Many Christians believe that God still gives words of knowledge and prophecies just as he did in the days of the apostles. They are excited to think that God would speak directly to their circumstances. Compared to the immediacy of such revelations, the weekly consecutive exposition of God’s word can seem something of a straitjacket.
But how many times have you found in your daily Bible reading that the passage assigned for the day is exactly the word from the Lord that you need? How often has the next passage to be preached by your pastor spoken right into your situation in a way that could only be because of the supernatural ordering of things by the Holy Spirit. Is this not an even more miraculous evidence of the Lord’s power than a prophecy – that the Lord can arrange a series of sermons or readings months in advance so that exactly the right passage comes before exactly the right person at exactly the right moment?
We’ve seen this many times in our congregation, but most recently just last Lord’s Day. A week ago a three-year old boy in our congregation was diagnosed with acute lymphatic leukaemia. What was the passage ordained to be preached on in the providence of God? Isaiah 7.1-9. A passage that speaks of a terrifying crisis that was threatening the people of Judah and making their hearts tremble like the trees of a forest in a storm. What was God’s word to the people of Judah? 'Be careful, be quiet, do not fear, and do not let your heart be faint.... If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all.' Trust the Lord in the face of this catastrophe that is on your doorstep. If you had a month to search for the best passage to preach to a congregation at such a moment, could you hope to find anything more appropriate?
Perhaps you could pray for the little boy and his family – Henry Thompson – as he begins his three years of treatment, beginning with four weeks of chemotherapy last Monday, that the Lord will give grace sufficient for this trial.
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