I remember fondly many hours beachcombing as a boy, scouring the beaches of the Fife Coast searching for anything of interest. Even if nothing was found a good time was had in the salty North Sea breeze blowing in off the Firth of Forth. Occasionally a shell, pebble or smooth green glass would catch my attention. I would wipe the treasure clean and dip it in a rock pool to see it in all its glory. I have never found anything of significant value over the years, certainly no silver, but I find silver everyday in my Bible.
Searching God’s Word is certainly as time consuming and as pleasurable as any beach search, the major difference being that we will always find treasure in His Word. How much biblical treasure we find is completely dependent on how much we search and how often. An individual who excelled at searching God’s Word was the Dundee Evangelist Robert Annan, who dedicated whole nights to the Word and often more than one night.
Dear reader, how much time do you give to searching the Word of God? Not just reading it but praying over it and dissecting the phrases for deeper understanding, just like examining your beach finds and washing it in the rock pool water. Such attention to your Bible will deliver greatly, building you up in your walk with Father God.
Who remembers rock pooling as a kid during the summer holidays? I remember our family holidays to the caravan park on the hillside overlooking St. Andrews beach, it was a haven of delights. My nephews, neice and myself disappeared all day down to the beach like explorers in a foreign land. The Scots language for rock pooling is “guddling.” It’s the same term used to refer to fishing for trout with your hands from a river bank.
My heart gets excited as I read God’s Word. In my mind I think it is like guddling on the beach at lowtide, searching the shallows and the deeper pools, turning over rocks to see what lies beneath. Reading my Bible is a fishing adventure for my soul. I must confess I squeal with delight at my Bible discoveries like I did when guddling on St.Andrews beach all those years ago.
Dear reader, do you get excited reading and searching His Word? Get yourself a mug of coffee or tea and open your Bible today. Grab your highlighters and notebook and go guddling in His Word – the treasures you will find in its pages will enrich and excite you, and also it is fun!
“Behold, seven years of great abundance are coming in all the land of Egypt; and after them seven years of famine will come, and all the abundance will be forgotten in the land of Egypt, and the famine will ravage the land. So the abundance will be unknown in the land because of that subsequent famine; for it will be very severe.”
There are times in the Christian walk where the river runs low, right down to a trickle. Suddenly all is silent about you, concentration is hard and the Word of God doesn’t appear to say much. I have times like these, usually through fatique which is a regular effect of my health issues. Tiredness and pain can make big and small things difficult, including spiritual matters. Yet God can use these times to help us grow in Him. During such dry times in life our Father God provides abundantly, literally from nothing.
It was while searching for inspiration in what has been a hard day, I found myself looking at my Bible notes from Friday 26th June 2020 and I found the scriptures I present to you today. In my notes I wrote that day: “in Scripture when we find famine, God is at work in the midst of it with bountiful blessings.” Look at the story of Joseph, and how God through a famine blessed him, his family and, also his nation. Then we have Ruth, which is a truly beautiful Biblical story. To escape famine Naomi and her daughter in law Ruth return to Judah. Ruth meets Boaz in the harvest fields who becomes her husband, their son Obed is the great grandfather of David, and a forerunner of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. What a truly a great harvest in the midst of a famine!
Dear reader, in times of personal famine when life is difficult our Father God is still present, right beside us. No matter how low the water level in your reservoir, the Almighty can still work a miracle with it. He is the Master of taking the small and weak to fulfill His purpose. Let us never despair in our famine, He will feed us from His bountiful harvest!
After seeing Mandy’s post tonight regarding her fishing trip over the next few days I found myself reminiscing about one particular fishing trip when I was a laddie. We were on holiday in a caravan park in Wemyss Bay, overlooking the River Clyde. My brother in law who was a keen sea fisherman persuaded the boys and myself to go fishing off the rocks just outside the town. It was a warm sunny day with a slightly cool breeze blowing inland off the river. Our first task was digging the ragworms on the beach, after which we found a promising spot on the rocks to cast our lines from. We were fishing for Cod or more likely Mackerel, but nothing happened for a while. We passed the time counting fishing boats, ferries and submarines on the horizon. But then my brother in law caught a lovely big Cod which put up a good fight, he was like the cat who got the cream posing with his catch. He stored it in a wee rockpool behind us while we carried on fishing, only to see a Great Black Backed Gull swoop down and snatch the prized fish. That sour note signalled the end of our afternoon’s fishing that day, but it did become a story to laugh about later that night. Over the years it became a much loved fishing story on other trips.
