Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sweet Praise

Read: Colossians 3:12-17
Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly . . . singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. —Colossians 3:16

Several years ago, my husband helped to lead a work crew of high school students on a short-term missions trip to a Christian school in an urban community. Unfortunately, Tom had broken his foot shortly before the trip and was supervising the work from a wheelchair. He was discouraged because he wasn’t able to get around as he had hoped.
While he was working on the ground floor, a few of the girls were painting on the third floor. He could hear them singing praise choruses in harmony as their voices echoed down the wide-open staircases. Song after song ministered to him. “It was the most beautiful sound I’d ever heard,” he told me later. “And it lifted my spirits.”
Colossians 3 reminds us, “Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (v.16). Not only were those teenage girls giving sweet praise to God, they were ministering to a co-worker.
Whatever you’re doing today, cultivate an attitude of praise. Whether it is through song or conversation, let your joy in the Lord reverberate to others. You never know who you might encourage.

Our words of praise and songs of joy
Can be a welcomed gift
To those who need encouragement—
Whose spirits need a lift. —Sper
Hope can be ignited by a spark of encouragement.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Pursuing Hospitality

Be hospitable to one another without grumbling. —1 Peter 4:9
In the New Testament, hospitality is a hallmark of Christian living. It is listed as a characteristic of church leaders (1 Tim. 3:2; Titus 1:8) and is commanded for every follower of Jesus as an expression of love (Rom. 12:13; 1 Peter 4:9). But its meaning goes deeper than being a gracious host or opening our homes to guests.
The Greek word translated “hospitality” means “love of strangers.” When Paul speaks of being “given to hospitality” (Rom. 12:13), he is calling us to pursue relationships with people who are in need. It is not an easy task.
Writer Henri Nouwen likens it to reaching out to those we meet on our way through life—people who may be estranged from their culture, country, friends, family, or even from God. Nouwen writes: “Hospitality, therefore, means primarily the creation of a free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy. Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place.”
Whether we inhabit a home, a college dorm, a prison cell, or a military barracks, we can welcome others as a way of showing our love for them and for Christ. Hospitality is making room for people in need.

Reaching out to needy people,
Showing them our love and care,
Is one way that God can use us
To bring hope to their despair. —Sper
Hospitality can fill the emptiness of a lonely heart.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Forgotten Worker

God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love . . . in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

People around the world are familiar with Mount Rushmore, the South Dakota site where the heads of former American presidents are carved in gigantic scale on a cliff wall. Yet, while millions know of Mount Rushmore, relatively few know the name Doane Robinson—the South Dakota state historian who conceived the idea of the magnificent sculpture and managed the project. The monument is admired and appreciated, but he is the forgotten man behind the masterpiece. His name is largely unrecognized or was never even known by some.
Sometimes, in the service of the Master, we may feel that we have been forgotten or are behind the scenes and not recognized. Ministry can be a life of effort that often goes unappreciated by the very people we are seeking to serve in Jesus’ name. The good news, however, is that, while people may not know, God does. Hebrews 6:10 says, “For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.”
What a promise! Our heavenly Father will never forget our service to Him. That is infinitely more important than being applauded by the crowds.

Does the place you’re called to labor
Seem so small and little known?
It is great if God is in it,
And He’ll not forget His own. —Suffield
Serving to please Christ is a greater reward than public acclaim.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Cutting Remarks

originally uploaded by Michael Anthony Images.
Read: Proverbs 12:17-22
There is one who speaks like the piercings of a sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health. —Proverbs 12:18

The writer of Proverbs describes an unwise person as “one who speaks like the piercings of a sword” (12:18). Our tongues can be like a multi-bladed Swiss Army knife when it comes to the variety of ways that we cut and destroy each other.

Unhealthy attitudes of anger, irritation, frustration, and impatience—even disappointment, stress, guilt, and insecurity—all contribute to our damaging speech. And as we cut with our words, we wound and divide friendships and relationships. It’s no wonder that the infamous list of seven things that are an abomination to the Lord includes anyone who “sows discord among brethren” (Prov. 6:16-19).

