Biblical Exhortation and Imaginary Internet Points

If you read blogs then there’s a chance you’re familiar with the website Reddit.  If so, then you probably know exactly where this post is going.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with Reddit I’ll give you a brief introduction.  Reddit is an unimaginably successful internet forum where users can submit links and/or text posts for discussion among other Redditors.  The website is broken down into thousands of micro sites called “subreddits”.  Anyone can create a subreddit about anything and anyone can post and comment and receive imaginary internet points called “karma” or “upvotes” and “downvotes”.  The voting system is what determines ranking on each subreddit and the stuff that gets downvoted a lot sinks to the bottom while content deemed worthy of upvotes rises to the top.

I frequently visit the Astronomy and Astrophotography subreddits, along with the pages of the various sports teams I follow.  The directory is simple, to visit your desired subreddit you simply type in http://www.reddit.com/r/(whatever you want).  The abbreviated URL can be written shorthand as /r/astronomy or /r/astrophotography or /r/orioles.

Reddit is so popular because it functions as both a news aggregator and public forum where people of similar interests can talk about common interests.  It can be incredible useful for people of various hobbies like astrophotography, fantasy football, or people addicted to Breaking Bad.  Then there’s the downside.  As Obi-Wan Kenobi  warned Luke that in Mos Eisely you’ll never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy, so to it is with Reddit.  A large portion of Redditors are Generation Y and X’ers who grew up on the internet and find it incredibly easy to rip someone to shreds with their keyboard; something they would never do in a face-to-face discussion or argument.  It is so much easier to insult someone or bully someone when you put a computer screen in between them and remove all the interpersonal interaction.

For all it’s ups and downs I’ve come to appreciate Reddit for what it is, a human hub of information and learning.  For good or bad it exists as it does.  I try not to contribute to the negativity and slander that inevitably happens.  One subreddit in particular that displays the best of both worlds is /r/Christianity.  There are a vast array of different people on /r/Christianity ranging from atheists to conservative Calvinists and everywhere in between.  People of different faiths such as Judaism, Islam, Mormonism, and Buddhism regularly participate in discussions as well.  While you’d like to think that /r/Christianity would be a shining light in the sometimes darkness of Reddit, you’d really be surprised.  Some of the most vicious debates and arguments take place on /r/Christianity.  Whether it’s atheists vs. Christians, or conservatives vs. liberals, or Calvinists vs. Arminians, it can sometimes be all out war to be the winner of a debate.

While there are many worldviews represented on /r/Christianity, by far the loudest voice is that of the more liberal Christians.  I don’t mean politically or socially liberal, but theologically liberal (although one does typically lend itself to the others).  I’m talking theologically liberal as in:  “I don’t have to go to church, I love Jesus and that’s all that matters”, or, “You can’t judge me, only God knows what’s in my heart”, or, “Jesus’ resurrection was a metaphor for my personal victory over Satan.”  That kind of nonsense.  I’m not even sure if I’d call that theologically liberal, maybe uneducated or self-righteous, or prideful would be a more accurate description.  Either way, the point is that when Scripture is used to support a certain topic that one of these people finds controversial or incorrect they become defensive and you get downvoted.

It is a trend that I’ve noticed for a while and often is brought up on the subreddit, that people who quote Scripture to make a point and take a stand on an issue often get downvoted.  They cry apostasy for the use of Scripture being downvoted and all hell breaks loose.  One such post I made today based on Titus 2:11-14 is a perfect example of what I’m talking about.

In my monthly “Man Night” meeting at my house we talked about the spiritual gifts and we talked about what Paul meant in Romans 12 about the gift of exhortation.  We decided that exhortation is using Scripture to strongly encourage or urge one do to something.  I could use Scripture to exhort you to find a job based on 1 Timothy 5:8, or I could exhort you to remain faithful in persecution from 1 Peter 4.  I was reading Titus 2 in my devotions this morning and I thought to share it on /r/Christianity.  I shared the verse and some of my own personal exhortation about renouncing ungodliness in our lives and what do you know?  The post currently has more downvotes than upvotes!

Now don’t confuse what I’m trying to say.  I’m not whining because my post is receiving imaginary negative internet points.  I’m observing a trend among Christians today to not react well to being told you need to do something…or else.  It’s a trend that deeply worries me because it reflects on the overall health of religion in the current times.  It shows that some Christians (or people who call themselves Christians) are living contrary to how the Bible says they ought to live.  I understand that it is not always easy being told you’re doing something wrong; it can be a slap in the face.

