The Pony Express and the Bible (Matthew 28:19-20)
Matthew 28:19-20, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
Our world is now connected by the Internet, but in 1860, the fastest way to send a message was by the newly developed Pony Express. This innovative enterprise was created by the Russell Majors Waddel company. Adventurous young men were hired to ride 8 hours and 80 miles per day on horseback. The 1,946 miles between St. Joseph, Missouri and Sacramento, California were linked together by 190 stations so the mail delivery could be reduced from 25 days to just 10. They rode six days per week for a very lucrative salary of $125 a month. Each man was outfitted identically with a bright red shirt and blue trousers. Their gear included an ultra-light saddle, Colt revolver, a lightweight rifle, and a Bible. Interestingly enough, although every piece of mail was required to be written on thin paper so as to reduce the weight, a Bible was still included in every man's saddlebag. Who knows if this priority played a role in the incredible success of traveling 650,000 miles, delivering 34,754 pieces of mail, and losing but one bag during its 19 months of existence? The new technology of telegraph communication made the Pony Express obsolete, but for a year and a half it provided excellent service and the reminder of the Scripture's value.
I Peter 2:2, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.” Psalm 55:17, “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.” I Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.” When you value the role of God's Word in your life, and spend time with Him in prayer, such actions will go a long way in helping you to stay close to the Lord. It will help you to have worship that is genuine and not fake, growing and not faltering. Neglecting spiritual habits such as Bible study, prayer, tithing, and attending a Bible-believing, Bible-preaching church will hinder you in your walk with God. Sooner or later, it will cause your heart to cool off spiritually and drift from God. This is why we are urged to walk with God daily and develop habits like Bible study, praying, giving, witnessing, and church attendance.
There are many books in the world today that are based on man's opinion of something. Whether the topic is politics, sports, the weather, self-help, or society, sometimes not everything published in a book is true. But there is one book we can trust. We know God's Word is true because it comes from God. In a day when so many things are based on opinion, God's Word is based on truth. All 66 books; 39 in the Old Testament, 27 in the New Testament. Every one of 1,189 chapters. All 41,173 verses and 3,566,480 letters--all Scripture is God-breathed. God’s Word is inspirational, instructional, incorruptible, and inexhaustible.
The greatest verse about Biblical inspiration is also a great verse about Biblical application. II Timothy 3:16-17 not only tells us who gave us the Bible but also why it was given. God breathed out His Word for our benefit. Every part of it is profitable. Waiting in its pages is a wealth of blessings ready to teach, reprove, correct, and train us in righteousness. We call the Bible “God’s Word” because it contains what He wants to say. He speaks into our lives through it. Each verse and every word accomplish at least one of the purposes listed in today’s passage. No matter what our need, God has provided a response in His Word. All that God has for you in His Word may come to you if you dig into it. But if your Bible remains closed, though the benefits are all there, you have not accessed them. Amazing things can happen when you open your Bible. Get familiar with it. Figure out how to find your way around. Ask for help. The spiritual maturity you long for will never be a reality until you practice regular, careful study of Scripture.
Becoming a disciple of Jesus, one who is equipped to carry out the tasks He places before you, will always involve His Word. When you are reading His inspired thoughts, the Lord is breathing into you His truth, loving reproofs, gracious correction, and the guidance you need.
Questions to Consider:
What parts of Scripture do you gravitate to most often?
Which ones do you tend to avoid?
Since it’s all profitable, how do you think you could benefit by taking time to familiarize yourself with books and chapters in the Bible you have rarely visited?
Prayer, Lord, thank You for breathing out Your Word and using faithful servants to record it for the rest of us. Thank You that I can hold it in my hands, open it at will, and anticipate that the words my eyes fall on are for my benefit, to teach, rebuke, correct, and train me. I desire that every time I read the book You wrote I would delight myself in it. I thank You today, for the precious gift of Your Word. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.