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Mar/apr 201 1

God’s One and Only Published Work

‘Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.’ Psalm 119:18

Selwyn Hughes Revised and updated by Mick Brooks Further Study: Ian Sewter © CWR 2010. Dated text previously published as Every Day with Jesus: Bringing the Bible to Life (May/June 1997) by CWR. This edition revised and updated for 2011 by Mick Brooks. CWR, Waverley Abbey House, Waverley Lane, Farnham, Surrey GU9 8EP, UK Tel: 01252 784700 Email: mail@cwr.org.uk Registered Charity No. 294387. Registered Limited Company No. 1990308. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of CWR. Unless otherwise stated all Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, New International Version. © International Bible Society. Cover image: CWR Quiet Time image: sxc.hu/gorex Printed in England by Linney Print

Every Day with Jesus is available in large print from CWR. It is also available on cassette and DAISY in the UK and Eire for the sole use of those with a visual impairment worse than N12, or who are registered blind. For details please contact Torch Trust for the Blind, Tel: 01858 438260. Torch Trust for the Blind, Torch House, Torch Way, Northampton Road, Market Harborough, LE16 9HL.

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A word of introduction …

T

he Bible is by far the world’s bestselling book. This much-quoted fact will be familiar to many, but has familiarity made us numb to what it really means? Sales of the Bible are estimated in billions, while its closest rival in mere millions. It continues to be the bestselling book of the year, every year. A large percentage of homes own at least one version. The Bible has shaped and changed the course of individual lives. Men and women have died for this book or been imprisoned for possessing a copy. Countless individuals throughout history have sought to live according to its words. It has also shaped nations. It has been the foundation for government policy and has provided the platform for legal and judicial systems. Yet despite all this, we live in a time of great ignorance about the Bible; its history, context, Author and content. Selwyn spent much of his life seeking to engage individuals with the Word of God. He was fully persuaded that the better our understanding of God’s Word, the deeper our relationship with the Author; and this deep relationship with the Author – the Author of life itself – gives life. Over the next two months, Selwyn outlines and explores many ways to engage with this amazing book and to discover its life-giving truths. In an age of bestselling celebrity autobiographies, what could be better than immersing ourselves in God’s one and only published work? Sincerely yours, in His name Mick Brooks Consulting Editor Visit our website to download a free supplement to this issue, entitled Exploring the Bible and order your free copy of Selwyn’s book Getting the Best from the Bible. www.cwr.org.uk

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There’s more!

Tues 1 Mar

For reading & meditation – Luke 4:14–30

‘... and he began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”’ (v.21)

T

he theme for this issue came to me following an intensive time of travelling in several different countries, during which I had the privilege of meeting and talking with a number of Every Day with Jesus readers. ‘Every Day with Jesus is my lifeline,’ confessed one. ‘I just couldn’t get through the day without it.’ ‘It is my daily link with God,’ commented another. Kind and generous things were said by many others, but what surprised and concerned me was the discovery that for many their only contact with the Bible was by means of this devotional aid. I suggested to them that Every Day with Jesus is a Further good appetiser but not a full meal; a healthy supplement Study but not a substitute for daily or regular intake from the John 20:30–31; Bible. My message, therefore, to all those whose only Acts 17:10–12 contact with Scripture is through these readings is this: 1. Why did there’s more! And as for those of you who are already John write engaged in further exploration of the Bible, hopefully his Gospel? you too will discover ways to gain more when you read 2. Why were the Scriptures. the Bereans Pastor Robinson, one of the Pilgrim Fathers, used to commended? say to his people, ‘God has much more light to break out from His Word.’ He has. When Jesus stood up in the synagogue at Nazareth and read the passage from Isaiah He said, ‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.’ In Jesus, revelation passed from law to life, from a Book to a Person. Now that Person gives the fullest meaning to the Book. The more we know of the Bible the more we will know of Jesus. Our main purpose in wanting to understand the Bible better is not simply to gain knowledge, but to increase our knowledge of Him. The more we know of Him the more we will want to live for Him. O Father, I am so thankful that in the Bible I have a Book from which light continually breaks forth. Help me discover more ways of opening up its treasures. In Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

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Wed 2 Mar

The inexhaustible Book For reading & meditation – Acts 1:1–11

‘He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.’ (v.3)

