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Vol 12 â€˘ Issue 9
THE ANCHOR Holding on through the storms of life
How Much Does God Care? Involved or aloof?
The Trinity Conundrum 1+1+1=1
Vol 12, Issue 9
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PE R S ONA L LY SPE A K IN G Long before a giant shark attacked its first victim in Jaws, before Indiana Jones stumbled onto his first booby trap, and before computer graphics breathed new life into zombies, one of the most terrifying scenes on the big screen was when someone stepped into quicksand. No Tarzan movie was complete until he had rescued some innocent soul from certain death in that awful ooze or the villain’s final breath had gurgled to the surface. Like that quicksand, problems sometimes threaten to suck us under. The harder we struggle, the deeper we sink. But things are rarely as bad as they seem. Laws of physics make it nearly impossible for a person to sink more than about waist deep in real-life quicksand. It may be difficult and take awhile to get unstuck, but the person won’t go all the way under. Likewise, those who have a working faith in God can only sink so low or stay so long entangled in their problems. Google “how to escape from quicksand,” and you will find a few pointers that together form a basic plan. Adapted to the faith approach to problems in general, those points go something like this: • Don’t panic. That will cause you to sink deeper. Try to relax. Control your spirit, and trust that God is in control of the rest. • Pray. God always has a better plan than you can come up with on your own. • Shed unnecessary weights. Problems have a way of putting lesser things in perspective. • Spread your weight. Lean on God. “Underneath are the everlasting arms.”1 • Be patient. Slow, deliberate actions produce better results than frantic activity. • Rest periodically. Clear your mind and refresh your spirit by meditating on positive, faith-building thoughts from God’s Word. If the articles in this issue help you apply those principles, then we’ve accomplished one of the main aims of Activated—activating and strengthening your faith so you’re better prepared to handle whatever life sends your way. Keith Phillips For Activated 1. Deuteronomy 33:27 2
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www.auroraproduction.com © 2011 Aurora Production AG. All Rights Reserved. Printed in Taiwan by Ji Yi Co., Ltd. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Other Bible references are from the following sources: New International Version (NIV). Copyright © 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. New Living Translation (NLT). Copyright © 1978, 1996 by Tyndale House Publishers. Used by permission.
Walking on the Great Orme By Abi F. May
The day dawned fine as I set out to walk up the Great Orme, a limestone headland on the
north coast of Wales. I walked along cheerfully in glorious sunshine, map in hand. The Great Orme stood firm, unchanged. The road upon which I walked led me around the edge of the headland. The gentle sea breeze was invigorating at first, but soon a wind blew up over the sea and storm clouds gathered overhead. In minutes my coat was becoming heavy with rain. The Great Orme stood firm, unchanged. A little less cheerful now but hopeful that the weather would improve, I continued my walk. Optimism was rewarded; the sun came out, and soon I was carrying my coat over my arm, basking once more in warm sunshine. The Great Orme stood firm, unchanged. The map directed me off the road and onto a narrow track that wended through fields and bushes. I made my way up stony stretches, my legs beginning to ache as the climb grew steeper. Sheep grazed on stubbly grass. Seagulls gathered on the rocks below before soaring high on gentle updrafts. The Great Orme stood firm, unchanged. The time passed pleasantly until at last I reached the summit. The view was magnificent—the mountains of Wales to one side, the open sea to the other. The Great Orme stood firm, unchanged.