How do we stay off that list? For starters, we need to watch what we say. Gossip and slander are out, and words that hurt instead of heal are not welcome. Boasting, lying, and all the rest of the ways we use words to hurt and divide need to be gone as well. In their place, words that extend love and the healing power of forgiveness, mercy, and truth should rule our words and relationships. After all, where would we be if Jesus hadn’t spoken words of forgiving love and grace to us?

So, put the “knife” away and use your words to help and heal.

Lord, put a seal upon my lips,
Help me to guard with care
The things I say and swift repeat;
O tongue of mine, beware! —Bosch

Our words have the power to build up or tear down.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Navigational System

When He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth. —John 16:13
Have you ever wondered how an airplane pilot knows how to get from point A to point B? Most likely, he uses VOR, short for VHF Omni-directional Radio Range, a navigational system invented in the early 1950s. It still guides many aircraft to their destination today. The pilot sets the course of the aircraft on his dial. If the aircraft drifts from that set course, the instrument shows the pilot that the plane is deviating so he can correct it to align the aircraft to the set course again.
The nation of Israel in Isaiah’s day badly needed a reliable VOR system. And God wanted to be that for them. But despite God’s warning, they decided to align with Egypt (Isa. 30:1-2). God graciously promised that one day, however, He would be their navigator: “Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it.’ Whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left” (v.21).
Today, Christians have an internal navigational system. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit, who lives in us to “guide [us] into all truth” (John 16:13). If you need direction as to where to set the course of your life, don’t rely on your own way. Use God’s VOR system. He will surely lead you in the right direction.

The Spirit gives us power to live
A life that’s pleasing to the Lord;
He also guides us and provides
Direction in God’s holy Word. —Sper
The Spirit is our navigational system.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Dogged Devotion

Read: John 15:9-17
In Your presence is fullness of joy. —Psalm 16:11

Maggie doesn’t care much for television. She would rather look out a window than stare at a small screen. Reading doesn’t thrill her either. She has been known to “chew” on books, but only in the strictly literal sense. Nevertheless, when Jay and I read or watch TV, Maggie participates. Even though she doesn’t enjoy what we’re doing, she enjoys being with us. Maggie is our very devoted dog. More than anything (well, just about anything) Maggie wants to be with us.

The word dogged means “determined and persistent.” These words describe Maggie. They should also describe us. When we are devoted to God, we want to be with Him even when He’s doing something that makes no sense to us. We may ask, “Why, Lord?” when He seems angry (Ps. 88:14) or when He seems to be napping (44:23), or when the wicked prosper (Jer. 12:1). But when we remain devoted to God despite our questions, we find fullness of joy in His presence (Ps. 16:11).

Jesus knew that we would have questions. To prepare us for them, He urged us to abide in His love (John 15:9-10). Even when God’s ways are inexplicable, His love is reliable. So we remain doggedly devoted to Him.

Never should our love be just a word,
A passing phase, a brief emotion;
But love that honors Christ our Lord
Responds to Him with deep devotion. —Hess

We find joy when we learn to abide in Jesus’ love.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

By God’s Help

originally uploaded by shotofgin.
Read: 1 Samuel 7:2-12
Thus far the Lord has helped us. —1 Samuel 7:12

The word Ebenezer in the hymn “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” refers to a time when the people of Israel were trying to regain the close relationship they once had with God. Their spiritual leader, Samuel, told them that if they would abandon their foreign gods and return to the Lord wholeheartedly, He would deliver them from being oppressed by their enemy, the Philistines (1 Sam. 7:2-3).

When the people turned from their sin, God gave them victory. In response, “Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far the Lord has helped us’ ” (v.12).

When we sing, “Here I raise my Ebenezer; hither by Thy help I’ve come; and I hope, by Thy good pleasure, safely to arrive at home,” we are reminded that in our times of need we can always turn to God to find forgiveness and help. Whatever we have done, wherever we have wandered, He will receive and restore us by His grace.

