Reg Stratford - Rochedale, Queensland, Australia - 1967

Today is Easter Friday and thousands and thousands of people will be walking around Jerusalem carrying great wooden crosses, thinking they are showing their zeal for God, yet it means absolutely nothing to God. Who or what was Jesus' successor, what took the place of Christ? Some say Peter would point you to the Pope. Some say the church took his place. Some talk of Jehovah, and they have the monopoly and speak as though they have taken the place of Jesus. Think of Jesus is living and going back to the Father. Jesus told of One who would come. One that would teach and bring back to their remembrance the things He had told them. The Holy Ghost alone has taken the place of Jesus and to the extent we allow Him into our heart and home and just what we have is wonderful what God is able to do in people’s lives when His spirit does the work there.


Two powers mostly dead at work today. One, the attempt that is in the world to unite Roman Catholics and Protestants into one way. We say for a group of people, no good will come of it and there will be a terrible lot of evil come out of it. Righteousness, not unity is our goal. Unity is a by-product of righteousness. There is a hymn that says, "Oh lightest burden, sweetest yoke, it lifts, it bears my happy soul. It giveth wings to this poor heart, my freedom is thy grand control." We do not have to go around with a cultivated smile. We have joy in our service to God and we have to play our part to have joy. Two. The godliness that is sweeping over the world. Good lives that they haven’t got God and Satan doesn’t mind us being religious, but he dislikes Christ. He is also old worldling and doesn’t mind what he put before people. A thrill or a stir for a moment, empty and shallow. Jude said, “Looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” That which we have when we go into the arms of God at the end of life, I think it may mean that.


Jesus prayed three times the same thing in the garden to build Himself up and to give us an example of how to do it. Prayers cannot be just words, unless we bring His presence to us. Often before I pray, I stop to think of God sending Jesus and what He has done and I come into His presence, near to Him. A Hindu said of normal Christianity, "It is just a religion of words." Be ye doers of the word. We have something to do now and God comes to us as a person. One who looks at us. If we have any unworthy thought we are conscious of the eyes of Jesus looking at us. Sometimes we are conscious of His smile, when we have made a choice in His will, didn’t yield to our own feelings and His smile is upon us.


A little man said to a big man, "If I was big like you, I would go out into the bush and find the biggest bear and tear him limb from limb." He looked to the little man and said, "There are plenty of little bears out there." It is easy to think of what someone else should do. A mother tried to improve a slum area so she dressed up her little girl and went there and soon other little girls were getting their faces washed. That is how we often can do it by leading the way. Two little boys were holding their father’s hand. One said, "I have got Daddy," and the others said, "Daddy has got me." A lot different. People say, "I’ve got God," and go out with the thought, "God has got me."


Some of us went to see a big cave. It was lit up but the guide wasn’t there so we went through without the guide, and it didn’t mean much to us. As we came out, the guide was there and just going to take some others through so I said, "Let us go again." He put on other lights that we hadn’t seen and he said, "See, that is a wedding cake. See, that is a frozen waterfall," and so on. We hadn’t seen them and we needed the guide. The Holy Spirit of God open up the Bible to ask and we have to live in harmony with God to get it. Nothing between us and God and we read and there the Holy Spirit guides and reveals things to us. Jesus all the widow casting in two mites and Jesus drew their attention to this. They had overlooked it, natural for a Jew to want to see an abundance of money. If she had given one mite, she would have given half of what she had. But she gave her all. The woman who came in and poured the ointment on Jesus and Jesus said, "Look at this woman." Simon was looking on the sin of her life, but Jesus was looking on the love in her heart.


II Kings 6:25, there was a great famine in Samaria and the asses had and the filth from the street was sold for food, the famine was so terrible. Chapter 7, "Tomorrow," the Lord says, "You will be able to buy a measure of fine flour," etc. 2:20, remember quickly and we must cooperate with Him. Things can be set right in a day or in 20 minutes if the Spirit of God can work. Those four lepers said, "Let us go out and fall into the hand of the enemy," and God magnified their steps. The enemy heard a noise of chariots, etc. and fled and they found an abundance of food. "Let us go back and share it," they said. The king thought there was some trap set. Some went to see and they found that all the way to Jordan was full of garments and vessels and returned to tell the king. I think of God’s goodness; it was strewn all over the way to Jordan. God doesn’t promise and then fail us, it is open to us if we want to trust Him.


A man alone in India and his wife died and he took the funeral himself. Some padre men there waiting and asking if they could help him. He said, "No," and told them to just sit down. Went through with it himself and a neighbour said of him, "That man was a king among us." Hang on; God will look after you. Amen.