Friday, February 5, 2016

The Power of the Word of God

Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path..  Psalm 119:105

Give Me That Book!
John Wesley (1703-1791) was a theologian and preacher from the 18th century.  He and other preachers/evangelists had no small part in the great awakening of England, and the spread of Christianity across the frontier of America, the new world that took place in that same period.  In the prelude to his Preface of Sermons, he wrote the following:
“TO candid, reasonable men, I am not afraid to lay open what have been the inmost thoughts of my heart. I have thought, I am a creature of a day, passing through life as an arrow through the air. I am a spirit come from God, and returning to God: just hovering over the great gulf; till, a few moments hence, I am no more seen; I drop into an unchangeable eternity! I want to know one thing,—the way to heaven; how to land safe on that happy shore.
God himself has condescended to teach me the way. For this very end He came from heaven. He hath written it down in a book. O give me that book! At any price, give me the book of God! I have it: here is knowledge enough for me. Let me be homo unius libri. (translation: a man of one book) 
Here then I am, far from the busy ways of men. I sit down alone; only God is here. In His presence I open, I read His book; for this end, to find the way to heaven.
Is there a doubt concerning the meaning of what I read? Does anything appear dark or intricate? I lift up my heart to the Father of Lights:—“Lord, is it not Thy word, ‘if any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God?’ Thou givest liberally, and upbraidest not. Thou hast said, ‘if any be willing to do Thy will, he shall know.’ I am willing to do, let me know Thy will.”
I then search after and consider parallel passages of Scripture, “comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” I meditate thereon with all the attention and earnestness of which my mind is capable. If any doubt still remains, I consult those who are experienced in the things of God: and then the writings whereby, being dead, they yet speak. And what I thus learn, that I teach.”

I pray that I might echo the cry of Mr. Wesley to be “a man of one book…”, the Bible; that each of us could be heard by heaven crying daily “Lord give me wisdom from this your Word…”
 I do not pick up the Bible with the same casual gaze that I read the evening news, nor a work of fiction with.  The Bible is not that book that I reach for simply to prepare for my sermon or a Sunday school lesson with.

The Holy Bible is that book:
·      Inspired by God himself,
·      …that is the Word of God,
·      …that contains the Wisdom of God,
·      …and teaches me how to be saved;
·      …how to live for and serve the Son of God!
·      It is that lamp unto my feet, and light unto my path that guides me through the journey of this life.
·      The Bible is that complete telling of God’s plan for salvation for others that I am to read, understand, and communicate to this lost and dying world…because soon, and very soon Jesus is returning.

Almighty God, as I take up my Bible, I pray that I read it with eyes to see what you would have me to see, with a heart prepared to receive what you would have me to receive. I am your vessel oh Lord, fill me.

In Jesus’ holy name I pray, Amen.

(submitted by Kerry Patton)

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