As I remembered this old fishing story I thought of the above verse; of Jesus calling the brothers Simon and Andrew. In these famous words our Lord calls us too to join Him in fishing for men; seeking and catching lost souls for the Kingdom of Heaven. Look at the fishing story again; before we cast a line we had to get prepared by digging bait and tying our tackle specific to what we were aiming to catch. We had to find a good fishing spot to offer us the best opportunities to catch something. It is the same when fishing for souls; we must prepare by having good bait – Bible verses and tracts backed up by prayers before fishing. Sometimes fishing for souls can be like our fishing story; the fish were not biting, but we patiently kept casting our lines out. Eventually we may have a good catch for the Kingdom, but we mustn’t turn our back on our catch like we did in our story…for Satan will snatch them back at the first opportunity. Sparse fishing trips for the Gospel do not stop us fishing, they inspire us to keep sharing the Good News on future trips.
Dear reader, do you ever go fishing for Jesus? If you do be sure to use the best bait of God’s Word, soaked in prayer. Seek the best fishing spots for a likely catch. Gospel fishing trips need not be whole days, they can be a few minutes or an hour once a week or a fortnight. Whatever you can do if it is soaked in prayer, your Father God will use it to His Glory. I wish you good fishing my friend!
The brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so. Therefore many of them believed, along with a number of prominent Greek women and men.
This post was originally posted on the 4th May 2020. I have editted it and made some changes for todays version.
I read the above text recently and it struck a note in my heart, which had me asking myself “How do I measure up to the Bereans?” Do I study God’s Word effectively, or can I do better?
The example of Bible study the Bereans set for us is a good approach to personal Bible study. “These [Bereans] were more noble [fair-minded] than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with eagerness [all readiness], examining [searching] the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so.” (Bold text in brackets mine).
The first description of the Berean Christians suggests that they were yielded to God in their approach to the His Word. They “received the Word.” As we approach our Bible study, we also need to be willing to receive and apply any and all biblical principles found in its pages.
Second, the Bereans were intentional in their approach to Bible study. They came to the Scriptures “with all readiness” looking for truth. They had an eager mind, a hungry spirit for His Truth. It was not a matter of reading a chapter to fulfill their Christian duty based on a daily reading plan, but rather having a real personal desire to seek and understand the truth of God.
In the third place, the Bereans approached Bible study with a word by word study of the Scriptures. They “searched” the Scriptures in their pursuit of truth. Theirs was not a superficial fast reading, but reading questioning the meaning of individual words. The Biblical use of the word “searched” means “to sift” as a baker sifts flour separating every particle. When you study the Bible “word for word,” you are “sifting” every word of Scripture to try to understand what God is saying in it. As we invest time researching the meaning of words and expressions used in Scripture, we gain insights missed by those who skim over passages in their reading of the Scriptures.
The fourth characteristic of the Bereans was their routine of “daily” Bible study. Each day these Christians had a fresh personal encounter with God through their study of the Scriptures. On a daily basis they were reminded of God’s merciful compassion toward His people. Just as Jesus instructed His disciples to pray for daily bread (Matt. 6:11), so we need to go daily to the Scriptures which is the Bread of Life to every believer.
The fifth characteristic of the Bereans was that they searched with purpose in the Bible. When the Bereans wanted to know anything specific they turned to the Scriptures. They studied “to find out whether these things were so.” They were concerned with the content of Scripture and the accuracy of it. They sought assurances from their Bible study.
Dear reader, we should follow the Bereans’ example in our own Bible study, we need to check out all Biblical teaching we receive in church, on social media and YouTube for ourselves. Sadly too many folk accept what they hear without confirming the validity within the Scriptures.
Dear Father God, thank You for Your living Word, the Bible. Please fill me with a love for reading and studying Your Word, that I might draw closer to You and be a better servant. Amen.
I read a post from Christian Aid today that really touched my heart, even though I was semi-aware of the high level of international debt. But what in particular shocked me most is how much debt is owed to the richest nations by the very poorest. Rather than offering genuine help the big nations shackle the poorest with unpayable debts, to the detriment of the poor and needy. All the major countries are at this trough; UK, USA, RUSSIA, CHINA just to name a few. It is unbiblical wickedness on a global scale where poor nations spend more on debt repayments than on healthcare.
THIRD WORLD DEBT*Africa spends four times as much money repaying interest on its loans as on health care. *For every £1 given in aid by rich countries, poor countries pay back nearly £4 in debt repayments. *Over 500,000 children die each year because of cutbacks to health services. *Zambia was once one of the richest countries in Africa. Now its debt is equivalent to £565 per citizen, more than three times the average annual salary. *It would cost creditors £4.5 billion to cancel the unpayable debt of the 20 most affected countries, less than the cost of one Stealth bomber.
As Christians we are encouraged to practice generosity and care towards those in need. Shackling people in debt is definitely not an act of love. We can practice generosity and care in our daily lives to those we meet but we can encourage others to do the same. There is more information regarding international debt in the following links.