September 26th – Great Lessons From Life



Yesterday, for some reason I was remembering William Barclay, who did so much to teach the Christian world about the Bible, and I was wondering what made him tick. I know he studied classical Greek as a student, which opened up an avenue into the language structure and roots of the more popular form of KoinÈ Greek of the New Testament which he taught so brilliantly, but his gift of illustration was perhaps his greatest asset. He could put windows into the bleakest of theological walls.Out of thousands of examples available, two rush to mind. (If I had taken more time doubtless I would have chosen others.)
One, when teaching about prayer, he confessed that when leading a congregation in saying the Lord’s Prayer, he always had it in writing before him. Because, he said “Once – I started thinking about it, and lost the words!” He started thinking about what he was praying in public! – every worship leader in the world knows what that admission means and involves. What a confession from a great Christian man – what humility.
There is another incident about prayer which he put into the third person, but which I suspect was perhaps closer than that. A minister was working in his study when his little child came in and sat near him. “Yes” he said, a bit testily “what do you want?” “Nothing” said the child “I just wanted to be with you” -reducing that minister and all fathers to ruins! and calling all Christians to what is really vital in their relationship with their heavenly father.
If I had taken time to review some of the vast array of the sayings of William Barclay I probably would not have come up with those two fragments, but then I just put down what I remembered off the top of my head. Did you know that as a most brilliant and influential church leader Barclay was devastated by losing his beloved young daughter in a sailing tragedy? He was never so scholarly that it divorced him from being such a vulnerable human being. That was his magic. He taught about Jesus in the Spirit of Jesus.
When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law. Matthew 7:28-29
“I am convinced that when a Christian rightly prays the Lord’s Prayer at any time …. his praying is more than adequate” (Martin Luther).
A Prayer:
When I am on my knees before you O God, that is what I am – no more – no less.
Now read one of Jesus’s matchless parables: Luke 10:25-37.

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Thought 4 The Day

Never doubt in the dark what God told you in the light. (VR Edman)

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