by W.B. Screws

The Pilgrim's Messenger

"Have a pattern of sound words which you hear from me, in faith and love
which are in Christ Jesus."--11 Timothy 1:13
Published Monthly By W. B. SCREWS, Glennville, Georgia
Twenty-five Cents a Year

Volume XXXII

June, 1953

Number 11

Entered at the postoffice at Glennville, Ga., as second-class matter.

"For all I am strong in Him Who is invigorating me---in Christ"
Phil. 4:13.
This is Paul's testimony to the abundant strengthening that Christ gives. How precious this is to me!

Paul was acquainted with the methods which Christ says He uses to accomplish this.

He uses "every declaration that goes out through the mouth of God". He declared that man does not live by food alone, but by these declarations. I do not think of these as producing in us, strength of spirit, alone, Since they are a supplement for part of our food, it seems evident that they will do for us what food is supposed to do. They do not entirely take the place of food. They serve as a supplement. It would be foolish to allow them to supplant eating. We must have the material means of invigoration. But we also need the spiritual means.

Perhaps we have not gotten noticeable strength from the declarations of God. Maybe we have not taken time to read them thoughtfully and with faith. In this time of hurrying, we may be neglecting the important matter of giving faithful thought to what God says. Is it not true that if we read His word at all, we read it as hurriedly as we scan a newspaper? It seems that we do not have time for the really important things of life.

It is not asking too much, to request that you spend hours on a chapter---savoring every declaration---tasting every promise---remembering that you hold in your hand the most precious of all literature.

In this invigoration, the power of God is manifest in upholding and strengthening those who are delighting to do the will of God. There was a time when the disciples were anxious that their Lord partake of food. They said, with a show if impatience, "Rabbi, eat!" But He was quite busy at that time and replied, "I have food to eat of which you are not aware". When they marveled at this he continued, "My food is that I should be doing the will of Him Who sends me, and should be perfecting His work." Who can say that Christ did not actually receive strength while engaged in what He was doing? For his activities at that time were important, indeed, and resulted in many believing in Him---nothing can be more important than believing in Christ. It is no wonder He was invigorated as He spoke the words that led to multitudes becoming His disciples!

Jesus gives His body and His blood---the manna from heaven---for the life of the world. The manna from God through Moses was for the life of the people---to promote and sustain their life. But that was not the REAL manna. Christ was giving the real manna, and it fills a place in our life that the manna in the wilderness could not fill in the life of the Israelites. That gave sustenance for a few hours; this is much more potent.

The Bread under consideration is the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself. Eating His flesh and drinking His blood is NOT done literally. It is a figure of speech, denoting the fact that by faith we avail ourselves of the benefit of His truth as revealed in His written word, and as given to us by impression of spirit. If these things mean no more to us than an almanac, it is not wonder we do not get sustenance from it. But if we receive it in love, in faith, in consecration, and regard it as a revelation of God to man---then it is that it means much to us. It invigorates!

I make a plea that the people regard the teaching of God very highly. Never allow yourself to read carelessly. Try to see God in every word---in every letter. Do not read in order to "argue the scriptures". Regard it as you most precious possession. Try to be consecrated to God and His Christ every moment of your life.

Perhaps you can get some idea of the value of the declarations of God, if you remember that during the very conversation in which Jesus spoke of eating His flesh and drinking His blood, He noted that some of His disciples were turning back. He asked the twelve whether they wanted to go away. Peter asked Him where they would go. "Thou hast declarations of eonian life", he said. This was given as a reason why they would not turn away.

What are declarations of eonian life? They are declarations on which eonian life could feast. To have eonian life is to know the true God and Jesus Christ Whom He has sent. Those who have this knowledge can appreciate such declarations. Having heard them and having known the invigoration they give, how can we turn away? Also how can we regard them with indifference?

"Strong for all"! says Paul. Think of it! ALL! And this strength is in the invigoration that Christ gives.

Could I have known, a few years ago, the burdens that awaited me, what would have been my reaction? I cannot know. I only know that for almost three years there have been burdens that require the strength that only He can give. Members of my family and others have been wondrously kind. They have done much to help. But there is some of the burden that no one can fully bear for me. I have tried to maintain my ministry during these troubled months. The financial expense is enormous. Many of my subscribers graciously send me donations to help, and my children and the churches to which I minister do what they can.

