Dear Beacon Lights readers,
Near the end of 1992, I was approached by members of the Beacon Lights staff requesting that I consider writing a series of devotionals for the magazine. I believe the editor at that time was Peter Faber. I prepared several devotionals for their consideration and presented them to two staff members during the teachers’ convention that was held in Grand Rapids that year. The staff accepted the format, which is similar to the one used today, and asked me to have a month’s worth ready for the January 1993 issue.
Except for several hiatuses I have been writing these devotionals since then. In the early years I would pick texts for the days of the week, as I would use a calendar to know when the devotional would run. In those early issues I picked texts from all over the Bible, thinking to make sure that the whole of scripture was used. I remember a man from Doon saying that I had him looking up texts all over the place. In those early editions I had picked many Psalter numbers as well. Another reader commented that there were times his family would just read them, as the tunes were unfamiliar.
Later I began series writing. I did a series on the Lord’s prayer, the ten commandments, the beatitudes and others. Devotionals were written using the texts of the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, and the Canons of Dordt. Of course during the Christian holidays devotionals were written which were applicable to Christmas, Easter, and the like. I also remember using the Psalter as the basis of a series, though I had help with that one.
As I visited other churches, I would be approached by members thanking me for my work; it was gratifying to know that there were indeed readers of those devotionals. I was happy not for my sake, but rather that our covenant God was using me for the edification of his people.
A few years ago I had again taken a break, but when my daughter went to college, I realized that writing her a devotional each morning would benefit both of us. These then were used to fill the pages of the Beacon Lights. After she graduated, I wondered what next to use as the basis for the devotionals.
I decided to work through the Bible, much as it would be read at the table. I covered a chapter a day, understanding that a family might have to use the same devotional twice for longer chapters. I began that series in 2011, and, now, just over three years later, it is finished.
As I came to the end of the New Testament, I also decided that I should put this work aside as well. It is not that there is no more material. I have only scratched the surface of God’s word. I believe that it is time for me to set it aside. I do have an idea for another writer. It has come to my mind that a chronological approach to the Scriptures would be very worthwhile.
As I ended Revelation, I did not have a month’s worth of material for publication. While casting about for an idea, I came upon the idea of using Psalm 119. Like the psalmist, I have a high regard for God’s revelation to us in his word. It is my prayer that this is the regard that the Beacon Lights readers have for the Bible. We need that regard, for on the pages of Holy Writ is found the way of our salvation.
As I end this work, it is my prayer that it was done only to God’s glory. I hope that the solas of the reformation guided my work. Sola Scriptura, Sola Christo, Sola Gratia, Sola Deo Gloria.
In His service,
Chester (Skip) Hunter
P.S. Thank you to my wife Barb who has proofread almost every one of the pages that I have submitted over the past 21 years.