A small stone on a desk or shelf can be our own Ebenezer—a powerful, visible reminder that by God’s help we have come this far in life, and He will see us through to the end.

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise. —Robinson

Because God is with us, we need not fear what is ahead of us.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Wonder Of Nature

I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You. —Job 42:5
Growing up around the woods and waters of Midwest America, I’ve been fascinated with natural wildlife native to our region. But on a recent trip to the California coast, I found myself staring in breathtaking wonder at snorting elephant seals, barking sea lions, and a forest of silent redwoods. I watched pelicans soar in formation, and I saw migrating whales spouting in the distance. Together they are just a sampling of the millions of species that make up the intricate and delicate balance of nature.
According to the Bible, the variety of the natural world is designed to do far more than inspire childlike wonder. The mysteries of nature can help us come to terms with a God who allows inexpressible, unexplainable pain and suffering.
We see this in the epic story of Job. While he was suffering, Job didn’t know that God had such a high regard for him that he allowed Satan to test his faith with a series of losses.
What emerges is this eventual, unavoidable conclusion: A Creator who has the wisdom and power to design the wonders of nature is great enough to be trusted with pain and suffering that are beyond our ability to understand. In awe, Job proclaimed, “I know that You can do everything” (42:2). We can trust that kind of God—no matter what.

If God’s creation helps us see
What wonders He can do,
Then we can trust His promises
For they are always true. —D. De Haan
It’s good to worship God in nature
if it leads us to worship the God of nature.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

It’s The Real Deal

I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this is the true grace of God in which you stand. —1 Peter 5:12
One of the coolest things hanging on the wall in my home office is a Certificate of Authenticity.
It has on it the logo of US Space Shuttle flight 110, which was launched in April 2002. Aboard the Atlantis on that flight was Mission Specialist Rex Walheim, who took into outer space an article from Our Daily Bread titled “Seeing God’s Glory.” Lt. Col. Walheim sent me the certificate to prove that this devotional page actually left earth’s atmosphere.
Sometimes we need these kinds of things—documents that verify truth. If I were to show that article to someone and say, “This flew on the Space Shuttle,” I could be doubted because I would have no proof. But when Walheim sent me the Certificate of Authenticity, he gave me verification.
In 1 Peter, Simon Peter created a Certificate of Authenticity for his message about the grace of God. In chapter 5, he wrote, “I have written to you briefly, exhorting and testifying that this [letter] is the true grace of God” (v.12). Peter was assuring his readers that the many messages of 1 Peter—themes of hope and courage and even suffering—were all authentic and demonstrate the grace of God.
Looking for evidence of God’s grace? Read 1 Peter, and be confident that its teaching is the real deal.

The Bible stands like a mountain towering
Far above the works of men;
Its truth by none ever was refuted,
And destroy it they never can. —Lillenas

To trust God is to trust in His holy Word.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sparrow’s Flight

Not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. —Matthew 10:29
After dinner one night, a tiny brown sparrow flew inside our house through the front door. A chase ensued. Each time my husband got near to it, the little intruder fluttered away in a desperate search for an exit. Before we could escort it safely outside, the bird toured the house so frantically that we could see its chest throbbing from its rapid heartbeat.
Sometimes we are like that little bird—anxious, frazzled, and afraid of what might happen next. It comforts me to think that “not one [sparrow] falls to the ground” without God knowing about it (Matt. 10:29). He sees and knows everything in our world.
“The eyes of the Lord are in every place” (Prov. 15:3), and nothing escapes His attention, including you and me. God understands and values the finest points of our being. Jesus said, “The very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Matt. 10:30).
It’s amazing that God keeps a tally of our personal trivia and is even aware of a bird’s misfortune. Since He knows about these small details, we can trust that He sees and cares about the big issues that ruffle our feathers. When we ask Him for help, God’s response is always informed by His perfect knowledge of us and our circumstances. Let’s trust Him with our anxious concerns.

