Sunday, April 15, 2007
“Break open your words and let your light shine out …” (Ps 119:25)
The bible is a book that has been around a very long time. As long it has been around, it has inspired many different reactions. In his article Making Being Made, Rich Mullins said that people …
- Speculate on it
- Pontificate in view of it
- Adulate it
- Attack it
- Adapt it
- Systemize it
- Criticize it
- Theorize it
- Ponder it
- Practice it
Maybe you see yourself in one of these? The best thing Rich says is this: “of course, what we make of the bible will never be as great a thing as what the bible will – if one lets it, make of us”.
I love that quote … how has God’s word transformed my life? Has it made a difference to who I am and how I think? This is the core difference between Christianity and hobbies. God is not this thing out there that I occasionally contemplate. Church is not a club that I stroll off to (well at the moment my church is Starbucks but you get the point!). My faith is not a hobby I indulge in from time to time. My faith is not an external thing. I cannot pick it up and put it down. It is internal and it shapes and defines the very essence of my being. It continues to shape who I am becoming.
My faith is based on Jesus who is the incarnate word of God. Hebrews 4:12 tells us that the word of God is living and active. It is this that is alive in me and is continually working to shape me and mould me and lead me in his ways. This word is my life source. King David knew this well. Psalm 119 reveals many facets of his relationship with the word. Perhaps a favourite verse I like is found around 113-114 (Message Translation) … “I love your clear cut revelation. You’re my place of quiet retreat. I wait for your word to renew me …”
I love the idea I opened with … “break open your word and let the light shine out” … This is a very evocative scripture for me. It makes me think of fresh baked bread … perhaps a French baguette. The smell leads you along … pulls you and draws you in …(remember the old Disney cartoons of fresh pies on window ledges …) Baguettes are lovely … fresh and crusty. The smell draws you and then you break open the loaf! The crust is light, crunching and crackling as you break it, revealing tantalising fluffy bread inside. Then you put it in your mouth … texture and taste collide … Ohh yes!
The food we eat either sustains us or damages us. It breaks down and becomes part of the very fibre of our being. It is like this with the emotional and spiritual food we eat. When I was 14, I met a man who knew the scriptures inside out. It seemed you could not throw any situation at him that he didn’t have insight from the Bible for. He had a window into God’s perpective on life. I remember at the time thinking, “I want that”. So I read and studied and looked to see what God could have to say to me. When I was 15, a youth leader came back from seminary in the States. He said the thing that most changed his life, was being taught how to break open scriptures. He used a very simple formula …
- What does it say?
- What does it mean?
- How does this apply to ME in my life TODAY?
For 6 weeks he mentored me and helped me to do this. I would journal and he went through it each week, helping me take it deeper and find the treasure within.
These days I meet many people who say, “the Bible is so dry. I just can’t get anything from it … but I read really good books that have scripture in them so that feeds me”. I am saddened when I hear this. There is nothing like getting your own revelation from scripture. As I mentioned above, David nails it when he says, “I love your clear cut revelation” … and when we go through those dry spells, we can pray as David did … “provide me with the insight that comes only from your word” … Over the years I have heard thousands of sermons, and read thousands of books. I will remember a few things from those but I have NEVER forgotten anything I dug out of scripture. If it was revelation, it has stayed with me, shaped me, moulded me and anchored me.
If you need any more convincing, here are just a few things David knew from Ps 119. The word …
- leads us in his way (vs3)
- keeps our way pure (vs9)
- counsels us (vs24)
- preserves our life (vs 25)
- strengthens us (vs28)
- frees us (vs32)
- delights us (vs35)
- helps us have correct focus (vs 36,37)
- provides an anchor for trust (vs 42)
- provides hope (vs 49)
- comforts us (vs 52)
- provides wisdom and insight (vs 98,99)
- illuminates our way (vs 105,106)
God’s Word. Get to know it. Get to know the author of it. In the words of NIKE …
JUST DO IT!