A Deeper Look
As I begin the new year, I have a desire to do an honest assessment of who I am in Christ. I determined to be truthful will require me to look deeper than what many see on the surface. Therefore, I must be willing to look into the dark places in my heart where the ugliness lives. This is hard to do because we always want to believe we are better than we really are. If I were to be judged by man, this would only require a glance, and I would walk away feeling good about myself. But, when I think about a sovereign God who knows the actions and thoughts of the heart of all men (and women), I know he will see things in me that I dare not look at myself. However, the only way to be honest in my relationship with Jesus is to lay it all out on the altar, and allow God to cleanse me. I know the phony will not “slip” past the discriminating eye of God. So I have gone on a quest. I have asked God to reveal my true heart to me. To show me all of the areas in my heart that disappoint him. I am fully aware at the outset, this is not going to be either pretty or fun. But, isn’t that the point? It is to be neither. The goal is to be honest and revealing. Perhaps I am not alone and there are others who also would like to go on such a journey with me. Wouldn’t it be wonderful, if we all went on a heart cleanse? As we endure the winter months in anticipation of the new life that comes in the rejuvenation of spring, so I too look forward to a new heart which will carry me to be more like Jesus. Blessings.
Eat This Book (part 2 continued)
Last week our discussion focused on HOW we read scripture. If you recall, the quote from C.S. Lewis stated, we either read the bible for our personal purpose, or we read to glean the message from the author. We have always been told that God speaks to us through his word- which he does. For that reason, what if we were to approach scripture as a “seeker” looking for his wisdom, his direction, his truth, his strength, listening to his voice. Truly seeking God means to let the word of God fall on us- much like rain. Rain falls where it may without care or concern for what it falls on, or the effects of it. As we read the word of God, if we put up our spiritual umbrellas, we shield ourselves from its’ ability to impact our lives.
It’s a new year which means this is a great time for new beginnings. To embrace new habits by approaching the bible from a completely different perspective. We then read for what it was meant to be….God talking to us, assuring us of his love for us; letting us know that he is protecting us, and most importantly, that he wants to have an intimate relationship with us-as like a parent to a child. That may sound a bit overwhelming, but that is exactly what he is longing for. Like any parent with a child, he is seeking a dialogue. A conversation, so that he can teach us how to be like Jesus in this world which is so desperately lost. How can we be more effective? Let the word of God dwell in us richly, as we grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Blessings.
Eat This Book (part 1)
David said it best in Psalm 119:11 when he said “I hide your word in my heart so that I will not sin against you.” If for no other reason, that in and of itself such be motive enough for us to engage in bible reading. Jeremiah said it a different way. He said in Jeremiah 15:16 “ When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, LORD God Almighty.” Lastly, John speaks to us in Revelation 10:9 “So I went to the angel and asked him to give me the little scroll. He said to me, “Take it and eat it. It will turn your stomach sour, but in your mouth it will be as sweet as honey.” Let’s note the common thread in each of these accounts, the individual ate the word of God. Whether they did it of their own volition, or they were instructed to do so, the outcome was the same. Most of us don’t give much thought to eating the word of God. We read it, perhaps not as much as we should. We think it about it-sometimes. We reference it in times of trouble and distress- but eating it? Not so much. What does it mean to eat the word of God? Let’s think about food. Daily we feed ourselves without much thought to the nutrients our bodies require and if the food ingested will adequately feed our bodies. In addition, we do so all of our lives without fully understanding HOW the body digests food, extracts the nutrients each organ needs, and manages to keep itself in a “functional” balance. Truly a miracle in itself. The point is, we don’t dictate to the body how to process the food- it does that on its own. It uses what it can and discards the rest. All this without knowledge or input from us- beyond stuffing food in our mouths. Eating the word of God, it is the same thing. It is letting the word speak to us and having it’s effect ON us, just like the food we eat. We can’t pick and choose and consider ourselves honest with God’s word. We do ourselves a great injustice when we do this. C.S. Lewis is quoted as saying “ We read either for our purpose, or the purpose of the author. One is good, the other is terribly bad. (continued next week) Blessings.