There Stood A Man Of Macedonia
Message by Paul Rader during the annual missionary rally, Thursday evening, May 31, 1917.
Surely Paul must have felt strange to be forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the Word any longer in Asia; and then when he essayed to go on to Bithynia, to have the Spirit suffer him not to remain there. He must have been baffled as he came down to Troas. Can you imagine him in this strait betwixt two, taking himself alone with the Lord to inquire of the Lord what He would have him do?
There were no open doors around him, and the shut doors had been shut by the Spirit. He must wait upon God; and as he waits, the Man of Macedonia out there—far out—is beckoning with pathetic face, crying, “Come over and help us.” How far in advance of him the man of Macedonia had gone! Who was this man of Macedonia, but the Lord Jesus Himself, beckoning with nail-pierced palm, saying, “Paul, Paul, come over and help us.” This blessed Man of Macedonia is always a little farther out in the dark beckoning to the Church to “Come over and help us.” Oh, how long He has stood out there in the dark, and with groanings that could not be uttered has cried to the Church in Ephesus, has cried to Smyrna, has cried to Pergamos, has cried to Thyatira, has cried to Sardis, has cried to the Church of Philadelphia, saying, “I know thy works. Behold I have set before thee an open door and no man can shut it, for thou hast a little strength and hast kept my word and hast not denied my name.”
Some Bible students tell us we are in the latter days of the Philadelphia Church, and others that we are now in the Laodicean age. It surely would seem so from these words of the Lord, “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked; I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye-salve that thou mayest see.” Oh are we in that age? Has the Church lost its vision? Can it not see today the wounded hand of the Man of Macedonia out there in the dark? Is it so blind that it can only give a few cents for missions out of its wealth and its luxury? Are its leaders looking for position and haven’t ears to hear the pitiful wail of the Man of Macedonia, saying, “Come! Come! Come over and help us.” The Church may have grown rich and proud and worldly and amusement-loving, but He—blessed Son of God—is still out there in the dark pleading with any who will hear, “Come over and help us.”
All through the message of Jesus to the Churches, this pitiful cry comes forth, “He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the Churches.” Oh, how God’s heart is hungry for a chance at the Church’s ear! He got Paul’s ear, and Paul saw the Man of Macedonia and heard him speak. Paul did not say, “What salary will I get? How will I get my missionary outfit? What board will stand behind me? Who will be there to open up the field for me? Where will I get the provisions?” But when Paul saw the hand of the Man of Macedonia, and heard the pitiful cry, “Come over and help us,” he says that when he had seen the vision “immediately we endeavored to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the Gospel unto them.”
Beloved, let us believe that if He calls He also provides. Praise God, there is a door that His hand can open and no man can shut! Get alone with God, and let Him give you a vision of Our blessed Lord out yonder in the dark, crying to you, “Come over and help us.”
Notice the word “us.” He identifies Himself with the poor and the lowly and the lost. This same one who washed the disciples’ feet, who took the spit of sinners and the contradiction of men, is still saying “us.” It is only when you get the vision of the compassion of His heart that you stop calling the heathen “them” and begin to say “us.” I wonder how big your “us” is? How much does it include? Is “us” the few you know who love Him and serve Him, or is the “us” those who are in the uttermost parts of the earth? He says “us.” Let Him teach you to say “us.”
No reception committee met Paul on his arrival; no great concourse of people were gathered to hear his message; there was no entertainment committee among the people, but oh, the Man of Macedonia was there ahead of him to greet him, the Man of Macedonia was there to smooth his pillow, though it be a pillow of stone; the Man of Macedonia was there to gather the little company at the river to whom he could deliver the precious words of life; the Man of Macedonia was there as the record says, “to open the heart of one Lydia, who attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul; and when she was baptized and her household she besought Paul and his companions, saying, if ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and abide there. And she constrained them.”
Oh, beloved, if you give up home, lands and friends, to follow the Man of Macedonia, He knows how to make new lands, oh, such wonderfully fair lands! And new homes, blessed precious Bethanies, where the Man of Macedonia Himself sits and rejoices together with you over “the sheep which was lost and has been found.”
We are gathered here in this Missionary Rally to hear the voice, and see the signaling of the Man of Macedonia.