Cleaning Schedule: This Week: Debra & Jennifer, Next Week: Montgomerys
Mac Torrence “A Servant, A Brother Beloved, Specially To Me, But How Much More Unto Thee..”—Philemon 1:6
This church lost a faithful servant, a brother, a friend, in Mac Torrence. The Lord took him home last week, to rest from his labours, troubles and sorrows. A wife has lost a beloved husband, a son and daughter lost a loving father, a mother her son, this church a servant, especially to me . . . a right hand man, a diligent and faithful supporter, a friend, but how much more unto thee . . . a servant of the church and a beloved brother.
Mac was a quiet man, a man of few words, and quietly worked hard to serve us all. He worked for years in the treasury (a thankless job, without pay) but did it willingly, cheerfully, honestly and generously. Almost every time we needed to meet a preacher’s expenses, or help someone in need, he would ask me the amount to give, I would make a suggestion, he would say: ‘Can we give more?’ That is proving the sincerity of your love for the Lord, His gospel, His gospel preachers, and His people. Ever since the Lord saved him he has willingly, cheerfully . . . voluntarily worked for this church and on this church house. I (we) will miss him for those reasons but much more. How he loved the gospel and loved to hear it. I loved preaching to him and will miss his presence and heartfelt response. And you will miss his presence here . . . such a kind, gentle, pleasant and Christlike man who looked forward to seeing you and you him . . . always a heartfelt, warm greeting and hug before the service, and profitable conversation after. He loved to sit in the study with the men as we read and prayed before service and we loved to hear him read and pray. There will be a big empty chair. He looked forward to worship with you and you with him. The last time I saw him, when he knew he would not be coming back, he said: “There’s a big hole in my life without this church and the gospel . . . NO!”, he said, … “ IT IS MY LIFE! CHRIST IS MY LIFE!”
Yes, we have lost a dear brother. But O where he is now, and what he sees and hears now, and Who he is with now. Don’t weep for him, weep for his family, weep for us and our children; for we are left behind, left in this valley of tears, this present evil world of sin and sorrow. . . . BUT . . . it won’t be much longer for any of us. Very soon, “the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a SHOUT, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. . . . “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” – 1 Thess. 4:16-18
He Is Not Ashamed To Call Them Brethren – Hebrews 2:11
This has to be one of the most blessed verses that a sorry, saved sinner can hear; that the Lord of Glory is not ashamed to call us brethren. O’ how ashamed of ourselves we are. As the Lord said through Ezekiel, after hearing of all that the Lord has and will do for us, “ye shall remember your own evil ways, and your doings that were not good, and shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for your iniquities and for your abominations”(Ezek.36:31). And yet, the Lord God, the Lord Jesus Christ, is not ashamed of those He died for; not ashamed of them, though they have done shamefully and will, at times, sin to their shame and His. Nevertheless, He is not ashamed of them, for He knows their frame; He knows their hearts; He knows their spirits are willing but their flesh is weak. He knows they believe Him (He gave them the faith) though they often act and speak like they don’t. He knows they love Him (He gave them that love) though they sometimes act and speak like they don’t. He knows them, like a Father knows His child, like a brother knows His kin, like a husband knows His wife. He knows them better than they know themselves and so He is not ashamed to call them brethren. We can’t help but think of Joseph, when He revealed himself to his brethren; his sorry brothers who hated him, sold him, and forgot about him. But Joseph never forgot about them, and when the Lord brought them into Joseph’s hands, to do with them as he pleased, Joseph, a type of Christ, was not ashamed to own them as his brethren. His first words to his sorry brethren were: “I am Joseph your brother”. . . And the fame thereof (Joseph’s love and mercy) was heard in Pharoah’s house, saying, “Joseph’s brethren are come” (Gen.45:4,16).
What a loving, merciful, longsuffering, kind, compassionate, patient and understanding Elder Brother we have in the Lord Jesus Christ. O’ how we ought to fear sinning against such love; fear doing anything to put Him to shame. But O’ when we do, what hope and comfort it will give us in knowing that “He is not ashamed to call them brethren” and none who put their trust in Him will ever be put to shame; will never be disowned by Him. For He abideth faithful.