The Lord’s Supper by JC Ryle

He who eats the bread and the wine in a right spirit will find himself drawn into closer communion with Christ, and will feel to know Him more, and understand Him better.

Right reception of the Lord’s Supper has a “humbling” effect on the soul. The  sight of the bread and the wine as emblems of Christ’s body and blood reminds us how sinful sin must be, if nothing less than the death of God’s own Son could make satisfaction for it, or redeem us from its guilt. Never should we be so “clothed with humility” as when we receive the Lord’s Supper.

Right reception of the Lord’s Supper has a “cheering” effect on the soul. The sight of the bread broken, and the wine poured out, reminds us how full, perfect and complete is our salvation! Those vivid emblems remind us what an enormous price has been paid for our redemption. They press home the mighty truth – that believing on Christ, we have nothing to fear, because a sufficient payment has been made for our debt. The “precious blood of Christ” answers every charge that can be brought against us. God can be “just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus” ( Romans 3:26).

Right reception of the Lord’s supper has a “sanctifying” effect on the soul. The bread and wine remind us how great is our debt to our Lord, and how thoroughly we are bound to live for Him who died for our sins. They seem to say to us, ” Remember what Christ has done for you – and ask yourself whether there is anything too great to do for Him.”

Such is a brief account of the benefits which a right-hearted communicant may expect to receive from the Lord’s supper.  In eating that bread and drinking that cup, such a man will have his repentance deepened, his faith increased, his knowledge enlarged, his habit of holy living strengthened. He will realize more of the real presence of Christ in his heart. Eating that bread by faith, he will feel closer communion with the body of Christ. Drinking that wine by faith, he will feel closer communion with the blood of Christ. He will see more clearly what Christ is to him, and what he is to Christ. He will understand more thoroughly what it is to be “one with Christ and Christ one with him.” He will feel the roots of his soul’s spiritual life watered and the work of grace in his heart established, built up, and carried forward.



It’s hard to change!

” It is hard to believe now, but the potato was once a highly unpopular food. When first introduced into England by Sir Walter Raleigh, newspapers printed editorials against it, ministers preached sermons against it, and the general public wouldn’t touch it. It was supposed to sterilize the soil in which it had been planted and cause all manner of strange illnesses – even death.

There were however, a few brave men who did not believe all the propaganda being shouted against it. They had a change of view about the potato. They saw it as an answer to famine among the poorer classes and as a healthy and beneficial food. Still, these few noblemen in England could not persuade their tenants to cultivate the potato. It was years before all the adverse publicity was overcome and the potato became popular.

A Frenchman named Parmentier took a different tack. He had been a prisoner of war in England when he first heard of the new plant. His fellow prisoners protested the outrage of having to eat potatoes. Parmentier, instead, thoughtfully inquired about the methods of cultivating  and cooking the new food. Upon his return to France, he procured an experimental farm from the Emperor, in which he planted potatoes.

When it was time to dig them, at his own expense, he hired a few soldiers to patrol all sides of his famous potato patch during the daytime.  Meanwhile, he conducted distinguished guests through the fields, digging a few tubers here and there, which  they devoured with evident relish.  At night he began to withdraw the guards. A few days later, one of the guards hastened to Permentier with the sad news that peasants had broken into the potato patch at night and dug up most of the crop.

Parmentier was overjoyed much to the surprise of the informant, and exclaimed, ” When the people will steal in order to procure potatoes, their popularity is assured.” 

Bits &Pieces, Jan 9, 1992, pp 13,14 15

Missionary Zeal

A Brazilian bible college student felt called by God to do missionary work for the Xiao people, a people in the remote province in the north of Asia which is restricted from any Christian witness.

This is her story of how she evangelised this tribe:

“I live in Japan and I am a non-resident missionary to the Xiao people. I went to visit as a tourist and discovered they had no health care, no Scripture in their own language, no hospitals or schools, no gospel radio transmission and was not aware that anyone was praying for this group.

I prayed for wisdom to get help to evangelise. I got all my churches in my denomination praying and fasting for this group. Then I approached many Christian organisations for help. I challenged the Christian businessman’s organisation to negotiate with the Chinese government to build a hospital for them. The government agreed that if the Americans would fund the three millions to build itthey could have a Christian identity and witness in it.

God led me to two Christian nurses from a neighbouring country who were willing to come and work in the hospital and train staff.

I pleaded with Wycliff Bible Translators to start translation immediately which they did. The International Bible Society said they would publish the translation when it was finished.

I approached the Far Eastern Broadcasting Company and Christian Communications Ltd to start Gospel Radio broadcasts which they agreed to do.

