Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Make Sure To Read Inside The Covers

     While growing up many of us have heard the expression, "You can’t tell a book just by its cover." How often have we been too quick to make a judgement without knowing all the facts, or made general statements about an individual without really knowing the person? There is a wonderful nugget of wisdom found in 
Proverbs 18:13 "He who answers a matter before he hears the facts--it is folly and shame to him." A current more common way to say it is like this, "There are two sides to every story." Abraham Lincoln fell into this mindset early in his life.

The religious views of Abraham Lincoln are a matter of interest among scholars and the public. Lincoln grew up in a highly religious Baptist family. He never joined any organized Church, and was a skeptic as a young man. Lincoln was turned against organized Christianity by his experiences as a young man, witnessing how excessive emotion and bitter sectarian quarrels marked yearly camp meetings and the ministry of traveling preachers. It was the inconsistencies in some church people and with certain church leaders that turned him off to the Church in general. It was the young Lincoln who stopped at the "Cover", and in my opinion, he did not take a closer look inside the book.

How many people in the world have become disillusioned at the flawed examples of God's people, and therefore labeled the whole thing called "Christianity" as unworthy of further inquiry? How many of us like Lincoln, have become personally disillusioned. Paul speaks on this matter in his Epistle to the Romans saying, "You are so proud of knowing God's laws, but you dishonor him by breaking them. No wonder the Scriptures say that the world speaks evil of God because of you." Roman 2:23, 24

True, Christians at times have been a poor advertisement of the Gospel, or for the Person of Jesus Christ; but not all have been. I encourage you to look beyond the shabby soiled cover, and take a sincere look by prayer at the real story. You will find that Jesus will reveal Himself, and He will not disappoint you. It is in those times of deep need and genuine searching, that the Lord will also make His wonderful presence and story known.

Lincoln frequently referred to God and had a deep knowledge of the Bible, often quoting it. Lincoln attended Protestant church services with his wife and children, and after two of them died, he became more intensely concerned with his Faith.  Although Lincoln never made a public profession of Christian belief, several people who knew him personally claimed that he was a believer in Christ.
During his 1846 run for the House of Representatives, in order to dispel accusations concerning his Christian beliefs, Lincoln issued a handbill stating that he had "never denied the truth of the Scriptures". He confessed to believing in an all-powerful God who shaped events and, by 1865, was expressing those beliefs in major speeches.   "HE TOOK TIME TO LOOK INSIDE THE COVER!"

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