Bible in One Year

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July 29 Day 210

Sacrifice

Looking back at my life, I now realise how many sacrifices my parents made for my sister and me. I wish I had appreciated that more at the time. My parents came from a generation that was very familiar with the idea of sacrifice. Many of their contemporaries had sacrificed their lives for their fellow human beings and for their country. The whole idea of making sacrifices, great or small, seems more alien to our generation.

July 28 Day 209

What Does the Future Hold for the People of Israel?

My father, like many Jews, never lived in Israel. The Jewish people are scattered all over the world. In 1947 the state of Israel was re-established. Around 7.5 million people live in Israel today, of whom approximately 6 million are Jews. There are many other Jews still scattered around the world today. What does the future hold for the Jewish people?

July 27 Day 208

Beautiful Feet

Friends of ours had been waiting for ten years for a baby. They had been told it was impossible. One day there was a ring on our doorbell. There she was. It was written all over her face. As soon as she was in the house she started jumping up and down, stamping her feet with joy and delight, announcing the good news. She had conceived. Their wait was over. She was carrying the good news in her own body. There is nothing more exciting than being the bearer of good news.

July 26 Day 207

Israel and You

Until recently, I knew very little about my father’s family. Two years ago I was contacted by The Judaica Museum in Berlin. They were doing some research into the Gumbel family. They sent me a copy of my family tree. I discovered that my great-great-grandfather was called Abraham Gumbel. My great-grandfather was called Isaac and his brother, Moses!

July 25 Day 206

What About Those Who Do Not Believe?

In February 1974 I had an encounter with Jesus Christ that totally changed my life. I understood he had died for me. I experienced his love. I knew God was real. I knew the extraordinary blessings of a relationship with Jesus. But almost immediately afterwards I experienced what Paul speaks about in this passage: ‘A huge sorrow ... an enormous pain deep within me’ (Romans 9:2, MSG).

July 24 Day 205

A Pillow on Which to Rest Our Weary Heads

I sometimes struggle to believe that God really loves me. I can be tempted to feel a sense of failure and self-condemnation. It is relatively easy to believe that God loves everybody else, but it is much harder to believe that God loves me.

July 23 Day 204

Sons and Daughters

Until it actually happened to me I would not have believed it was possible. But the moment I saw him, I experienced an overwhelming love. This tiny baby, who to others must have looked like any other baby, was my son. The moment a parent first sees their own child is unforgettable. The love a parent feels for a child is almost indescribable. Yet this is the analogy God uses of his love for us. The love he has for us is even greater than that which parents feel for their own children.

July 22 Day 203

Help!

One of my most frequent prayers is ‘Help!’. It is a prayer we can pray every day, in any and every situation. We can cry out to the Lord for help. God’s desire is for us to have a relationship with him that is real and from the heart.

July 21 Day 202

His Service is Perfect Freedom

At the age of eighteen, Billy Nolan ran away from the merchant navy. He was an alcoholic for thirty-five years. For twenty years he sat outside HTB drinking alcohol and begging for money. On 13 May 1990, he looked in the mirror and said, ‘You’re not the Billy Nolan I once knew.’ To use his own expression, he asked the Lord Jesus Christ ­into his life and made a covenant with him that he would never drink alcohol again. He has not touched a drop since. His life is transformed. He radiates the love and joy of Christ. I once said to him, ‘Billy, you look happy.’ He replied, ‘I am happy because I am free. Life is like a maze and at last I have found a way out through Jesus Christ.’

July 20 Day 201

New Life

Bishop Taylor Smith, former Chaplain General to the Forces, once asked a young man, ‘When you think about the cross of Christ, what do you see?’ He replied, ‘I see Christ, two thieves …’ The Bishop asked, ‘What else do you see?’ He replied, ‘Soldiers gambling …’ ‘If that is all you see I think you will have trouble with the Christian life’, he responded. ‘When I see the cross – with all that – I see old Bishop Taylor Smith. I was crucified with Christ.’