Monthly Archives: December 2016

Enough by Helen Roseveare

The following extract is taken from Enough by Helen Roseveare and will be read today at her funeral by Christian Focus author Irene Howat.

9781845507510

What more can we say? Throughout the Bible, God draws the eyes of Christians forward to that wonderful time when we shall see him face-to-face, no longer darkly as in a mirror. Scripture only tells us a limited amount of the wonders of that time. So as we sing of it, we are seeking to express what we believe it will be like, to the best of our human comprehension.

There is a higher throne

Than all this world has known,

Where faithful ones from ev’ry tongue

Will one day come.

Before the Son we’ll stand,

made faultless through the Lamb;

Believing hearts find promised grace;

Salvation comes.

Hear heaven’s voices sing;

Their thund’rous anthem rings

Through em’rald courts and sapphire skies;

Their praises rise.

All glory, wisdom, pow’r,

Strength, thanks and honour are

To God our King, who reigns on high

For evermore.

And there we’ll find our home;

Our life before the throne.

We’ll honour him in perfect song

Where we belong.

He’ll wipe each tear-stained eye

As thirst and hunger die.

The Lamb becomes our Shepherd-King;

We’ll reign with him.

Keith and Kristyn Getty

In heaven, we will experience the ultimate fulfilment of all that grace has made possible for us, all that Christ’s death on the cross of Calvary bought for us – forgiveness of our sins, peace of heart, friendship with God, the ‘enough-ness’ in every area of our lives that we have been thinking about.

And it has all been made possible through grace – made possible through Jesus, our beloved Saviour. Before Jesus came to Gethsemane and Calvary, he prayed to his Father, ‘Father, glorify your name’ and the Father replied, ‘I have glorified it, and will glorify it again’ (John 12:28.) Was the Father not referring to the cross, as being the moment in history when he would most clearly reveal to us his glory – when grace would be shown to us in all its fullness?

As I try to conceive of the fullness of grace, my mind moves to Titus 2:11, ‘For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.’ He is talking of the Lord Jesus himself – he is the grace that brings salvation and has appeared to us all. And Paul goes on, ‘we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness’ (Titus 2:13-14). One day, he will return.

As we experience, by grace, the great things that he has done for us here in our present life, it still remains largely beyond our ability to conceive of the wonders of heaven.

No eye has seen,

No ear has heard,

No mind has conceived

What God has prepared for those who love him (1 Cor. 2:9).

He promises that, on that day, there will be no more tears, no more pain, no more regrets, no more fears, no more mourning, no more death. All the human emotions and frailties that distract us now, all that causes us to feel less than content, everything that makes us other than happy and at peace – they will be no more. All that causes us now to seek to know the enoughness, the all-sufficiency, of his grace – they were part of a world that has now passed away. On that wonderful day, not only will there be no hindrance to true worship of our beloved Lord and Saviour (the negative aspect of the work of grace), but there will be an utter fulfilment of all that his grace has procured for us (the positive aspect). And more, there will be enough time to love him as we should, and to worship and serve him utterly as we long to do.

What a wonderful prospect!

So as we are learning now that God’s grace and love and fellowship are indeed enough in this ‘down here’ life, we are encouraged by all the wonderful promises for the life-to come, the life ‘up-there’. All God’s promises, that we have watched being fulfilled here and now, will be finally completed when we are in his nearer presence.

In his vision, the Apostle John said:

I saw a new heaven and a new earth …

I saw the Holy City …

He will wipe every tear from their eyes.

There will be no more death or mourning

or crying or pain, for the old order of

things has passed away (Rev. 21:1-4).

But with that negative declaration of what there won’t be in heaven, there came (first, actually) the wonderful positive truth of what there will be in heaven.

Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people and God himself will be with them and be their God (Rev. 21:3).

As we look forward with longing to that day, we can pray with John, ‘Come, Lord Jesus’ (Rev. 22:20).

Now, while we are still on earth, we can truly sing wholeheartedly the first three verses of John Newton’s hymn:

Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me!

I once was lost, but now am found;

Was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,

And grace my fears relieved;

How precious did that grace appear

The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares,

I have already come;

‘Tis grace that brought me safe thus far,

And grace will lead me home.

But then, when we arrive in glory, we will truly experience that of which we sing in verse 4, the glorious freedom of worship – the enough-ness of time!

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,

Bright shining as the sun,

We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise

Than when we first begun.

John Newton (1725-1807)

Other books by Helen Roseveare:

1845501896-C-DUOTONE-F29781845500580 184550190X-C-DUOTONE-F2 9781845502942 9781845503529 97818455029599781845503512

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eBook Special – Why Everything Matters by Philip G. Ryken

Today we feature an ebook special from our friends at Gospel eBooks. Why Everything Matters by Philip G. Ryken is available for $2.99. Found out more about this powerful book below.

Why Everything Matters

Ecclesiastes is for people who have their doubts about God, but can’t stop thinking about him. The author of Ecclesiastes had his doubts, too, and these have enabled him to speak to skeptics as well as believers down through the centuries.