Y

esterday I mentioned the statement made by Pastor Robinson, one of the Pilgrim Fathers, that ‘God has much more light to break out from His Word’. How true is this? Can we really discover something new from the Bible each time we read it? If my experience is anything to go by, we can. I have been reading the Bible on a daily basis for most of my adult life and, with few exceptions, every time I come to it I tingle with anticipation, for I know it will yield new vistas and new surprises. I have often told the story of a reader who, after becoming a Christian, started to study her Bible every morning Further Study and evening. Her husband, a non-Christian, having observed her poring over her Bible day after day for Psa. 119:105–112; 1 Kings 10:1–7 about six months, finally asked, ‘Haven’t you finished that book yet?’ How can you ‘finish’ a Book that reveals 1. What did an infinite God? Easier to put the ocean into a thimble. the psalmist declare? John Wesley described the Bible as ‘the inexhaustible Book’. It is. The passage before us today says that 2. What did the Queen of Sheba Christ, after His death and resurrection, appeared to discover? some of His followers over a period of 40 days ‘and spoke about the kingdom of God’. So the revelation was not merely a physical one but a spiritual one also – a revelation of His meaning and purpose. Through the pages of the Bible He has been revealing Himself ever since. And His revelation is continuous and inexhaustible. All other books can, after a certain amount of studying, be exhausted of meaning. But you can never exhaust the Bible’s meaning. The inexhaustible Christ lives in its pages, and because of that, new light can always be expected ‘to break out from His Word’. Lord Jesus Christ, the more I see in You, the more I realise there is to be seen. I am on a great adventure of discovery and growth. My soul is alert and ready to know more of You and Your Word. Lead on, dear Saviour. I follow. Amen.

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How to find time

Thurs 3 Mar

For reading & meditation – Proverbs 25:15–28

‘Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.’ (v.28)

W

e are just three days into our theme and maybe you are beginning to feel a little daunted by the challenge of spending more time reading the Bible. You may be thinking that the ideas being presented will absorb more time than you can afford. If this thought enters your head then, kindly I say it, you are mistaken. Time spent with the Bible is of incalculable worth. If Jesus is willing to come into our lives and reveal Himself to us through the pages of His Word, is there not something almost arrogant in wondering whether we can give Him time? We must find time. But how can a busy man or woman find Further time? Surely it’s easier said than done. Study Time is found by going over one’s life and reviewing Exod. 20:8–11; one’s use of time. So, may I suggest that you spend Luke 4:16; some moments today with God going over your days Eph. 5:15–17 to see what can be dispensed with. Don’t cut down 1. Is time an on essentials, such as healthy recreation (if it is not enemy or a excessive) or time spent with the family. Look instead friend? at such activities as watching television, reading the 2. Could we newspaper or browsing the internet. Many people I use our day have met who have told me they haven’t ‘a moment of rest more to spare’ can actually squander hours like this. God effectively? does not want us to neglect anything essential, but I promise you that if you prayerfully ask Him for guidance He will help you recast your priorities and show you how to review and redeem time that can be spent in connecting with Him. There need be no tenseness in this exercise; remind yourself you are going to use the time reclaimed for better ends. As Christians we are answerable to God for our use of time. Don’t fritter it away. Be proactive. You really can find time.

O Father, I see that the art of making time begins with me. Help me realign my priorities so that You have first claim on my time. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Fri 4 Mar

Once is not enough For reading & meditation – Romans 12:1–8

I

‘Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.’ (v.2)

f you are still feeling daunted by my suggestion that you can give more time to the Bible than that involved in simply reading the passage set out in Every Day with Jesus, then consider this. Every waking moment of our lives we are operating from one of two world-views – human or divine. Most of us, if we are honest, will admit that a good deal of the time we are influenced by what we read in the newspapers, hear on the radio or see on television. Human opinions tend to have a greater influence on us than those of God Himself. One of the ways we can correct this is by exposing Further our minds more and more to His Word, the Bible. On Study average, it takes between five and eight minutes to read Matt. 4:1–11; Mark 12:28–33 the set passage and comments on any one page of Every Day with Jesus. Many have told me over the years that 1. Why is the God has used His Word (and sometimes my comments) Bible like food? in remarkable ways to bring comfort, encouragement, 2. How can we guidance and illumination to their lives. If God can do love God with our minds? that with five minutes of devotional time, think what He could do for those who would give time during the day to additional reading of His Word. As I have indicated, the main reason we allow human opinions to shape us instead of being governed by the commands and principles of the Bible, is because we do not spend enough time understanding and immersing ourselves in its pages. A Christian brother remarked some years ago, ‘I once read the Bible through from beginning to end just as I would read any book. Isn’t that enough?’ Sadly, no, it is not enough. So contrary to God’s will are our own ideas that we need constant exposure to the Bible for them to be corrected. Take it from me, once is not enough. My Father and my God, help me understand that the continuous entrance of Your Word gives light and the continuous neglect of it brings darkness. Make me a person of the Book. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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CWR Ministry Events Please pray for the team Date

