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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


 

Daily Boost

Oct. 7, 2010 - The Word That Lasts

By T. Ray Rachels

A few years ago, Judy and I visited Edinburgh, Scotland. I like the writings and ministry of Alan Redpath, knew he had pastored the famous Edinburgh Charlotte Chapel downtown, and wanted to visit there on a Sunday morning.

The church is off an alley, smaller than I thought, but that morning was full of Bible-toting Baptist folks when we finally found a seat in the balcony. The church, we found out later, was without a pastor, and had been for four years. Today’s speaker was one of their former youth pastors they were bringing back in for a look.

The pulpit was elevated, about equidistant between main floor and balcony seating. The preacher had to ascend to the pulpit some 12 to 15 steps. Directly underneath the pulpit floor and recessed between two pillars holding up the pulpit was a table on which stood an open Bible with a small light shining on its open pages.

The preacher stood immediately above. I watched and listened — but my eyes were focused on that lighted, open Bible underneath him as he spoke.

It was a powerful, symbolic reminder that, whatever a man has to say from that pulpit, God’s Word rests quietly and profoundly beneath him as the foundation for his preaching.

The messenger in that pulpit is a person who stands, literally, upon the Word of God. It cannot be avoided. If one is to preach there, from that place, you are reminded in the most visible and graphic terms that God’s Word keeps watch over the message and the messenger.

The people can both see and hear this undergirding principle of truth!

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved ... and who correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15, NIV).

“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:12,13).

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path” (Psalm 119:105).

“Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens” (Psalm 119:89).

Hebrews’ words, “for the Word of God is living and active,” remind me of one of John Wesley’s itinerant lay preachers, Joseph Pilmore, who later pastored in Philadelphia. A member of Pilmore’s congregation wrote of him:

“He wrote his sermons, and ... his manuscript was always before him. He began not only by reading, but by reading very deliberately, and with little animation; but he would gradually wax warm, and you would see his eyes begin to kindle, and the muscles of his face to move and expand, until at length his soul would be all on fire, and he would be rushing onward extemporaneously almost with the fury of a cataract. And the only use he would make of his manuscript in such cases would be to roll it up in his hand, and literally shake it at his audience.”

The living, active, penetrating, passionate Word!

— T. Ray Rachels served as superintendent of the Southern California District of the Assemblies of God for more than 22 years.

 

 

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