My return route was by a different path. Despite studying the map, after some time I was dismayed to realize that I was going around in circles rather than descending. I was also getting weary and starting to worry whether I was going to make it back to my hotel before the sun set. The Great Orme stood firm, unchanged. I crossed paths with an experienced walker—a local man out with his dogs. He showed me a short, direct route. I was still tired, but invigorated by the expectation of arriving back before dark. The Great Orme stood firm, unchanged. The highs and lows of the walk of faith are much like my day on the Great Orme. Our faith may reach high ground or descend into valleys, and sometimes we are buffeted by the storms of life or wearied by the journey, but no matter how we feel, God’s Word, the foundation upon which our faith is built, stands firm, unchanged. Abi F. May is an English educator and writer based in Great Britain, and an Activated staff writer. ■
“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”—Luke 21:33 3
How Much Does God Care? By Peter Amsterdam
Within the span of a week,
I heard three people say three different things that got me thinking about God’s involvement in my life. Person one said that he didn’t know if God actually cares about what we do, and that He may not be particularly interested in the choices we make beyond accepting salvation, especially the less important ones. Person two said that he believed that God only intervenes in our lives after we have done all we can to find His will—that He expects us to exhaust all available means before He will intervene. Person three expressed the point of view that when God made the world, He was like a clockmaker who assembled and wound up the clock and then left it to run on its own. God designed the laws of nature that would govern and perpetuate His creation, but from that point on, He has let things run themselves without His intervention. 4
Each of these outlooks disturbed me, and in the days that followed, I reflected on them. Something inside me rebelled against the thought that either God didn’t care enough to be involved in my life, or I had to work as hard as I possibly could before He would give me His attention. If any of those three concepts were true, what could I count on God for, besides forgiveness for my mistakes and sins? What good was He? In times of tumult, I need help and direction, not to be worried about whether He cares enough to help or whether things have gotten bad enough for Him to get involved. When I mulled over those three points of view, I was reminded of three proofs that stood in direct contradiction to them. 1. Personal experience God has intervened in my life on several occasions in ways that made it clear He was interested in the decisions I made. Once, years ago, I had a dream that gave me an answer before I even
knew the question. A few days after the dream, I was offered two jobs. The dream had made it very clear which offer to take, and doing so put me on the path that led me to the work I have been doing for the past 15 years as one of the directors of the Family International. I hadn’t done anything to find that answer, let alone exhausted all the means at my disposal. On numerous occasions when I have sought the Lord’s guidance in
prayer and have received direction from Him. I’ve asked Him to give me answers and He has—in meditation, by speaking to my heart, through my reading His Word, by relaying His wisdom through others, and through circumstances. He’s given me clear counsel and direction that, when followed, has worked. I know from personal experience that God cares, is interested in me, and will participate in my life when I am open to Him. 2. God’s Word In both the Old Testament and the New, there are many examples 1. Acts 16:6–10 NIV 2. Proverbs 3:6 3. Psalm 32:8 4. Psalm 143:8
of God’s interaction with man—His intervention in events, and His giving guidance or warning. There are also plenty of examples of God’s involvement in the decision-making process of His followers, but there is an especially good one in the book of Acts: “Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’ After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.” 1
God clearly had preferences as to where they should and shouldn’t go, and He made those known to them. The Bible explicitly states that we should look to God for guidance as part of our decision-making process, and that if we do, He will give us direction: “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” 2 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye.” 3 In the book of Psalms, David clearly showed that he believed in God’s guidance when he prayed, “Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to You.”4 5
Jesus said that when we have needs, we should look to God and expect Him to meet those needs. “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”5 Jesus believed His Father would guide Him in making decisions, as evidenced when He selected the apostles from among His disciples: “He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles.”6 It’s evident from Scripture that God wants to and will interact with us if we want Him to. 3. The Holy Spirit Along with personal experience and examples found within the Word, I thought about how Jesus promised that once He physically left our world, the Father would send the Holy Spirit to dwell in believers. He said that the Holy Spirit would live in us. “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever—the Spirit of truth. The 5. Matthew 7:7–8 6. Luke 6:12–13 7. John 14:16–17, 20 NIV 8. John 14:6 6
world cannot accept Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you know Him, for He lives with you and will be in you. On that day you will realize that I am in My Father, and you are in Me, and I am in you.” 7 If God was going to send His Spirit to dwell within me forever, then it stands to reason that He is interested not only in me as an individual, but also in what I do and the decisions I make. I would even make the case that He’s not merely interested, but involved. In various English translations the Greek word parakletos, which is used to describe the Holy Spirit, is rendered “Counselor,” “Helper,” “Intercessor,” “Comforter” or “Advocate.” I like those images— God’s Spirit being all those things to me. I love it that God is active in my life, that He is interested in me, in who I am and what I do. I see plenty of evidence that God wants to be part of my life, to play an interactive role. He and I are working together. His Spirit—dwelling within me, guiding my decision making—helps me in my journey through life. I’m so grateful that He didn’t just wind me up and walk away, but instead gave me the means to interact with Him through His Word and His Spirit. Peter Amsterdam and his wife, Maria Fontaine, are directors of the Family International, a Christian community of faith. ■
If you haven’t connected with the interactive God, you can right now by receiving His Son, Jesus, as your Savior. Simply pray a prayer like the following: Jesus, I want to experience God’s love and care, which is promised through You, “the way, the truth, and the life.” 8 I open my heart and invite You in. Amen.
