If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! Matthew 7:11
We are taught to glory and rejoice in God as our Father and in the blessed joys to which at length we shall come. Heaven is our home, though for a time we are on earth and in misery. We should not judge our heavenly Father’s benefits by corporal blessings alone, for often the wicked prosper more in the world than God’s children. Thus, we must lift our minds from earthly to heavenly things. We may see, however, God’s heavenly providence in his earthly provisions. He has blessed me here on earth from my childhood with earthly provisions, yet these do not compare to his care for my soul. Earthly blessings are but a taste of our heavenly blessings. The loss of earthly things teaches us to be more mindful of the permanent things of heaven. I lament that I am so earthly-minded and think so little of my heavenly home. I am so unthankful for God’s providence and fatherly corrections here on earth. Alas! I am altogether a wretch, earthly and unthankful for the corporal benefits of health, riches, friends, fame, and wisdom. I do not appreciate my Father’s heavenly benefits, or Christ Jesus, or the promises of the Spirit, or the gospel, yes, and even glory and heaven itself. I am proud in prosperity and forget God, growing secure and careless. I am impatient under the cross and too often worry about my disappointments. O dear Father, forgive me for my unthankfulness, the love of the world, and contempt of all of your heavenly benefits. Grant me your Holy Spirit to illuminate the eyes of my mind with the light and living knowledge of your presence, power, wisdom, and goodness. Inflame my affections, that I may desire nothing on earth but you, and to be present with you. I pray, give me these things in your good time.
Sinclair Ferguson has publicly stated that no one has had a greater spiritual impact on his life than William Still! William Still was the minister of Gilcomston South Church, Aberdeen, from 1945 to 1997. While his name may not feature in the official annals of the Church of Scotland, it is doubtful whether any other individual in his Church during the latter half of the twentieth century had such a profound or widespread influence. For over fifty years Mr. Still pioneered a single-minded commitment to expository preaching and congregational prayer which made Gilcomston a beacon of Reformed and evangelical Christianity in Scotland.
A man whose very life breathed the grace and love of God, no one who ever met him, received his counsel, or sat under his ministry, could have escaped the sheer Christlikeness of Mr. Still’s life. In the early days of his ministry he wrote: “There is no part of me, or of my life, that I will withhold from the work that God has called me to.”
It was one of the marks of his evident commitment to the service of Christ that he devoted himself to the pastoral care of his people, providing them with daily Bible reading notes that would feed their souls and prepare them for works of service. The “Notes”, which appeared in the monthly “Congregational Record,” soon became highly sought after across Scotland, the United Kingdom, and even to the far-flung corners of the world, increasing in many a love for and commitment to the Word of God.
Drawn from every book in the Bible, this selection, edited and arranged by David C. Searle, will take the reader through the year with William Still. These pages will explain what it means to live under the authority of Scripture, to exalt the glorious Person of Christ, and to rejoice in the wonder of the gospel.