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|Posté le: Dim 9 Juil - 06:22 (2017) Sujet du message: Ordinary Pilgrims Extraordinary Progress
My previous book, The Pilgrim’s Psalmgress, was a devotional commentary on some of the psalms, linking the songs and sighings of the psalmist with the life of Bunyan’s hero in The Pilgrim’s Progress. The purpose of it was to show that our lives are dictated by this theme of journey – a one-way journey to Heaven. What happens to us on the way is often best mirrored in the psalms because they are written using the experiences that are common to most of us; if not all of us. I intended to write Christiana’s story in the same way but the stories are written with a different emphasis: The one difference I noticed most was that in Bunyan’s second book he focuses much more on detail whereas the first book is more polemical. That would mean that much of any psalm we studied would not be covered adequately. I didn’t get very far… Then, my younger brother, Paul, died as a result of his injuries in a motor accident: one which was not his fault. In fact, he died heroically because seeing the danger of another car approaching on his side of the road, he turned the car so as to protect his family at the greater risk to himself. The impact of his being taken home remains so huge I still cannot put it into words. History books will not record much about Paul because he was not a “Great man”, as the world counts greatness. Yet Paul affected the lives of those who knew him because he was a great man as God counts greatness: He showed Christ’s love in how he cared for others, no matter what it cost him. Many of the characteristics of the people in this book I see in the life of my beloved, giant, “little” brother: I see the faithful friend of Baruch; the carefully thought out and diplomatic answer of Abigail; the obstinate devotion of Thomas; the bravery of Micaiah; the generosity of Gaius, and so on. You see, ordinary people make a difference. Ordinary people can do extraordinary things. I began to study the lives of “ordinary” people in the bible and came to the view that in God’s scheme of things, that they really matter. God isn’t just interested in the macro view of the world and its people… but rather whose names live in the Lamb’s book of life; we are those for whom Christ died. And we have our daily grind and perhaps unspectacular lives, which may seem so unimportant, but for all that, God is interested in us, loves us unfailingly and desires the best for us. He puts our tears in his bottle and puts his unfailing arms underneath us. The Bible teaches, very clearly, that God uses us for the glory of his name and the growth of his Kingdom. Ordinary people in the Bible illustrate that to us. As I was thinking about whether to publish this, my own pastor took us through Nehemiah chapter 3 and made us read out all the names written there. He made the point that all those people in the chapter were people that you and I don’t know, and moreover, know virtually nothing about. Their names were recorded because Nehemiah loved them and so did the Lord. Without each one of them the wall of Jerusalem would not have been rebuilt: without you and I the kingdom of Christ will not be built either. So, I hope in looking at these people you will be encouraged to see things from God’s perspective in the micro view; in the small things of our lives; in the nitty-gritty, as we sometimes say. I trust that some at least of the people you read of you can identify with and that it will encourage you in your Christian life and journey, and that it will motivate you to put your shoulder to the work; your hand to the plough and attempt great things for God. Who knows what you might do for Almighty God. There are twelve people who feature in this study: six men and six women; some from the Old Testament and some from the New. After a look at what is written about them I have written some questions for you to think about. I suspect that you will benefit as much by discussing the questions as by the information I have written down.
bound: 97 pages
publisher: Independently published (April 24, 2017)
isbn: 1521145962, 978-1521145968,
weight: 7 ounces (