“Not one day should pass without our doing something for Christ—for the well-being of the ecclesia, and the enlightenment of the stranger. Christ can be served in many ways, and by the busiest. We can materially forward His work by an exemplary discharge of the common duties of life. What better recommendation can the Truth have than for those who profess the name of Christ to be kind, courteous, upright, sober-minded, and virtuous? But we can do more than this. We can take steps to make ourselves strong in the Truth, so as to be in a position to impart instruction to the less enlightened, and otherwise form useful and stable members of the meeting to which we belong.”

And so wrote brother Jannaway in encouraging us, among other things, to preach the Truth “in season and out of season”.

To manifest God is to live the Truth and to speak it. The words of the Psalmist, “I believed, therefore have I spoken(Psalm 116:10), are the outpourings of one who is thankful for his deliverance. He said, “the sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow. Then called I upon the name of Yahweh; O Yahweh, I beseech thee, deliver my soul” (Psalm 116:3–4). As a result of his deliverance and his love for his God, he responds with the words, “I believed, therefore have I spoken”, followed predictably with words of praise and thanksgiving. Who would not give thanks? Who would not speak openly of their deliverance, having been rescued from such dire circumstances? But, do we?

We have been delivered from death by a God “which raiseth the dead” (2 Cor 1:9–10; Rom 7:24–25). Where then is our praise? Do we speak with thankful lips of our “deliverance”. That is gospel proclamation! We should be telling the world about our great salvation. The Psalmist believed and therefore spoke of his belief. Should not we? The Truth should be an active force in our lives. The Psalm is Messianic and spake of the One whom all knew by what he said and did that he was the Son of God: the One that said, “the harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few” (Luke 10:2).

The Prophet Isaiah records, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings… that saith… Thy God reigneth” (Isa 52:7), speaking of the work of our Lord Jesus Christ who, not being willing that any should perish, spake the truth to all who came to him that they might repent. When the Apostle Paul cites this quotation in Romans 10:15 he, under inspiration says, “how beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” In changing the “him” to “them”, Paul brings home to us our responsibility to follow the example of our Lord; to “follow his steps” (1 Pet 2:21). We believe our God will reign in Zion, do we speak it to others? We must be active; apathy is one of the greatest challenges we face today.

The words of the Prophet are interesting. What is beautiful about the “feet” of him that preacheth the Truth? Take ourselves back to those days when our Lord would have traversed the stone strewn tracks in and around the hill country of Judea and beyond. Dusty in summer; cold, wet and muddy in winter; feet shod only with the open sandal. As we look at those feet we would see calluses, marks cut deeply by the leather thongs, scars and bruises; skin weathered and wrinkled as a result of the extremes of heat and cold. Yet, “beautiful”! They would be anything but described as beautiful by today’s standards! Why then? Because such feet spoke of activity and personal sacrifice. And that is what the Truth and gospel proclamation is all about; having “feet shod with… the gospel of peace” (Eph 6:15).

Yet in raising the Truth with our neighbour, or work-mate, or friend at school or elsewhere, we will receive disappointments. The great majority of today’s irresponsible, fun-loving, sensual society is not interested in deliverance from what it sees and enjoys. Let us “eat, drink and be merry” is the motto that leads them to the grave. To this end Our Heritage article in this issue is, “Be Not Discouraged”. In it brother Thomas says, “to preach the truth is like telling fables to a deaf man; putting a jewel in a swine’s snout… This is the nature of the flesh and blood world… But all the individuals of this perverse race are not so absolutely controlled by the evil thereof as to be incapable of sobriety in word and deed. The race has some ‘honest and good hearts’”.

We are encouraged in the feature articles to seek out those “honest and good hearts”. In this edition of The Lampstand the work of gospel proclamation is promoted, not only at a personal level but also in the ecclesia and elsewhere. Think what it would be like if every brother and sister in this city tookit upon themselves to speak the truth to at least one person each day, or to bring one interested friend along to the lecture each Sunday! Remember, it was the Apostle Paul with only a small band of dedicated disciples, that were so effective in their preaching campaigns that they earned the reputation in Thessalonica of having “turned the (Roman) world upside down” by their preaching.

How much more effective could we be?