Event

Place

1 Mar

Women’s Spring Day – True Confidence Waverley Abbey House Wendy Bray

Presenter(s)

9 Mar

Lead Like Jesus

WAH

Andy Peck

10 Mar

Prayer Evening

WAH

Guest speaker Jeff Lucas

11 Mar

Deepening Our Security in God

WAH

Stuart & Marilyn Checkley

14–18 Mar

‘Woman to Woman’ training course

WAH

Lynn Penson & Ros Derges

14–18 Mar

Principles of Biblical Counselling 2 and other courses (see website)

Singapore

CWR team

19 Mar

A Day Together

WAH

Mark & Christine Daniel

21–25 Mar

The Big Story – Genesis to Revelation

WAH

Philip Greenslade

25–27 Mar Preparation for Marriage WAH

Mick & Lynette Brooks with Lynn & Andrew Penson

28 Mar – Foundations of Biblical Care WAH 1 Apr

Philip Greenslade, Andy Peck Lynn Penson & Heather Churchill

4–8 Apr Introduction to Biblical Counselling WAH

Angie Coombes, Richard Laws & team

8 Apr

How to Help Couples with Troubled Marriages

Heather & Ian Churchill

8–10 Apr

Love Divine, All Loves Excelling (1 John) WAH

Philip Greenslade

29 Apr – 1 May

Women’s Weekend – You Prepare a WAH Table Before Me

Lynn Penson, Jeannette Barwick & Lynette Brooks

WAH

For full details phone 01252 784719, international +44 (0)1252 784719 or visit the CWR website at www.cwr.org.uk

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Sat 5 Mar

Where are we heading? For reading & meditation – Psalm 119:81–88

‘Preserve my life according to your love, and I will obey the statutes of your mouth.’ (v.88)

C

ardinal Newman is reported to have said, ‘I read my Bible to know what people ought to do, and I read my newspaper to know what they are doing.’ The question we now ask ourselves is this: which exerts the greatest influence on our lives – the media, current affairs, news and TV or the Bible? Recent statistics reveal that only a small percentage of Christians read the Bible daily or regularly. We live in a generation of media-minded people rather than Bible-minded people, sensational and flighty rather than wise and steady, and we need this trend to be reversed. Dr E. Stanley Jones quoted Bishop Paul Kern as Further saying this: ‘I read my Bible because within its pages Study (a) I find power for the ordering of my inner life, (b) it Num. 13:26–14:9 offers a way of escape from those perils which threaten 1. What were the our modern life, (c) in its pages are found the secret by contrasting which men walk the pathways of light and hope and opinions? freedom, (d) it assures me that man is supremely dear 2. Why may an to God, (e) it tells me whither I am bound, and (f) it overwhelming majority teaches me that the lesson of life is to believe what the be wrong? years and centuries say, as against the hours.’ Take that last statement: ‘to believe what the years and centuries say, as against the hours’. The words came originally from Emerson, and what deep insight they reveal. Those who neglect God’s Word are swayed by what happens in the hours; those who know their Bibles have a perspective that lifts them above the march of the moments, enabling them to see all things from God’s point of view. An eagle never worries about how to cross a puddle. Its understanding is from a higher position. So does a Christian whose world-view is based on the Bible and not on the daily media fads and fashions. O Father, save me from becoming more media-minded than Bibleminded. Help me soak myself in Scripture so that I think Your thoughts. In Christ’s peerless and precious name I pray. Amen.

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http://www.cwr.org.uk/doc/pdfs/EDWJma11.pdf

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