Points to Ponder
the Anchor This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast. —Hebrews 6:19 We have someone in whom we can rest assured, eternally secure. We know that God is watching out for us wherever we are and whatever we’re doing. We have that anchor. It hardly matters what happens around us on the constantly changing sea of life. We can survive it and surmount it, because we have Him. —David Brandt Berg To realize the worth of the anchor, we need to feel the storm. —Author unknown The fact that the early Christians often used the symbol of the fish to signal their faith to fellow-believers is common knowledge; their use of an anchor is less well known. From ancient times, the anchor was viewed
1. My Hope Is Built, Edward Mote, 1834
as a symbol of safety. For Christians, the anchor symbolized their hope in Christ, who would bring them to the safe harbor of His heavenly kingdom. Anchors adorn numerous tombs of early Christians buried in the catacombs beneath Rome. —Christine Hunt We do not steady the ship by fixing the anchor on anything that is inside the vessel. The anchorage must be outside of the ship. And so the soul does not rest on what it sees in itself, but on what it sees in the character of God, the certainty of his truth, the impossibility of his falsehood. —Adapted from Dr. Thomas Chalmers (1780–1847) Jesus Christ is the anchor of your soul. Don’t needlessly fret about the details of life. You belong to God and there is nothing that can force you to crash on the rocks. You are secure
because He is secure. Trust Christ in every circumstance. Then relax. Enjoy the sunset. Savor the flavor of life. Rest, knowing that “in every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil.”1 —Steve McVey (b.1954) I’ve an anchor safe and sure, that can evermore endure. [I withstand] the tempest’s shock, for my anchor grips the rock. Through the storm I safely ride, till the turning of the tide. For in Christ I can be bold, I’ve an anchor that shall hold. And it holds, my anchor holds; Blow your wildest, then, O gale, On my bark so small and frail; By His grace I shall not fail; For my anchor holds, my anchor holds. —William Clark Martin (1864–1914) ■ 7
The Trinity Conundrum By Jessica Roberts
In the middle of math class, one of my second graders made this startling declaration: “There is no God!” Considering that this was a Christian school and Martin was the son of a pastor, I had to wonder how he had suddenly come to this conclusion in my classroom. When asked, he proclaimed, “My dad says that there’s God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, but also that there’s only one God. It makes no sense.” What to do? I was sure that greater minds than Martin’s had contemplated the Holy Trinity and run into the same problem, but at the moment I really preferred to stick to multiplication. “Martin, we’re in math class. We can talk about that later.” “It is a math problem,” Martin replied. “Three is not the same as one!” What parent or teacher hasn’t been similarly ambushed? From the lips of children come a lot of tough questions. I’ve learned that the best thing I can do in such cases is ask God for wisdom, because what I may interpret as cockiness or contrariness on the part of the child may in fact be divinely instilled inquisitiveness and a great teaching opportunity. I didn’t 1. Song of Solomon 2:1 8
feel sufficiently brushed up on my theology to explain the concept of the Trinity to Martin and his classmates. ... Recess. Saved by the bell! For the next ten minutes, while the children played, I prayed. And an answer came to me. It was a bit simplistic and probably not how St. Augustine or other Christian thinkers would have explained it, but it worked for Martin and the others when math class resumed. “The Bible calls Jesus the Rose of Sharon,”1 I told them. “God is like the root of the rose bush. He’s hidden, but that’s where the rose had its beginning and grew from. Jesus is like the rose blossom. He is the showy part of God’s love that we can ‘see’ and sense. The Holy Spirit is like the sap that flows through the bush, keeping it alive. Three aspects, but the same rose bush. See?” I imagine Martin will have even tougher questions in the future, and of course I have plenty of questions myself. Thankfully, God always answers when we ask sincerely. He may give a simple, straightforward explanation like the one He gave for Martin, or one that’s more involved, or He may simply give us peace to accept what we cannot yet understand. Jessica Roberts is a member of the Family International in Mexico. ■
