Items For Prayer And Praise
By Lois J. Stucky
"You had concern but you had no opportunity to show it." That is in effect what the Apostle Paul was saying to the Philippian Christians as we read his words in Philippians 4:10, "You lacked opportunity," he said, "to give to me."
A friend of Herald of His Coming had this verse impressed upon her at a service before the missionary took his place to speak. It occurred to her that NOW she had the opportunity to help this missionary in person. She should not wait until later to mail an offering. The opportunity might slip away. So she took the opportunity to give a gift to him and to also give him a word of personal encouragement.
A few years later this friend was so ill that someone else had to take over the management of her finances. Then she experienced what it was to "lack opportunity" to give, even though it was much the concern of her heart to do so. Now she is well enough to have charge of her finances again, but some days she is very weak. Day after day she does not have strength to write a letter. Recently she joyfully wrote, "NOW I have opportunity!" and she sent a gift.
She realizes now how precious opportunities are. She did not let this one slip by, even if it took extra effort.
The case of most of us is not that we have not the opportunity, but that we do not use the opportunity we have. One wonders how many opportunities slip forever away into eternity unrealized. Are these sins of omission for which we must give account?
We are glad to be workers together with you Herald readers who are alert to opportunities to share the Gospel through Herald literature. Together we reach those whom neither of us could reach as effectively alone. Let me share from a handful of letters here on my desk.
Someone on a Brooklyn subway handed a Herald of His Coming paper to a stranger. The recipient was so blessed as she read it that she wrote for her own copy. A year later she says, "The Herald has been of tremendous value to me in my spiritual growth. I am a new Christian.…" She passed the blessing on by having the Herald sent to her pastor, and she feels gratified when she hears him quoting from the Herald in his sermons.
Here is a letter from a young man with a Naval overseas address. Now he is being transferred, and he sends the names of seven others to receive the paper, also at the overseas Naval address. It is good to think of fortifying our country's service personnel with Gospel literature.
Someone left a Herald in a railroad station. A man who was a railroad worker took the paper home with him. His wife read it and was saved!
A church deacon who visits the sick and shut-ins each Monday evening finds the Herald a help in his ministry. Another gentleman who counsels homeless men at a rescue mission makes use of Herald of Coming and Right Choice papers with the men.
Opportunities abound! Let us use them! We encourage each reader to hand on this issue of his or her Herald paper after reading. It will not cost a penny to do so, and who knows what value it might have for another? All of us need to be stirred afresh to realize that eternity is ahead and we need to live this life in the light of it.
Opportunities to mail overseas abound – to out-of-the-way places like Vanuatu, The Gambia and Surinam – and to well-known countries like Nigeria, Brazil, and Burma (now Myanmar). We are eager to keep the foreign mailings going out on schedule. The gifts of USA Herald readers are essential for this, as many overseas readers are unable to send their gifts to help. Yet they are so hungry, so thirsty for the Gospel. We are very thankful to those of you whose regular giving helps maintain these mailings. You not only bless souls immeasurably here on earth by your giving, but you are laying up treasures above and are rejoicing the heart of Him who loves a cheerful giver. We encourage the participation of each reader with supporting gifts.
We ask also your earnest prayers for God's rich blessing on the messages. "The Spirit giveth life" (2 Cor. 3:6). Through the printed Word as well as through the spoken Word, the Holy Spirit can impart spiritual life. This we so earnestly desire to happen. Please join us in prayer to this end.
* That there is such a glorious Gospel to proclaim and that there are faithful friends with whom we can be co-laborers in dispensing this Gospel afar.
* That more of us, God’s people, will walk in greater awareness of the brevity of this life and the way it affects our unending eternity, and that our daily living will show that we take serious account of this.