September 25th – Thank God For Writers



Amongst the many books on my shelves there is one which, by rights, should have been scrapped years ago. The cover is worn off, the paper protective covering I put on it is also worn out. It’s a dog-eared paper back, of which anyone would say ‘It’s past its shelf life, scrap it’. I wouldn’t dream of discarding it or, now, even loaning it (I’ve lost too many hundreds of books that way), and when I tell you that it was the Bible Class Course for the Boys Brigade for 1951-52!!! you’d say in irony ‘Whoopee – do you hoard up old newspapers too?’ and I’d say ‘No – it’s the author that makes this paperback special’. On the title page it says “One Lord – One Faith – One Life”. By the Rev. William. Barclay B.D.
William Barclay was then the Pastor of an ordinary Scottish church, and virtually unknown. It was probably the second book that Barclay ever wrote. The first was also a lesson book written for the Boys Brigade. It’s the same William Barclay who became a world publishing phenomenon – with his Bible commentaries. They sold all over the world by the million, because he was able to combine scholarship, clear simple language, with a gift for telling illustrations and his writings alone transformed a tiny Scots publishing house into the world-wide company of the St. Andrews Press.
William Barclay was one of the 20th Century’s greatest Christian teachers. He went on to become the professor of Greek language and literature in the University of Glasgow, and one of the most widely read bible teachers of all time. Not many people realised that he was stone deaf, so when he wanted total peace he would switch of his hearing aid. He also needed very little sleep: just a catnap at night, then he could work all through the night: another catnap in the morning, and then work all through the day. His work output was twice that of a normal life span, but the one thing he always made plain was that to teach about Jesus, you must know Jesus, and he quoted the great artist DorĂˆ who was shown a portrait of Jesus by a fellow artist for approval. Finally DorĂˆ burst out “You do not love him, or you would paint him better”. To portray Jesus well you must love him. Or as Peter said:
Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy. I Peter 1:8
A Prayer:
Today Lord God we thank you for all those people, sinners like me and far from perfect, who nevertheless LOVED Jesus and spent their lives portraying him as best they could to the whole world.
Now read Jeremiah Chapter 36.

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Thought 4 The Day

Faith rests on the naked Word of God; that Word believed gives full assurance. (H. A. Ironside)

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