By Maria Fontaine
Believing purely by faith, having no tangible evidence, is not a natural approach for everybody in all cases. Just as the Lord made people very different in their personalities and physical makeup, there are also different kinds of faith. Whether you need time and study to reach a place of belief, or whether you embrace concepts with little questioning, the goal is what counts—building a living faith. It’s not unusual to go through crises of faith and to question points of doctrine or even foundational Christian principles. The Lord often works through such battles of the mind and spirit and uses them to strengthen us. He can use this process to help us to go back to the foundation of our faith, to reaffirm our belief system, and to gain greater clarity. It can help us reach a better understanding as to why we believe certain things to be true—the scriptural foundation for our faith. Many Christians have experienced crises of faith or grappled with bouts of doubt. Some noteworthy examples come quickly to mind—Martin Luther, Mother Teresa, and the pioneer missionary Adoniram Judson. Their crises of faith and the battles they fought to reach a place of faith and understanding have been documented. The result of their experiences, however, was a stronger faith,
a deeper understanding of God and the intimate relationship He seeks with each of us. Their battles and victories have inspired many. I would venture to say that their struggles also gave them a deeper understanding of the battles people face in affirming their faith and how these can be used to ultimately strengthen their faith. You may have had similar experiences. Rather than looking at doubts and crises of faith as a potential threat to our faith, to be resisted and pushed out of mind and heart, we need to bear in mind that questioning, doubt, and skepticism can also be stepping stones to a strong and mature Christian faith. They can help us to reason and understand our faith, to research and to determine “whether these things [are] so,”1 and to reach a place of personal and reasoned faith. A faith built on these premises will not be easily swayed when challenged by contrary arguments or beliefs, or by the intellectual reasoning of unbelievers. Ultimately, the result can be a stronger and more seasoned faith. ■
1. Acts 17:11 9
Where to Start? A Reflection on Bible Reading
By Chris Hunt
When I first found my faith as a young woman, I was told that I should read the Bible, but
had no idea where to start. With other books, I was in the habit of glancing at the last few pages to find out how the story would end, but skimming the last pages of this book meant plunging into Revelation. That book made no sense to me whatsoever! Fortunately, some more experienced Christians came to my aid and gave me some good advice on Bible reading. “The Gospels are written in straightforward language and will help you learn about the life and teachings of Jesus. To understand the heart of Jesus’ message,” they advised, “the best place to start is the Gospel of John.” It was also interesting
to find out that the Gospel of John contains more of the words of Jesus than any other book. Each chapter reveals another aspect of His character, message, and life. But soon I ran into a problem. When I read through the four Gospels, it appeared there were contradictions. If this was the inspired Word of God, why did the authors render certain stories or quotes differently? Someone helped me out. “When you describe a film to a friend, you don’t tell the whole story. You just tell the parts that stood out to you. Another person would probably describe different parts, what was most significant to him or her. That’s how it was with the Gospel writers. They each told certain aspects and left out others.” This made sense. The books of Psalms and Proverbs were the next recommendations. Psalms is an inspired mix of prayers, pleadings, praises, promises, and prophecies. Proverbs contains a wealth of practical wisdom. Conveniently, there are 31 chapters in Proverbs, so it’s easy to read through in a month, one chapter a day. But if you want a blueprint for action—if you want to not only grow in faith but to learn to share it with others—turn to the book of Acts. This book recounts the disciples’ activities during the first 30 or so years following Jesus’ resurrection as they worked together and spread the Good News. Of course, there is a lot more in the Bible than the books I’ve mentioned here, but this was a good place to start in my journey of faith, and these books are still favorites to this day. Chris Hunt lives in Great Britain and has been reading Activated since it was first published in 1999. ■
