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I remember ministering with Ray in Brazil and being in utter fatigue. In between meetings I'd lie on the bed and think, "I absolutely cannot get up again." Then in my through-the-Bible daily reading I came to 2 Chronicles 15:7: But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded. That day God gave that verse just to me - and I received it. And it was wonderful! I literally had all the pep I needed. In less than ten days we were ministering in Japan, and I was bouncing with energy. And not that I couldn't -- but so far I've never felt that deep fatigue again. Later on that same Brazil trip, on a plane flying in the interior, I sat by a bright-faced young guy with a Bible. We had no common language at all, but I showed him on my page my wonderful new verse. He looked it up in his Portuguese Bible and glowed. Then he pointed out another page in his Bible and I looked up that one: Stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58). And on we went, swapping marvelous verses and fellowshiping together. What a thrill! We parted with a hug. There is no book like this book -- for two reasons. First, from cover to cover, it reveals Jesus Christ, so you can look long and intimately at Him. You know the New Testament is about Him; it was written after His life, death, and resurrection. But the Old Testament was written centuries before; is that about Him, too? "Absolutely," said Jesus. These are the scriptures that testify about me (John 5:39). Take a look. In the Old Testament's very first book God promised Abraham, For all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever (Genesis 13:15, KJV). And two thousand years later in the New Testament, the Spirit of God explains that He was talking back there about Jesus Christ: He saith not, "and to seeds," as of many, but as one, "and to thy see," which is Christ (Galatians 3:16, KJV). Here's Psalm 110:1, written a thousand years before Jesus: The LORD says to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet." Jesus said this verse referred to Himself (Mark 12:35-37). It was Jehovah speaking to Adonai -- the Father speaking to the Son. And Peter, preaching on Pentecost in Acts 2 said the Psalms of David talked about Jesus of Nazareth. And Hebrews 1:8 says Psalm 45:6-7 refers to Jesus. And around 750 B.C. the prophet Isaiah wrote, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple (Isaiah 6:1). What an awesome sight! And John reveals whom he saw: the preexistent Christ. "Isaiah . . . saw Jesus' glory" (John 12:41). You see, "The New is in the Old contained; The Old is by the New explained." From Genesis to Revelation Jesus is there, and if you want to fix your eyes on Him, you must look at His entire book. A.W. Tozer used to say, "Nothing less than a whole Bible can make a whole Christian."1 Dr. Donald Grey Barnhouse was an American preacher of the last generation, and nobody ever sparkled when he preached like Dr. Barnhouse. One time he was telling his audience why they needed to read the whole Bible. He reminded them how God said to Abraham, "I'm going to give you this land (Palestine), so go walk around it. Every place you set your foot will be yours" (loose wording of Genesis 13:14,17; Deuteronomy 11:24; and Joshua 1:3). The way Dr. Barnhouse told it, that evening Abraham took a walk, walking around about an acre -- and that night he owned an acre. The next day he walked around a mile, and he owned the mile. And when the sheep had grazed there, he took them over to the next valley, and he owned the valley. ("Every place where you set your foot will be yours.") It wasn't too many years until he owned everything from Dan to Beersheba -- just by putting his foot down. And, said Dr. Barnhouse with his sparkle, lots of Christians possess a very small Bible. They have John 3:16 and the Twenty-third Psalm and a few other little passages, and they keep going back and forth from one to another, maybe grazing those little spots down to bare rock. And that's all they have. But God says, "Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land! Every place where you set your foot will be yours" -- full of wonderful truths just for you. Take up you Bible; look at it. The land is before you, ready for you to possess. And Jesus is there! "Handle Me, and see," He says (Luke 24:39). So read your Bible from cover to cover, for two reasons.2 First, as we said, because it reveals Jesus Christ to you. And second, because it reveals yourself to you! "What?" you're asking. "What do you mean?" Well, you have to agree, being humans, that we're definitely more curious to read a book about ourselves. The Bible's about Jesus -- but it's also about you. I would think one reason Jesus loved the Old Testament, the Scriptures of His day, is just what we've been saying: because they were full of Him. In them He saw Himself. And wouldn't they have been a powerful motivation for Him to fulfill everything that He saw written about Himself? When He felt depleted from healing people (Mark 5:30), what a thrill to remember what Isaiah had predicted: Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows (Isaiah 53:4; Matthew 8:17). When He was physically exhausted from teaching by parables -- sometimes to thousands at once with no microphone -- how fulfilling to remember that Asaph the musician had sung a psalm which depicts that one day He would do just that: I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world (Psalm 78:2; Matthew 13: 34-35). And when he needed "go-power" to face that excruciating cross, how He must have held before His eyes the prophecy, He will not falter or be discouraged till he establish justice on earth (Isaiah 42.4)! And here's the remarkable thing: the Bible not only describes Jesus, it describes you. His likeness is there -- but so is yours. God gives you in His Word a picture of what He means for you to be: Completely humble and gentle . . . patient (Ephesians 4:2). Strong in the Lord and in his mighty power (Ephesians 6:10). Without complaining or arguing (Philippians 2:14). Not anxious, guarded by peace (Philippians 4:6-7). Forgiving, loving (Colossians 3:13-14). Encouraging one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11). Respectful of leadership (1 Thessalonians 5:12). Always joyful (1 Thessalonians 5:16) Continually praying (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Giving thanks in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Avoiding every kind of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22). Hard working (2 Thessalonians 3:11-13). Watching for the Lord's return (1 Thessalonians 1:10). More than conquerors (Romans 8:37)! So love the Scriptures, as Jesus did. Search there for God's picture of your own intended image and likeness, and then seek to fulfill through your own life and personality exactly what you see. When you fix your eyes on Jesus, as seen in the Bible, you're fixing your eyes on aspects, characteristics of Him that God wants you to have, as well. Then you will . . . reflect the Lord's glory, [and be] transformed into his [own] likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:18)! -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Why don't you kneel where you are, and pray this prayer: O Lord, what a vision You have set before me! Now give me a heart to pursue this vision, the discipline to fulfill it. "Beyond the sacred page I seek Thee, Lord . . ." "Open my eyes, that I may see wonderful things in your law" (Psalm 119:18). "The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes" (Psalm 19:8). Father, as I probe Your Word, fix my eyes on Jesus, "the eyes of [my] understanding being enlightened, that [I] may know what is the hope of his calling" (Ephesians 1:18). In His own dear name, amen. ______________ 1. Still Waters, Deep Waters, p.66 2. Ray and I suggest, as a guide, The Daily Walk, P.O. Box 478, Mt. Morris, IL 61054. * * * * * [Fix your eyes on] Jesus in the Scriptures, to learn there what He is, what He has done, what He gives, what He desires; to find in His character our pattern, in His teachings our instruction, in His precepts our law, in His promises our support, in His person and in His work a full satisfaction provided for every need of our souls. --Theodore Monod

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