I contacted Korean Christians and they offered to make and deliver to the Xiao  transistor radios preset to receive the gospel broadcast. Campus Crusade has also agreed to translate the Jesus Film into the Xiao language.”

Praise God for this lady’s zeal. Do you have such zeal for this outreach?

The Grace of God

What makes Christianity different from all the other religions of the world?
Years ago that very question was discussed at a conference. Some of the participants argued that Christianity was unique in teaching that God became man, but someone objected, saying that other religions teach similar doctrines.
What about the resurrection? No, it was argued. Other faiths believe that the dead rise again The discussion grew heated.
CS Lewis, a strong defender of Christianity, came in late, sat down and asked, “What is all the rumpus about?” When he learned that it was a debate about the uniqueness of Christianity, he immediately commented, “Oh! That’s easy. It’s grace.”
How right he was! The very heart of the gospel is the supreme truth that God accepts us on the basis of righteousness of His own Son alone, imputed to all who believe in Jesus Christ. We can only come to God as helpless sinners in need of God’s grace.
When the much used evangelist, George Whitfield, passed by a place where a man was being hung, he said, “But by the Grace of God there go I.” He understood well the nature of grace. Grace is the unmerited favour of God.
We are saved, not by our moral character, not by the works of our own righteousness, not by keeping God’s commandments or by churchgoing, but by the rich and abundant grace of God. Good news indeed. What a gospel! What a Saviour!
NIV Romans 4 1-5 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about- but not before God. What does scripture say? “ Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness.”

Evan Roberts and the Welsh Revival

Between 1904 t0 1905 Wales experienced a great revival. While by no means the best known of revivals, it was one of the most dramatic in terms of its effect on the population, and triggered revivals in several other countries.

The ma God chose to use to lead this revival in Wales was Evan Roberts, a twenty-six year old Welsh coal miner. After witnessing a revival in a neighbouring town, he returned to his home village in hopes of preaching the gospel.

The minister wouldn’t let him preach on Sunday or at the Monday prayer meeting, so Roberts took it upon himself to simply preach  afterwards. He ended up preaching night after night, with people staying past four o’clock in the morning.

Over 30 000 people were converted in the first few months, and more than 100 000 came to Christ in less than a year.

Five years later, 80% of the converts were still walking with God. The social change was drastic: judges had no cases to prosecute. Police went unemployed, so they started church quartets.

 Illegitimate  births dropped 44% within a year. Mining operations slowed down because coal miners stopped cursing and the horses couldn’t understand their new language.

Though this revival was short-lived, it certainly had a significant impact on Welsh religious life. The movement spread to Scotland and England, with estimates that a million people were converted in Britain.

Evan Robert’s famous prayer: “Lord bend us.”

I will build My church (Mat 16:18)

This promise has enormous implications for every follower of Jesus Christ. “I will build My Church”. Each of the five words in this brief declaration reveals an essential truth of Christian life and service.

First, this promise discloses who will build the church. “I (Jesus) will build my church.”  Jesus is the builder of the church, not man. He wants to use us in the process, but He is the builder. Paul understood this arrangement. “According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation.” (1 Cor 3:10)  By the grace of God, Paul served the Lord.  As he went about proclaiming Christ, the Lord was using him to lay the foundation (Christ) in lives that were being saved and individual churches that were being started.

Second, Jesus’ promise reveals the certainty of His church being built. “I will (assuredly) build My church.” There is no room for doubt. Jesus  will do what He is promising. The only question for us is whether or not we will be available as part of this wondrous process. The Lord wants to make us usable for His work: “sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.” (2 Tim  2:21)

Third, this promise indicates the manner in which the Lord wants to work. “I will build( construct) My Church”. As with any construction project, there are both the quantitative and qualitative aspects. The Lord saves souls, adding them to His church in a quantitative increase. “ and the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” (Act 2:47)    The Lord also enriches those He saves, bringing to His church qualitative development. “ And with great power, the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all” (Act 4:33)

Fourth, His promise settles the issue of ownership “ I will build My ( Jesus) church.” The church does not belong to the pastor, the church board, or the district office. It is Jesus’ church. He paid the price to redeem us: “the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.” (Act 20:28)

Fifth, this promise specifies exactly what Jesus is going to build. “I will build My church ( His people)”, The church is not a building. The word (church) literally speaks of “a called out people.” “But you are…… His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God” (1 Pet 2: 9-10)

The Place Where You Live

A prayer of Moses, the man of God. “ Lord, You have been in our dwelling house in all generations.” (Psa 90:1)

Here is a remarkable sentence indeed. It was written by a solitary Moses back in the Beginning, long before there were any real generations. But now it stands in these last days as the confession of millions; whose personal and collective histories span thousands of generations.

