January 2020

Monthly topical artices kindly supplied by a regular visiting               

speaker from Northampton: Stan Burditt.

VIEW

VIEW FROM THE PULPIT               January 2020

Theft  

It is reported that there are 7.5 billion people living on planet earth today and sad to say not many of them could say that they have never misappropriated something that belonged to another person, i.e. that they have not committed theft.  Possibly, the same could be said about lying, but that is another subject.  The eighth commandment is “Thou shalt not steal”, the sixth is “Thou shalt not kill” the seventh “Thou shalt not commit adultery”, so God is precise in giving us an exact code of moral conduct for life.  The definition of theft is to dishonestly appropriate property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it.  The word ‘theft’ covers many acts of misappropriation, larceny (theft of personal property), robbery, fraud (identity, benefits, expenses, mortgage, insurance etc), embezzlement and burglary.  The writer received six strokes of the cane at senior school for stealing apples from the school orchard therefore identifying himself with any other person that has violated the eighth commandment.  Other acts of misdemeanours before conversion would be too shameful to share. 

George Muller was born in Germany in the early nineteenth century.  His Father gathered taxes for the government.  When he was a boy of ten he began stealing and even took some of the taxation money that his Father was responsible for.  When 14 years of age, as his mother lay dying, he was gambling and drinking and was on the path of criminal activities.  His Father wanted better for him and enrolled him in a similar occupation to his own.  It was not until he came into contact with Christians at a prayer meeting that Muller began to consider the pathway of his life. Around 20 years of age he prayed upon his knees to God for forgiveness and his life was dramatically changed. This young man who had previously deprived people of their money began a long life of providing money for thousands of orphans.  At Wilson Street in Bristol he and his wife rented a house where they cared for 30 orphan girls.  They acquired three more houses in Wilson Street giving homes to over 100 boys and girls.  Complaints by the residents of Wilson Street cause them to look for larger premises and they found land at Ashley Down, Bristol where in subsequent years they built five orphanages that accommodated over 1000 children at any one time, and had the facility for double that amount.  It is said that Muller and his wife cared for over 10,000 children in the homes.  He also provided over 100 schools where 120,000 children benefited in their education.  Muller never appealed for funds to provide either the houses or food for these orphans.  When an orphan was old enough to leave the orphanage a tin trunk and two changes of clothing were provided for them as they launched out into independent living.  At Alma Road in Bristol, Bethesda Chapel became the centre for Muller’s preaching having moved up from Teignmouth where he learned to trust God alone for his supply.  The last seventeen years of his life he travelled hundreds of thousands of miles throughout the world to advance the preaching and teaching of the word of God.  No appeals were made for finance for this travel but a record of every expenditure  was kept and recorded for accountability.  Salvation in Muller’s experience brought a wonderful change not only in his life but for the benefit of thousands of others. 

Henry (Harry) Moorhouse  was born in 1840 in the City of Manchester.  When very young he was sent to jail on more than one occasion, he had become a pick-pocket and frequented the race courses where he would steal wallets from unsuspecting punters. In 1860 when passing the Alhambra Circus in Manchester where Richard Weaver was preaching, he heard a noise and thought it was a fight taking place and went to join in.  Instead he heard the gospel message and was gloriously saved.  In his early days as a Christian he preached in the open air and public places and was helped by observing other preachers such as C H Spurgeon and D L Moody.  He wrote to Moody in Chicago and said that he wanted to preach there, Moody was going to be absent from Chicago for a couple of nights so allowed Moorhouse to preach.  When Moody came home and heard the preaching for another five nights on the same text each night, the powerful John ch 3 v 16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life” he learned from Moorhouse how to preach the love of God, which affected his own preaching from then on.   Moorhouse died when he was 40 years old but not only was his life changed as a result of his conversion to Christ but his preaching caused change in many other lives.  He was buried in Aldwick Cemetry, Manchester and John 3 v 16 is engraved on his gravestone. 

When Jesus died on the cross at Calvary two thieves died alongside him that day, both railed on Christ as they hung in agony on their cross.  However one thief began to recall why he was there and also began to consider why the man on the centre cross was there.  He came to reason that Christ had committed no wrong – he said to the other thief in Luke 23 v 40-42 “Dost thou not fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?  And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.  And he said unto Jesus, Lord remember  me when thou comest into thy kingdom”.  That thief believed that Christ is the King of a coming Kingdom and was saved.  His hands had stolen but he was forgiven and assured that he would be alive with Christ in paradise that very day. 

 

God bless,     

 

Stan Burditt