THE WHOLE TRUTH
Ephesus was a place of exciting memories for Paul. It was a city where much Gospel fruit was gathered, with many Ephesians coming to Christ. It was also a place where he encountered great opposition, especially when the idolatrous silversmiths saw their profits endangered. It was therefore understandable that Paul wanted to meet with the elders from Ephesus, however briefly, when returning to Jerusalem at the end of his third missionary journey. It was a short, joyful reunion, but a sad parting as he bid them farewell for the last time. [Acts 20:36, 37].
He exhorted them to watch over the flock of God reminding them that he had not shunned declaring unto them “all the counsel of God” [v27]. He was a faithful preacher and gave them the Word of salvation, “for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” [2 Timothy 3:16].
In our Bible reading we, too, must pay heed to “all the counsel of God.” Some Christians will return to their favourite portions of Scripture to the exclusion of the rest. That is one reason it is good each year to read right through the Bible from beginning to end. We should pray for the help of God, especially in understanding the more difficult sections. We should also pray for grace to obey those promises and commands that are a little harder for us to put into practice.
The whole bible is like a great orchestra, where all the instruments produce a beautiful, balanced harmony. To play just a few to the exclusion of the rest is likely to lead to unbalanced disharmony. To focus on a few favourite passages of Scripture will produce an unbalanced Christian life. Read, meditate upon, and obey “All the counsel of God.”
GOD SAVE THE QUEEN
Congratulations to Queen Elizabeth II on her Platinum Jubilee. It is amazing that she has ruled for seventy years and will be able to take part in the celebrations at 96 years of age. I vividly remember the death of her father, King George VI, and the Coronation of Elizabeth. She has lived an exemplary life.
My brother James met an Anglican minister in England some years ago, who served as a chaplain for the Queen at one time. He bore the testimony that she was a born-again believer. I hope he was right, and the oft-repeated prayer “God save the Queen” has been answered.
THE RAISING OF LAZARUS
Undoubtedly, one of the greatest Bible miracles was the raising of Lazarus. We are told that Jesus “cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth” [John 11:43] and he who had been dead for four days lived again.
The great theologian, Augustine, once said that if Jesus had not designated Lazarus by name all of the graves would have been emptied!
THE WONDER OF LIGHT
This is a lovely time of year. The grass is growing, the birds are singing. The drab winter scenes are replaced by resplendent ones, as the beauty of nature reveals itself. A great transformation is wrought by light.
Yet, despite our familiarity with light, we actually know very little about it. It raises many questions. Is light real? Is it visible or invisible? Is colour real? Words like wavelength, photons etc. crop up in scientific discussions about light. It is one of those subjects that, like time, the more you know, the less you know definitively about it.
The Christian knows that God is the creator of light, “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light” [Genesis 1:3]. He separated light from darkness [Genesis 1:4] (That raises another unanswerable question, What is darkness?)
Picture a scene like a well-tended garden with green grass and colourful flowers and we respond happily to the beauty. Now picture the same scene a few hours later when the sun has set and the earth is in darkness – the grass and beautiful flowers with all their colours are still there – but you cannot see them.
Then, each day, God transforms the earth with the arrival of sunlight.
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.” [John 8:12]. Sadly, He also said, “And this is the condemnation, that Light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than Light, because their deeds are evil” [John 3:19]. Sin darkened lives without the light of Christ, are the reason for so much bad news today.
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Think on these important words that Paul brought, “The god of this world (the devil) hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the Light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” [2 Corinthians 4:4].
The appearance of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to Light through the Gospel” [2 Tim.1:10].