Tears in a Bottle 

tear bottleThe Everlasting Potential in the Everlasting Handtear bottle

The Everlasting Potential in the Everlasting Hand

The effects of the hand of man are self-evident all around us: from tile technical realm of guided missiles to that of hydroelec. tric power; from the huge man-made dams to the soaring skyscrapers_alt are results of man’s industry and ability. As we stand in admiration of these accomplishments, so should we stand in reverent awe at the spiritual achievements worked by the everlastingly capable hand of Almighty God, the infinite Author of all things.

Our admiration of these physical accomplishments leads us to wonder what human hand is this that can develop and carry through such wonders. But when we consider the mighty spit!tLial forces performed, we immediately must conclude that they spring from an everlasting hand.

However, this is not a new and recent deduction, if we consider the account in Mark 6:1-2:

"And he went out from thence, and came into isis own country; and his disciples follow him. And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence bath this man these things? and WHAT WISDOM IS THIS WHICH IS GiVEN UNTO HIM, THAT EVEN SUCH WORKS ARE WROUGHT BY HIS HANDS?"

As Jesus walked the streets of Jerusalem and the shores of Galilee, His life constantly emitted the wisdom of His Father, to the extent that on many occasions potent and numerous works were wrought by His hands. The people of His day stood in overwhelming wonder; today, descendants of the same people stand in amazement too! You and I stand bewildered in the presence of Jesus when we consider the power that is in the hand of the Living Saviour.

There are those who say that today, in the twentieth century, that power is limited, due to the spikes driven into His hands upon his crucifixion. But the Word of the Lord is that there STILL is vast potential power, available to us all. I would that you consider this transcending power for the benefit of mankind in the following realms:

Power to Heal

This, of course, was what Jesus was justly famous for. It is recorded in the Gospels that a leper came to Jesus and worshiped Him saying, "Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean." Jesus ut forth his hand and touched him, saying, "I will, be thou clean." Immediately his leprosy was cleaned.

Again, Jesus came into Peter’s house and saw his wife’s mother sick in bed with a very high fever. He touched her and the fever immediately left her. Later, there came a ruler who worshipped Him, saying, "My daughter is even now dead; but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live." (Note that he was aware of the power of God through the instrument of the hand of Jesus) - Jesus went to his home, sent away all the people who were within, went in Himself, and took the woman by the hand—and she arose.

Again in the record: They brought unto Him one that was deaf and and had an impediment of speech. They beseeched Him that He touch him and, as they put it, "place your hand upon him." Jesus did so and the man’s ears were opened; the string of his tongue was loosed and he spake plain. Then we go on to a blind man being brought in with the plea that Jesus touch the blind one. Jesus did. "After that lie put his hands again upon his eyes," and he was restored. "He saw every man clearly."

There was power in the Master’s hand during His earthly ministry. What perplexes us today is that, knowing the availability of such power, our too little faith prevents us from enjoying its benefits. Although we cannot see, we must not say that we cannot believe.

We are mindful of the way the Lord uses human instrumen. talities today: doctors, nurses and other specialists through whom flow His power and wisdom. I see clearly Paul as he rushes over to a man who has just fallen out of a second-story window (the man is presumably dead), but Paul embraces him. and thus becomes the medium through which flows the power of the Lord. The power of the Master rushes through the hand of Paul, and a miracle is performed.

Do you recall the woman wli.o touched Jesus? By her touthing Him, she was made whole. My point is that it makes no difference whether one plugs an electrical appliance into the extension cord first and then the cord into the outlet, or vice versa. So long as the current flows through, the aim will be accomplished. There is power today in the touch of the hand of the Living Saviour to heal us when we are ill. This power needs only to be claimed by us all every time and whenever we are sick.

Power to Claim

ln the writings of Matthew we find an experience occurring on the LO of Mount Herman (Matthew 17). After six days Jesus taketh Peter, James and John his brother and bringech them up into a high mountain, and is transfigured before them. When the disciples saw His appearance bright as the sun, as they heard the voice of God saying, "This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased. heai- ye him," they became afraid almost unto death.

But Jesus came and touched them! Many of us could attest to the fact that He came and touched us with a spirit of calmness when we were in a state of fright. One tithe or another we all have been in this condition. When these moments come upon us—be it while walking at night by ourselves, following the loss of a loved one, after an accident, venturing into a new endeavor, or undertaking a heavy responsibility—the hand of our Living Saviour is available. It is then that the comforting words of Jesus come to a reality. "Be not afraid." Or that the reassuring words oE Isaiah fall upon our ears, "Fear not, for J am with thee; be not dismayed; for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, 1 will help thee; yea. I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."

