W. Weir - Workers Meeting - Kitzbuhl

It isn’t easy to know just where to begin or what to say in a case like this; I may begin by saying that I am very glad to be here, and for the help I have received during this visit, for the fellowship and love and kindness that have been shown me from every side. 


It is now quite a little while since I was in my first convention in 1903, after I have been a little over one-half year in the work.  I was the baby at that convention; I still feel very much of a baby.  The next convention, 1904, I had not emerged from babyhood yet.  As I mentioned before, a little incident happened at that time: I had taken my place at the dinner table, and there was no plate at that place; I mentioned it to Mary Knox who was waiting on the table, serving in different capacities.  I said, “I have no plate here.”  She said, “A big fellow like you, you ought to be able to get a plate for yourself.”  It wasn’t bad reasoning, and I’m sure it has helped me.  I have thanked Mary personally for the admonition she gave me at that time.  Perhaps it doesn’t feel so good to be told off in that way , but it taught me to do some things for myself instead of leaving them for others to do. 


I feel my inability and unworthiness on an occasion like this - in a workers’ meeting - but I am pleased to be here, and I am thankful for what I have received.  I know that my visit shall be a great help to me, and I hope that it will not have caused any disagreeableness to any one in any way.  We recognize that we don’t know much about some of the difficulties you have to content with down here, difficulties that I am sure we don’t have further north, so we don’t feel that we have very much that we can impart to you.  I have thought a little of the words that Paul spoke concerning himself and others whom he addressed, when he told how he valued the ministry that he had received.  One place is in Acts, speaking of bonds and imprisonment that awaited him, and even actual death, he said, “None of these things move me, neither do I count my life dear unto myself, that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry that I have received of the Lord, to testify of the Gospel of the Grace of God.”  In reading in other parts, I have been freshly impressed with the seriousness with which Paul took this ministry.  How conscientious, earnest, and concerned that he might fulfill that ministry, that he might not in any be an offence, that he might not in any way hinder the ministry of the Gospel; he wanted to fulfill all and carry all out, that might be involved in connection with this ministry.  I have read in I Corinthians 9 some of the things and rights that he might have used without fear of being questioned.  He could have done them and then dismissed them from his mind, as being no one else's business except his own, but he didn’t do that.  He didn’t exercise some of these rights that he had a perfect right to do.  Although he wasn’t under obligations to any man, yet he became servant unto all.  He was concerned about this power in the gospel that had been placed in his hands, and the fear that he might abuse or not use aright this power in the Gospel, controlled him.  It was a most serious matter to him.  There are even little things in connection with this. 


One sister gave me five dollars one time to use in the work.  She didn’t have it easy to earn those dollars.  She worked as a charwoman, one day here, the next somewhere else.   That round lasted two weeks, and every day was a collection of two weeks dirt.  I was sitting on a street car one day, and that lady was going home from work.  She didn’t know that anyone was looking at her, and my heart was very much touched.  She was worn out, stooped over, tired, and I felt those dollars I had received were something sacred, a sacrifice that cost a lot.  It caused me to fear regarding how to use my power in the Gospel, even in the matter of the five dollars I had received. 


Paul said instead of using his rights, he suffered all things for the gospel’s sake.  When one reads some words, one is humiliated.  “Suffer all things;” those words come from a Greek word that really means a roof, a protection.  Here it would mean broadening out one’s back to take the load, to take the burden, to be a burden-bearer.  The word would imply a protection, and would be more like the shed roof over some railroad or other road, because of avalanches of snow or rock.  All Paul’s consuming thought was this - how he did all for the Gospel’s sake, that he might be the means of winning some or as many as possible.  If we do not know something of this, we will not win many for the Gospel.  Paul could very consistently write to others and exhort them to fulfill their ministry, to complete and carry out all in connection with it.  He wrote to Archippus, “Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord that thou fulfill it.”  To Timothy, “Watch thou in all things, endure affliction, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of your ministry.”  Paul thanked God that he had called him and had counted him faithful, putting him into the ministry,.  On one occasion, I needed a little backing.  I went to the British Consul, the Consul had not been there very long.  I hadn’t yet had anything to do with him, he didn’t know me, but after talking to him, I said, “You are a man of judgment and discernment, and you will know if I am like what I am representing myself to be or not.”