 Moses was a prophet, and in that gifting, he penned our confession of faith long before we were even born.

 Think about your own storied journey. As you look back over the years and reflect upon all the places you have been, all the things you have seen and done, along with all that you have experienced-good and bad alike- don’t you find your heart rallying to this singular line? “ Lord, You have been in our dwelling house in all generations.”

In each circumstance throughout a single day, “ Lord, You have been in our dwelling house in all generations.”

He is our Temple, the centre of our worship. He is our Home, the seat of our security. He is our Lair,the site of our rest and repose. He is our School, the stock of our wisdom and knowledge. He is our Retreat, the source of our rejuvenation.

He is our Marketplace, the success of our labours. He is our High court, the supply of our peace and righteousness. He is our Heaven, the satisfaction of our eternal longings.

Rightly did the Psalmist say, Whom have do I have in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire beside You. My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. ( Psa 73 25-26)

This is the Place where you live, and I pray you live well.


During the Thirty Years’ War in the 17th century, German pastor Paul Gerhardt and his family were forced to flee from their home. One night as they stayed in a small village inn, homeless and afraid, his wife broke down and cried openly in despair. To comfort her, Gerhardt reminded her of scripture promises about God’s provision and keeping. Then, going out to the garden to be alone, he too broke down and wept. He felt he had come to his darkest hour.

Soon afterward, Gerhardt felt the burden lifted and sensed anew the Lord’s presence. Taking his pen, he wrote a hymn that has brought comfort to many. “Give to the winds they fears; hope, and be undismayed; God hears thy sighs and counts they tears; God shall lift up thy head. Through waves and clouds and storms He gently clears the way. Wait thou His time, so shall the night soon end in joyous day.”

It is often in our darkest times that God makes His presence known most clearly. He uses our sufferings and troubles to show us that Hi is our only source of strength. And when we see this truth, like Pastor Gerhardt, we receive new hope. Are you facing a great trial?

Take heart. Put yourself in God’s hands. Wait for His timing. He will give you a “song in the night”.

NIV Psalm 91:1-4 He who dwells in the secret place of the Mast High shalt abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”

Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.

The Cost of Discipleship

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (4 February 1906 – 9 April 1945) was a German Lutheran pastor and a theologian.

His writings on Christianity’s role in the secular world have become widely influential, and his book The Cost of Discipleship became a modern classic. Acute and subtle, warm and perceptive, yet also profoundly moving, the documents collectively tell a very human story of loss, of courage, and of hope.

Due to theological influences in Germany he was a liberal theologian.

He taught systematic theology for some time in the University of Berlin. Deeply interested in ecumenism, he was appointed by the World Alliance for Promoting lnternational Friendship through the Churches.

While earlier in his life he was really just an academic theologian interested primarily in the intellectual side of Christianity, some time later he underwent a personal conversion, and became a dedicated man of faith, fully resolved to carry out the teaching of Christ as is revealed in the Gospels.

While he is well known for his theological writings his greatest legacy is his bold stand against the Nazi dictatorship. He was a vocal opponent of Hitler’s euthanasia program and genocidal persecution of the Jews. He was one of a small handful of German Pastors who recognised the evil of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party and was prepared to stand against it. He was a key founding member of the Confessing Church. He was to pay a very high price for his stand against Adolf Hitler. He was executed by the Nazis in 1945 for his part in the “officers’ plot” to assassinate Adolf Hitler.

Bonhoeffer’s story is particularly relevant to us today, in that he stands as a witness to all Christians to have the courage to stand against wickedness and evil.

Love for One’s Enemy

ln the days of the American Revolutionary War there lived at Ephrata, Pennsylvania, a Baptist pastor by the name of Peter Miller who enjoyed the friendship of General Washington. There also lived in that town one Michael Wittman, an evil-minded man who did all in his power to abuse and oppose this pastor. One day Michael Wittman was involved in treason and was arrested and sentenced to death. The old preacher started out on foot and walked the whole seventy miles to Philadelphia to plead for this man’s life. He was admitted into Washington’s presence and at once begged for the life of the traitor. Washington said, “No, Peter, I cannot grant you the life of your friend.”

The preacher exclaimed, “My friend, he is the bitterest enemy I have. Washington cried, “What? You’ve walked seventy miles to save the life of an enemy? That puts the matter in a different light. I will grant the pardon.”

And he did. And Peter Miller took Michael Wittman from the very shadow of death back to his own home in Ephrata – no longer as an enemy, but as a friend.

By Stephen Olford

Bless those who persecute you; bless and curse not. (Rom 12:14)