Power to Lead

Baptism at Morro Rock

Listen to the words of Jeremiah with regard to the power to lead that is in the Master’s hand. He found it quite true (Jeremiah fl6-lO). Jeremiah is speaking to the Lord:

"I, Mi, Lord God! behold, 1 cannot speak: for I am a child. But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child; for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord. THEN THE LORD PUT FORTH HIS HAND, and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in they mouth. See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build and to plant."

With the touch of God’s hand upon Jeremiah, he thus went forth under the leadership of God, who led him in his actions and in his directions. We, today, also claim this power, for we sing: "He leadeth me, He leadeth me, by HIS OWN HAND he leadeth me. His faithful follower I would be, for by His hand he leadeth me." However, there is before us not only the hand of God but the evil hand of the Devil—the Devil’s tempting hand against the Lord’s pierced hand. The decision is up to us as which we shall grasp. Though the promise of the hand the Devil is alluring, we must bear in mind that it is fleeting and that the hand of God is our permanent guidance. As Isaiah writes: "And the Lord shall guide thee continually" (Isaiah 58:11). After the passing of Jordan there were twelve stones 1aced in the bank of the river. The word was that when the thildren of the Israelites asked them in time to come what was the meaning of these stones, they were to say, "So that all the people of the earth might know THE HAND OF THE LORD, it is mighty." (For the Lord your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you until you were able to pass over; as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea which He dried up from before us until we were gone over.)

What a thrilling reminder of the power in the hand of God to lead—even us today!

Power to Save

The last power that we want to view is the power in the Master’s hand to save. This point is established in Matthew’s writings, when he speaks of physical power and spiritual power in Chapter 14, verse 28:

"And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when lie saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, lie cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, 0 thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?"

The cry of Peter, "Lord, save me," was answered by the touch of the hand of Jesus. There are two observations: (I) The word "immediately" should be noted; Jesus saved him upon his cry—the element of salvation is imparted immediately to an individual, there is no delay—one does not have to wait until lie is checked out, before the insurance policy of eternal life goes into effect; (2) salvation was in His hand, thus making real in another &‘nse the words of those who witnessed His acts What manner of man is this that such mighty works are wrought by His hands? The only hand that can cause a spiritual transformation is the Master’s hand. This is the meaning of being born again. It is allowing the hand of Jesus to touch your life. It is this touch that changes darkness into day, sorrow into joy. So it is that we appeal today; we place our hand in the nail-scarred hand.

We are told by the writers of Hebrews that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hand of God. With His hand not only is salvation measured out, upon confession and profession, but judgment is measured out also. We therefore cry out, "Save with thy right hand" (Psalm 108:6).

But this means that we must reach out on our own part. It means clasping the hand of God as if sealing an agreement. To shake hands with God means to shake loose from all our little sins, the little sins that so easily beset us daily.

Our living is like the little boy who was brought down the aisle of the church following a service to meet the visiting pulpit guest. His mother said: "Shake hands with the Reverend—" The little boy shook his head instead and withdrew. Again: "Shake hands, son, I said." But "No" again. Finally, in desperation, she literally reached around and pulled the fellow’s hand from be’ hind his back, and then noticed that his hand was clenched into a fist. No persuasion could make the little fellow release his fingers to shake hands with the famous speaker. After a minute or more of embarrassment the little one said, "I can’t shake hands, for if I do I will lose my three marbles." The point! We would rather hold on to the little sins which we enjoy than rid ourselves of them—cleanse our hands of trifles to shake hands with the Eternal. Our pleasures mean more than His peace.

In Conclusion

Everything said thus far can be summed up by the words found in the poem:

The Touch of the Master’s Hand

(Anonymous)

‘Twas battered and scarred
and the auctioneer thought it
scarcely worth his while
to auction cheap the old violin,
but he held it up with a smile.

"What am I bidden?" be cried,
"Who will start the bidding for me?
A dollar, only two, going for three,"
but no.

From the room far back
a gray-haired man came forward,
and picking up the violin,
dusting it, and tightening the loose string,
he played a melody pure and sweet
like the caroling angels sing.

The music ceased. the auctioneer, with a voice
that was quiet and low, said,
"NOW, what am I bid for the old violin?"
and he held it up with a smile again.

"A thousand dollars, and who will
make it three?
Three, and who will make it four?
Going, going, gone!" cried he.
The people cheered, but some of them cried,
What changed its worth?
Quick came the reply,
"The touch of the master’s hand."

Many a man with life out of tune is
battered and scarred and, much like
the old violin, is going, is almost gone;
BUT the Master comes,
and the foolish crowd can never understand
the worth of a soul and the change that is wrought by
the touch of the Master’s hand.

Yes, ‘tis done, ‘tis done, the great transaction is over. I am my Lord’s, and He is mine. He drew me and I followed on, charmed to confess the voice divine. Happy day, when Jesus washed my sins away.

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