Raine Siebel - Williams and Perth Special Meetings - May, 2006

Hymn 239

3rd Epistle John verse 5, “Beloved, thou doest faithfully whatsoever thou doest to the brethren and to strangers; which have born witness of thy charity before the church: whom if thou bring forward on their journey after a godly sort thou shalt do well.” This epistle is a letter from John to Gaius of how thankful he was to hear that he was doing so well in serving God. He understood this man. Naturally speaking he wasn’t so healthy but spiritually he was healthy, and now he was commending him of how he had heard he was faithfully filling his place and furthermore, helping others to go forward on their journey.

We heard this morning of travelling on the sea of life and the pilgrim journey being one step at a time. I’m sure not one would say we have come as far as this by our own strength, but know it’s the God of Heaven that’s put our feet into the path of life and His Beloved Son that’s opened up the way. But we are also thankful that we walk with, and by, those companions in travelling, and those that encourage us in the faith.

1st Samuel tells of Jonathan, Saul’s son, “And Jonathan Saul’s son arose and went to David into the wood and strengthened his hand in God. And he said unto him, 'Fear not: for the hand of Saul my father shall not find thee and thou shalt be king over Israel, and I shall be next unto thee and that also Saul my father knoweth.'” Jonathan was encouraging David in not fearing the enemy, but knowing his rightful place in the kingdom and the one who would be on the throne. If we can have our eyes fixed on the one who is on the throne then we also see more clearly our place in the kingdom. It’s a wonderful thing when we don’t fear our place but begin to love our place more and more. When we fear it inhibits what we do: we don’t do it smoothly or well. The enemy of our soul would try to rob us and make us fear. So here he was trying to feed his faith, strengthening his hand in God, “You remember whose you are: to whom you belong and your place in the kingdom, and do your part faithfully.” 

We read of Abigail in chapter 25 who was interested in the kingdom and, when she met, David she didn’t know how her husband had treated David’s servants so wrongfully at that time. She did what she could and brought peace into that situation. It tells of things she carried on that journey: not just a little but great things to feed and help in the situation. She reminded David that his soul was bound up in the bundle of life. We are on a journey and we don’t want to be concerned with the things that would rob us, but centre on the things that would feed us. Sometimes in the mornings people feel hungry. And during the day they feel they can’t take another step and they need sustenance: can’t work. Once we have food we can get up and go again. That’s how it is: we need feeding. We are thankful for those on this journey: wife to husband, parents to children, companions to one another, servants to the friends. We all need each other on the homeward journey.

One hymn tells us about youth, of doing each thoughtful deed and filling the kingdom’s needs. So many needs in the kingdom, we see them all around us: needs in the harvest field, needs in the church and in the homes. God wants us to have sensitive hearts and to be like Abigail, have hearts that would go out and feed even the heart of the king.

John 12 tells of 3 in the home at Bethany – Lazarus, Martha and Mary; and Mary with no more a complaining spirit and Martha willing to serve. She had seen the face of Jesus and realised, “This is my blessing to quietly serve.” And because of her willingness she was now helping Mary, and I am sure she was helping Jesus. He would realise the many times he had been in their home that it was not in vain but helping her to fill her place. She was serving Lazarus as they sat at the table and spoke of the resurrection. That beautiful picture of Mary, that Jesus said she had done this for his burying. She was helping Jesus to die so that He would be the resurrected one, alive, the first begotten amongst the dead. We are so thankful for those all along the journey who help us to die so that we could take further steps. Not taking backward steps, but forward steps: faith’s clear vision. We do realise we have a responsibility to each other, from the youngest to the oldest. We can be a help in the meetings, in the home, to the servants of God by prayer, by feeding so we can bring each other forward on the journey, and we can all do well.