Ecclesiastes is a book rich in literary artistry and multi-layered depths of spiritual meaning. Philip G. Ryken explores this wonderful Old Testament book, and reminds us again of the need to trust God with the questions, even when we do not have all the answers.

Why Everything Matters is a remarkable read that will inform and elevate every heart with essential wisdom for living a life that matters.

R. Kent Hughes, Senior Pastor Emeritus, College Church, Wheaton, Illinois

… a wonderful treatment of the book of Ecclesiastes. In his study of the text the author beautifully blends the mind of a scholar with the heart of a pastor. It is a faithful exposition of a book that is troubling to many.

Daniel L. Akin, President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Wake Forest, North Carolina

Philip Ryken has provided another crisp, lively and faithful exposition that will serve both Bible reader and Bible teacher alike. This book will be a great help in opening up the wonderful and unique world of Ecclesiastes. Highly recommended.

Sam Allberry, Assistant Pastor, St Marys, Maidenhead and Author of Is God Anti-Gay?

About the Author:

Philip G. Ryken became President of Wheaton College in July 2010. Prior to that he was Senior Minister of Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is also a prolific author and a member of the council of The Gospel Coalition.

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Helen Roseveare (1925-2016) A Tribute

Christian Focus Publications would like to extend its sincerest condolences to the family and friends of our dear Helen Roseveare, who passed away this morning. She dedicated her life to serving others even in the deep trials of life. She pioneered vital medical work in the rainforests of what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo and was an internationally respected speaker with WEC ministries. We are thankful at Christian Focus for Helen’s ministry through the books we have been blessed to publish. She spent her life in service for the Lord and today she is with Him, worshipping Him, in heaven.

Helen_Roseveare

Catherine Mackenzie, Children’s Editor at Christian Focus, shares the impact Helen Roseveare had on her life.

This morning a good friend and encourager Helen Roseveare passed away, she had been longing to go home to be with Christ. Now this has happened we who remain look back at her life and rejoice in the work that the Lord gave her and in the witness she gave to his worthiness.

It was eleven years ago that I met Helen Roseveare for the first time. She had not long celebrated her eightieth birthday. I’d read her books and knew her story and somehow or other I had been invited to stay with her in Belfast. It was great to actually meet one of my heroines. She was not only encouraging, she was challenging. It was an environment – all be it just for a weekend – where I felt safe to be honest with her and Pat, her friend, about the challenges and struggles of my own little life. Even though she had been through so much herself (if you don’t know what I mean then read her books) my problems didn’t feel too insignificant to share. And the words she gave me before I left on the flight from Belfast to Inverness were straight forward – just telling me to keep on going. And I’m thankful to her and to God that I have through His strength.

After that she came over to my congregation to do a conference. It was there that she gave, as part of her message, four little words that I believe were the backbone to her life and reinforced, for me, the message of her books, the message she gave me before I left Belfast and the message her Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, gives all believers.

“Jesus is Worth it”.

Towards the end of that conference I had the pleasure of taking her and Pat for a tour of the Black Isle – a Scottish peninsula near Inverness. What took place at lunch that day is one of several distinct ‘Helen and Pat’ memories that will stay with me for the rest of my life. If you’ve not met either of them – let me describe these two women of God… in two words (believe me I could pick another 100 words to describe them and I wouldn’t do them justice.)

Smart. They both graduated in medicine at a time when to be a female graduate in any discipline like this was rare.

Cosmopolitan. Both travelled extensively – before the easy days of online booking and satnav.

But if you had been the couple sitting beside us in the restaurant that day you wouldn’t have looked twice. You would have presumed ‘they’re just two little old ladies’. But that’s one point where the church and the world differs – God’s kingdom never puts the word ‘just’ before any category of believer – particularly little old ladies.

Our neighbouring diners were given a visual and audible lesson in this when, after lunch, Pat and Helen’s conversation went as follows:

“I don’t think we’ll ever be able to get back to Afghanistan but it is a beautiful country, and the Lord is at work there…” – or words to that effect.

As my chin dropped I could see the looks on the people at the table beside us as they turned and stared. Two women they had just spent the last hour ignoring were talking about a trip they had made to what was now one of the most notoriously violent countries in the world.

Helen and Pat started reminiscing about people who had lived and worked in that region and about the brief time they had spent in a nation that was now in the thick of a conflict that threw up words like Taliban and Terrorist.

I drove them back to my parent’s house and before too long they were on their way back to Belfast discussing, no doubt, their plans for the development of the girl’s clubs they were involved in and the future fundraising for their local church.

So don’t make assumptions about little old ladies… especially when you hear the word church and missionary in the same sentence … they may very well have been where we will never go, have done what we wouldn’t dream of, and have given up what we just aren’t willing to.

Helen Roseveare was a little old lady, during the time I knew her, but really age didn’t come into it. She was a woman after God’s own heart and Jesus was the one that her heart longed after. She’s with him this morning – still part of the church as she worships more fully in heaven. We who remain, continue as she did once to long for home.

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