But the burden of loneliness is one that I must bear. It is good to have recourse to the word of God. And one in my circumstance does not read the Bible for controversy, nor to show how much he knows. He reads for profit. No seeker after gold ever tried more earnestly to gather some nugget than I try to extract some truth and comfort, and promise, from every passage. I have learned to see God in all the scriptures. No matter who is the writer, nor yet, the ones addressed. The important thing is, God has spoken, and I listen to see if, perchance, He said something that can cheer my burdened spirit and invigorate me in spirit and body for the lonely hours that I must endure.

I have found much of this invigoration.

I hope I have not said enough to cause the reader to think I am sorry for myself. But the loneliness of which I wrote is brought about because my wife, although free of pain, is not able to carry on a conversation. As there are many hours at a time when I see no one else, loneliness is a natural consequence. This caused, some time ago, a torpid liver and an inactive gall bladder. When I awoke to the situation I asked a physician about it and he confirmed my own diagnosis---that this condition was brought about by emotional upset. I took it to the Lord, and told Him that I needed invigoration and healing. I employed the scriptures as I have outlined in this editorial. They proved, as I expected, to be potent. My liver and gall bladder are now functioning. Invigoration is a fact in my life, and healing is proceeding. I thank God for it.

What we need is to be serene and poised. Maybe there has been a period during which your mind has refused to be consoled. You have found it hard to think as you should. There have been burdens that seemed unbearable. You are without courage. There is no staunchness in you.

Prayer is the remedy---the prayer of faith. You are one of the faltering. One great trouble is, you do not seem to be able to pray with faith. Well, then, there is something that must precede prayer. It is the affirmation of faith. Deep within you there is another person. Paul calls him the man within. This person is the REAL you. He seems to have been smothered by cares---the cares of the outer man. Deep in your self you DO believe. So the affirmation of faith is this:  You are to affirm that you believe. Affirm it stubbornly. Go to the place of prayer. Say to Christ, over and over, "Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief!" One of ole said this, and it was effective, it will be effective in your case, if you continue it lone enough. Continue for hours---for days---for weeks. Relief will come. James says, "The affirmation of faith will be saving the faltering, and the Lord will be rousing him up. "Rousing" is the correct word. It means being made conscious. You have lost the consciousness of the Presence of God. You need rousing, more than you need anything else. So in your faltering condition, cling to the Lord. Do not let loose of Him. By day and by night, seek Him. Hold Him. Talk to Him, Be not frantic. Seek poise. Affirm that you DO believe. Keep on affirming it. Deep down within your being you believe God. Keep saying it until this faith comes to the surface.

You have gotten into this condition because you have forgotten that God is responsible for you welfare. You have assumed the responsibility yourself. It has proved too much for you. The One Who can take care of you is the One Who created you in the first place. Is he not able and willing to maintain His creation?

Do not make the mistake of believing that you can do this by will power. Do not depend on this. Depend on God-power. Your persistence is not to be fraught with defiance of God. You must not defy Him. Just trust Him. Continue to trust Him.

Having affirmed your faith, stick to it. Christ says, "He who seeks, finds". You will find if you seek long enough.

Paul dignifies the sacred writings by the word, "graphe", instead of using the usual word for "writing". They are more than just letters and words put on paper with a printing press. They are God-breathed for our benefit. Without this breathing, they are just writings. But the God Who gave them to us can, and does, breathe into them as we read them prayerfully, and they become "alive" to us. It is in this that their value to us is manifest. For instance, today I took the scriptures and sat down and asked God to breathe in them to my special benefit. I also asked Him to guide me as to where I should read. I read the words, "Being, then, courageous always", and I saw at once that courage is the normal state of mind of those who trust Him. Thus He breathed into these four words, and my stock of courage soared. The rest of the day was spent in a state of trust and happiness. "Courage" was what I had been praying for, and it came as He breathed into His precious words. This is why I urge the prayerful reading of His word. Read as if you were listening to Him speak to you---as indeed, He is doing when you read the sacred scriptures, which, "God-breathed also" are profitable to you. They are beneficial toward teaching, exposure, correction, and discipline in righteousness. By this breathing on the part of God you are equipped, fitted out for every good act. thus you are invigorated.

It has seemed impossible for me to "catch up" on the numbers of the Messenger. I have very much to do in addition to my ministry, orally and in writing.

So I have deemed it wise to "skip" an issue, and let this be the June number. The subscriptions will be adjusted accordingly.

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