You may have missed it a couple of weeks ago: the shooting on the campus of Florida State University. A gunman opened fire on students, injuring three of them. A student, Jason Derfuss, inside the library where the gunfire took place was grateful that he escaped being killed. It wasn’t until hours later that Derfuss discovered that there were bullet holes in his backpack and a slug in a book he was carrying: Great Medieval Thinkers – John Wyclif. He had actually been targeted by the shooter, who aimed from about five feet away. In a text, Derfuss wrote, “I was almost killed tonight, and God intervened.”
We have all heard both true and likely apocryphal stories about soldiers’ lives being saved by a Bible stopping a bullet in time of war. But this is for real, and the bullet-riddled backpack is proof. The round embedded in the book testifies that only a miraculous circumstance kept this student from certain death. And not only was the student a Christian, but the book was about a Christian, one of the greatest of all time, John Wyclif.
Wyclif (also spelled Wycliffe) was a 14th century churchman whose leadership led, in part, to the Protestant Reformation. In contrast to the stifling effect of the papacy, he emphasized that the Bible should be every individual’s guide to spirituality and salvation. He opposed the extravagance of church ceremonies and was instrumental in the Bible being translated into common language. In fact Wycliffe’s Bible, completed in 1384, was the beginning of a movement to get the Word of God to the masses in printed text, available to all. Many today have been saved because of Wyclif’s life. Jason Derfuss is most certainly alive because Wyclif’s deeds were heralded in the book in as backpack. I wonder how many others, like you and me, have dodged a spiritual bullet from the devil because of the heritage of this great man of God. As Derfuss also said of his near-death encounter, “I know conceptually He can do all things but to physically witness the impossible and to be surrounded by such grace is indescribable. To God be the glory forever and ever, Amen.”
An encouraging word: REJOICE WHEN CHRIST IS PREACHED
Want a remedy for a hypercritical attitude or an unreasonably judgmental spirit? Philippians 1:18 has the antidote: The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached…I rejoice. That’s hard to do sometimes, especially when you may know what’s going on behind the scenes. You might be tempted to rebuke or point your finger in condemnation. I’m not suggesting that we should overlook immoral or unethical behavior, but don’t dismiss the communication of spiritual truth because you don’t like the preacher or his motives. Take constructive actions to remedy any egregious wrongs, but be thankful that God’s Word is going forth.
Bob Larson has trained healing and deliverance teams all over the world to set the captives free and Do What Jesus Did (Luke 4:18). You can partner with Bob and support this vision to demonstrate God’s power in action by calling 303-980-1511 or clicking here to donate online.