If God sees the sparrow’s fall,
Paints the lilies short and tall,
Gives the skies their azure hue,
Will He not then care for you? —Anon.
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Ike’s Anger Problem

He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty. —Proverbs 16:32
On June 6, 1944, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander, was the most powerful man on earth. Under his authority, the largest amphibious army ever assembled prepared to liberate the Nazi-dominated continent of Europe. How was Eisenhower able to lead such a vast army? Part of the answer can be linked to his remarkable skill in working with different kinds of people.
What many do not know, however, is that Ike hadn’t always gotten along with others. As a boy, he often got into fistfights at school. But fortunately he had a caring mother who instructed him in God’s Word. One time, when she was bandaging his hands after an angry outburst, she quoted Proverbs 16:32, “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.” Years later, Eisenhower wrote, “I have always looked back on that conversation as one of the most valuable moments of my life.” Undoubtedly, by learning to control his anger, Eisenhower was able to work effectively with others.
Inevitably, each of us will at times be tempted to lash out in anger. Yet through God’s work in our lives we can learn to control our anger. What better way to influence people than through a gentle spirit.

Thinking It Over
Do you struggle to control your anger?
For help, read Moses: His Anger And What It Cost Him at

He who conquers his anger conquers a strong enemy.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Just Another Sunday?

They continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine. —Acts 2:42
Early on a sunny Sunday afternoon after church, I headed out for a walk around the neighborhood. A man was trimming his grass along the sidewalk, and we greeted each other with the usual “Hello, how are you?” In a negative tone, he replied, “It’s just another Sunday.” Later, I wondered what he had meant by that. Was he saying, I’m just doing my chores—going through the motions?
Sometimes even church attendance can become a matter of merely going through the motions on just another Sunday. For the believers in the early church (Acts 2:41-47), joining with fellow believers was a source of excitement. That was when the church first started and everyone was a new believer—so they were bound to be enthusiastic. But what about us? What can we do to make each Sunday special?
Go with the anticipation of meeting with God. While He is with us all the time (Heb. 13:5), God is with us in a unique way as we gather with others who know Him (Matt. 18:20; James 4:8). Bring your burdens and praises to Him.
Go to learn about God. We may not learn something new every week, but we can always be encouraged by the truths of God’s Word (Ps. 119:105). Expect to hear from Him.
Go to fellowship with others. We need each other in this Christian journey. Encourage others, challenge them in their faith, and pray for them (Heb. 10:24-25).
Lord, give us a renewed enthusiasm of heart for attending church, so that it won’t be just another Sunday.

If you want to be spiritually fed,
go to church with a hunger for the Word.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Wholesome Words

Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. —Eph. 4:29
In November 2008, the US Supreme Court debated the constitutional limits on foul language. The Federal Communications Commission cited a national broadcasting company for allowing two entertainers to use two common profanities on the air. The broadcasting company argued that “fleeting” profanity that was not blatantly sexual should not be punished. Others countered that it is our duty to protect children from such language.
The issue of inappropriate language was not up for debate in the church at Ephesus. Paul instructed believers that one of the ways they were to respond to the blessings of redemption and being made alive in Christ was by guarding their speech (4:29).
Paul did not want them to be characterized by their old way of living, which included corrupt and unwholesome speech, profanity, malicious gossip, slander, or anything that injures another and sparks dissension. Instead, he wanted the Ephesians through their words to “impart grace” and encouragement, as the need arose.
As followers of Jesus Christ, we want the words that flow from our hearts and out of our mouths to be a life-giving spring. And may all who hear our words receive a blessing.

