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  • Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Who Do You Trust?

Trust may be defined as a “firm reliance on the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing.” Do you easily put your trust in other people? Are you trustworthy?

It has always been important to me to try to be a trustworthy person who keeps his word to others. There have been times in my life when this has not happened. I don’t know about you, but it really bothers me each time I’m reminded that I am not infallible. I cannot control all the circumstances or the actions of other people. My promises can be thwarted by nature, by other human beings, and my own weaknesses – even when those promises are made with the best of intentions. I may have ability and character, and do my best to live a life of integrity – but promises should be made sparingly and vows to God even more infrequently.

On the other hand, you can be certain that God will keep His promises. The psalmist declares, “In God I have put my trust: I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” (56:11) “Trust in Him at all times; you people, pour out your heart before Him: God is a refuge for us.” (62:8) You may have known people who put little trust in God, but how many people do you know who trust Him too much? D. L. Moody wrote, “Trust in yourself and you are doomed to disappointment; trust in your friends and they will die and leave you; trust in money and you may have it taken from you; trust in reputation and some slanderous tongue may blast it; but trust in God, and you are never to be confounded in time or eternity.”

If you are going to trust in God, you must be able to answer one question correctly. “As a Christian, do I believe that God is absolutely in control of the universe down to the smallest detail?” If you do not believe this, you will never trust Him. If your answer is yes, then you can rest in the knowledge that you are in His providential care. “In God I have put my trust: I will not be afraid.” (Psalm 56:11) “But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God. I trust in the steadfast love of God forever and ever.” (Psalm 52:8) “Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” (Isaiah 12:2) No matter the circumstances or purposes of man, we can confidently place our trust in God.

Courage, brother! Do not stumble,

Though thy path be dark as night;

There’s a star to guide the humble;

Trust in God and do the Right.

(by Norman Macleod)

John Quincy Adams On Creation

It is so obvious to every reasonable being, that he did not make himself; and the world which he inhabits could as little make itself that the moment we begin to exercise the power of reflection, it seems impossible to escape the conviction that there is a Creator. It is equally evident that the Creator must be a spiritual and not a material being; there is also a consciousness that the thinking part of our nature is not material but spiritual – that it is not subject to the laws of matter nor perishable with it. Hence arises the belief, that we have an immortal soul; and pursuing the train of thought which the visible creation and observation upon ourselves suggest, we must soon discover that the Creator must also he the Governor of the universe – that His wisdom and His goodness must be without bounds – that He is a righteous God and loves righteousness – that mankind are bound by the laws of righteousness and are accountable to Him for their obedience to them in this life, according to their good or evil deeds.

But the first words of the Bible are, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The blessed and sublime idea of God as the creator of the universe – the Source of all human happiness for which all the sages and philosophers of Greece and Rome groped in darkness and never found – is recalled in the first verse of the book of Genesis. I call it the source of all human virtue and happiness because when we have attained the conception of a Being Who by the mere act of His will created the world, it would follow as an irresistible consequence (even if we were not told that the same Being must also be the governor of his own creation) that man, with all other things, was also created by Him, and must hold his felicity and virtue on the condition of obedience to His will.

(From John Quincy Adams, Letters of John Quincy Adams to His Son on the Bible and Its Teachings, Letter II, pp. 23-28.)

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