There’s not one current human issue that has not been covered in the Bible. Not one! God is not shy about discussing every topic under the sun.
Upon invitation from a dear neighbor couple, I linked my desire for God’s word with a local Healing Strong group, and we corporately began our journey from Genesis to Revelation on August 1, 2020. We have just finished reading through the book of Jonah.
Reading straight through the Bible in 75 days is exactly what I’ve needed during this strange year. It’s not too late to join in by Zoom.
There’s much discussion on all forms of media regarding the chaotic and divisive landscape of our American society. Each point of view seems to point the blame finger at someone else for causing such hostility, bloodshed and corruption. All the angst threatens to make us silent rather than enter into lively conversations with even our dearest and most loved ones.
Yet, for those of us who are reading together the God breathed scriptures it has become apparent that the current destructive chaos rearing it’s ugly head is not a new phenomenon in our world. The same evil events are catalogued in the Bible from Genesis all the way through Jonah, to this point. The cause in history, as is now the case, resides with us – faulty and lustful human beings.
Only God is innocent. The rest of us are guilty. Every single one of us.
These words we read together in community are the words of the Lord God Almighty. These are the powerful life-giving words of a good Father who has seen and heard it all, and yet loves His children. He is ‘Father Knows Best’ and He is looking for each one of His children to turn toward home.
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God Romans 3:23
As I have been chewing on the inspired words of God’s chronicles unbound by time and space, I am freshly convicted. I recognize through the mirror of His perfecting word the compromises I have made because of the culture (even church culture) in which I have dwelt. The light of God’s magnificent glory is getting brighter as the scales of flesh are falling from my eyes.
The simple and yet disciplined act of reading God’s Word aloud in community has begun it’s work of exposing lies I have allowed to become subtly incorporated into my thinking. Unfortunately, I have simply, slowly over time, allowed the voices of the world to resonate louder than the voice of God in several areas of my life.
God’s word brings conviction because the Word of God is Jesus. When we, who were created in the image of God, stand in the mirror of His perfection we catch a glimpse of how muddied and tattered we’ve become. When God in His Triune nature created us in our mother’s womb we looked much more like Him. However, we were born in the flesh into a corrupt world, which scrapes, cuts, lies and injures the purity of His image in us until we can barely recognize that we were made for Him. And it’s not just corruption from the outside. Our flesh craves sin and we gulp it down of our own free will.
“Then they will know that I Am the LORD.”God
Over and over, again and again, the Lord inspired Ezekiel to write example after example of God’s created people falling into the deepest pits of the flesh. It’s hard to read because it sounds just like the daily news feeds of our current American society. Yet at the end of each example, God declared that then they would know that He is God. It’s a hard truth, but for most of us it takes coming to the end of our self-sufficiency to bend our will to God’s all sufficiency and saving grace.
Comfort, comfort My People, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.
The living and active word empowered by the Holy Spirit of God washes over my open wounds. The word reveals my broken flesh, and points to my inability to save myself. Holy Spirit reaches in with cleansing and restoration as I submit to correction. Gloriously, the scriptures also expose God’s kindness and love. His grace is on display, and His goodness to create a rescue plan leads me and many others to repentance.
If you need encouragement today, open the God breathed scriptures, and read. Let the breath of the Lion of Judah warm your face as you take in His nourishing truth. Taste and see that the Lord is good. Give thanks to our Father for He is good and His steadfast love endures forever.
You will find in His word the answers you are seeking in these frustrating and fretful days of 2020. You will, if you seek in God’s word, and you ask for wisdom. Jesus wants to uncover His mysteries of love and life to you. If it was true of His encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well, it will be true for us who are willing to meet with Jesus, The Word.
But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8
Understandably skeptical, the woman who met Jesus at the well in the middle of the day heard these words from the mouth of Jesus, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.” (John 4:10)
Today, I want to offer you water. I know you’re thirsty. I know you are feeling parched. It’s just an offer. It’s an offer because I care. The cup of cool water is held out simply because I have experienced for myself the relief, the healing and the life received when I turned to the Lord’s glorious solutions for everything I feel and need.
I bless you to take a chance with Jesus today. Take just a sip. Like the woman at the well who sipped and then drank deeply from the cup that is life. Don’t let your doubt, fear or stubborn will keep you from fullness of life and joy. I could be wrong, and I don’t have the answers you so desperately need.
But I know the One who does. Let me have the joy and honor of introducing you through the God breathed, living and active Word. Jesus is The Word, which has endured throughout all of history, and has covered every topic currently discussed in our society. He is not wrong or without victory.
Eyes on Him… You’ll shine!
1. Be honest with yourself for a moment. What is it that keeps you from receiving a cup of living water? Is your solution to your thirst satisfying and providing fullness of life and joy?
2. Read John 4 and put yourself in the place of the skeptical woman. What’s your response to Jesus?
3. Join HealingStrong.org and finish reading the God breathed, living and active word of the Lord in community with us. You’re welcome!
4. Take time to read the Psalms daily or one of the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah or Ezekiel alongside the book of Romans. What do you read of history that looks, sounds, and feels like it is written from today’s news?
5. I’m praying for you from Psalm 37:1-8. May you meet with Jesus with all your questions and concerns today and find His peace. May you be comforted like never before. May you find yourself feasting at the LORD’s banquet table and experience complete healing and restoration for His glory and the fame of His Name. Amen.