Lord, set a guard upon my lips,
My tongue control today;
Help me evaluate each thought
And watch each word I say. —Hess
God’s Word should shape our words.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Follow The Instructions

Whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock. —Matthew 7:24
One of my boyhood hobbies was building model planes. Every time I opened a new box, the first thing I saw was the instructions, but I didn’t think I needed to follow them. In my mind I knew exactly how to put the model together. Not until I had glued a few pieces together did I realize I had skipped an important step, like putting the pilot in the cockpit.
It’s easy to think that we have no need for instructions for our lives, only to later realize that we’ve messed things up. Which is exactly why Jesus advised that following His instructions is the way for wise people to build a safe, solid, and significant life (Matt. 7:24-29). He had just told the listening crowd to turn the other cheek, to go the extra mile, to forgive enemies, and to sell treasures so that they could give to the poor (5:39-44). But just getting the instructions isn’t enough. The key is to follow them. “Whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock” (7:24).
Those who don’t follow the instructions are, as Jesus put it, “foolish” (v.26). To the world, forgiving your enemies and giving to the poor may seem like a silly way to build a life, but, take it from Jesus, it’s the wise way.

Lord, help me heed Your every word,
Commands that I have read or heard;
As You reveal Your will each day,
Help me to follow and obey. —Fitzhugh
To build a rock-solid life, follow Jesus’ instructions.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Seeing God’s Hand

Read: Ezra 7:1-10,27-28
He came to Jerusalem, according to the good hand of his God upon him. —Ezra 7:9

On Jack Borden’s 101st birthday, he awoke at 5 a.m., ate a hearty breakfast, and was at his law office by 6:30 ready to begin his day. When asked the secret of his long life, the practicing attorney smiled and quipped, “Not dying.”

But there’s more to it than that. Mr. Borden, who was baptized at age 11 in the Clear Fork of the Trinity River, told Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram reporter David Casstevens, “I’m a firm believer that God has His hand in everything that happens. He is letting me live for some reason. I try to do the things that I believe He wants me to.”

Ezra the priest experienced the “good hand of his God upon him” when he led a delegation to Jerusalem to provide spiritual leadership for the former captives who were rebuilding the temple and the city (Ezra 7:9-10). Ezra found strength and courage in knowing that the Lord was with them each step of the way. “So I was encouraged, as the hand of the Lord my God was upon me; and I gathered leading men of Israel to go up with me” (v.28).

When we see the Lord’s hand in our lives, it brings forth a deep “Thank You” and a growing desire to do what He wants us to do.

If we would view through eyes of faith
The course of each new day,
We’d quickly see God’s gracious hand
In all that comes our way. —D. De Haan

If you know that God’s hand is in everything,
you can leave everything in God’s hands.


The word means “to change” in the Filipino language.  A word that reflects Goldilocks care to her customers whom she has touched over the years.  The timeless traditional Filipino delicacies such as the Dinuguan, Palabok, Puto, Halo-halo,  delicious Homemade Cakes and many more  that she has served  over the decades  has made a lasting impression etched in the minds of many of her customers.  And as time goes by with “change”  being the inevitable factor in our lives, so to has Goldilocks come upon the need for change only to her looks. But her services and mouth watering delicacies still remain.
But unbeknownst to her, the word “change” strikes a chord  in my past in which she has played a major role in. This is my story of how Goldilocks’   touched my life and changed my destiny. 
It was sometime during the year 1994 where I was working as an Overseas Filipino Worker somewhere in the Middle East. My dream at that time was to be able to work in the U.S.  and make the big American dream as with everyone else. But alas I ended up being in the Middle East. However, that didn’t stop me from pursuing my dream as I did everything to reach America until I eventually did. 
Having left for America leaving the people I cared for back in the Philippines, I was welcomed by my Aunt at the airport.  For over a week she took me around to see all the beautiful places and introduced me to her American friends. I wasn’t really so sure if I was enjoying myself for all I could think about was  my family and friends that I left behind back in the Philippines. I was faced with sadness and began to think if this is what I really wanted.   One day we decided to have lunch outside.  And guess where my Aunt brought me. It was a Goldilocks restaurant. One of Goldilocks international branch in L.A.  I was thrilled to see a familiar site with all of my favorite Filipino dishes and an all Filipino crew.  It was just like being back home in the Philippines which I so terribly missed.  From that moment, I knew there was a reason why I came across Goldilocks on that day.  She didn’t just want me to eat her delicious foods, she wanted me to ask myself if this is what I really wanted to which I answered to myself “I wanted to be with my Mom and Dad back in the Philippines more than anything else.”    And so on that day I decided to return home and be with the people whom I so cherish to be with.
Today I am a happy father to three loving kids and a happy husband to a loving wife with a respectable business in the Philippines.  Had it not been for  Goldilocks, I probably would not have this family of mine.  So to you Goldilocks thank you for coming into my life and making that change.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Always There

Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice. —Psalm 55:17
The radio engineers who work at RBC Ministries were getting ready to broadcast a program via satellite. They had prepared everything, including the satellite link. But just as they were to begin uploading, the signal to the satellite was lost. Confused, the engineers labored to reconnect the link, but nothing worked. Then they got the word—the satellite was gone. Literally. The satellite had suddenly and surprisingly fallen from the sky. It was no longer there.
I suspect that sometimes when we pray, we think something similar has happened to God—that for some reason He isn’t there. But the Bible offers us comfort with the assurance that God hasn’t “fallen from the sky.” He is always available to us. He hears and He cares.
In a time of desperation, David wrote, “Evening and morning and at noon I will pray, and cry aloud, and He shall hear my voice” (Ps. 55:17). No matter when we call on God, He hears the cries of His children. That should encourage our hearts. What was David’s response to having a God who hears prayer? “Cast your burden on the Lord, and He shall sustain you” (v.22). Although God may not answer as we would like or when we would like, we know that at “evening and morning and at noon” He is always there.

God hears us when we call to Him—
His ears take in each voice;
The knowledge that He’s always there
Should cause us to rejoice. —Sper
God is always available to hear the prayer of His child.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Silence, Please!

Silence from the Past
Silence from the Past,
originally uploaded by HaMeD!caL.
Read: Psalm 46
Be still, and know that I am God. —Psalm 46:10

Our world has become increasingly noisy. But according to a news report, science has found a way to achieve absolute silence: “Scientists have shown off the blueprint for an ‘acoustic cloak,’ which could make objects impervious to sound waves. The technology, outlined in the New Journal of Physics, could be used to build sound-proof homes, advanced concert halls, or stealth warships.”

When we seek out a quiet place for devotional time with God, we may wish we had an “acoustic cloak.” But even if we could silence all external sound, the internal noises of worry would still reverberate in our minds. We are told: “Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10). But how do we calm our hearts in practical terms?

God understands our dilemma and has provided His own “acoustic cloak” to quiet our hearts. It involves exchanging our cares for His peace. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7).

As we place our concerns in God’s capable hands, we find a quietness that only He can provide.

Be still and know that He is God
For pathways steep and rough;
Not what He brings but what
He is Will always be enough. —Anon.

God gives peace to those who are quiet before Him.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Person Of The Bible

Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ,
originally uploaded by AshraFekry.
Read: John 5:31-40
You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. —John 5:39

During a church leaders’ conference at Seattle Pacific University, noted pastor Earl Palmer recalled an experience that shaped his teaching and preaching for half a century.

As a seminary student, he led a Bible study where he encouraged the participants to consider the words of Scripture. “I became convinced,” Palmer said, “that if I could get someone to look at the text, sooner or later the text would win their respect, and it would always point them to its living center: Jesus Christ. And when Jesus Christ has your respect, that’s not very many inches away from faith.”

Jesus told a group of religious leaders, who were well acquainted with the Old Testament but violently opposed to Him, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life” (John 5:39-40).

It requires an open heart as well as an inquiring mind to study the Bible. When we discover Jesus as the Person to whom the entire Bible points, we must then decide how to respond to Him.

There is great joy for all who will open their hearts to Christ and find life in Him.

God’s Word is like refreshing rain
That waters crops and seed;
It brings new life to open hearts,
And meets us in our need. —Sper

The written Word leads us to Christ the living Word.