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EMW Daily Devotion – 16 July 2020

13 July 2020 | by Bill Hughes | 1 Corinthians 13

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

1 Corinthians 13:12


Good morning friends.

I am sending you a quotation from the Commentary by Dr. James Montgomery Boice on the Gospel of John, where he speaks about Dr Donald Gray Barnhouse, a well-known American preacher who was pastor of the 10th Presbyterian church in Philadelphia for many years.

“One summer, when I was just a boy, I took a trip to California with my family. It was one of the Eternity magazine tours, and there was a great crowd of people along, including Donald Gray Barnhouse. One day a number of us went to Monterey where there is an amusement park. In one building we saw a very large barrel, about seven or eight feet in diameter and about forty or fifty feet long. It lies on its side and revolves, the challenge being to walk through it without being upset.

For some reason it was a particular challenge to Dr Barnhouse, so he started through it. Unfortunately, he was only into the barrel about two or three yards when his feet got higher than his center of gravity and down he went. The first thing everyone knew was that he was rolling around on the bottom. The man who ran the amusement stopped the barrel from turning, and Barnhouse came out. He said, “Start it up. I’m going to do it again.”

The man who controlled the barrel said, “Wait a minute. First you should know there is a secret for walking through the barrel. Do you see that mirror at the other end?”

Barnhouse said, “Yes.”

“Well what do you see in the mirror?”

“I see you,” answered Barnhouse.

“That’s right,” the man replied. “You see me. Now this time when you walk through the barrel forget about the fact that it is turning. Don’t even look at the barrel. Instead look at me in the mirror. That way, you will have a true sense of the vertical, and you will be able to adjust the speed of your steps to keep you from falling.”

This time when the barrel was started, Barnhouse walked through triumphantly.

The secret of walking through the barrel was to keep one’s eyes on the man who runs it.

It is the same spiritually. Who is it that runs the affairs of this life with all its ups and downs, all its crises, joys and disappointments? The answer is: God! Who has it all under control? God!

How, then, is the Christian to walk through this life without losing his balance spiritually? The answer is: By keeping his eyes upon God! Moreover we can extend the illustration to point out that in this life we do not see God directly but are permitted to see Him as He is reflected in His written Word. The Bible is a mirror that shows us God. “Now we see in a mirror darkly; but then, face to face” (1 Cor. 13:12).”


Bill Hughes​