Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Nearer My God To Thee"1 (Lyrics)
During the period between 2003 and 2004, I spent a considerable amount of time researching and writing the history of Presbyterians here in Meaford, Ontario, Canada, from 1854 to 2004. I found the names of the thirty ministers and student ministers who did the Lord's work during those 150 years. I also found the names of a great many of the people in the congregations, ordinary people who did so many of the things which needed to be done. Some of the names showed up for decades, others just for a year or so.
Of course, there were also literally hundreds of people whose names were not mentioned at all, but I think that a great many of them were also involved in bringing the gospel to all the people in this area for those many years. They were just ordinary people who brought God's Word, and that made me think of the early disciples who joined Jesus.
Some of them are well known, like Peter, James, and John, whom we hear about quite often. Others we hear about just occasionally — Bartholomew, Thaddeus, and another James, for instance. Then there was Andrew, who was first a follower of John the Baptist and was present at the Jordan River when John was preaching and announcing that Jesus was the Messiah. There is not much written about what Andrew did, but it appears that he was good at talking to people, for he introduced several people to Jesus. The first one was his brother Peter:
John 1:40-42a – One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, "We have found the Messiah" (which is translated, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus. (NKJV)
When Jesus had been teaching a great number of people, He asked Philip, "Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?" It appears that Andrew had befriended a young lad, and he had the solution:
John 6:8-9 – One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to Him, "There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?" (NKJV)
After Jesus' triumphant entry into Jerusalem, it is evident that Philip knew that Andrew was good at introducing people to Jesus:
John 12:20-22 – Now there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast. Then they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus." Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn Andrew and Philip told Jesus. (NKJV)
Andrew talked to people. He told them about Jesus and introduced them to Him. He did not write any books like some of the others did, but like some of the people in the history of our churches, his name is mentioned. Will our names be mentioned as well in the history recorded in the Lamb's Book of Life?
Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we thank You for all the ordinary people who have done so much to tell others about Your Son Jesus, our Saviour and Lord. We pray in His name. Amen.
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Good reminder, Joel.
Very interesting, Joel, and a good example for us.
Thank you Joel You are a most kind and very thoughtful person!
Really loved this devotional and its scriptural backup, Joel. Am forwarding it to my minister and my son. Has many ramifications – all good.
Thanks, Joel. Your writings are always very effective. Seems we in our area need to be doing more talking to people, especially young people. I am talking to our grandchildren… so far that is going well.
Enjoy your wonderful summer weather. It is beginning to heat up here.
Thank you for this encouraging devotional reminding us that God does not expect large things from everyone, but we might have the purpose of just being an ordinary person setting an example or telling others of the good news. May you continue to spread the Word and encourage others as you do so well. May many blessings come your way along with some cool air on this very hot day.
Thank you for another special devotional. It is always interesting to look back on our church history and remember those who were so diligent and faithful at spreading the word of our Lord and bringing others to praise and honour Him. Being messengers of the Lord’s love and care is a joy that we can share with others in our daily life.
Blessings for your writings.
Thanks for all the research you did about Presbyterians in Meaford. I often stayed with my Grandparents during the winter months when the school bus didn’t run. I remember walking to church with my Grandfather on Sunday evenings. I joined the church and was designated as a missionary.
Just some memories from the past.
Glad you are back to writing devotionals.
I sometimes think about the disciples we heard nothing about.
Thank you for your devotional. Thank you for being your church’s historian. I always enjoy St. Andrew’s Day in November. We have Cameron Highlanders come to visit. Young and old, with a group of bagpipe players. Maybe next year, God only knows. God is faithful. We will live our faith in the community through our good works and worshipping at home with YouTube videos. God is faithful and he calls us to spread the Word, in words and deeds. Praise be to God. Amen. Thanks again. Maybe we may go back to worshipping in our homes, like in the book of Acts. Only God knows. He knows the future, I don’t.
What a fascinating collection of scriptures.
I seems Andrew used his “gift of the gab” wisely. as indeed we who are extroverts can also do.
Hello Joel. Your message was very comforting as it spoke to me at the perfect time to help me with a worry I had about my son.
Thank you for all your devotionals.