“And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.” John 21:25
John, the disciple that leaned upon our Saviour’s breast, the one so privileged with having received the heavenly vision recorded in Revelation, closes his gospel account with this melodious and intriguing sentence. John was a witness to the Creator’s dealings with mankind as that great One walked in feet of clay, when the constraints of time and physical being clothed His eternal being.
Of all the wonders and words of our God, the printed pages we hold in our hand are the distilled accounts of the works of God, His loving heart for mankind, and the recorded thoughts of the very mind of God; all in one book, One Book. My volume measures 5 x 8” and contains 1,448 pages. John himself wrote that the detailed life account of Christ could not be contained in a great library of books, yet we hold the thoughts of God in one precious book. In His divine wisdom, He gave us just one book.
Many college textbooks have this number and more of pages in them, with several books needed beside to teach the foundations of one particular subject. Being God of all, our LORD could have required of us the diligent study of many a volume of enormous and complicated works in order to know Him, but this is not so. He has given us One Book containing instructions and the gentle command to hide these within our hearts (Psalm 119:11), making them a part of our lives and our minds so that the blessing will be ours. (John 5:39)
The omniscient God of detail sees our lives, the motivations of our hearts, and hears the words we speak to one another. Dear Christian, the privilege of our position in Christ and the incredible power of the Word we hold in our hand should cause us to be ever about praising His wonderful name and sharing what we possess with the destitute around us. (Psalm 146:2) Fascinated we should be of the verse found in Malachi 3 which states, “Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.” A book in heaven recorded the Christ-centered conversations and the names of those who had spoken! Oh, the sobering thought of volumes of recorded information in heaven; books of the lost and the saved, books of the Law; books that will serve as evidence on that Day of Judgment. (Psalm 56:8; Matthew 12:36; Revelation 3:5) Many books in heaven, but only one book here on earth for us to use as preparation for that eternal morning. Oh, the mercy of our Father! (Psalm 103:14)
Our lives here really are a preparatory room for eternity. Our beings will be consumed with speaking only on Him and praising Him for all of eternity. A chosen people we are. (1 Peter 2:9) We have been called out from this present world to grow into Christlikeness. (2 Thessalonians 2:13-14) In preparing for our eternal home, this one volume must indeed be of great importance for us mortals. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” It must serve as the beacon after which our souls follow to navigate our way through this world. Be not afraid, dear soul, when there is a darkness that settles round about you. You have His word on His protection (Isaiah 35:4) and His word on His comforting presence (Hebrews 13:5). Though at times you feel not His presence, He is there. His Word promises this to you. (Psalm 139:7-12) This world is fraught with peril, both physically and spiritually for the Christian (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). Darkness and storms of trial may hide His face from thee, but will never remove His loving care (Romans 8:39). For above the clouds, the sun is always shining.
Trials and temptations abound in the life of the active Christian. Be not defeated in your mind and consequently in your life by believing the lie that you are too vile, too wayward, to discouraged to get back to where you once stood. Take heart with these words from Charles Haddon Spurgeon:
“Our faith at times has to fight for its very existence. The old Adam within us rages mightily and the new spirit within us, like a young lion, disdains to be vanquished; and so these two strong ones contend, till our spirit is full of agony. Some of us know what it is to be tempted with blasphemies we should not dare to repeat, to be vexed with horrid temptations which we have grappled with and overcome, but which have almost cost us resistance unto blood. In such inward conflicts, saints must be alone. They cannot tell their feelings to others, they would not dare; and if they did, their own brethren would despise or upbraid them, for the most of professors would not even know what they meant. …Christ alone was tempted in all points like as we are, though without sin. No one man is tempted in all points exactly like another man, and each one has certain trials in which he must stand alone amid the rage of war, with not even a book to help him, or a biography to assist him, no man ever having gone that way before except that one Man whose trail reveals a nail-pierced foot.”
Our Help is Christ; it always has been and it always will be. (Hebrews 12:22-29) No, dear Christian, there is no human wisdom that can help us in our most desperate times. But praise the Lord for that, for it drives us to our only help and hope: His Spirit and His Word. He has left for us His Holy Spirit and His Word for comfort and for guidance. Through Him we shall do valiantly. Feed yourself the Bread of Life. Get an overdose of the best medicine for your mind and all its doubts and fears. Willingly and desperately partake in the feast He lays out before you; an eternal feast of truth for your soul and the purest of light for your way.
No Christian is immune to the attacks of satan hurled at him in unexpected ways and at unexpected times. Christ is continually calling us onward and upward to the higher life, to the heights with Him above the clouds. Will you join those who are marching forward despite attack? (1 Timothy 6:11-12) Will you seek to free yourself from those “sins which so easily beset” you? (Hebrews 12:1-2) If you will, then become a student of His precious Word thereby fortifying your soul with the iron needed for the perilous journey. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Through His Word we see that we are more than overcomers, we are heirs together with Christ (Ephesians 1:19-23). We, as Christians, were not meant to make our abode in the valleys; we are merely passing through, holding the dear hand of our Saviour who has walked this way before (Psalm 23). Christian, remember that He shuns not the sinner, the soiled soul, the destitute in heart. He loves them. He dearly loves us. He embraces the tear stained soul and reaches out to save the repentant and fearful one even before its cry is completed (Matthew 14:30-31; Luke 15:20).
Mercy, grace and love; this is our God. And He has revealed Himself to us in just one book. One Book filled with words; His words; glorious, soul-saving, life-changing words; just one Book to love, to learn and to lean upon.
How truly kind is He? Tell you what, I’ll meet you in heaven and we’ll spend the first 10,000 years trying to answer just this one question!