This Day’s Thought From The Ranch- This Week’s Sermon


This Day's Thought from The Ranch

THE BIBLE

by George Rennau

 

I have found that in times when I lacked wisdom God’s word answered my questions, and gave me direction.

The political convention was in chaos. Each delegation wanted something different. Some favored states rights, others wanted a stronger central government. Larger states wanted greater representation, and small states wanted an equal voice.

Debate dragged on and on. Finally the committee chairman admitted the situation was hopeless.

After weeks of fruitless effort, the oldest delegate rose. Addressing the chairman, he said, ”The small progress we have made after four or five weeks is melancholy proof of the imperfections of human understanding.

I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live the more convincing proofs I see of this truth – that God governs the affairs of men”.

Citing the Bible he added, “And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?

We have been assured sir in the sacred writings that “except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in political building no better than the builders of Babel.

The speaker? Benjamin Franklin.

It is ironic that Ben Franklin, who for most of his life was not considered devout, turned to the scriptures in a time of crises.

At 81 years of age, using the Bible for his examples, Benjamin Franklin brought a clear vision to the convention, that eventually brought the delegates together, and a great document was produced, the constitution of the united states of America.

I have found…

That in times of crisis Gods word has been there for me faithfully holding forth hope, and encouragement.

I have found…

That in times when I lacked wisdom Gods word answered my questions, and gave me direction, and

I have found…

That in times when I am not sure what is right God’s word helps me discern the truth

Benjamin Franklin turned to God’s word in a time of Americas crisis, and in so doing he found help, and direction

Where do you turn in time of trouble?

Where do you turn for encouragement?

What is your source of truth?

My message today is that God has given us His word, let us turn to it to find what we need for life.

I.  In times of crises God word faithfully holds forth hope, and encouragement.

John Jay was a delegate at that first continental congress. At a very young age JAY was one of the smartest and most respected lawyers in the colonies. You may have never heard of John Jay before, but in the early history of U.S. government, Jay was responsible for single handedly averting a war with England through his diplomacy.  It seemed that everything Jay touched turned to success.

Then in May 1802 after 28 years of marriage his wife Sarah became very ill.  As her condition became more serious, John and their children gathered at her bedside.

When death came the famous and powerful father felt weak and defeated.  With his children by his side he turned to the Bible for strength. and began reading I Corinthians 15, which concludes with this verse.

“When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true. Death has been swallowed up in victory, where O death is your victory? Where O death is your sting?”

When he closed the Bible, with tears in his eyes he spokes to his children and assured them from God’s word, of the promised reunion they would all someday have with his Sarah.

In times of crisis God’s word is the only hope that can bring true peace to our souls.

God’s word has the answer if you are:

Discouraged…

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth, give I unto you, Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Worried…

I Peter 5:7″cast all your cares upon him for he careth for you”

Lonely…

John 14:18 “I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you”

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble”.

Depressed…

Psalm 34:17 “The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles”.

Confused…

I Cor. 14:33 God is not the author of confusion

Psalm 32: 8 “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way thou shalt go”

A young Christian family moved into town and rented the only house that was available. The house was in a run down section of town and the closest neighbors lived in a terrible poverty stricken condition.

In an effort to love their neighbors the couple went over to their neighbors house. They were invited inside to discover that conditions were worse then they first expected. As they were leaving the home the husband noticed a dust covered Bible under a rickety table in the house.

As he left he said “there’s a treasure in this house which if discovered and believed would make you all rich”.

The family began to search their house.  They wondered could it be a jewel or a pot of Gold.  After searching and searching they found nothing.

Not long after that the mother picked up the old Bible, and began to look through it.  As it happened on the inside cover of the bible was written these words: “Thy testimonies are better to me than thousands of Gold and silver” (Psalm 119:72).

She thought to herself “is this the treasure our neighbor spoke of”.  She and the other members of the family began to read the Bible, and a change took place in their hearts that were formerly filled with sin, pain and discouragement.

The next time the neighbors came for a visit to their surprise they found a completely changed family.  They said “we found the treasure and we received it, and we received the savior.”

The Bible is the power that changes lives, and when you are in a crisis it is the power that will strengthen and encourage you a second thing.

II. I have found that in times when I lacked wisdom Gods word answered my questions, and gave me direction.

The Word of God has the answer for me–for everyone living throughout the world.  The Bible is universal in its appeal because it isn’t just a book.  It is God’s living word.

