Sunday, January 27, 2008

The BOOK -- Part Two

Next to the wing-back chair in which I am sitting as I compose this blog are two large Bibles. One of them was a gift my parents gave each other on their 15th anniversary in 1958. I can't remember a time it was not prominently placed on the coffee table in our family living room. A substantial book, complete with a picture of Jesus on the cover. Inside, good old King James' English and numerous full-cover prints of the "major" biblical events. It is quite the book, but except for the annual reading of the Christmas story and the perusing of the color plates on a bored-out-of-my-mind rainy Saturday, I cannot recall using it much. Pretty much a dust collector.

Underneath the old Kay family Bible is another Bible given to me about 15 years ago by a member of the church I was then serving. They knew I liked to collect old Bibles and this one they found at a garage sale. It is a 1890 KJV in Swedish. Cool tooled leather cover, and quite well done art work inside, sadly once again it does not get much use. Mostly due to the fact I can't read Swedish! An interesting side-note, and actually the main reason the church member grabbed it up, placed within its pages was a very special leaf, cannabis sativa, if I am not mistaken. Not enough to do any thing with, but it gives a whole new meaning to getting a "spiritual high."

As I shared with the children at our "What's-in-the-Box?" time, the Bible is not just a text book with answers we are supposed to know so we can past the test at the end of life. No, it is God great gift that helps us to know Him and to know how we are to live so we can become conformed to the image of His Son, Jesus. All with the help of the Holy Spirit, of course. I also shared with the adults later on the truth that God's Word is profitable for us (2 Timothy 3:16) and not just because it teaches, rebukes, corrects and trains us, but because it is "God breathed." It is much more than the "wind beneath our wings," it is in fact the air by which we breath, without which we suffocate. As God breathed into the lungs of Adam, and brought him to life, God continues to breath life to each one who is willing to open the Book and breath deeply of His enlivening Spirit.

This coming Sunday, Lord willing and the creek don't rise" (which is a real possibility in our neck of the woods) I am going to once again be focusing upon the second article in our Statement of Faith. I will be spending some time sharing about the reliability of the Scriptures, how we can be sure that what we have today is the Real McCoy.

We have lots of proof to its reliability, lots of historical documents, etc. But, what I would like to hear is how you have found it reliable in your own personal life. How have you seen it's eternal truth come to bear in your "here and now." The Scriptures declares of itself that it is living and active and sharper than a two-edged sword. . . . It is able to judge between the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Now that's pretty sharp! How have you seen it's activity. When were your lungs filled with the sweet, glorious, life-giving breath of God?


trinity said...

I saw the Bible come alive this past weekend on our snow trip. As we studied what it means for us to be the temple of the Living God, and to have Him at the core of our being. I saw in my own heart things having to change, how I had to let go of my anxious thoughts and hand them over to God. I watched as students went from selfish attitudes to servant actions. I was moved when I heard students thanking God for their peers and the fruit He was producing in their lives.

I am thankful that God's word is active. Even last night Heidi and I were discussing how hard it is to trust God with various aspects of our lives, and how that frustrates us. But then as I taught the lesson to the Sr. Highers I was reminded how the more we know of God's character the easier it is to trust Him. Along with the fact that God is repeatedly more about the process the journey than the results. I see this in the life of Joseph (the one with the coat not Jesus' dad) and in the life of Jonah. He gets the end result but it is all about getting us to that point.

okay enough rambling...

for now.

gentledove said...

Pretty insightful rambling! I think you said a mouthful when you said, "I was reminded how the more we know of God's character the easier it is to trust Him."

I think it is especially important to keep our main emphasize on growing in our relationship with God because so much of what the Bible tells us about how to live joyously defies human logic. It not only defies human logic, but I truly believe it is humanly impossible to experience joy practicing Christ’s teachings except for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Put others first. Be unselfish. The "world" can do this or that, but it's a big "no, no" or sin for us.

Our humanity cries out, “But what about me, me, me????” Our society jokes about people with martyr complexes. They are sometimes referred to as co-dependents because human beings (on our own –depending upon our own human nature) can find ourselves giving and giving and giving more and more and more of ourselves until we feel drained and empty and even, truth be known, the humanity in us can start to feel a little bitter.

But what if the more we die to self, instead of feeling empty and drained, we find ourselves filled with the Holy Spirit? Less of us, BUT MORE OF HIM. What a difference the Holy Spirit makes. Then we are like the man in the parable who discovered the priceless pearl in a field who was not inclined to be unselfish or endure “suffering” to be pious or because that’s what he “SHOULD” do, but because he really experienced an epiphany knew that had stumbled upon the deal of a lifetime so he went and sold everything he had and rushed back to buy the field so he could own that pearl.

That pearl, the little gem worth dying to self to get is our relationship with Christ because the less we listen to self and the more we hear from him, the more we will experience a fulfillment and a joy that the world can never experience unless they come to realize the huge gaping hole in their souls can only be filled with Jesus.

trinity said...

One of my favorite breath prayers, that I go back to again and again is... Breath in "more of you (God)" Breath out "Less of me"

It always centers me on the fact that I cannot and should not be at the center of who I am. That apart from Him doing His work in and through me I am nothing.

I saw it "work" this past weekend, as I took a moment with God, breathing in more of Him and out more of me. Then was engaged in a conversation that was only possible because of that view point.

God answers prayer and His word (Jesus) is alive in me.

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