April 1, 2013

Luke 24:27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself.

How wonderful it would have been if Cleopas had been carrying a digital recorder! However, we really don’t gain as much if we are spoon-fed such things. There was an enormous volume of information given over what was probably a couple of hours at the most. I’m sure they couldn’t really absorb it all at the time. The point for us, though, is that the Old Testament indeed talks about Christ, both His first coming and His second, in considerable detail. However, people then just as today overlooked much of it, or they misinterpreted it to the point that they didn’t recognize when it was fulfilled. We have pretty dense filters when it comes to such things, which is an appropriate pun, because it shows that we are pretty dense! Any time we read the Bible we need the help of the Holy Spirit for us to take it in and understand it, which is certainly appropriate, since He’s the Author! That’s why speed reading the Bible does little if any good: we need to chew it and digest it to get the nutrition from it.

I am quite grateful to have been introduced to the system of Bible reading/journaling the Lord showed Wayne Cordeiro. I’ve been using it consistently for several years now, and it has opened my heart to understand Bible passages I’ve been familiar with for 50 years. He uses the acronym SOAP, for Scripture, Observation, Application, and Prayer. I read a passage, asking the Holy Spirit to show me what out of that He particularly wants to speak to me. I then write out that part, anywhere from a partial verse to two or three verses. Then, I write what I feel the Holy Spirit is saying in that brief passage. The next step is to write how that applies to me, and how I am to put it into practice. Finally, I close with a written prayer of response to all of the above. My impression of most Bible journaling systems is that they tend to leave out the Application step, and that leaves everything in the realm of the theoretical. As James stressed in his letter, faith is essentially meaningless if it’s not lived out! I have shared this system of Bible reading with numbers of people, but only some have continued in it. That is as strange to me as it is sad. The Bible is filled with such wonderful riches, and God wants to share those with us. It does take some effort on our part, especially in making and taking time to do it, and that’s where we often fall down. I am not to write people off because they won’t take time for regular devotions, but I must not stop encouraging them to feast on the banquet that is available to them.

Father, the longer I walk with You the better I understand Your frustration with us, or rather, Your incredible patience. If I were in Your place, I would have written us off a long time ago! Help me be an open channel, not only of Your Word but also of Your grace, love, and yes, patience, so that as many as possible may be brought into the intimacy with You for which they were created, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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