Mark 16:20

The Lord working with them - Mark 16:20

This was the secret of the successes of the early Church. Theirs was the simple commission to preach; but wherever they did so, the Lord confirmed their word with signs following. In Jerusalem, Samaria, Antioch, Rome, and to the uttermost end of the world, wherever these simple men stood up and made their proclamation, their invisible Lord was present, and His Spirit bore witness.

Nothing less than this will account for the marvellous successes of those early preachers. He who sat at the right hand of God in the attitude of majestic rest was always beside them in the intensity of the most untiring work. What was done by them on earth was wrought by Himself. His right hand and His holy arm got Him the victory.

This blessed partnership has never been repealed. Jesus has never withdrawn from the compact; and if we could only dare to count and reckon on Him, we would find that He was cooperating in church, and Sunday-school, and mission-station. There are a few rules to be observed, however, before we can count upon Him thus:

(1) We must be clean in heart and life. He cannot identify Himself with those who are consciously delinquent.

(2) We must not seek our own glory, but God's, and the pure blessing of men.

(3) We must use the Word of God as our sword, our lever, our balm, our cordial, our charm.

(4) We must be in loving harmony with those who name His name, as He cannot countenance seclusion or uncharitable feeling.

(5) We must by faith claim and reckon upon Him - speaking to Him as to the message before it is delivered, relying on Him during its delivery, and conferring with Him about its effect. Not anxious or elated, but at rest.