This Is My Meat and Drink

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Sunday entries are taken from the classic devotional series In Christ by E. Stanley Jones.

A Hindu Sadhu, “a holy man,” pulled out a New Testament from his saffron robe and said, “This is my meat and drink.”

Is humanity more and more pulling from the folds of its heart the New Testament out of sheer necessity? Are our deep-down needs taking us by the hand and leading us to Him? Yes, increasingly so.

Jesus shut within a Book
Is hardly worth a passing look;
Jesus shut within a creed
Is a fruitless Lord indeed.
But Jesus in the hearts of men
Shows His tenderness again.
—Gordon Grooms

“Jesus in the hearts of men”? Yes, He is there in need—increasingly there as the fulfillment of a need. What is man’s greatest need? I have one unhesitating answer: redemption! This verse in Romans, the beginning letter of Paul, expresses that need: “they are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus” (3:24). “What is redemption?” asked a modern girl wistfully. Literally it means “to buy back”—picture a man, woman, or child about to be sold into slavery; then someone comes along, pays the ransom price, and sets the slave free.

Someone objects that the situation of the slave market is gone, therefore the idea of redemption is gone with it. Is it? Outer slaveries are going, but inner slaveries are increasing. We speak of being “tied up,” “tied in knots,” “all balled up,” “mixed up,” “confused”—revealing a bondage, an inner slavery far worse than the outer slavery ever was or could be. An outer slave could be free inwardly—he could escape within—but one who is in bondage within has no escape. To try to escape into the without only increases his inner tangles. He is caught. He needs redemption. And Jesus is the only open door.

THE PRAYER

O Jesus, my Lord, wilt Thou redeem me from my bondage? It is my deepest need. Without that central, inner freedom, I’m in bondage to everything—myself, my surroundings, my life. Free me. Amen.

AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY

I am a ransomed sinner—let every moment show my gratitude.

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Eli Stanley Jones was an evangelical Methodist missionary to India who sought to make a clear distinction between biblical Christianity and Western culture. For 70 years, Dr. E. Stanley Jones proclaimed the Gospel of Christ throughout the world, earning him the title of "the world's greatest missionary evangelist" by Time magazine in 1938, the Gandhi Peace Prize in 1963, and two Nobel Peace Prize nominations during his lifetime. An author of 29 books, he moved among statesmen and among leaders as counselor, friend, and worker for peace and helped hundreds of thousands, from village outcasts in India to molders of public opinion in America, Japan, Europe, and India.

2 COMMENTS

  1. “Oh! What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive” refers to how complicated life becomes when people start lying. It was originally referred to as a love triangle in the play “Marmion” by Sir Walter Scott.
    But isn’t the web we weave mainly inside of us?
    Learning to become like the One,

  2. “Examine yourself to see
    If you’re in the faith.”
    Are you spiritually alive?
    Were you born again
    So that new life could begin?
    Are you daily trusting God
    To keep you from sin?
    Do you strive
    To seek Jesus first?
    Does your heart thrive
    In the ongoing presence of
    The ever-living Jesus?

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