He leads me beside still waters
ACCORDING TO THE RULES: Eric Liddell, affectionately known as the Flying Scotsman, won a gold medal in the 400-meter race during the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris. Yes, it was a spectacular race that resulted in a world record. Why then, nearly forty years after his death, was it Eric Liddell who inspired a film about his victory in these Olympic Games in Paris? The answer is simple: Eric Liddell refused to run on a Sunday. Eric captured the imagination of millions by tossing away his chance of a gold medal in the 100 meters, the race he was favored to win, because obedience to his Lord and Savior was more important to him than a gold medal. When Eric unexpectedly won the 400-meters, he became a living legend. A year after that triumph, Eric left the limelight to serve as a missionary in China. When he died in a Japanese internment camp 20 years later, all of Scotland mourned. Although we are not competing for a gold medal in the Olympic Games, competing according to the rules, God’s rules, is equally important to those of us who practice spiritual discipline. It is so easy for us to rationalize our rebellious, just as I’m sure it would have been easy for Eric Liddell to justify breaking the 4th Commandment for a sure shot at the gold. But God is not deceived, even by our most clever excuses. How do we rebel against God’s rules? Perhaps we use religious fervor as a substitute for the joyful obedience that pleases our Master. Today I would pray that our Christian convictions will matter more than any earthly reward. Pleasing God is the goal of those who practice the spiritual discipline. Today I pray pleasing the Master is our heart’s desire and that there is consistent action that gives substance to our words. He wasn’t a great leader, or an inspired thinker, but he knew what he ought to do, and he did it. Rev. A.P. Cullen.
1. Let us take note that Divine waters are Still waters.
Did you know that a dog will drink from a turbulent stream? A sheep will not. How well do you do when you are under stress? I talked with a man this week who said that if he were to be holy he would have to live out in the wilderness away from people. Maybe that is the way you like to handle stress. Get away from all people. We cannot live in the wilderness all the time. Jesus said ‘I pray not that you would take them out of the world but that You would keep them from the evil.” I have found that to face stress I need a quiet time with God each day. I see in this verse that still waters refer to that which is opposite to the roar and rush of a mountain stream. It speaks of peace in the place of the turmoil, rush and bustle of our modern world. Do you find your life filled with this? Many are sick today because they do not know the peace of God. Many are taking pills, listening to music, seeking worldly pleasures and buying toys to find peace. They would like to have peace with God, our self, our neighbor and mankind. Have we missed what it says here and in PS 119:165 “Great peace have they which love your law: and nothing shall offend them.” Here it says nothing, no thing, not any thing at all shall offend them. This means that when we have peace though the demons of hell shall come we will still have peace. RM 5:1 “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” HB 13:20 “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep.” God gives us peace. Listen to this devotion I read this week. Do you know why bees hum? It’s because they can’t remember the words! I read about a man awaiting heart bypass surgery. He was aware that people die during surgery. As he, thought about all that could go wrong, he felt very much alone. Then an orderly walked into his room to take him to surgery. As the orderly began to push his gurney along the hall, the patient heard him humming an ancient Irish hymn, “Be Thou My Vision.” It prompted his memories of lush green fields and the ancient stone ruins of Ireland, the land of his birth. The hymn flooded his soul like a fresh breath of home. When the orderly finished with that song, he hummed Horatio Spafford’s hymn, “It Is Well with My Soul.” When they stopped outside the surgical suite, the man thanked him for the hymns. “God has used you this day,” he said, “to remove my fears and restore my soul.” “How so?” the orderly asked in surprise. “Your ‘hums’ brought God to me,” the man replied. “The Lord has done great things for us” (Ps. 126:3). He has filled our heart with song. He may even use our “hums” to restore someone’s soul. David H. Roper