The CCEL Times 7.6 (June 1, 2012)
In This Issue:
Scripture: a Gift from God
Thy Word is a Lamp unto my Feet: Shedding Light on Scripture
At its core, the mission of the Christian Classics Ethereal Library is to make Christian literature widely available to anyone seeking the light of Christ. While we hope all of the books in our collection contribute toward that goal, one section of the CCEL is especially helpful in terms of shedding light on scripture.
The Study section of CCEL matches scripture verses with various commentaries, sermons, meditations, hymns, and other references. All one needs to do is select a scripture passage, and numerous resources related to that passage will be listed and available to users of the CCEL. Our hope is that the CCEL will continue to guide readers in their faith journey.
"Reclaiming God's Gifts"
By Sarah Meekhof Albers
In Sarah Meekhof Albers' article Reclaiming God's Gifts, the author describes several instances in which scripture has been a gift from God. The precious gift of scripture is available to all of us; Bible passages provide comfort, guidance, and help throughout our lives. Sarah describes how "A Scripture that had once troubled me now brought solace." She explains how "Before [she] was even born [Sarah's mother] began to pray that Isaiah 43 would be true of [Sarah's] life" and she quotes the passage writing, "Ye are my witnesses, saith Jehovah, and my servant whom I have chosen; that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me." She concludes the thought by explaining how this very passage comes to have special importance to her much later in life.
Reading scripture and books about scripture is not only an activity that God calls us to do -- it's also a great gift that He provides to each of us. After reading Sarah's article, we'd love to hear more stories about how scripture has played a role in your lives. We hope that the CCEL makes this gift more accessible to others.
What We're ReadingGod of All Comfort
by Hannah Whitall Smith (1832-1911)
For many Christians the words "Jesus" and "comfort" are inextricably linked. In her classic work, God of All Comfort, Hannah Whitall Smith describes why faith in the Christian God leads to a comfort and joy that cannot be found elsewhere. Without Christ, life is little more than living through doubt, fear, and anxiety. In her inspirational work, Smith reminds the reader of the reality of God's promises to his people. With Christ, doubt, fear, and anxiety are obsolete feelings. Scripture can help bring us this comfort.
-The Christian Classics Ethereal Library
Featured HymnI Love to Tell the Story by Kate Hankey (1834-1911)
I Love to Tell the Story is one of two hymn texts derived from a long poem on the life of Christ written by Kate Hankey in 1866. Hankey wrote the poem during a long period of convalescence following a serious illness. The first part of the poem, "The Story Wanted," is the source of the children's gospel song Tell Me the Old, Old Story, while the second part, "The Story Told," contains this text.
-The Psalter Hymnal Handbook
Read more about Hymnary.org
"Thy Word Is a Lamp Unto My Feet, and a Light Unto My Path"
Thomas Manton's sermon (based on Psalm 119:105) examines 5 issues related to interpreting scripture. The five issues, which Manton calls objections, are summarized below.
1. If scripture is so clear a light, why do people not follow God's word?
2. If scripture provides guidance, why do we need the Spirit in our lives?
3. If scripture is clear, why do we need the ministry?
4. If scripture can be so difficult to understand, how can it be useful? Won't many claim that nothing is certain in religion?
5. Since we are sinful and can't know the mind of God, how can we see the light provided by scripture?
We would love to hear your thoughts on these intellectually challenging issues related to scriptural interpretation. Share your insights on the CCEL forum.
Thought for ReflectionMatthew Henry's Commentary on Psalm 119:105
Matthew Henry's Commentary states, "The word of God directs us in our work and way, and a dark place indeed the world would be without it. The commandment is a lamp kept burning with the oil of the Spirit, as a light to direct us in the choice of our way, and the steps we take in that way."
Read the entire commentary on Psalm 119