T. J. Lawson, B.A., and H. E. Pope, M.A.
'THE HAMMER IN HAND'
This was the name of an inn I noticed in Hertfordshire. The sign was an arm with the hand holding a hammer in the act of striking.
A hammer speaks of at least two things, breaking and making. In Jeremiah 23 (you might find the verse yourself) the word of God is compared to a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces. Have you felt the power of the gospel message? Has it broken down your obstinate will, and made you anxious to receive the Lord Jesus? Only those who submit to God can truly trust the Saviour.
And the hammer speaks of making. The hammer and the sickle are the symbols of the present Russian government, the sickle standing for agriculture, and the hammer for industry. The 'knight of the hammer' is another name for the blacksmith.
In the book of Proverbs and many other places in the Bible we are warned against laziness and encouraged to be industrious. We may not realize it, but work is a great blessing, and those who have nothing to do but amuse themselves are generally unhappy people.
Many things in life we can never get unless we work for them. But we can never obtain salvation and the forgiveness of our sins by working for them or trying to deserve them. 'It is not try but trust'. The moment you receive the Lord Jesus He receives you, and gives you pardon, a new life and a new start. You then belong to Christ, you are a Christ's one, you are a christian. The more He controls you the more free and strong you will be, and the more keen to live the life that is really worth while. And so He will make you what He desires you to be.
Fix it now and say, 'Lord Jesus, take me as I am, and make me the best that I can be."
'THE UNIVERSAL PROVIDER'
Most of you will have been at some time to one of those great stores in our big cities, where goods of all kinds are sold in the different departments, a kind of village stores on a vast scale. One of the first men to see how useful an idea this could be was William Whiteley. After working as a shop assistant, he opened a draper's shop of his own, and soon began to sell other things beside drapery. His business grew; he bought several shops next to his own; and about 1876 he undertook to provide every kind of goods that people might want, including food and drink, furniture and household goods. People said, in fun, that you could even buy there a white elephant or a second-hand, misfit, coffin. As a sign for his business, he adopted a picture of two hemispheres and the slogan, 'The Universal Provider'.
That slogan has been in my mind a great deal lately, especially as I have seen the signs of the harvest being gathered, and begun to think already of the approach of Christmas! I am sure people sometimes found that William Whiteley could not live up to his slogan. There were things, even ordinary, material things, he could not always supply. The apostle Paul knew someone who never failed him, and so he wrote, 'my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus' (Phil. 4. 19), a true 'Universal Provider', not merely for the things of this world, but for our eternal and spiritual needs as well. So Paul gives us a personal recommendation. It is 'my God' who will do this. Paul has a supreme confidence: he says, 'shall supply'. There is no doubt about it. It is a promise of universal provision'. 'All your need' that covers everything. It rests on God's boundless store 'according to his riches in glory'. His resources are unlimited. And it is backed by a comprehensive guarantee: all this God will do 'by Christ Jesus'. When we see what God has already done for us through Jesus Christ and His death on the cross, there can be nothing that it is too much to expect of Him. For, as the Duke of Wellington once said of something that seemed incredible, 'If you can believe that, you can believe anything'. (See Rom. 8. 32).
So may it be first our experience and then our testimony that 'my God shall supply all your need, according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus'.
T. J. L.
Other people in the Bible beside Paul could speak of God as 'my God', or of God as their personal possession in some other respect, such as 'my Shepherd'. See how many other examples you can find of people speaking of God in this personal way. Make a list of the phrases; give the book and chapter and verse where it is found; add your name, address and age (you must be under 16), and send your entry, by December 4th, to T. J. Lawson. 148. Greenway Road, Taunton, Somerset. Prizes will be given for the best answers from those over and under 12.
T. J. L.
SEPTEMBER COMPETITION RESULT
I wonder where you all were in September? Perhaps you were still on holiday, or too excited at going back to school to think of the competition. However, I hope we shall have more answers next time. The prize for the searching in Genesis is being shared between Ruth Travett, of Midanbury, Southampton, and Terence Veater, of Pensford, Bristol. Ruth and Terence both found that Adam and Isaac had one son whom God rejected and one whom He received: and don't forget that there was Abraham as well, whose older son lshmael was refused in favour of Isaac whom God had promised.
H. E. P.