January 4/Weekend

Written by Bill Grandi on January 4th, 2019

Since this is the weekend and since our daughter, Tami, had surgery yesterday, I am going to put two thoughts into one devotion.

If I were to ask you who is the most maligned or misunderstood person in the Bible, what might your answer be? Jonah? Abraham (for being with Hagar)? Jacob for his deception? Someone else? My answer would be…Thomas. Doubting Thomas we call him.

But consider this: maybe Thomas was actually more on the money than we think. How many of us have automatically accepted something just because someone told us it was so? How many of us haven’t thought for ourselves on matters of faith or biblical interpretation? We have just accepted things because a pastor told us or a teacher said so or a college prof taught us. I was one of them. Only when I started thinking on my own did I break free from the legalism which had bound me.

I see Thomas as more of an historian than I ever was. He wanted the facts before he would believe. It wasn’t enough to just take it as “gospel”  because the other disciples said so. I agree with Mr. Morgan who said Thomas’ language was “the language of absolute honesty, the language of a man who would not be credulous. He declined to profess a faith he did not possess.”  He goes on to say this:

Thomas was a man at once cautious and courageous…We speak of Thomas as a skeptic…He was a skeptic. He was a man who was compelled to investigate, to inquire…a man who would make no confession of faith, of hope, of confidence unless it was a confession absolutely honest, true to the profoundest convictions of the mind. (p.25)

I believe Mr. Morgan is spot on. For way too long I believed and taught that which I had been taught to believe. Only when my eyes were opened by God’s Spirit and my own desire to truly seek Him in His Word did I break free from the chains. I can’t malign Thomas. In many ways, he is my story.

“Father, give me honest eyes and an honest heart to truly seek you with purity. With an unblemished view. Let me see you for who you truly are not as others tell me.”

{Quote from In the Shadow of Grace}

For your weekend thoughts: It is too bad there is a chapter division between Psalm 7 & 8. “I will give to the Lord the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the Lord, the Most High. O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.” Don’t you think those go together? I do.

May this weekend…may this weekend of worship…be one of thanksgiving to the One who is the Most High and more majestic than all.


8 Comments so far ↓

  1. Glynn says:

    That’s a fascinating perspective on Thomas. He’s always been seen as something of “not quite the whole believer” because of his doubt and need for proof. Good post, Bill.

  2. Yes, those Psalms truly should be conjoined! And we all should always be careful about taking someone’s word for something without conducting our own investigation. I want to see God for who He truly is for me.
    Blessings, Bill!

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Wanting to see God for who He truly is is what I want also Martha. No more “taking someone’s word for it.” Glad for your thoughts on the Psalms.

  3. Ryan S. says:

    Coming late to the party once again…
    I decided to set my regular devotion aside this morning and begin reading the book you have been referencing. In the Shadow of Grace…
    Talk about perspective. Campbell Morgan, the originator of the thoughts and writings included in the book himself had doubts.

    “I would utter a paradox; it is only the main of faith who really doubts, there is no room for doubt unless you believe in God.” (p 25)

    This struck me… Not that I am denying God, but to have doubts at times and still believe, that is faith!

    I went through a similar process (not that I would begin to even consider putting myself on the same level as Morgan Campbell… but when I first came to trust in God… I was 20 years… I was given a list of books I “needed” to read. I set them all aside for a time and said the only thing I need is the Bible…I didn’t want the beliefs, thoughts, or interpretations to influence what i believed. I felt I needed to come to God on His terms and not on the terms of someone else.

    Ryan S.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I , too, liked Campbell Morgan’s perspective Ryan. I think we have left a lot of people in the dust because of our hard and fast “You better believe or else” rule. No…faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Only when we know the Word will our faith be stronger. And sometimes only when we doubt can our faith become stronger.

  4. floyd samons says:

    Good point about Thomas. It’s so easy to judge from a point of hindsight.

    Good call on those verses from Psalm!

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Thanks on both counts Floyd. Reading and comparing from a “normal” Bible and then reading the ESV Reader’s Bible does it become clear.