"In the first year of Darius,..who was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans (Babylonians)--..I, Daniel, understood by the books...."
(From Daniel 9:1, 2)
July 10, 1965 was the birthday of our oldest child, Stephen Paul Barnette. 42 years ago last month his all too brief journey on this planet ended, and the Eternal One took Stephen into the Realm to which all in Jesus Christ are headed. That summer I too experienced a "death," a death to independence, death to casual reading of the Words of God, death to, "I can pretty well handle life on my own." Now of course I was, "born again," "saved," baptized in the Holy Spirit, preaching, teaching, bringing people to Jesus, doing, "the work of the ministry." But I can assure you by experience and observation that one can be and do all of the aforementioned and still, at the root of one's life, be self reliant. Of course the "spiritual" among us would deny this, but deny it as people may, neglect of, "the Books," reveal what we really are, not what we think we are. What is very scary about this is that Jesus still seems to use such people.
That summer I read portions of the Bible I had never read. That summer I discovered what our text tells us, that if there is anything we can grasp of life, the mysteries of life, the tragedies, heartaches, the suffering, that which is unanswerable by any other means, one must come to, "the Books." I have no more intellectual or "spiritual" understanding of the first six months of 1970 than I do of that fateful, portentous summer, now so very long ago. Yet I can tell you that I have found an "understanding" which goes beyond the human mind. "I... understood by the books," and that, my friend, just as, "the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding--------------- will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
Over these past 42 years, the most powerful influence in my life, and that which has been forever written on my heart, is the truth of Deuteronomy 8:3, of which our Lord Jesus Christ reminded Satan in that wilderness, "....Man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD" (NASB). This is the reason I am still living today.
Father, in Jesus' Name, I thank You for Your Life which "proceeds" to me and indwells me. Without You, I have no life. Amen.
Unreached People Group: www.apfunreachedpeoples.blogspot.com
When Peter, an 18 year old Norwegian, "heard the call to evangelize China, on that day he not only emptied his wallet into the collection plate, but included a small note with the words, 'and my life.'"
"Looking unto Jesus"
"Looking unto Jesus"