Monday, April 10, 2017

"Nine Bibles"

"Nine Bibles"                      

      I am very much a traditionalist, especially regarding spiritual matters.  This means that despite the fact I carry a smartphone with a downloaded Bible, I still want a paper and ink copy of the Scriptures in front of me as I preach and teach (I will admit that this is not the case in writing.  I'm pretty much all electronic in that realm, including these messages).  Yesterday morning, I forgot my Bible (the paper and ink version) as Frances and I left the house to travel to two Sunday morning services.  

    I realized my oversight when we arrived at the first service.  This was no real problem since the meeting is held at a church (plenty of Bibles there!).  A sweet young lady instantly and gracious offered her Bible when I mentioned the situation.  However, we conducted the second service at a retirement community.  This presented a challenge, although in the past I've had no problem finding a copy of the Scriptures in the library of the facility.  On this day, however, I scanned the shelves with no immediate success in accessing a Bible.  This surprised and troubled me.  Again, I really want an old fashioned copy of the Bible with me as I communicate God's Truth (I'm sure you've heard the old saying about "a preacher without his sword!").  I started to turn away from the bookshelves of the library, but paused for a moment.  "Heavenly Father, it sure would be nice to find a Bible on these shelves" I softly uttered as a prayerful request.  Subsequently I scanned the shelves again.  This time, my eye caught a group of books that lay together on the bottom row of the bookshelf.  I couldn't see them well, but knelt down to examine them.  You know the rest of the story, based on the title of this essay.  Not one Bible, but nine Bibles gazed up at me as I gazed down at them!  They were all exactly alike, standing together like a group of soldiers in uniform.  I smiled with gratitude, plucked a copy from the shelf, and smiled even more.  Yes, it was a King James Version, my Bible of choice.  Opening the book stretched my grin even wider.  LARGE PRINT!!!!!!!  Thank You, Lord!!!!

   Regarding God's promised supply, the Bible speaks in superlative terms.  Rather than list them all in this essay, I may later send out a separate mailing with a number of such passages.  For now, Ephesians 3:20-21:

   "Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen" (Ephesians 3:20-21).

    Every believer who seeks to walk with the Lord experiences the reality of the Apostle Paul's blessed assurance.  Of course, God administers His abundance in accordance with His wisdom and understanding, but He does so in a manner that we know to be His superabundant provision.  Our Heavenly Father calls us to expect such grace, and often bestows or withholds based upon our confidence in Him.  This raises the question: do we perceive our Lord to be so willing, able, and generous?  Is He that present and involved?  Can we really anticipate such undeserved beneficence?  The nine Bibles I found on the library shelves all bear witness to "exceeding, abundantly above all that we ask or think."  The Spirit of God also affirms, and the testimony of believers throughout the ages sounds and resounds with the proclamation of a God who can be trusted to do more than we request, in accordance with His wisdom and eternal purpose in the Lord Jesus. 

   While I don't like forgetting my Bible, I'm glad things happened as they did yesterday.  Yet again, the Lord reminded me of His superabundance, particularly regarding the kindness of His heart.  It overflows with good will toward His trusting children in Christ.  This is the real message of finding that troop of Bibles.  Whatever our Lord does with His mighty hand proceeds from His magnanimous heart.  How good He must be!  How good He is!  May He grant more and more grace that we might know Him as He is, and thus expect Him to grant nine when we ask for but one.

"My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
(Philippians 4:19)

Weekly Memory Verse
   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.
(Ephesians 1:3)

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