Weekly Reminder...The Weekly Reminder is an informative tool to help people who read it consider what the man of God has said. This weekend’s articles are based on what was heard on January 16 & 17, 2010 in the Westbury assembly.
written by Br. Samuel Damus
On January 12, 2010 an earthquake which measured 7.0 on the Richter scale shook the capital of Port-au-Prince in Haiti causing a major catastrophe. Hospitals, schools, homes, stores even the main palace was toppled under the force of the quake. Many lives were presumed lost; it was estimated in the tens of thousands. Mothers and fathers, children and elders, the wealthy and the poor, the healthy and the sick; no one was spared. This happened unexpectedly, no one was prepared for what was to come. The aftermath of this disaster is being played before the whole world and every country is sending aid to Haiti to help rescue those that might still be alive and help in the rebuilding process as well. The final lives claimed in this earthquake will not be told for months but one thing that I’ve taken from this is how fragile we are. We are not promised tomorrow so we ought to live our lives preparing for Jesus’ return.
Last weekend we were told to take heed to the words that are being spoken to us in the church. The Lord our God was the one who “laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of His hands. They shall perish, but He will endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt He change them, and they shall be changed: But He is the same, and His years shall have no end” (Psalm 102:25-27). This is the God we serve, who lives forever and has power to give eternal life (John 17:1-3). This promise was made to all in John 3:16, if only they “believe” in Jesus. This trust in Jesus fuels our hope that “He will give eternal life to those who persist in doing what is good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers” (Romans 2:7- [Living Bible]). This is a work that is done in our lifetime no matter how long or short it may be. The purpose of the church is to prepare us by instructing us on the laws of God that ought to govern our lives (Ephesians 4:11-13).
“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (Revelation 2:7). The words that are preached unto us are to prepare us for the coming Kingdom; that is why when we receive instructions from the man of God we ought to practice them to the best of our ability and pray that the Lord sustains us (Ecclesiastes 9:10). In the day of calamity we may begin to question God but let us consider as the author of Ecclesiastes also considered in Ecclesiastes 9:11-12. In tragedy we tend to lose sight of how great our Lord really is (Job 40; 41; 42:1-3). “So we must remain faithful to what we have been taught from the beginning. If we do, we will continue to live in fellowship with the Son and with the Father. And in this fellowship we enjoy the eternal life He promised us” (1 John 2:24-25 – [Living Bible]). Let us pray for the people in Haiti in desperate need of help and aid them in any way that we can. Let us ask the Lord to “teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom” (Psalm 90:12).
“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; to him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” - Revelation 2:5-7
written by Br. Jean Leonidas
We read In Psalm 33:11, “The counsel of the LORD standeth forever, the thoughts of His heart to all generations”. This means in every generation the will of God will be accomplish. God uses His words to speak to us but He also uses His creations (animal, weather, catastrophes, calamities etc.) to speak to His people. The purpose of God will always stand no matter what we see or hear and a child of God should always trust in God no matter what.
The disciples came to Christ in Matthew 24:3 and asked Him, “Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?” Christ did not rebuke the disciples for asking these questions because all of us would want to know when our Lord is coming back. Christ answer to them was not direct but He told them to watch for the signs or circumstances that are to happen. One of the signs is found in verse 6 where it says “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet”. We are not to be troubled when these things are coming to pass. We are to rest in the word of God and continue in the things which we are being taught. In verse 7 we read “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places”. When Christ said this, He was not guessing but He understood that the heavenly Father has a plan and no matter what happens these signs were to be given to us in order for us to know the will of God at that time. These signs were also given to the people of God as a way we can judge for ourselves where our spiritual life is with God and make changes to improve it as we see His return is upon us. As we are hearing and seeing these signs we should have an increased appreciation for our Lord because He is not too far in coming. We should realize that the words spoken to His disciples two thousand years ago are now being accomplished in our time. This should bring a joy to our soul that our savior is not too far.
