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Where is God's Word?
Christian Devotional by Pastor Cecil Thompson

Cecil Thompson

Psalm 119:11-16

"I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You. Praise be to You, O LORD; teach me Your decrees. With my lips I recount all the laws that come from Your mouth. I rejoice in following Your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. I meditate on Your precepts and consider Your ways. I delight in Your decrees; I will not neglect Your Word."

One of the most precious possessions that our dear daughter left behind when she died in 1991, was her marked up Bible. She had notes and underlined passages which indicated that she had spent countless hours reading and studying it. It was a joy to pass it on to our granddaughter as a memory of her mother.

I hate to admit it, but I usually sneak a look at the Bibles people carry. You know that when a Bible is new it has a gold or silver finish on the edges. Try as you might there is only one way to keep those edges pristine---seldom open it. If you use it for any time at all, it will lose its gleam and have the beautiful look of a loved possession.

Over the years I have been thrilled to hear the testimonies from some of the Gideon Bible meetings. People have come to the Lord by reading a Bible, perhaps placed in a hotel room or another location. God's Word is truly the power of God that leads to salvation.

My dear brother-in-the-Lord, Kenny McClinton, was a violent man and a leader of a violent political group. He was confined to prison and even there created such havoc that he was remanded to solitary confinement over fifteen times. During his times in solitary confinement in the punishment cells - the floor was black, the walls stark white, the cell bare, and a neon light burned continuously - there was absolutely no means of mental stimulation, so to relieve his utter boredom, Kenny decided to start reading the rather decrepit looking prison issue of the King James Version of the Bible. Here are Kenny's own words about what happened:

"I found I quite enjoyed all the stories in the early chapters of the Bible. I could closely relate to the whole tribal attitudes and nomadic experiences; the wars; the plots; the political intrigue. I could understand King David’s skullduggery when he arranged for a man to be killed, after sleeping with his wife and making her pregnant." (2 Samuel 11:) "I could understand the mighty Samson as he fought the Philistine oppressors and eventually pulled down the Dagon Temple upon them, killing thousands of his enemies. That’s what I wanted to do with mine!"

As the months passed in solitary confinement on the Loyalist Blanket Protest, Kenny reached the New Testament in his Bible readings and there in those priceless pages of God’s Word, he experienced the great love of the Lord Jesus Christ, and "...things were never quite the same after that..."

Describing his experience he said:

"What could not be achieved by prison bars, batons, concrete and solitary confinement, was quickly achieved by the matchless love of the Lord Jesus Christ. There was nobody to talk at length with me about God; nobody to fully explain the way to become a Christian - no books, no tracts, no strains of ‘Oh Lamb of God I come’ during a Gospel Mission. There was only my black burden of sin and guilt and shame - and that old black book of books, the Bible."

Looking back, Kenny remembers his first realization that he was a "...filthy, Hell-deserving sinner...", but the Bible pointed him to the righteous Jesus Christ who had suffered and died and rose again from the dead in order to offer sinners His forgiveness. (Matthew 11:28-30)

As he read on, he became aware of a tremendous Spiritual battle that was going on for his soul between Satan and the Lord God. On August 12th, 1979, he recalls falling down on his knees in cell 9, H Block 6 of the Maze Prison. He cried out to God in repentance - asked for forgiveness and faith to believe and be saved - and, praise God, he trusted in Christ Jesus and he was saved! (Psalm 51) (Luke 19:10)

He had read that one of the conditions of becoming a true Christian was an open, public, confession with his mouth, as well as a genuine belief in his heart. (Romans 10:9)

Therefore, after rising from his knees in that solitary cell, he called for a ‘meeting’ in the usual manner. All the Loyalist Blanket Protesters came up to their cell doors to hear what he had to say; expecting some political poem or some morale booster. Instead, he announced,

'Today I have taken the most important step of my life. I have renounced violence. I have repented of my sins. I have asked Jesus Christ into my life, and to save me - and I believe He has saved me. From this day forth I cease to be a Military Commander of the U.F.F. and wish only to be a mere volunteer in the army of the Lord Jesus Christ. I will seek to serve Him to the best of my ability. I just wanted you men to know this.' "

Today I count Kenny as a dear friend and spiritual brother. At the present time he is on a mission trip to India. I have prayed for him to have boldness as he proclaims the message of salvation to those who are lost. It is all because God's Word lives in his heart.

I want to live in God's Word until God's Word is living in me! Where is God's Word in your life?

Blessings dear hearts. Walk with God today. Trust Him completely and be a blessing.

--- Pastor Cecil


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