WALKING IN THE OLD PATHS
The Old Guide Book
In the years of long ago when I was a child, I often heard my mother sing a hymn that somehow I understood was very dear to her. Sometimes I would find her sitting alone singing it with tears on her cheeks. As the years rolled by its importance to her seemed to increase.
Some would have thought it a very strange choice had they heard her quietly sing it. Most people who knew her would have been surprised to hear her sing at all, for she never sang in public. Not even with the congregation. While others sang, she would follow in her hymn book intently with her eyes and I suspect with her heart. Her lips would not move, nor her tongue utter a single syllable. Those who knew our circumstances (although they were probably few in number) would have been astonished at the words:
When upon life's billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings-- Name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
Over the years we had accumulated few of this world’s goods and it was a constant struggle for her to feed and clothe the family.
What then were the blessings that a very poor Irish woman could sing about? They certainly had no value on the stock market and could not be accumulated in the local branch of the Belfast Savings Bank. The "passbook" in which the blessings she sang about were listed was an old black leather covered Guide Book. On the spine in faded gold letters were two words which made up the title, "Holy Bible". The pages were more worn than the cover. Once white, they had long since yellowed with wear and age and tear drops.
My mother probably never heard of John Locke, philosopher and writer, but she would have agreed with the truth of his statement when he said, "It has God for its Author, salvation for its end, without any mixture of error, for its matter: it is all pure, sincere, nothing too much and nothing wanting."
Theologians refer to the Bible as God’s Special Revelation to Man. The wonders of creation testify to us of God’s unsurpassed wisdom and power, but the Holy Scriptures tell us so much more about God, and it helps us to understand ourselves if only we are willing to accept its teachings. In it we see that God is holy, just and righteous and at the same time, gracious, loving and merciful.
Woodrow Wilson, twenty-eighth president of the United States, spoke truly when he said, "The Bible is the one supreme source of revelation of the meaning of life."
Paul, the apostle, reminds us in 2 Timothy 3:16 and 17 that: "All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work."
It is true that ungodly men have attacked the word of God and tried to destroy it down through the ages. Many have used or attempted to use "facts" of science to disprove its truth. In 1861 the French Academy of Science published a booklet listing over fifty supposed "facts" to contradict the Bible. Atheists of the day rubbed their hands in glee as they ridiculed the Christian faith. Today all of the claimed "facts" are rejected by men of science.
In the early and mid-nineteenth century, archeologists said that they were confident that their findings would discredit the accuracy of the Bible. A few years ago, I heard a lecture by a professor of the Department of Archeology at the University of Toronto in which he said that the Bible is now considered by many archeologists to be the most reliable guidebook to finding remains of old cities etc. in the middle-east.
Yes, the Bible is an old guide book. In fact it is the only truly reliable guide book on the path of life.
An ancient writer said: "Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light to my path." (Psalm 119:105 NKJV)
Despite the attacks of Satan and puny men, "We rest upon the impregnable rock of Scripture". (Winston Churchill)
THE BIBLE STANDS
The Bible stands like a rock undaunted
‘Mid the raging storms of time;
Its pages burn with the truth eternal,
And they glow with a light sublime.
The Bible stands tho the hills may tumble,
It will firmly stand when the earth shall crumble,
I will plant my feet on its firm foundation,
For the bible stands.
The Bible stands like a mountain tow’ring
Far above the works of men;
Its truth by none ever was refuted,
And destroy it they never can.
The Bible stands, and it will forever
When the world has passed away;
By inspiration it has been given;
All its precepts I will obey.
The Bible stands ev’ry test we give it
For its Author is divine;
By grace alone I expect to live it
And to prove it and make it mine.
There are many "great and exceeding precious promises" (2 Peter 1:4) found in the Old Guide Book we call the Bible. There are countless multitudes of blessings in this grand old book. One outshines all the others and accepting it is the condition for receiving and enjoying all the other blessings. It is described many times over. We shall look at only a few instances where it is mentioned.
"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. He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." (John 3:16, 37)
What love God expressed to us in the coming of His Eternal Son in the body of human flesh! True God and true Man to suffer the penalty of sin upon the cross. What a blessing to know that those who repent of their rebellion and sin and trust Him as Lord and Saviour possess eternal life.
Paul in his Epistle to the Ephesians 2:4-10 gives us a great summary of this wonderful blessing. "But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."
You can enter into this the greatest blessing that can ever be known to mankind. Why not do so now by faith in Jesus Christ?
"Behold, now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of Salvation."
(2 Corinthians 6:2b).
Jack Scott loved his Lord! He passed away on January 10, 2001 after a lengthy illness.
He is missed greatly by his family.
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