Br. Antoine quoted a scripture in Joel 3:16(b) where it says “but the LORD will be the hope of His people, and the strength of the children of Israel”. God has always been there for His people and He has done that thru the warnings and teachings He has provided thru the church. As we gather together as an assembly we are learning the ways of the Lord. We are learning how He worked before, How He is working now and how He will continue to work. These lessons are being taught to us thru the man of God because “surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but He revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7). Our strength surely comes from the revelation of the plan of God. Each time we here what God will do, this brings a confidence that we are indeed in the right move of God. In these last days we should not be ignorant of the messages that are coming forth from the bible stand as Br. Antoine mentioned two weeks ago, that “this century is our century but we are not going to make it to the next century”. As we are witnessing these signs in these last days we should continue to work for God as we have never worked before accounting that in the grave there is no knowledge, no work and no remembrance of anything.
Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, was admonishing the people of God concerning the dead. He told them not to weep but understand that the Lord thru his plan has a better destination for them after the kingdom is established. In verse 18 he said, “Wherefore comfort one another with these words”. As long as the people understand that God is in control of every situation then they are able to handle the circumstances that derive around them. Jesus told the disciples “see that you be not troubled” (Mathew 24:7).
May God help us in these last days to take comfort in the word of God.
written by Br. Samuel Philogene
“In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider: God also hath set the one over against the other, to the end that man should find nothing after him” (Ecclesiastes 7:14).
Sometimes when bad things happen our human nature always pushes us to see the damage that is done, we look to the desolation that is left behind but the Spirit of God causes us to consider. The word of God asks us to consider in time of adversity. What should be considered? Last weekend we looked through the book of Revelation the second chapter were the Spirit of God was crying: “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (Revelation 2:29). When this scripture was being read on Saturday by Br. Joshua Damus from Connecticut and on Sunday by Br. Antoine Clairant, something touched my heart and illuminated my mind on what I should consider while I am living; the word of God. We have to consider, meaning - to think profoundly about what happened and how it could be avoided. Oh yes, a lot of adversities could be avoided if we had given heed to the word of God. It says in Isaiah 48:18, “O that thou hadst hearkened to My commandments! Then had thy peace been as a river and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea”. We can understand that something was being said, but we did not listen. So adversities give us opportunities to think about what we lack, what we missed from the word of God.
Last weekend most of us were shaken up when we learned that our country (Haiti) was hit by a powerful earthquake; people were crying because as everybody witnessed, the country was practically destroyed. Most of the time we say, “Why did this happen?” Because we did not hearken to the words of God, we never take time to examine our lives to see if we please God. We go to and fro leaving God behind, so it gets to a point where God has to let us hear His voice and brings situations that are able to stop us in our endless course and to think, to consider. I don’t mean that all those people that died were unjust but as a nation we have to ask ourselves if we are pleasing God; if our lifestyle is not provoking God’s wrath. Sometimes those types of phenomenon happen to let us know that God is looking at us and is not pleased in our ways. In Genesis 6:5-7, the flood was God’s response for the world’s evil thoughts and wicked deeds. God destroyed the world by the flood when He saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Unfortunately, these disasters are not causing the unjust to change their ways (Revelation 22:11, Daniel 12:10), but it gives the people of God a chance to think about their life with God, to consider their ways and reach out for God’s help so they can improve in doing the will of God. Nevertheless, in the word of God there is assurance to those who are living for God. Br. Antoine quoted the scripture in Joel 3:15-16 showing us that we don’t have to be afraid because our God is a strong tower for His people and a shelter in time of need; even though the world may turn upside down God will be the hope of His people and the strength of His children.
Saints, let us give the earnest heed to the words that are being given unto us service after service. This is the only way to escape worst things that are on their ways. Let us use this awful moment in our life as a nation to consider, to think about what we did not do right, what we have to change and let us move on despite the circumstances. To those who are touched by this disaster we beseech them to find consolation and strength in the word of God.