Finding Jesus in the Book of John By Gretchen Stein
A key Bible verse is John 20:31: “These [words] are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” Jesus as the Son of God is one of the main themes of the book of John, along with faith and eternal life. John recorded what Jesus said even more than what He did. In the first few chapters of the book of John, Jesus gives the most complete picture of Himself and God, and in the fifth and sixth chapters Jesus repeatedly declares that He was sent from God. A quarter of the book—chapters 13 through 17—is devoted to Jesus’ final hours with His disciples the evening before His crucifixion, as He prepared them (and us) to keep the faith and carry on without His bodily presence. Jesus used “I am...” to describe Himself 14 different ways in the Gospel of John. “I am the Messiah.”—John 4:26 “I am the Bread of Life.”—John 6:35 “I am from above.”—John 8:23 “I am the Light of the World.”—John 9:5 “I am the Door.”—John 10:9 “I am the Good Shepherd.”—John 10:11 “I am the Son of God.”—John 10:36 “I am the resurrection.”—John 11:25 “I am teacher and Lord.”—John 13:13 “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”—John 14:6 “I am the true Vine.”—John 15:1 Gretchen Stein is a member of the Family International in Europe. ■
FEEDING R EADING The Gospel of John
Chapter 1: Christ, the Son of God Chapter 2: Christ, the Son of Man Chapter 3: Christ, the divine teacher Chapter 4: Christ, the soul winner Chapter 5: Christ, the Great Physician Chapter 6: Christ, the Bread of Life Chapter 7: Christ, the Water of Life Chapter 8: Christ, the defender of the weak Chapter 9: Christ, the Light of the World Chapter 10: Christ, the Good Shepherd Chapter 11: Christ, the Prince of Life Chapter 12: Christ, the King Chapter 13: Christ, the servant Chapter 14: Christ, the consoler Chapter 15: Christ, the true Vine Chapter 16: Christ, giver of the Holy Spirit Chapter 17: Christ, the Intercessor Chapter 18: Christ, the model sufferer Chapter 19: Christ, the uplifted Savior Chapter 20: Christ, the conqueror of death Chapter 21: Christ, restorer of the penitent ■ 11
ONE DAY AT A TIME By Kevin Langam
One of the greatest prayers ever taught goes back two thousand years
and contains a simple point that helps me focus on living in the now: “Give us this day our daily bread.” For 25 years, my dependence on alcohol and drugs took away my ability to enjoy life. I became so remorseful of the past and so fearful of the future that I was constantly terrorized by the thought of what another day might bring. Then, in that single sentence from the Bible, I found a whole new concept for living. When I live in the day, I’m freed from that life of fear and torment. I can’t expect to have my needs guaranteed for the next week or
month or year. All I really need is what I need for today. That is why I must strive to live my life that way— one day at a time. I have come to understand that today is the only time I have. There is no guarantee of tomorrow; and yesterday, with all its mistakes and sorrows, is gone forever. Today, this present moment, is precious. Even though I know this now, I can still waste my day by reliving the past or worrying about the future. The effect addiction had on me was that I took myself and my sordid circumstances very seriously, often to the point that I lost contact with reality. There was no joy or humor or real satisfaction in what I did. Everything around me became grim and dark.
Today, positive signs of spiritual rebirth are showing in my life. Each day I gain more spiritual energy and zest for living. I find joy in others and myself. I have rediscovered the pleasure of laughter. I know that not every day will be a bed of roses, and I will always have to face pain and disappointment. Freedom from the weight of past mistakes and fear of the future will not always shelter me from the pain of the present or the consequences of past actions. The best thing I can do is pause, look deeply within myself, face today’s problems with determination and honesty, and make the choices the day demands, knowing God is with me. The burden of my yesterdays often becomes too great for me to bear
If faith no larger than a grain of mustard seed can move an entire mountain,1 then it shouldn’t even take a microscopic speck of faith to keep you doing all the things that you need to do to make it through a day. So don’t worry. God will help you when the hour comes.—David Brandt Berg
WHY WO RRY?
