The Touch of the Master’s Hand

My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me. Psalm 63:8

About ninety percent of us are right-handed, and the other ten percent favor our left hands. The statistics were probably the same in biblical times, and the right hand was often associated with power and authority. The writers of Scripture used the concept of one’s right hand to convey God’s power and blessings to us.

Check out some of these references: His right hand is glorious in power (Exodus 15:6). His right hand upholds us (Psalm 63:8). At His right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11). In Isaiah God said, “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). The psalmist said, “You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your right hand has held me up” (Psalm 18:35).

If you feel weak, weary, or worried today, remember the touch of His right hand, reaching down, imparting strength, and holding you up.

Say with the writer of Psalm 98:1: “Oh, sing to the LORD a new song! For He has done marvelous things; His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory.”

I know Thy hand upholdeth me, and will my soul defend; / Sufficient is Thy grace, O Lord, to keep me to the end. Fanny Crosby, hymnist

Overcoming Trials

Hebrews 11:23-29

Moses had some tough times in his long life. He fled from a murder charge, spent years in the desert, stood toe-to-toe with a king who scorned him, led a grumbling nation through 40 years of hardship, and saw those same people run hot and cold in their allegiance. Yet once Moses learned the secret to dealing with trials, he faced them courageously.

Even though he returned to Egypt with an unmistakable call from the Lord (Ex. 3:10), appearing before Pharaoh must nonetheless have been intimidating. And Moses had to plead with the man repeatedly for the release of the Israelites. Pharaoh was not fazed by locusts, convinced by boils, or softened by water turning into blood. In fact, he made life even harder for the slaves by forcing them to find their own brickmaking materials. In turn, the Hebrews heaped ingratitude on their leader.

In spite of all the opposition, Moses kept returning to the palace until he had achieved God’s purpose—the release of His people. Hebrews 11:27 tells us that as the former prince led the exodus from Egypt, “he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen.” With a stack of trials behind and despite a hint of more to come in leading this unruly people, Moses moved forward, aware that he was walking in the Lord’s presence.

God had pledged to be with Moses every step of the way (Ex. 3:12). The Israelite leader fixed his focus on that promise and the One who made it. He had the wisdom to trust that I Am (Ex. 3:14)—the eternal sovereign of the universe—would guard his way and bring him victory over trials.

Diligent Search

“I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search.” (Psalm 77:6)

Christopher Columbus is recognized in this country for his bold search across the Atlantic, resulting in the major exploration and colonization of North America. As with many great men, variations abound of his character, but he is widely recognized as a Bible-quoting religious man.

Motivation seems to be the key behind the success of history’s “great” men. Some inner drive captivated the heart of those explorers, inventors, statesmen, generals, and leaders. And so it is with the prophets, priests, and kings of the Kingdom—they were driven by a “burning fire” in their “bones” (Jeremiah 20:9).

Solomon, granted wisdom by God, nonetheless gave his “heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 1:13). Excellence does not just happen!

Those Berean Christians who were cited as being more “noble” than the Thessalonians were recognized because they “received the word with all readiness of mind, and [emphasis added] searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11). They listened (passive), but they also searched (active).

Spiritual maturity does not come by mere chronological survival! “Strong meat,” the Scripture notes, “belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:14).

Careful attention to the instructions in the Word and careful observance to follow those instructions are the only formula for God’s blessing of prosperity and “good success” (Joshua 1:8). HMM III

Proud of Our Humility

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. —Romans 7:18

Three considerations should destroy pride forever within our breasts: the majesty of God, the enormity of our sins and the wonder of Christ’s redeeming death. But so tenacious is the root of Adam that we are often proud even of our want of pride. It is not uncommon to see holy men defending their holiness with positive violence and resenting any doubt cast upon their perfections.

For a Christian to claim credit for any good work is a violation of the most elementary teachings of the New Testament. Two things are taught clearly there: that I can of myself do no good thing; and if any good deed is done, it is the Lord Himself who has done it. That should settle our pride of service for good, but in fact it is not so. We still love to bask in the praise that our Christian efforts bring us.

For a Christian to revel in the praise he is accorded for some good work is as logically askew as for a singer to rush out and take a bow for another singer’s solo. It is a cheap form of robbery and must be exceedingly hateful to God.

Father, forgive me for the pride that is so ugly, yet so close to the surface. Remind me today that I can do all things through Christ—but nothing of myself. Amen.

Are You Misusing the Bible

Which they… wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. (2 Peter 3:16)

I believe that everything in the Bible is true, but to attempt to make the Bible a textbook for science is to misunderstand it completely and tragically!

It has become a fairly popular practice for Bible teachers to claim to find in the Scriptures confirmation of almost every recent discovery made by science. Apparently no one noticed that the scientist had to find it before the Bible teacher could, and it never seemed to occur to anyone to wonder why, if it was there in the Bible in such plain sight, it took several thousand years and the help of science before anyone saw it.

In recent years, the Bible has been “recommended” for many other purposes from the one for which it was written. The purpose of the Bible is to bring men to Christ, to make them holy and prepare them for heaven. Any manipulation of the Scriptures to make them speak peace to the natural man is evil and can only lead to ruin!

Should it happen that, in the providence of God

Should it happen that, in the providence of God, you are a loser by conscience, you shall find that if the Lord pays you not back in the silver of earthly prosperity, he will discharge his promise in the gold of spiritual joy. Remember that a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of that which he possesseth. To wear a guileless spirit, to have a heart void of offence, to have the favor and smile of God, is greater riches than the mines of Ophir could yield, or the traffic of Tyre could win. “Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and inward contention therewith.” An ounce of heart’s-ease is worth a ton of gold.