“Hope in Christ deepens and strengthens your faith. It increases your love and makes your truly compassionate. It broadens your horizons and makes your actions dynamic. It brings sense and meaning to every moment of your life.” –unknown
Yesterday we took communion at church and the pastor made reference to the idea that there are thousands of Christians throughout the world sharing communion. That started me to thinking. For the past two millennium the Church has been sharing the Lord’s Supper. It is done in obedience to Him and He said to do it until He returned. That is quite a legacy; think of all of those millions who have broken bread together. That is quite an honor; think of individuals who have shared it.
I think of the last phrase of Ira Stanphill’s song, “Supper Time”, in which he wrote, “The banquet table’s ready up in heaven, It’s supper time upon the golden strand.” One day all of us will share in that Marriage Supper and break bread together and with the Lord. Now that will be something.
But one more thing. The sharing of the communion should build up hope in us. Jesus said that He would not share it again until the kingdom of God has come. That should stir up hope within us. Hmmm, is that the smell of bread baking up in heaven?
Annie said that I should write a devotion on those preachers of the West that I mentioned last week. That would be fine, except for the time involved; something called research. I do have some work by a cowboy-preacher that went by the name of Buckskin Brady – or Brother Brady, who did most of his work in Montana. Here is an excerpt from one of his sermons.
“The devil never brands a man at a baseball game, or at an opera, or ball-room, or at a whiskey bar, or gambling-table, but he always brands him before he gets him there by putting temptation in his way, the thought in his mind and the desire in his heart. He just starts a little fire, just a tiny one, but it is always hot enough to heat his irons.
The first willful step that you take in the wrong direction the devil puts his brand on you. It must be that he took advantage of you, dogged your steps night and day with temptations, till at last he caught you off your guard, or sleeping when you should have been watching. You allowed him to fan the evil desire into a little flame that heated his iron for the work. Then he made the tiniest little mark, so small at first that no one could see it. He just touched you lightly, softly, gently, found the place on your soul where he could make the easiest impressions, and then applied the hot iron so easily, so gently, that it almost had been a caress. But the step had been taken, the fire kindled, the hot mark made before you were aware of it.
So the fire grew hotter and hotter, and the mark burned deeper and deeper, till at last you felt the hellish fire blazing within you, awakening you up to the fact that the devil had put his brand on you–but it was too late.
You tried to get rid of the hideous mark by endeavoring to overcome the fire, but it was of no use. Then you tried to cover it up, to smother it with your conscience but, like so many others, you forgot to ask God to do the work for you; and so it proved to be a miserable failure….
What will you do, then, with the devil’s brand? You can’t cover it up, your conscience can’t smother it, ink won’t blot it out, talk won’t rub it off, water won’t wash it away, nor is there any vent recorded with it, any mark making it of none effect; but there is one thing left for you to do, and only one–that is, to have the blood of Jesus Christ our Savior applied, which will remove the old sin brand inside and out, and will do it at once and forever if you ask Him in true repentance and faith….”
Now, I’m not much good at this here advertising, I guess they refer to it as marketing. But here goes, take a notion and round up the book, “The True and Unbiased Life of Elias Butler.” If you read the story of Miles Forrest that I write you should like this book, in fact, this is where Miles and Elias first meet. You might remember Elias if you have kept up with the Saga of Miles Forrest.
It is the story of Elias when he left Tennessee after the Civil War and headed for Texas. It tells of his acquaintance with a rancher and of his work on a cattle drive from Waco to Abilene. It may be purchased from Amazon. Look up the title, or D. C. Adkisson.