“Thy Word is true from the beginning: and every one of Thy righteous judgments endureth for ever” (Psalm 119:160).
Benjamin Franklin, the inventor of the lightning conductor, was one evening in a circle of famous men in Paris. The conversation turned to the subject of Christianity and the Bible. One of the men brushed it all off with a wave of the hand, saying “The Bible is a book of lies and deceit and contains no scientific knowledge.” Almost everyone agreed with him. Only Franklin kept quiet. His silence being very noticeable, and as they all valued his opinion, they asked him what he thought on the matter.
“I should not like to pass such a hasty judgment as you have, gentlemen,” he said quietly. “Allow me to read a few lines from a book which I have with me in my pocket.” He drew out a well-worn volume and read a short passage. Everyone listened and wondered at the dignified wisdom which spoke from its pages.
“What book is that,” the men questioned? “Such powerful language we have never heard.”
“This Book,” answered Franklin, “Is the Bible, which you have just scorned.”
“The wind was contrary…But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid” (Matthew 14:24, 30).
I read the following statement the other day:
The wind blows in one direction; you can walk against it or with it—take your choice!
Peter when walking on the water to go to Jesus, saw the wind and became afraid. We too can be like that. We see the work and opposition of the enemy and the trials of life that seem so against us. Then we fail to see the Lord Jesus, and like Peter, thinking it is all too much, we begin to sink.
So often we try to fight against the winds of life in our own strength. This gets us nowhere except to discourage and weary us. But instead of walking against the wind, we can walk with it by accepting all from His heart of love, and walking hand in hand over the sea of life in the shelter and power of His company. Try it this week, and you will be surprised at the blessing that will result.
“Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15).
“Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:14).
“But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 15:57).
“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light” (Colossians 1:12).
“By Him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to His name” (Hebrews 13:15).
“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20).
Are you truly thankful today for the Lord Jesus Christ and all the blessings that you have received because God the Father sent Him into this world, and because the Lord Jesus, “died for our sins…was buried, and…rose again the third day” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)?
There is a sign in a local shop which lists the names of those who owe money to the store owner. The amount of the debt is also recorded. If the obligation is paid the person’s name and debt are blotted out in black ink and can no longer be read.
Little does the shop owner know that his way of collecting owed money is an illustration of something far greater. The Lord Jesus has done much more than pay a debt of money that we may owe to some earthly creditor. He paid the debt of sin that we could never pay. For those who will come to Him in faith and repentance and be cleansed, He has blotted the record out with His own precious blood. He says to such, “I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto Me; for I have redeemed thee” (Isaiah 44:22).
What about you? Are your sins blotted out? Or are they like the debts recorded on the wall of the shop, still there and indisputable? They can be gone today and gone forever. Can you say, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12)?
Q. In Philippians 2:29, it says of Epaphroditus, “Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation.” Does this mean that we should hold those who labor for the Lord in a more honorable position?
A. Yes, we often find in the Bible, that those in a place of leadership amongst God’s people are to receive recognition on that account. For example: “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine” (1 Timothy 5:17). “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves” (Hebrews 13:17). “And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves” (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13).
It is not that they seek this honor themselves (indeed it is a sin of pride if they do), but that they are given it by others who recognize that God has placed them in a position of oversight. They themselves are only to seek the good and well-being of the people of God for the Lord’s glory.
In the 1300’s John Wycliffe, the great reformer, translated the whole Bible into English—a work that took twenty-two years. Many handwritten copies were made from his translation. Those who could not afford to buy one of these Bibles paid considerable money to read it for one hour a day. A load of hay was sometimes given for a few pages of it. Truly, “the Word of the Lord was precious in those days” (1 Samuel 3:1). History relates a long list of martyrs who were burnt at the stake rather than give up this blessed Book of books.
In 1525, William Tyndale was the first to publish an English New Testament in print. This was done under great difficulty as he suffered exile, poverty and distress. In all, at least 15,000 copies were issued which were secretly imported into England in bales of cloth or sacks of flour. Many thousands were seized and destroyed. In 1536, Tyndale was strangled and burnt at the stake by those who hated the Word of God.
What value do you place on the Word of God? Can you say: “O how love I Thy law! it is my meditation all the day” (Psalm 119:97).
I am told that with the naked eye we can see about 5,000 stars. With a home-style telescope, about 2,000,000 come into view. The Palomar telescope, located atop Palomar Mountain in north San Diego County, California, enlarges our vision to billions and billions. The British physicist, astronomer and mathematician, Sir James Jeans, said that there are probably as many stars as there are grains of sand on all the beaches of the world. Yet the stars are not crowded together. Rather they are like lonely lightships on an ocean without shores. Still, our God sees them all and calls them all by name. “He telleth the number of the stars; He calleth them all by their names. Great is our Lord, and of great power: His understanding is infinite” (Psalm 147:4-5).
Wonder of wonders, He also sees me, calls me by name, and understands me as no other ever could. He assures me, “I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art Mine” (Isaiah 43:1). And again, “He calleth His own sheep by name, and leadeth them out” (John 10:3). How wonderful it is to have a personal relationship with the God of the universe.
In the room assigned to me, as a guest of a Christian couple on the island of St. Lucia, I noticed a motto on the wall, with the following verse of poetry:
I would be still and murmur not,
Breathe the prayer divinely taught,
“Thy will, not mine, be done.”
In the morning I woke up with blood on my pillow and sheets, having been chewed by mosquitoes during the night, and not felling well rested at all. The above poem was most helpful as I started another busy day.
Maybe you have had a rough weekend, or you know you have some hard decisions or circumstances to face in the days ahead. Learn to pray in the spirit of the Lord Jesus, “Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matthew 26:39). So often we fret and worry about things that are completely out of our control, rather than just submitting and trusting the One who has it all worked out for our good.