The assignment in fall 1983 was simple and direct: “Write a short paragraph telling of some verse or verses of the Bible that have special meaning to you.” Editor Sam E. Stone sent that appeal to several Christian leaders. It should come as no surprise that every response was several paragraphs long. We will run responses from eight individuals over the next two weeks. Today we share responses from Edgar Nichols of Myrtle Creek, Ore.; Bill Jessup of San Jose, Calif.; Orval M. Morgan of Phoenix, Ariz.; and Murhl S. Rogers of Indianapolis, Ind.
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‘Scriptures that Have Helped Me’
Oct. 30, 1983; pp. 6-8
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Myrtle Creek, Ore.
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7).
“Go . . . lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” (Matthew 28: 19, 20).
As a child I was shy by nature, frail in health, insecure, and fearful. Facing any new situation threw me into an agonizing torment of fear. At the age of thirty-five I had not yet overcome this problem but was beginning to find that the answer to many of my problems could be found in God’s Word.
It was at this time in my life that I was challenged by the need of workers in the mission field of the Tibetan border. Several experiences in the life of my wife, Mabel, and myself had led to a deepening of our spiritual life and a strong desire to be of greater service to our Lord.
I definitely felt that God was in the call to the Tibetan field, but I kept objecting, “Lord, You know what a coward I am. How can I take my family out to such a dangerous field? How can I get people to believe that I am called to go to this field?” The answer came not in audible words but to my heart, “Can you turn your fears over to Me and let Me take care of them?” “Yes, Lord, I can.” I know that such promises as are found in 2 Timothy and in Matthew 28 had a great deal to do with this decision, for ever since that time the quotation from 2 Timothy has been a tower of strength in times of crisis.
The time of greatest testing came when my son, John, and I were met on the trail by a band of seven Tibetan robbers, as evil-looking a group of men as I had ever chanced to meet. Vividly, the report came back to mind of the robbery and murder of Father Nussbalm, Catholic priest, about a year earlier in this same region. The robbers took all our belongings, precious loads of medicine and food we had purchased in Kunming, all but the clothes on our backs. Here we were, starting back down the trail we had just traversed, with little money, without food, without shelter, without destination. A volley of shots rang out behind us; no whine of bullets, no ricochet showed us that these shots were made to frighten us. I was proud of my son as neither he nor I broke stride nor looked back. How precious are God’s promises in times like these. If God has “not given us the spirit of fear,” it must be the devil who does.
Eventually, all of our belongings were returned with comparatively little loss. In all the history of Tibetan robberies I have never heard of anything like this. The reason was this: Mozone, our Tibetan companion who had been won to Christ by the Bares, had an uncle who was the High Lama (priest) of that district. “God works in mysterious ways, his wonders to perform.”
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San Jose, Calif.
And my God shall supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19, American Standard Version).
This has been one of my favorite Scriptures. My father and mother instilled this in my heart from birth. Dad’s mother had been won to Christ when the restoration movement swept through Missouri and she had planted this Scripture in Dad’s heart.
When Dad and Mother moved their family to California in 1901, they built their home upon Christ and claimed this promise. I was born into this type of a home and have ever been thankful for it. Dad was a farmer and we had very little money, but we had a lot of joy in serving Christ. We were all content with what we had. Dad believed Jesus when He said to “seek His kingdom and His righteousness first,” then food, clothing, and shelter would be supplied (see Matthew 6:25-34). Six kids grew up in that home and every need was supplied.
When I entered Bible college in 1924, I laid hold upon that promise. Schooling was not easy in those years, but God supplied a 35 cents-an-hour job that met my every need. In 1928 I married and began a student ministry at Carlton, Ore. We drove two hundred miles every weekend and received $20. Those were Depression days, but with this money and the food farmers gave us we had our needs met. Our first full-time ministry began in 1932 in Visalia, Calif. We received $74 a month and a house to live in. The family soon grew to four with two small boys, and again He took care of us. Thank God for being such a wonderful Heavenly Father.
When a challenge was presented to us in 1939 to move to San Jose and build a Bible college, we accepted that challenge and launched out on faith. There were few churches in northern California at that time, but we believed in the need and in the promises of God. He never failed us—bills were paid; faculty called; buildings built; and hundreds of young people trained. Thousands of workers around the world will testify that during these years every need was met. For twenty-two wonderful years we relied upon His promises. Praise God we found He keeps His Word.
Twenty-one years have passed since those college years and the Scripture still stands true. We have now been retired for thirteen years, yet we are busier than ever in our ministry with the Senior Saints and God is still taking care of us. We receive far less in pay, yet we have much more. The only explanation I can give is that God does truly supply every need, when you give your all to His service. The older I get the more truth I find in David’s words in Psalm 37:25—“I have been young, and now am old; Yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor His seed begging bread.”
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Orval M. Morgan
It was a large Bible, much like a pulpit Bible. Each evening my mother would get that Bible, pull down the hanging lamp, be seated in her favorite chair, lift me up on her lap, lay the Bible on my lap (it weighed a ton!), then read a passage aloud.
When I became too big for her lap, I sat in a chair beside her. In due time, I took my turn reading with her.
Reading one night from Acts 10, I became concerned about Peter on the housetop. Houses in our town had pitched roofs. In childhood curiosity, I asked, “Why is he up there? Won’t he fall off?” Mom said, “Son, I do not know. It’s in the Bible and that’s enough for me.”
No explanation, no theological interpretation, just “that’s enough for me!” Blind faith—maybe; real faith—yes; Abraham’s faith—“and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness” (Romans 4:3, American Standard Version).
The account of Peter’s experience in Acts 10 always has meant much to me. My mother’s reply taught me a great lesson in faith. When Peter went as commanded, without questioning, he demonstrated his faith. My mother’s acceptance of God’s Word revealed her faith, the key to her life.
In the same vein, I hear two companion texts again and again: (1) Psalm 37:25—“I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, or his seed begging bread.” (2) Deuteronomy 33:25-38. Verse 25 reads, “As thy days, so shall thy strength be.”
It was in this faith that she lived and died. It was in this faith that I was reared. Is it any wonder that I love Acts 10? Is it any wonder that I love the Word and have preached it for years, always reminded of my mother’s faith and love?
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Murhl S. Rogers
. . . As I came to study in Cincinnati Bible Seminary, I was intrigued by the New Testament story of the church and its unity, with the Lord’s prayer that those who believe in Him might be one (John 17). Then I began to understand the meaning of the restoration movement, and the terrific need to proclaim this to the fragmented church of this age.
I love to preach, not only about the life of Christ here on earth to save the world, but the simple, clear story of conversions that are so clearly delineated in the book of Acts by Luke, as well as in the letters written to individual Christians and churches. This thrills me, and I have always tried to emphasize it to churches, youth in camp, in evangelistic meetings and other appointments.
I have been pleased whenever the opportunity presented itself to promote this vital portion of the Scriptures. I am sure there is nothing more vital to soul-winning than the oneness of this message of Christ, as Paul appealed in 1 Corinthians 1:10-20 and Ephesians 6:1-6. He constantly urged men to unity in Christ, the world’s only Savior. This Bible appeal to all those who believe in Him is the only way to accomplish God’s purpose.
As the chorus that was used in vacation Bible school many years ago says:
The Bible is the best Book, the Book we hold so dear
A story book, a picture book, a Book of songs to cheer;
The Bible tells of Jesus, who is in His home above
The Bible brings the message sweet-that God is love.
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