Gospel News · September - December 2017

is not the way God prepares us for that future
temple of which we all hope to be part.
Jesus promises us that “he who overcomes and
keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I
give power over the nations”. It is impossible
to overcome unless there is something to over-
come and challenge us. Even in this life there
is joy in doing the difficult tasks. A game of
tennis is no fun unless we have an opponent
who can challenge us and return our serve.
Let us face life confidently, knowing that “all
things are working together for good for those
who love the Lord, to those who are called
according to His purpose.” We know that “if
God be for us” there is nothing, or no-one who
can be against us. So we can cry out with Paul,
“I can do all things through Christ who
strengthens me.”
We do not know what the year 2017 will bring
to us. We do know that Daniel told us of a time
of trouble that is coming and it isn’t here yet.
So let us take courage, knowing that “they
that be with us are more than they that be
with them.” These comforting words of Elisha
relieved the anxiety of his servant when he
saw that they were surrounded by Syrian
soldiers. The angels that were present then to
help Elisha are still alive, and are able to
deliver us if that be the Lord’s will. It is easy
to be frightened when we are in trouble, but
instead, let us take courage like Joshua did,
when he was afraid. God told him, “Be strong
and of good courage, be not afraid, neither be
thou dismayed.” Believing this, we will
“rejoice in the Lord, we will joy in the God of
our salvation.”
“The angel of the LORD encampeth
round about them that fear him,
and delivereth them.”
Psalm 34:7
“We are Unprofitable Servants”
| Bro Robert Roberts (“Nazareth Revisited”)
“When ye shall have done all these things which are
commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants:
We have done that which was OUR DUTY to do.”
he law of Christ goes contrary to modern
sentiment on many points. Here is
another instance. The modern temper
attaches little weight to the consideration of
“duty.” It inclines men to take great credit
to themselves for well doing, and in its more
generous form, to recognise it in others. No
sooner does a man do anything fairly decent
in this line, than his friends get up a testi-
monial or a complimentary dinner, or some
other way of “doing honour one to another.”
Jesus discourages this tendency; and in this
he is in accordance with the highest form
of reason of which man is capable. Man, as
a created being, owes it to God to obey
His commandments. God has associated our
highest well-being with it. God’s approval of
the performances of our obligation, and the
recompense He purposes, are all of His favour.
There is no claim on our part. We do our
duty: we do not profit God in this. We
cannot. “We are unprofitable servants,” in
this sense. The profit is all on our side.
Boastful sentiment is barbarous. Even
complacency is offensive. Only the attitude
of humility is reasonable.
If those who had “done ALL those things that
are commanded” are acceptable only when
they say, “We are unprofitable servants,”
what is the position of those who do NOT
“the things that are commanded?”This is the
most pointed bearing of Christ’s injunction in
this case. He illustrates it by the case of
servants who do their duty. They are accept-
able, but are not regarded as specially meri-
torious. But if they do not their duty, they are
worse than useless. This is the position of the
bulk of those who say they are “Christians”.