their gifts, gold, frankincense, and myrrh. They bowed down and accepted the lowly Son of God.

We heard about the manner in which He came, rejected by so many, accepted by the few. Joseph and Mary were not rich but they opened up their hearts and God could give them something that was very, very precious. He gave them His Son. They protected that Son at all costs, His going out and His coming in. They were willing to sacrifice and went down to Egypt to preserve that life. Someone said that this way of God is founded upon sacrifice and it is maintained by sacrifice. I heard about the Ministry where it was said that a dying Ministry produces a living Church. We are a family here, we are God's people. I remember the days that I came in contact with the Gospel and what it brought me out of, false religion, false traditions, and so forth and placed me among God's people. What God has given us has to be protected at all cost. We have heard that when we leave here we might feel full of power.

It is amazing when you leave here what you are going to face but Jesus said Himself, "I have overcome the world." If we keep that thought before us, we will possess what He possessed. The world doesn't love us, That is what Jesus said Himself in John 17:14, "I have given them Thy word.....hated them." Don't think that when you go back home the world will love you more and more. The world didn't receive Jesus, they didn't open up their homes when He was born. Perhaps because of this meeting, they may love us less and we may have to face a greater battle than we did before because of God's word.

We have seen people suffering and poor but to suffer for His sake is a different matter. If we suffer for His sake, we don't have to be ashamed. Great things come to an end and great people come to an end but God's work continues. In Joshua 1, we read about the death of Moses. Moses died but the memory of Moses didn't die.

My first year in the Work was in North Down. I have very nice memories of the friends in this part. I remember after I left home, the first home I stayed in and the warm welcome I received from the man and his wife. My last Convention in Ireland was here in 2002 and I would have to say it was my best Convention. There was a very nice spirit at that Convention. From the first meeting to the last the theme was the same and it has often helped me. Sometimes we ask where in the New Testament is there an example of a Convention. Jack Duncan spoken once of how Jesus after His resurrection met with five hundred all at once. That is a little picture of a Convention. Jesus just appearing to them and having fellowship with them.

A Convention doesn't need to be made up of five hundred. To me, the Last Supper was like a mini Convention. The conventions in the Old Testament lasted one day. A Convention is an assembly of people called together for a purpose. God has a purpose for our Convention and I'm sure none of you would want to have missed it.

Jesus told his disciples to prepare for the Last Supper, to make ready. The Disciples wouldn't have realised at that time the importance of that meeting. After Jesus died, that meeting would have been of great significance to the Disciples. They would have reflected on what happened at that meeting. The record of it is of great importance to us also. Sometimes later, we recall things that are said. Jesus said the Spirit would bring all things to our remembrance. Before God can bring a thing to our remembrance, He has to put it into us.

That's why it is so important to read the Bible. When you leave here, the important thing is be constant in reading. Jacob Kevelighan said it was like clean water. We may feel soiled in our minds but after reading we feel cleansed in mind and spirit, It does something for us. It is like drinking water. A lot of importance is put on water but not much importance is put on reading the Bible. It is good to have a Bible. It is the most published book in the world but possibly the least read. Some people are keen on reading. For myself, I just read the newspaper. But I met a man who was always reading about philosophers and was continually talking about them. The writer of a book can get into a person's mind. One needs to be very careful with books for they can contain a lot of immoral language. God said to Joshua (Joshua 1:8), "This book of the law shall not depart..... day and night." When Moses died the book of the law did not discontinue. Friends and Workers die but the word of God continues.

We continue in the teaching of the Bible. Joshua was told the book of the law was not to depart out of their mouth. If it is to be in our mouth we must first of all read it or hear it. Verse 7, " Observe to do according to all the law..... to the left." We keep a higher law today. We have the law of liberty and it is good for us to keep it and meditate on it for that is what is going to free us. Jesus said, "If ye continue..... free." Keep the Bible before you.

We read in Acts that they burned their books. Jack Duncan said once that the best part of the books was the smoke that rose from them. The man I mentioned who read philosophy, knew a little about my life and he always referred to Jesus and concluded that Jesus was the best. If we continue with Him when we leave this place, it will keep us free. It is vital also to continue in prayer.

We heard that you can rush into the place of prayer but you cannot rush into God's presence. I had a companion and every time I went into the room, he was praying. I almost got afraid of him. I felt he had power because he was in touch with God. I respect what those who pray earnestly have to say. Jesus said that God would reward us openly for prayer. That is very true. Prayer changes our spirit, it changes our attitude. When we go from here, we have to face reality. Jesus said that He would keep us from the evil that is in the world and our only hope is to keep in contact with Him. You will have power and the world will be afraid of you. If you keep that communication strong and healthy you don't have to be afraid in the future.