Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”
Psalm 119: 105
How To Handle Stress: 5 Lessons from the Life of Jesus
Lesson #3: Take time for Edification.
“Edification” – Intellectual, moral or spiritual improvement and enlightenment. Instruction.
“The Bible should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler’s guide, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword, the Christian’s character.”
Have I found comfort and peace by studying God’s Word?
“And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom…and all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.”
Luke 2: 40, 46-48
The text we begin our “Inspiration” with today was written by Dr. Luke, one of Jesus’ disciples, and he was relating the experience of Jesus as a young boy -- only 12-years-old -- when in the temple in Jerusalem He astonished the teachers with His knowledge of Scripture. In fact, the word “amazed” in Greek, meant – these learned men were “struck with astonishment” by the wisdom of the child – Jesus.
Throughout Jesus’ ministry, we find people amazed at His knowledge of the Scriptures. Obviously, as Jesus’ taught on the hills, in homes and in the Synagogue, His constant reference to the writings of the Old Testament prophets made it apparent to all who came to listen that the study of God’s Word was essential to His life. If the Son of God found such instruction so critical, how much more can you and I benefit from time spent in the Word of God.
The well-known evangelist Charles Spurgeon, encouraging his listeners to study God’s Word noted: “You know more about your ledgers, than your Bible; you know more about your magazines and novels than what God has written; many of you will read a novel from the beginning to the end and what have you got? A mouthful of foam when you are done. But you cannot read the Bible; that solid, lasting, substantial, and satisfying food goes uneaten, locked up in the cupboard of neglect; while anything that a (person) writes, a best seller of the day is greedily devoured.”
Several years ago, while discussing the Bible with a friend, she informed me in no uncertain terms that she thought the Bible was an “absolute bore.” Then she asked me an interesting question. She said, “Tell me, Dorothy, what do you find in the Bible that brings you so much comfort and peace?” Thankfully, I could tell her about times in my life when God’s Word has lightened my load; lifted my downcast spirit; and calmed my frayed nerves. It is my hope you, too, will find the Word of God to be a solace for the stress you encounter every day.
But in order for us to be “edified” or instructed by God’s Word, we must commit time to studying this Heavenly gift. As R.A. Torrey so eloquently wrote, “One must look a long time at the great masterpieces of art to appreciate their beauty…so one must look a long time at the great verses of the Bible to appreciate their beauty.”
Lesson #3 in combating the effects of stress in everyday life is revealed in Jesus’ reliance and study of God’s Word. We, too, can find, in the prayerful study of the Bible, heaven’s answer to the hectic pace of a busy life.
I love our affirmation today. It’s called “God’s Emergency Numbers.” If you ever feel your life is ready to boil over, do what Charles Spurgeon advised, “Draw the honey out of the comb of Scripture, and live on its sweetness.”
God’s Emergency Numbers
“When in sorrow – call John 14
When you are lonely or fearful – call Psalm 23
When you want to be fruitful – call John 15
When you have sinned – call Psalm 51
When you grow bitter and critical – call I Corinthians 13
When you worry – call Matthew 6: 19-34
When you feel down and out – call Romans 8: 31-39
When your prayers grow selfish – call Psalm 67
When you are in danger – call Psalm 91
When your faith needs stirring – call Hebrews 11
When God seems far away – call Psalm 139
When others fail you – call Psalm 27
When you leave home to labor or travel – call Psalm 121
When you want assurance – call Romans 1: 1-30
For Paul’s secret of happiness – call Colossians 3: 12-17
If you believe in Jesus Christ call Him up”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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