Bits and Pieces – 88th Edition – November 14, 2021
WORTH THINKING ABOUT
“I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause: Which doeth great things and unsearchable; marvellous things without number” [Job 5:8,9].
You may try, of course, to search out God’s marvellous things. Scientists have spent their lives (and budgets) trying to find the limits of the physical world. They have plumbed the oceans, explored the hidden mysteries of space, travelled into the heart of the atom.
Yet for every answer they discover, they find another thousand questions. How much more unsearchable are the vast expanses of His grace! Become an explorer today in the illimitable regions of the “unsearchable riches of Christ,” [Ephesians 3:8]. “O Lord my God…How great thou art.”
As fundamental Christians, we believe the Bible to be verbally inspired by God right down to the merest “Jot,” (the smallest Hebrew letter) and the “tittle” (the smallest distinguishing mark) [Matthew 5:18]. As the Bible is God’s infallible, inspired and inerrant Word verbal inspiration is necessary to accurately communicate God’s message.
A pastor acquaintance was introducing an anniversary book to his congregation. He took a moment to point out a typographical error. The book reported, “Miss X will not go to Bible School.” That was an error. It should have read, “Miss X will now go to Bible School.” The transposition of a “t” for a “w” completely altered the meaning of the sentence.
Likewise, type a comma in an E-mail address where it should be a period. It is such a small difference between a dot and a comma, but the program will not work. Now if that is true in our secular world you can thus see clearly the need for a verbally inspired Bible.
WHY DOES GOD PERMIT SUFFERING?
J.C. Ryle in his sermon, “The Garden of the Lord” describes the various flowers in a garden that he likens to Christians. There are showy flowers like dahlias that have a lot of colour but little fragrance. Then there is the little violet hiding quietly in a corner of the garden but exuding a precious scent.
There are other flowers like roses that only bring forth their best fragrance after a shower of rain.
Then, Ryle says, there are those like the lilac whose beautiful odour is not really apparent until after the plant has been crushed.
Often it takes the crushing affliction in the life of a believer to bring forth the sacred aroma of Christ from the life. The Psalmist said, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn Thy statutes” [Psalm 119:71].
Affliction is the building block of Christian character and an evidence, not of God’s anger, but of His love [Hebrews 12:6].
RANDOM HINTS FOR BUDDING SPEAKERS
Have something interesting to say. Ask yourself, “Would I come to hear myself speak?”
The Bible is a book filled with a wonderful array of interesting subjects, none more so than the Gospel of Christ. Yet some teachers have managed to make it boring.
A preacher or teacher must be a good essay writer with a proper structure consisting of an Introduction, Proposition, Exposition, and Conclusion. A human body without a skeleton to hold each organ would be a pile of tissue on the floor. A message should be properly structured to be effective.
Writing out the message in full is a good exercise to avoid useless repetition. But don’t be so tied to your notes that it is obviously read. That is counter-productive.
Use illustrations to add light to your message. The Lord Jesus took everyday things and loaded them with the freight of His spiritual message. We are to be like Jesus not only in our person but in our preaching.
SPURGEON ON PRAYER
How encouraging is the thought of the Redeemer’s never-ceasing intercession for us. When we pray, He pleads for us; and then we are not praying, He is advocating our cause, and by His supplications shielding us from unseen dangers. He does not say “but I have desired to pray for you.” No, but “I have prayed for you. I have done it already, I have gone to court and entered a counter-plea even before an accusation is made.”
“O Jesus, what a comfort it is that Thou hast pleaded our cause against our unseen enemies, countermined their mines, and unmasked their ambushes. Here is a matter for joy, gratitude, hope, and confidence.