I remember it very well, it was December 1976, I was in hospital recovering from a severe case of food poisoning. One of my dearest pastor friends came to visit me on December 3, with a package in his hand. He talked to me about the lessons the Lord was teaching him and how some of them were painful and required sacrifice. He told me the Lord had instructed him to give away his favorite, most cherished book and that He had told him to give it to me. My friend hesitated at first, but then yielded to the Lord’s promptings and pulled his most cherished book form the shelf. That book was Fully Furnished, by F.E. Marsh. It is inscribed, Roger, In the confidence that He who hath begun in us a good work will complete in that day…, D.G. Phil. 1:3, 12-3-76.
I still have the book. It is in my hand even now. It holds special place in my library and in my heart. One does not have to read past the first paragraph of the introduction to know that this book is a veritable gold mine of spiritual instruction and insight. It did not take me but a moment to understand why my friend classified this as his most cherished book.
Recently I was prompted by the Lord to reduce the size of my library. My age and stage in life require that I consider this divine instruction. My desire to share with others enabled me to consider it with more ease. However, I know the modern trend regarding books. I am aware that many of the younger generation of pastors prefer cyber libraries to shelves lined with books, especially the OLD ones. This generational weakness did create a challenge for me. Who would receive my books? Who would care for them? More importantly, who would actually use them? I feared releasing my treasured possessions to an un-attentive recipient. God gave direction in this regard and over 1000 books went to the shelves of some young pastors whom I love and care for.
I must confess, I released the bronze and the sliver….and a little gold, but the GOLD is still on my shelves. Many of the books are inscribed by the author or by the giver. Many of them are old…and old friends to me. They must remain with me just a little bit longer. Some of the old friends stay very close to me….
Close to me now is the Old friend, Fully Furnished, by F.E. Marsh, carrying always the crystal clear memory of the day my friend entered my hospital room with this dear friend in hand.
Since 1976, I have added F.E. Marsh books to my library. Each one is filled to capacity with rich insights into the Word of God and the Christian life.
I recently was seeking some help and encouragement regarding prayer. I reached for Living God’s Way, by F.E. Marsh. I was so taken by the following that I want to share it with you.
‘Tell me, what is the secret of your success?’ was the question put to Evan Roberts, when referring to the Welsh Revival. ‘There is no secret,’ was the reply. ‘All that is needed is reliance on the great promise, ‘Ask and ye shall receive.’ Prayer is the secret of the deeper life. Prayer is a sin-killer. No one can sin and pray, for prayer will make us cease from sin, or sin will make us cease from prayer. Prayer is a power-bringer. It is the hand that touches the hem of the garment of Divine grace, and causes the life which is in the Divine One to flow into us. Prayer is a victory-giver. Bunyan’s Christian found that the weapon of all-prayer was sufficient to wound and defeat the adversary, who would stop him in his progress as a pilgrim. Prayer is a holiness-promoter. It is like the gentle dew which falls upon the thirsty plants, and causes them to be refreshed and to fructify. Prayer is a dispute-adjuster. Let any two brethren who are at loggerheads get on their knees, and ask the Lord about any disputed matter, and they will find the Lord saying to their troubled spirits, Peace, be still. Prayer is an obstacle-remover, as Peter found when the angel came in answer to the prayers of the saints, and delivered him from the prison of Herod’s hate; and prayer is a Christ-revealer, for it clarifies our vision and enables us to see the unseen. -F.E. Marsh