Sent: Wednesday, October 24, 2001
Subject: Bible Cover Wisdom #2
Dear Ethan & Emily:
To continue our journey through the back covers of my old Bible, I have three more “gems” of wisdom to share with you today:
Our last truth from yesterday was about faith. Here are several more:
BY FAITH THINGS ARE SEEN TO BE WHAT THEY DO NOT SEEM TO BE.
FAITH IS NOT A LEAP IN THE DARK…IT IS A LEAP IN THE LIGHT OF GOD’S WORD. Can you trust God’s Word? The writer of Proverbs knows so: “Every word of God proves true.” Prov. 30:6.
To better appreciate the value of God’s Word, I want you to think of the following situation: You are out hiking in the mountains and darkness falls before you can get back to the starting point. It is very, very dark and a storm is coming in and you have no flashlight. In a similar way, we are walking in uncertainly as we live each day, but we can use the “flashlight” God has given: “Your Word (God’s) is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path.” Just a few simple words but packed with meaning. Just imagine how grateful you would be (and what a feeling of hope and assurance) if you found a flashlight in your backpack that you didn’t realize you had as you were trying to find you way down off the mountain in our example.
My prayer for each of you is that you will come to read, understand, and love God’s Word as did the Psalmist in Ps 119: “How sweet are your words to my taste: they are sweeter than honey. (v 103)…Your decrees are my treasure; they are truly my heart’s delight (v 111)…I love to obey your decrees! (v 119)…I love your commands more than gold (v 127)…I rejoice in your Word like one who finds a great treasure…(v 162).” And one final truth here that sums it all up: “Those who love your law have great peace and do not stumble. (v 165).” Wow!]
MOST OF THE DECISIONS WE AS CHRISTIANS HAVE TO MAKE HAVE ALREADY BEEN DECIDED IN THE BIBLE…IT BECOMES A QUESTION ONLY OF KNOWING THE WORD OF GOD AND OBEYING.
Reading over these somewhat faded notes in the back cover of my older Bible really does bring back blessed memories of past sermons and conferences.
Here are several more for you to “munch” on:
In regards to giving:
WHAT I SPENT, I HAD,
WHAT I KEPT, I LOST, (just take a look at your 401k accounts…so true!)
WHAT I GAVE…I HAVE! (and monies invested in God’s work will continue to reap returns for all eternity)
This giving thing has been such a blessing to me. You don’t realize this until you do it. But the money I have been able to give missionaries and organizations over the years continues to bless me personally in so many ways. I am thankful I have now gotten to the point (was more difficult in the beginning, as the selfish and accumulation instincts are so ingrained in our makeup) that when I receive money like I just did from the sale of the Boerne property, I look forward to sharing (i.e., investing) my tithe and offering in God’s work. Sometime people know I am giving the money; sometimes not, but God always knows and gives back more!
Here’s another “gem”…and so sadly true:
MANY CHRISTIANS WE ARE SO SUBNORMAL THAT WHEN THEY SEE A NORMAL CHRISTIAN THEY THINK THEY ARE ABNORMAL!
And the final one for today:
IN THE FINAL ANALYSIS, FAITH IS TRUSTING GOD HIMSELF IN ALL SEEMING CONTRADICTIONS AND IN THE ABSENCE OF ALL PRESENT EXPLANATION.
In regards to this last “gem,” I am reminded of the ten lepers who cried out to Jesus for help in Luke 17:12 – 14. In response to their pleas, Jesus told them: “Go show yourselves to the priests.” Now in those days, when a person was healed or recovered from leprosy, they had to be “cleared” by the priests before they could enter society fully as live as they did before their illness. So, it is obvious that there was some understanding here on the part of the lepers that Jesus was doing something “special.” The interesting thing for us as it relates to faith is the following phrase in the later half of verse 14: “And AS THEY WENT (in spite of what seemed ridiculous as they still had their disease!), their leprosy disappeared.” The key here is that the lepers responded in faith BEFORE there was evidence of any healing. That’s the kind of faith that saves….and that’s the kind of faith that blesses!
Well, that’s enough to digest for now. But as good as it is to hear truth, remember what lights the fire is the “application” part as we have discussed in earlier memos.
I trust you will have a wonderful day and live in expectancy of what God can do in your life today!!
I love you,