First of all, I want to say happy New Year to all of our supporters all over the world. May this be the greatest year that you’ve ever had, and if Jesus Christ reigns supreme in your heart and in your life, then it will be the greatest year that you’ve ever had.
It is a time for healing. After the virus has had its say, we’re believing that the Lord is going to uphold the hearts and lives of untold millions, to prove His grace and His love. This is what we want to see. Some of you have lost much, but thank God, the Lord is able to rescue the perishing and care for the dying. We have a dear brother in our church who is an endodontist, a dental specialist. Over periods of time, this man buys hundreds of copies of The Expositor’s Study Bible, and he gives them to whoever comes into his office and wants one. It is a tremendous witnessing tool, as one might well imagine.
We believe The Expositor’s Study Bible is one of the finest study Bibles in the world. To be sure, anything that will help one understand the Word of God to a greater degree is valuable indeed, and we certainly believe that The Expositor’s Study Bible will help you to do just that.
The Birth Of The Expositor’s Study Bible
This took place many years ago, when the Lord began to deal with my heart about developing a study Bible. I immediately dismissed it as something that I was certainly incapable of doing, and of that I was exactly correct. But the Holy Spirit did not let up; the pressure was still there.
The Assurance Of The Lord
For several years, the Lord dealt with me to a great degree about developing a study Bible. I kept thinking, How in the world can I do this? How would it be possible for me to do it? Then, on a particular day, the Lord spoke to my heart, emphatically so, the following three things:
I did the New Testament first. When I sat down behind my desk and turned to the first chapter in Matthew, all of a sudden, something happened that I had never experienced in my life.
- “I have told you to do it.”
- “I will show you how to do it.”
- “I will help you to do it.”
I believe that I felt the Shekinah glory of God. I sat there behind my desk and said, “Lord I cannot do this. I’m not qualified to do it.” But then the Lord gave me what I’ve just given to you.
I believe The Expositor’s Study Bible is the Bible for the twenty-first century. I realize that’s quite a statement, but I believe it to be true. And I say it simply because the Lord told me to do this.
As I was developing this Bible and compiling the notes, time and again I would sense the presence of God. I would tell Frances, “The Lord is going to use this Bible in a tremendous way.” But I did not even think about Him using it on worldwide distribution. Such never entered my mind.
One particular day, we were offering the Bible, and one of the men from our church walked up to me and stated that he wanted to purchase a certain number of Bibles. He had just sold a house and was going to Mexico, and he wanted to take a number of these Bibles for pastors there. In talking with him few moments, I realized that many of these pastors did not have a study Bible. Some of them didn’t even have a Bible, period, and had to borrow one to preach from. They simply were not financially able to afford one. Of course, that didn’t apply to all of them, but it did, I think, to most.
When that brother walked away, the Lord spoke to my heart and said, “I want you to put The Expositor’s Study Bible into the hands of every third world pastor.” Now that’s quite an order, but that’s what He said.
From that day to this—and with your most gracious help—we have put more than three million Expositor’s Study Bibles into the hands of that many pastors and workers. The letters and testimonials we have received present themselves as a moving of the Holy Spirit unparalleled, for which we give the Lord the praise and the glory.
I feel that The Expositor’s Study Bible is the finest study Bible in the world today, and I say that because the Holy Spirt is the author of its distribution all over the world. As I said a few paragraphs back, I never dreamed that the Lord would use this as He has, and the distribution outreach keeps growing and growing. If you don’t have a copy, you desperately need to get one.
And remember this, anything that the Lord does is phenomenal to say the least. And most definitely, He is the author of this Bible. No, we are not claiming inspiration regarding the notes, but I am claiming that the Lord helped me to do this. In fact, I would be extremely remiss if I did not say that.
Once again, happy New Year, and may the Lord richly bless you this year, even as never before.
In the Master’s service, yours,