Hebrews 4:12  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.

Isaiah 55:11 “And it will not return void it will accomplish that which it is sent forth to do”

It was applicable in the 1st century in the 1700’s, in the 1950’s and it will be in the future not because its well written, but because it is alive.

An American missionary was traveling across Korea by train. At a busy station an old man boarded and sat across from Him. The man was Korean and he addressed the American in his native tongue.

The Missionary responded in the only Korean phrase that he knew which was “I DON’T UNDERSTAND”.

A few minutes later the Korean tried again, but the missionary could only say ” I DON’T UNDERSTAND”

The Korean then tried a third question, only this time the American recognized a familiar word YESU which means JESUS.  The American pointed to himself and said YESU.  The Old man did the same thing with a smile of delight on His face.

The Korean then unwrapped the bundle he was carrying . It was a large Korean a Bible.  He turned to a page and pointed to a place that he wanted the American to read.  Remembering that oriental Bible are written from back to front . The clergy men took his own Bible and counted the number of books and chapters from the back to the place that the old man had pointed to.  The old man had pointed to Mark 3:35 “Whoever does the will of God is my brother”

The American searched for a suitable reply. He counted out and pointed to it in the Korean Bible. It was Psalm 133:1 “Behold how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity” The Korean man read it and smiled in agreement and for the rest of the journey, these two men, ages apart in culture were brought together in a remarkable friendship as they pointed first to one verse and then to another. Their separate Bibles had a common language of the Spirit.

The word of God is a universal appeal and it can direct you as it has directed me,

It directs us in our job

It directs us in our finances

It directs us in our Character

It directs us in our lifestyle

It will direct you in your relationships

and it directs us to CHRIST…

James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives generously to all”

Lastly

III. I have found that when I was not certain what was right God’s word helped me to both understand and do what is right.  The truth of the word of God doesn’t stand in my life as a rule book of do’s and don’ts.  The Bible never says and you shall know the rules and by them you shall be bound.  It says, “you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free”.  By allowing Gods word to guide me into truth it allows me to be free.

The world is filled with delusion and false ideas all trying to bring us under bondage.  But Gods word brings real freedom.

A few years ago at USC there was a professor of philosophy who was a deeply committed atheist.  His primary goal for one required class was spend the entire semester attempting to prove that God did not exist.  His students were always afraid to argue with him because of his impeccable logic.

For twenty years he had taught the class and no one had ever had the courage to go against him.  No one would go against him because he had a reputation, at the end of every semester on the last day of class

He would say to his class of 300 students,  “If there is anyone here who still believes in Jesus, stand up!”  In twenty years no one had ever stood up.  They knew what he was going to do next.

He would say, “Because anyone who does believe in God is a fool.  If God existed he could stop this piece of chalk from hitting the ground and breaking.  Such a simple task to prove that his God and yet he can’t do it.

And every year he would drop the chalk onto the tile floor of the classroom, and it would shatter into 100’s of pieces.  All of the students could do nothing but stop and stare.  Most of the students were convinced that God couldn’t exist.  Certainly a number of Christians had slipped through, but for twenty years they had been to afraid to stand up.

A few years ago there was a freshman who happened to get enrolled in the class.  He was a christian and had heard the stories of the professor.

For three months that semester he read the Bible and prayed that he would have the courage to stand up no matter what the professor said or no matter what the class thought.

Finally the day came. The professor said, if there is anyone who still believes in God , stand up.  The professor and the class of 300 looked at him shocked as he stood up.

“You Fool!” “If God existed, he could keep this piece of chalk from breaking when it hit the ground!”

He proceeded to drop the chalk, but as he did, it slipped out of his fingers, off His shirt cuff, onto the pleats of his pants, down his leg, and off his shoe. As it hit the ground, it simply rolled away, unbroken.

The professors jaw dropped as he stared at the chalk.  He looked up at the young man and then ran out of the lecture hall.

The young man who had stood up, proceeded to walk to the front of the room, and share his faith in Jesus for the next half hour.  300 students stayed and listened, as he told of God’s love for them and his power through Jesus Christ

How has Gods word impacted your life?

Do you turn to it in time of trouble for encouragement?

Do you turn to it when you need direction?

Has it become your source of truth?

Or is it down the line in your priority list of things to do?

God’s word contains the things we need to make our life fulfilling.

Let us commit to turning to its pages for our lives.


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