One of my favorite verses in Scripture is the proverb written by one or more of King Hezekiah’s men; it says that “It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, and the glory of kings to search a matter out” (Proverbs 25:2; NASB). It has been my privilege to have been discipled by men who have spoken into my life the things of Christ. These men taught me not only how to respond to Jesus’ love but to love His Word as well. These Godly men helped me learn how “to search a matter out,” and for this I am eternally grateful.
When I was in Austin, Texas in 2001, a business colleague introduced me to a Bible study software platform that was free to download. This tool helped me research quickly word meanings, background information, as well as many other things that I used to look up in many individual books. The program I was introduced to was “e-Sword of the Lord.” This transition enabled me to be far more efficient in accessing concordances, dictionaries, encyclopedias, maps and commentaries. I have encouraged others to adopt this tool, as it is free and very user friendly. Over the years, I have purchased modules to add on to the base platform that have been of great assistance. If you have a hunger to study in detail God’s Word, this is a very effective tool to start with.
Over the years, I have had many people ask me what authors I like. It has always been an odd thing with me that if I am reading strictly for recreation I prefer mystery novels that fill in time. I read many of these books during the long mind-numbing hours of air travel during my career. But my serious reading has been more focused on Bible Commentaries and books that I believed had content that would help me grow in my faith and understanding of God’s Word. I particularly enjoy the works of Harry Ironsides, G. Campbell Morgan, Martyn Lloyd Jones, John Stott, CS Lewis, Donald Grey Barnhouse, William Barclay and AW Tozer. But the works of Ray Stedman are my favorite, for it was Ray’s personal interest in reaching out to me when I was so lost in my early 20’s that has helped me. Not only was Ray a wonderful expositor, he was a wonderful man. Just two years ago, Martha, whom it seems everyone knows, and I were able to visit Ray’s wife Elaine. What a rich time we had with this dear lady. During our time with Elaine, I shared with her that the impact Ray had on me the most was I had been able to see and know a man who had entered God’s rest. What a memory that has left with me.
It has taken some 57 years of life to begin to comprehend what it means to enter God’s rest. As I have learned over the years, it is true what the writer of Hebrews says, “For we who have believed entered that rest” (Hebrews 4:3, NASB). It is implied from the previous verse that entering God’s rest is by faith. In my quest to “search a matter out”, I have become more convinced than ever that what I am discovering produces rest in my soul and spirit. As Jesus said, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light" (Mathew 11:28-30, NASB).
My prayer is that the family at GPBC will come to rest in Him!