We are excited to now have the Gospel tract written by Justin Humes now available in Spanish! I was equally excited when a brother joyfully took a handful of the English and Spanish tracts, along with a handful of our sunset postcards. This brother has asked how he could have the same Gospel literature in Spanish for his church body to pass out. What a blessing it is to know that God's Word and the Gospel message are going forth from this tiny little chapel on the tip end of the continental United States.
Brother Andre Walker came this past week and shared from God's Word concerning his family's continuing work of evangelism and Bible teaching. A message regarding the church at Sardis from Revelation was the text, and the challenge was to never allow our local church to become dead. This fate of the church at Sardis seemed to be correlated with their lack of persecution. Now one may say it is not persecution that keeps a church alive, but I would agree that a church with no persecution whatsoever must prayerfully consider if the reason for that lack is that they are not standing firmly for Christ. Peter warns us that all who desire to live godly lives in Christ Jesus WILL suffer persecution. None of us desire such things, but we do recognize that in order for revival to come to Key West, we must recognize our weaknesses and failures, to turn and give our lives afresh and completely for the glory of Him who loved us and washed us from sin. Unto Him be the glory forever, Amen!
We were blessed this past week to have a need for more hymn books. I was especially pleased when I opened the box of "Worship and Remembrance" hymnals to find the invoice was already paid on our account. We thank the Lord for the faithful work of Christians everywhere who make these resources available and especially to our humble little flock in Key West. We thank the Lord for providing in all things, as He is faithful to do at all times. What a wonderful, gracious, and providential God we serve!
We have had a few visitors this past month at the chapel, and it has been a blessing to see faithful attendance by a few families to the Family Bible School and other meetings. Still, the most important meeting of the church, in my opinion, is that of the Lord's Supper. Concerning this meeting, I want to share a quote from David Dunlap's book "His Dying Request" from H.A. Ironside. Ironside saw the great solemn yet joyous purpose of this meeting, as Christians gather together led by the Holy Spirit, to remember the Lord Jesus Christ in what was truly His dying request. Below is an excerpt:
Christ the Central Focus of The Lord’s Supper
“Why is there no previously-arranged program as to the order of service, the hymns to be sung, prayers to be offered, and the words of heart-felt worship? Is not time wasted in silence which might be used in teaching the Scriptures?” It is important, first of all, to understand that we do not come together to pray, nor yet to preach, nor to sing or listen to teaching, nor to enjoy Christian fellowship. We come together to meet the Lord Himself, to be solely occupied with Him, to offer Him the worship of our hearts, and to remember what He passed through for us. Let me put it this way: Suppose that on a given Lord’s Day morning it were known definitely that our Savior, in person, would be present in our church building. How do you think real Christians would act on such an occasion? Would we not enter the room with a deep sense of awe pervading our spirits? Surely there would be no lightness of behavior, no frivolity, no worldly jesting as we came together. Nor would we be coming to listen to one preaching or teaching the Word of God. Our one desire would be to see Him, to fix our adoring eyes upon His blessed Face; if we spoke at all, it would be to tell something of His sufferings for us, and the gratitude and worship that would fill our hearts as we recalled the agony He endured on the cross. At such a time one can well understand how all might join in a burst of melody, singing together some hymn of praise, in which His holy person, His past sufferings, and His present glory were celebrated! But surely anything like mere fleshly formalism would be altogether out of place. If one spoke audibly, it would be simply to praise His Name, or to bring to the mind of saints some portion of the Word that would give a better understanding and apprehension of His Person or work. No one would dare to push Christ aside, and take His place as the teacher of others, unless requested by the Lord.
What a challenge this is! Never should it be said that our worship is merely a tradition or formalistic religion. We must come to the Lord's table, humbled and broken, yet renewed in life and light because of what Christ has done. Even so, come Lord Jesus! We are waiting for you, may we all be about your business when you come.
Mark Cowperthwaite for the saints in Key West