Nothing restrains the Lord from saving by many or by few
– 1 Samuel 14.6
Here we are at the start of another year – but what a year has just passed! In our own nation, the fruit of godlessness was seen in the August riots. The European economy continues to decline. We have seen many natural disasters across the globe, and many wars, particularly civil wars and great unrest.
As we enter a ‘new era’ in the life of Morton Baptist Church, we must understand that we are not immune from the changes in the world around us. Christians in the 21st century will no longer be allowed to live by the Word of God. Pressure to conform and to compromise will increasingly come upon us. As a church, in calling me, you have made a considerable financial commitment at a time when money is hard to come by almost everywhere in the world! Here we are, in our small chapel on the edge of a small town, where many have never even heard of us, and in a nation where many who call themselves ‘Christians’ have abandoned the true gospel in favour of social work and a false gospel of self-esteem.
But we serve the Almighty, Eternal, Creator God – Who has given us His Word, and Who has given us His Son, The Lord Jesus Christ. We have a glorious gospel to proclaim, and if the world around us gets darker and darker, I think that just means that the light of the gospel must shine more and more brightly here at Morton.
The text above is our new year ‘motto text’, and I hope you will all enjoy having copies of it in your homes. Without going into my first sermon too much, the point is that we can think of many restraints upon us at this time – but nothing restrains the Lord our God. The world continues and the church endures precisely because there are yet many men, women, boys and girls who are to be saved from their sins. As we shall sing (God-willing) at my induction service – ‘God is working His purposes out’. Rejoice, dear friends! We here at Morton have a place in the plans and purposes of God!
Nothing is more important in the battle before us than complete and utter dependence upon the Lord – and we express this in prayer. I hope that you do all pray fervently for the cause of the gospel here and across the world – but may I appeal to you to come and pray at the Church Prayer Meeting? There is nothing more important for us than to be a praying people who are willing to plead together before the throne of grace for God’s blessing upon us. Perhaps the timing of the regular meeting is not good for you. Come and talk to me about it – we need to be praying together, and if that means having an extra meeting for those who cannot make the main one – we’ll do it. There’ll be more on the subject of prayer at the first Wednesday meeting this year – please do come if you can.
We believe in the simple and unadorned preaching of the Word of God as the means by which God saves sinners and sanctifies saints. Pray, pray, pray, that we might be truly unashamed of the Cross of Christ. Don’t imagine restraints upon the work of the gospel here at Morton in 2012 – for nothing restrains the Lord – and we may prove it together.
May God richly bless you throughout this year.
(Jonathan Hunt) Pastor