alone. And if I think of my life in terms of all the things I must do tomorrow, next week, or next year, the sheer weight of the resulting worry overwhelms me. Whenever I find myself approaching either of those states of mind, I must ask God to bring me back to the now, where the burdens are more manageable and where I am able to either do something about them if I can with His help, or accept them if I can’t. For most people, planning is a normal, healthy function; for me it is a two-edged sword. A good plan can keep my life manageable and help me get things done, but when 1. Matthew 17:20 2. Matthew 6:25–26; 28–34 NLT
planning leads me to hinge my happiness on the way I expect things to turn out, I am headed for trouble. That’s because, based on my past, I am more likely to expect problems than positive outcomes, tragedy rather than triumph. The present can be large and interesting enough to occupy all my attention if I can stay focused on it. By concentrating on the here and now and opening myself up to others, God, and the good around me, I can live a happy life, one day at a time. Kevin Langam received a BA (hons) in psychotherapy and is now head therapist at an addiction center in England. He has been in recovery for 19 years. ■
“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. “So don’t worry about tomorrow. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”—Jesus 2 ■ 13
You Are What You Memorize A spiritual exercise
You’re reading the Bible or an article that includes Scriptures, and a
verse seems to jump off the page; it speaks to you in a special way, giving you encouragement, inspiration, or guidance. Sometimes, this realization comes in a flash of understanding—a eureka moment. Other times you get a sense that the verse you have just read holds special meaning for you, or that it applies to a specific situation or problem you face at the time. God gives us these special passages to increase our understanding of Him and His ways, and to provide a rocksolid foundation for our faith. “Faith comes by hearing the word of God.”1 The following verses are some that have strengthened the faith of Christians throughout the ages. Start 1. Romans 10:17 14
by committing some or all of these to memory, and then move on to other scriptures that are special to you. Try to memorize at least one verse each week for the next month. It will get easier with practice. Salvation John 3:16: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. The Word Psalm 119:11: Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You. Matthew 24:35: Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away. Prayer Jeremiah 33:3: Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things.
Forgiveness Ephesians 4:32: Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Giving Acts 20:35: It is more blessed to give than to receive. Finding God’s will Psalm 143:8: Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to You. Proverbs 3:6: In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. Protection Psalm 46:1–2: God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea. Supply Philippians 4:19: My God shall supply all your need. Comfort John 14:18 (KJV): I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Hebrews 13:5: I will never leave you nor forsake you. Healing Exodus 15:26: I am the Lord who heals you. Jeremiah 30:17: I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds. ■
BIBLE FANS Many books in my library are now behind and beneath me. They were good in their way once, and so were the clothes I wore when I was ten years old; but I have outgrown them. Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens with our years.—Charles Haddon Spurgeon (1834–1892), British preacher and writer I have found in the Bible words for my inmost thoughts, songs for my joy, utterances for my hidden griefs, and pleadings for my shame and feebleness.—Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834), British poet There is abundant evidence that the Bible, though written by men, is not the product of the human mind. By countless multitudes it has always been revered as a communication to us from the Creator of the universe. … We must not build on the sands of an uncertain and ever-changing science … but upon the rock of inspired Scriptures.”—Sir Ambrose Fleming (1849–1945), British electrical engineer and inventor The Bible is a rock of diamonds, a chain of pearls, the sword of the Spirit; a chart by which the Christian sails to eternity; the map by which he daily walks; the sundial by which he sets his life; the balance in which he weighs his actions.—Thomas Watson (c.1620–1686), English preacher and author
For me, the Bible is the Book. I cannot see how anybody can live without it.—Gabriela Mistral (1889–1957), Chilean poetess and Nobel Prize winner All human discoveries seem to be made only for the purpose of confirming more and more strongly the truth contained in the Sacred Scriptures.—Sir William Herschel (1738–1822), British astronomer We must make a great difference between God’s Word and the word of man. A man’s word is a little sound, that flies into the air, and soon vanishes; but the Word of God is greater than heaven and earth, yea, greater than death and hell, for it forms part of the power of God, and endures everlastingly.—Martin Luther (1483–1546), German reformer This book [the Bible] had to be written by one of three people: good men, bad men, or God. It couldn’t have been written by good men because they said it was inspired by the revelation of God. Good men don’t lie and deceive. It couldn’t have been written by bad men because bad men would not write something that would condemn themselves. It leaves only one conclusion. It was given by divine inspiration of God.—John Wesley (1703–1791), English theologian and founder of Methodism ■
From Jesus with Love
The lighthouse My Word is like the beacon of a lighthouse, shining in the darkness to guide vessels through the sometimes dark and stormy sea of life and into My safe harbor. I placed it on the shore, facing the sea, so that as many as possible will see its light and be drawn to Me. You are like a sea captain piloting his ship through rough waters on a dark night. If you had no light, you could not see the shoreline and your ship could be dashed against the rocks and lost. But because I love you, I send out My Words like the huge beam of a lighthouse to help you find your bearings. My light illuminates the dangers and points the way home. My Word is a lamp to your feet and a light to your path.1 Look to it for light and guidance, so you can make it safely to port no matter how dark the night or how intense the storm.
1. Psalm 119:105