"The unfolding of your words gives light ..." (Psalm 119:130a)

Month: May 2012

Is time our friend?

“Time keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future.” So sang the Steve Miller Band a number of years ago. And there is no real doubt about that fact.

But is that a good thing? Or is it a bad thing?

God is eternal and not subject to time. Time is a created reality—and God did the creating. As Creator He holds time within His own eternal Being.

But what about us? Is time a friend or a foe? God created and then said it was all “good” (Gen. 1:10, 12, 18, 21, 24). Indeed, He said it was “very good” (v.31)

Did that apply to time? Surely it did. But how did the entrance of sin (Gen. 3) twist time? Is it still “good”? Is it now our friend or our foe?

It all depends, I suppose.

Toward the end of a long and eventful life King David wrote“the word of the Lord proves true” (2 Samuel 22:31b).

He was reflecting upon a lifetime of walking with God. His conclusion as he looked back over a lifetime of experience was that time “proves true” what God has already said.

Other translations render it “the word of the Lord is tested” (NASB) or “the word of the Lord is tried” (KJV). The picture is that of metal which is “tried” or “tested” by being passed through the fire. The fire melts the metal and it “proves” to be pure. Just so the things God says prove to be true as we test them out in the fires of life in a fallen world.

Time is on the side of truth. Truth need never hurry. Time will lay bare the truth. Truth is never afraid of time. Truth need not be in haste; nor those who stand in and with the truth.

Time is the friend of truth. But time in many ways is not the friend of one who stands apart from the truth. The clock is always running. Truth will endure the passage of time. Indeed, time and the events that fill it serve to prove the truth. All that is not of the truth eventually breaks down, comes undone, and is dispersed by the winds of time.

C.H. Spurgeon once counseld: “Patience! Patience! you are always in a hurry, but God is not.”

Time is the friend of truth. It is not always the friend of man.

Time is thus a comfort to some; a warning to others.

The word of the Lord proves true in its promises (of which David had enjoyed many)

The word of the Lord proves true in its warnings and judgments (of which David had also tasted).

The sage concluded David was correct: Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him” (Proverbs 30:5).

So if falsehood seems to be winning the day, hold on. Take refuge in Him and in what He has said. Time will tell. Time will tell the truth. Time will tell the truth about what is true. And time also has a way of telling the truth about that which is not truth.

Carefully make your determination where you’ll take your stand. Then rest. Wait. Be still.

An Illuminated Bible

“Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.” (Psalm 119:18)

“Now, have any of you an illuminated Bible at home?

‘No,’ says one, ‘I have a morocco Bible; I have a marginal reference Bible.’

Ah! That is all very well, but have you an illuminated Bible?

‘Yes; I have a large family Bible with pictures in it.’ There is a picture of John the Baptist baptizing Christ by pouring water on His head and many other nonsensical things, but that is not what I mean; have you an illuminated Bible?

‘Yes; I have a Bible with splendid engravings in it.’

Yes; I know you may have, but have you and illuminated Bible?

‘I don’t understand what you mean by an illuminated Bible.’

Well, it is the Christian man who has an illuminated Bible. He does not buy it illuminated originally, but when he reads it

A glory guilds the sacred page,

Magestic like the sun;

Which gives a light to every age —

It gives, but borrows none.

There is nothing like reading an illuminated Bible, beloved. You may read to all eternity, and never learn anything by it, unless it is illuminated by the Spirit; and then the words shine forth like stars. The book seems made of gold leaf; every single letter glitters like a diamond. Oh! It is a blessed thing to read an illuminated Bible lit up by the radiance of the Holy Ghost. Hast you read the Bible and studied it, my brother, and yet have thine eyes been unenlightened? Go and say, ‘O Lord, gild the Bible for me. I want an expounded Bible. Illuminate it; shine upon it; for I cannot read it to profit, unless you enlightenest me.’”  — Charles Haddon Spurgeon

A Thrilling Teaching Opportunity

My heart is full of praise to the Lord, having just returned from a wonderful time of ministry in Russia. I was invited to teach a one week intensive course in the masters program at Kuban Evangelical Christian University in Krasnodar, Russia.

This included forty hours of instruction in five days. The course was called The Pastoral Epistles for Pastors and was based upon the work presented in my commentary by the same name.

Here are the students I was blessed to spend that week with. Hungry for God’s Word and eager to serve Him in touching the lives of others for Jesus’ sake! What an honor it was to spend this time with them.

Please meet Eugene, the world’s greatest translator! Seriously, he’s brilliant. I was blessed to work with him.

Thank you to all of you who prayed! Please continue in prayer for the school, its leadership and their students.

In addition, I was blessed to spend the weekend in Moscow with our sister-church, Open Door Church. Pastor Dima invited me to share from God’s Word and Pastor Venya did an awesome job of translating. What a blessing to partner with these fine folks in ministry! Pray for them as they seek to impact this major world city with the Gospel.

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