He wrote out that he considered that I was a man worthy of confidence. 


Paul thanked God that he had considered him a man worthy of confidence, and had put him into the ministry.  One does not feel worthy but one would want to be worthy of all confidence.  Worthy first of all of the Lord’s confidence, worthy of one’s fellow-workers, worthy of the confidence of saints, and even those outside.  One would fear to do anything that might weaken or shatter this confidence, so that one might be worthy as Paul was worthy. 


In writing Timothy, he counseled him that he might be an example in word, in conversation, in spirit, in faith and love and power; that was a lot.  This was a great commission.  Later he told him there were some things that he should follow after: righteousness, faith, charity and peace; follow after patience and meekness.  Concerning the last two words I might add patience, and these two words are often used in Swedish, interchangeably.  The word in Swedish means “standhaltigkeit.”  It means firm and unwavering in your conviction, your purpose, your aim in life.  In spite of hindrances, difficulties, opposition, persecution, in spite of the suffering or sacrifice that might be involved.  If you have this, you won’t allow yourself to be scared out, or become discouraged, won’t panic in danger; it is a virtue that is not so easily acquired, the fulfillment which is not so easily achieved, it doesn’t come easily—as just by praying for it.


Romans 5 – “Tribulation worketh patience.”  It is this “standhaltigkeit,” this patience worked by suffering.  The trial of your patience.  That trial may be fiery, but it is more precious than silver or gold.  “Let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire wanting nothing.”  Perfecting at any cost what may be lacking in us as Christians, as those who profess His name.  Perfect means that these qualities are not in us in some weak form, or as they were in the beginning, but that they would be ripened and developed in us.  That was something that he exhorted Timothy to follow after.


The other thing is meekness; to be mild in temper, not easily provoked or irritated, not vain, not haughty, not resentful, unpretending.  A meek person is one whose spirit has been disciplined, has been schooled to be sober.  It cannot be hung on or tacked on, just on the surface, but it goes down deeply.  It can be called an inward grace of the soul.  It penetrates and permeates and saturates one’s inmost being, mellowing all that is hard and harsh in a person, making him mild, considerate and king.  It will dispel all resentment and rebellion.  It will enable one to take without complaining and murmuring from the Lord the things He sees fit to bring in one’s way. 


He is always mindful of the fact that, “All things work together for good to those who love the Lord.”  This grace would be exercised first and always to the Lord, and also toward one’s fellowmen enabling one to take injustices and insults and reproaches, even knowing that it is the Lord who allows those things to come.  He sees that our training and development and character need these things to deepen them. 


It was that which caused David, when fleeing from Absalom when Shimea took advantage of the situation and cast stones and abused David, to take all graciously.  One of David’s men wanted to make short work of Him, but David said, “No.”  The Lord allowed him to do it.  He was lenient with that man and spared him afterwards although he received, as all such do, his due reward.  It was that grace that Isaac manifested, when they came time and again and took the wells that he dug.  He went on and dug more walls and got water always.  The work of grace that goes on in one’s heart is worthy any price and though cost will not be cheap.


Perhaps we will appreciate and value these qualities enough that we will be willing to pay the price.  The cost is not cheap—it is one of the fruits of the spirit—one of the things that there is no law against.  There is a lot said about meekness in the scriptures, both in the Old and New Testaments, but no one manifested the meekness as thoroughly as the One who said, “I am meek and lowly…”  Meekness is always connected with lowliness.  I hope we can learn of Him and have more of this. 


We read so much in the scriptures of what those who had it received – how well pleasing they were in the sight of God:


“The meek shall He guide in judgment, and the meek will He teach His way.”

“The meek will He beautify with His salvation,” 

“The meek will I lift up”

“The meek shall inherit the earth,”

“Blessed are the meek.”