- Prince Edward Island is the smallest Canadian province. As the setting for Lucy Maud Montgomery’s book, “Anne of Green Gables”, P.E.I. receives thousands of tourists every year. The entire island is made of a deep red sand and has the most striking beaches. The island is very scenic but suffers from one flaw. The roads. Since the island is made of sand there is no firm foundation for the roads. It is a constant battle to maintain the roads in good condition.
This is a fine example of the man who hears the words of Christ but does not put them into practice. Without a firm foundation, a house, a road or a life is sure to fall apart.
1 Corinthians 2:14 – “But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.”
- A young man was holding a Bible study in his room in residence at university. The group was looking at 1 Corinthians chapter 2. When they got to verse 14, a visitor asked, “what does this verse mean”. The young man tried to explain a verse that seemed perfectly clear to him, but was obviously a mystery to the visitor. At the end of the Bible study, the young man asked the visitor if he would like to thank the Lord for the refreshments. The visitor refused, and then explained that he was not a Christian. He could not understand a verse speaking of how an unbeliever cannot understand the things of God!
Hebrews 13:8 – “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today, yes and forever.”
- Our world is experiencing the fastest pace of change that has ever been seen. If you buy an expensive computer today, 6 months from now it will only be an average system and one year from now it will be obsolete. Electronic mail allows us to send a letter across the Atlantic Ocean in less than one second. Headline News service on television brings us the latest news every half hour.
In a world that is always changing, it is nice to have an anchor that does not change. When we come to the Lord Jesus Christ, we never have to worry that He will change. What He expects of us today is what He will expect of us tomorrow.
Colossians 3:9-11 – “Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him –a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.”
- With our modern understanding of civil rights, it is easy for us to forget that the American Civil War was originally fought over the issue of States rights. Even the Northern States had strong views on the importance of States rights. After the Battle of Chattanooga, General George Thomas directed the construction of a new cemetery for Union soldiers. When the cemetery was ready for use, a chaplain asked if the men should be buried in groups according to their State. General Thomas replied, “No… no mix ’em up, mix ’em up. I’m tired of States rights.”
General Thomas understood what the chaplain did not. No longer a group of individual States, people now realized that they were a nation. Regardless of previous distinctions, those who follow Jesus Christ are now Christians. While they maintain these distinctions, their primary allegiance is now to the One who has saved them.
Galatians 6:7 – “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.”
- During the American Civil War, the armies of the North and the South fought a major battle at Chancellorsville. Robert E. Lee, the commander of the Confederate army had a small and ill-equiped force. Facing him was General Joe Hooker with an army of vetern soldiers that was well trained, well equiped and outnumbered Lee’s army by 2 to1. Furthermore, another Union army was coming up behind Lee, making him surrounded. General Hooker committed many errors that day, but one of the greatest was to declare that not even God Almighty could deprive him of victory. By the end of the battle, Hooker’s army was whipped and Lee, with the much smaller army, was victorious.
When the Titanic was built, it was deemed “unsinkable”. It was built with numerous watertight compartments so even if it was to get a hole in the hull, it could still float. When a passenger boarded her for her maiden voyage, she was somewhat scared about the possibility that the Titanic might sink, but a steward assured her, “Not even God Himself can sink this ship.” But on that maiden voyage, while racing across the Atlantic, the Titanic brushed up against an iceberg, which not just made a single hole in the hull, but ripped open the side of the ship and flooded enough of the watertight compartments to sink her. The Titanic sunk with heavy loss of life.
When we place ourselves in the position of challenging God, of telling Him what he is or is not capable of doing, we place ourselves on thin ice. We are as much as challenging God to prove us wrong.
Acts 17:11 – “Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so.”
- The young man had a real gift for mathematics. He was one of the best math students in the country. When asked about the reasons for his success he stated the following. During each math class he would learn new theorems and mathematical proofs. If he just memorized the proof of the theorem, it would be profitable to him. But instead, he would cover up the proof that he had been taught, and see if he could prove it himself. By doing so he learned far more than if he simply repeated what other people told him.
There is no doubt we can profit from that which other people tell us about the Bible. However, real profit comes from learning the word ourselves. Like the Bereans, we should question everything we are told to see if it is so.
John 14:15 – “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”
- The little girl was not yet 2 years of age. One day her father asked her to put away her shoes. Much to his surprise, she picked up her shoes and put them where the shoes belonged. The father was overjoyed. Did he notice that the shoes were not straight? Did he notice that one shoe was sitting on top of the other? Of course not! The only thing he noticed was that his daughter had obeyed him. Despite her youth and despite her lack of understanding, she did what her father told her to do.
Some Christians look upon obedience to God as an impossible task. The new Christian feels he will never get things right and the older Christian despairs of the size of the task. How foolish of us. God desires the obedience we are capable of here and now.
Psalm 119:9-11 – “How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Thy word. With all my heart I have sought Thee; Do not let me wander from Thy commandments. Thy word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against Thee.”
- During the Battle of Vimy Ridge during the First World War, an artillery shell landed close to Sergeant Wesley Runions. It peppered his arm and stomach with shrapnel. But the largest piece of metal in the shell, the fuse, hit him in the chest right over his heart. His life was spared by the New Testament he was carrying in his vest pocket. If it were not for that little book, the metal fuse would have torn his heart out.
As amazing as this story is, the Bible performs even greater wonders in peoples lives every day. Sinners are turned to Christ and believers are given guidance. Praise God for His word!