The Bible is …

Jan. 15 — Been resting for a week. A few nights after the first of the year my owner opened me, but no more. Another New Year’s resolution gone wrong.
Feb. 3 — Owner picked me up and rushed off to Sunday school.
Feb. 23 — Cleaning day, dusted and put back in my place.
April 2 — Busy day. Owner had to lead Home Group. Quickly looked up a lot of references. Had an awful time finding the one in the book of Jude because he was looking in the Minor Prophets for it.
May 5 — In Grandma’s lap all afternoon. She was here on a visit. She let a tear drop on Revelation 21:1-5. I am not used to that, but really enjoyed it.
May 9 — Grandma let a tear fall on John 14:1-3.
May 10 — Grandma’s gone. Back in my old place.
May 20 — Baby born. They wrote his name on one of my pages.
June 3 — Had a couple of four-leaf clovers stuck in me today. Wonder why they did that?
June 25 — They placed a large envelope in me today. Said it was the deeds to the new house. They wanted to place them where they would never be disturbed.
July 1 — One of the children found me and wanted to know what that black back Book was.
July 1 — Packed in a suitcase — off for a holiday.
July 20 — Still in the suitcase – unmolested! Almost everything else taken out.
July 25 — Home again. Quite a journey, though I don’t see why I went.
August 1 — Very hot. Have the Sunday paper, two magazines, three novels, and some old clothes lying on me. Don’t see why they don’t take them off.
Aug. 16 — Cleaned again and put in a prominent place; the minister is coming to dinner.
Aug. 20 — Owner wrote Grandma’s death in my family record. He left his extra pair of glasses between my pages.
Dec. 31 — Owner just found his glasses. Wonder if he will make any resolutions about me for the new year.

“Bibles which are falling apart are usually read by people who are not.”

After the story of the feeding of the 5000 with 5 loaves and 2 fishes in John 6 we read this.
66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
67 ‘You do not want to leave too, do you?’ Jesus asked the Twelve.
68 Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”

You have the Words of eternal life. Jesus has the words of eternal life. The Bible, Holy Scripture, is to us the Words of eternal life! The Gideons International place copies of the Bible in hotel rooms, hospitals and prisons, and give copies of the New Testament to young people entering secondary school every year. They provide the following introduction to the Bible.

“This Book is the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding; its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable.
“Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you.

“It is the traveller’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword, and the Christian’s character. Here paradise is restored, heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed.

“Christ is its grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure.”

You have the words of eternal life! This morning we looked at Acts 2:42. They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer

Especially we thought about the first of those four essential activities which are at the heart of the life of every church. They devoted themselves to the Apostles’ Teaching. I went on to give us 8 ways to know Jesus better.

Evening Services. Everybody is invited – every week!
Reading the Bible every day. Free Reading Notes on the table.
Learning Bible Verses. “Words of Eternal Life” – a verse a day for May.
Bible Study meetings. Ask Peter for more details.
Reading Christian books. Borrow one from the table today.
Christian Events e.g “Celebrate Jesus” with Mike Shelbourne.
Reading old sermons.
Christian Radio and TV and websites. Try a few.

8 Great Ways to know Jesus better. 8 ways to learn from the Bible and to grow in our Christian faith. The first Christians devoted themselves to the Apostles’ teaching. So should we!

In particular I introduced this little leaflet called “Words of Eternal Life”. It gives us a Bible verse for every day of May starting tomorrow. Together these 31 verses sum up our Christian faith. Our need of salvation. Who Jesus is. What Jesus has done for us and the salvation He has given us. Prayer and Faith. The Bible and Christian Living. The Holy Spirit and our hope of heaven, You may like to use it as a verse to meditate on each day, or you may decide to make the effort to commit those verses to memory. As something rather different we are going base our next four evening services on these verses. I invite us all to follow these verses every day and then come to the evening service ready to share what God has been saying to you through them.

Christians believe the Bible is God’s Word for humanity. We should read it and study it and commit it to memory and let it shape our lives. “These things are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:31)

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