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Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Ladies' Night!

The pressure of preparation, at the moment, combined with the ongoing work in house and garden, led to me spending a lot less time on the social network Facebook than had previously been the case. With more than a week since my last post here, I am realising that the blog is also being neglected. Such are the joys of "retirement" when one is a disciple of Jesus. I was told - a long time before it applied to me! - that, in the Kingdom of God, there is neither retirement nor redundancy! There is always "a work for Jesus" for those who are willing and who make themselves available.

Anyway, last night my wife was at a "Ladies' Night" organised by some of the young women in the French Fellowship of which we are members. As it was quite a distance away, I was the designated chauffeur for her, and one of the younger ladies who was travelling with us. I took my laptop, and fully intended getting some preparation done for a meeting next week, and preparing a post for the blog. However, the young man of the house in which we met, and with whom I was sharing the study (he also had work to do), and I started talking! Already, in this post, I have typed almost as much as I managed to type last evening.

I had a splendid evening (by the way, so did my wife and the other ladies involved!) chatting with this young man. Our topics of conversation ranged over a wide spectrum - from foreign exchange rates, to politics, to DIY and, of course, to matters Biblical and theological. We shared our thoughts on how to respond to certain questions that are regularly asked of disciples of Jesus - especially questions concerning the existence of God; and the creation of all that is. We discussed the possibilities for overt evangelism in the French culture. It was wonderful - and I realised that I miss such discussions!

A couple of Scripture texts came to my mind. I thought of Proverbs 27:17 - "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another." This was not me lecturing or preaching (although I confess that I did do most of the talking!!), but two brothers in the Lord Jesus sharing their thoughts with one another, and each learning something from the other.

I thought of the words of Psalm 133:1 - "Behold how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!" We were not always fully in agreement - but we were (and are!) brothers in Jesus, and so could agree to differ on matters that are not of the substance of the faith.

The evening was a reminder of how much we need one another. The Bible knows nothing of a "solitary Christian" - although there are obviously situations and circumstances in which one may be cut off from any form of Christian fellowship. I think, of course, especially of those who are incarcerated for their faith; and those who are the only believer in their locality.

However, even as I type, I am reminded of some words of the Lord Jesus, shortly before His arrest, passion, and crucifixion: "The hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, every man to his home, and will leave Me aloneyet I am not alone, for the Father is with Me." (John 16:32). However dark the day; even if denied the joy of human company; the disciple of Jesus need never be "alone" - for He is always with us. He is the One Who, even as He commanded: "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you;" promised "and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age." (Matt.28:19-20; emphasis added).

Do you know that Presence? He is only a prayer away!

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