Zech. 4:10

Henry Mahan

"For who hath despised the day of small things?" Zech. 4:10

Sometimes while looking for great things to do, great crowds to impress, and great trials to endure for God's glory, we overlook the sling and stones God uses; we send the Davids out to tend sheep; we dismiss the loaves and fishes as too little to be useful and unworthy of our notice. When will we learn that is the foolish things that God uses to confound the wise? It is the base things, the things which are despised, yea, and the things which are not, to bring to nought things that are; that no flesh should glory in His presence. Have we been taken in by the world's philosophy of numbers, riches, greatness, talent, popularity, and wisdom? Have we discarded the very instruments, vessels and weapons God uses to accomplish His glory? I hear preachers talking about going to a certain siminary or school to secure their doctorates. I ask, "Do they teach the Word of God? Are the professors true to Christ and the Scriptures?" "No, but I need the credentials to open doors for me to preach!" All the credentials one needs is a Divine call to the ministry; and it is not your honorary titles, but the Holy Trinity who opens effectual doors for the gospel! The disciples "went forth and preached." It is not said that they went forth and argued, or that they went forth and wrote apologies for the Christian faith, or that they went forth and structured, organized and rehearsed doctrine before groups of dead theologians. No.1 They went forth and preached Christ crucified in the language of the people demanding that men believe on, and receive, Jesus Christ as Lord and left them, if they would not believe, with the distinct understanding that they would perish in their unbelief! Most of the intellectual Calvinism preached today is understood by few, experienced by still fewer, and enjoyed by none! The hearers know what they believe but very little of whom they believe. We've straightened out their heads and neglected their hearts. They are as straight as a gun barrel morally and just as empty!

Dismiss this word as just so much rhetoric if you will; but before you do, take a good look at your ministry, your message, your worship services, and your gospel. Record the whole service, sit out in a pew some night and listen to it. Imagine that you are a total stranger who has dropped in, hungry to know God — what is there for you? Imagine that you are a heart patient who will die tomorrow and face God in judgement— what is there for you? Imagine that you are a wayward boy or girl who is all mixed up in your thinking, your morals, and your home life— what is there for you? Imagine that you are a lonely widow or an old couple forgotten by children and family— what is there for you? Imagine that you are a believer plagued by doubts of your interest in Christ, fears of death, and great temptation to sin— what is there for you? Imagine that you are going through an emotional crisis, a broken home, sorrow over the death of a friend or loved one — what is there for you? These are the people to whom we preach; these are the sheep we are commanded to feed; these are the people we are told to comfort! The people starve and perish, the lost go away doomed and the pharisees wallow deeper in their refuges of lies while we make sure that the church is properly organized and structured; while we fight liberalism and fundamentalism; while we destroy Christmas, Easter and pagan holidays; while we straighten out our fellow preachers on the millenium; while we are busy ourselves in the old puritans and try to sound smarter than we are; while we sound the praises of capitalism and fight the evils of communism; while we make war on the public school system and use our time and resources to educate children in godliness — ignoring the only source of life— the preaching of Christ!

Satan has beguiled us as he did our mother, Eve. Through his subtlety he has corrupted our minds from the simplicity of Christ! Where can I go this Lord's day and hear the mercy of God, not the mechanics of grace? Where can I go and hear the love of Christ and not the law of God for saints? Where can I go and hear of the righteousness of God fulfilled by Christ and not the righteousness of the creature to be rewarded by God? Let us say, by God's grace, this will be the place and I will be the preachers The message will not be flowery but full of grace; it will not be with enticing words of man's wisdom but the sovereign mercy of God to helpless sinners in a language all men understand. Let the scholars, theologians and authors go elsewhere to have their intellects "challenged." Lord make me Thy voice to the people!

Come ye sinners poor and needy,
Weak and wounded, sick and sore;
Jesus ready stands to save you,
Full of pity, love and power.

Now ye needy, come and welcome,
God's free bounty glorify;
True belief and true repentance,
Every grace that brings you nigh.

Let not conscience make you linger,
Nor of fitness fondly dream;
All the fitness He requireth,
Is to feel your need of Him!

Hnery Mahan, Pastor
Thirteenth Street Baptist Church
Ashland, Ky.

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