The author of Hebrews writes some of the most challenging and frightening words in the New Testament.  In chapter six he writes “For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit,and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.” (6:4-6) and again in chapter 10, “For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.” (10:26-27).  Finally, in chapter twelve he rounds off his argument about holiness when he says, “Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.” (12:14).  The message is clear:  if you continue in sin after receiving the knowledge of the gospel you’re in danger of not seeing God.  Your works betray your lip service and you’re heart will be revealed when Jesus says to you “Depart from me you worker of lawlessness, I never knew you.”

The warning is in Titus 2:11 also.  Paul writes “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age.”  God is training us to renounce ungodliness, or sin, in our lives and to live in righteousness.  From understanding the verses in Hebrews, you can safely assume that if you’re not putting to death sin in your life you need to seriously examine your faith because you might be deceiving yourself.  Be on your guard against complacency because it is the devil’s oldest trick.  That liar named Satan wants nothing more than to have you in a state of complacency about your sin because if he can convince you that sinning if fine he has control over your heart and you are his slave.  But Christ has shed His blood and died to set us free from slavery to sin.  The grace of God is training us to renounce our sin and to live self-controlled and upright lives as we’re shaped into the image of Jesus.  Jesus has bought us with His own blood so that we would be His people.  God’s will for us in this life is our santification (1 Thes. 4:3).  If we are not actively pursing sanctification and renouncing ungodliness in our lives then we have no assurance that we belong to Jesus.  Make your calling and election sure by putting to death what is immoral in you (2 Peter 1:10).  Abstain from sexual immorality (1 Thes. 4:3).  Do all these things and more because the blood of Jesus has He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son (Col. 1:13) so that we may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9).

The Bible has some hard things to say to us because the stakes are so high.  Peter and Paul write some pretty harsh things in their letters, not because they get a power trip or they have a thing for hurting people’s feelings.  No, they’re not afraid to be blunt and straightforward with people who are living contrary to their faith because they love people and they want to see them in fellowship with God.  Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions and say the hard things to people who are living in sin but profess to know God, their eternal destiny is at stake.  Likewise, don’t shy away from being blunt with non-believers if the situation warrants it.  Remember, if they reject you they’re really not rejecting you, they’re rejecting God and they’ll be held responsible for that one day.  Sometimes we need to use Scripture to exhort people to re-examine their lives, don’t shy away because you might get burnt or rejected.  Stay strong and let your speech be seasoned with salt.

 

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The God of Physics

The relationship between science and faith is one of a friendship gone sour.  The two used to be good friends who used to spur each other on to higher understanding. Early astronomers like Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler who were devout men of the Christian faith sought the mysteries of the cosmos to better understand the mind of God.  Even Sir Isaac Newton himself after publishing Principia Mathematica believed that the tightly-bound universe governed by mechanics and gravity was an insight into the mind of God and the brilliance of creation.   But over time science starting hanging out with other people and faith didn’t appreciate that much and got angry so they’re friendship became a bit testy.  In the mid 17th century science and faith signed what you could call a “non-aggression treaty” to agree to not intrude into the other’s territory.  For about 200 years science and faith were cordial at best as the Enlightenment gained momentum and the humanistic and materialistic culture of the 19th century took shape.  For many it was Charles Darwin’s work The Origin of Species that introduced evolution and natural selection that was the final nail in the coffin of the relationship between science and faith.

It used to be said that God was the God of the gaps.  Man used to wonder why it rained and so he said “God makes it rain” until we discovered that water vapor forms clouds that produce rain.  We used to ask why the sun rises and sets every day so we said “God moves it from east to west”.  Then we discovered that the planet rotates on its axis.  Eventually human curiosity and scientific observation filled almost all the gaps so there was essentially no more need for God in human thinking and God was confined to the minds of pious men of faith who were labelled “dim-witted” and “afraid of progress”.  By the end of the 19th century the thought of a divine being who had the ability to create and govern the universe was laughable to the vast majority of mainstream scientists and empirical evidence supposedly supported a universe that was un-ordered and chaotic and disproved the very idea of a creator.  Then there were physicists such as the great Albert Einstein who (based on his theory of general relativity) believed more or less that God was creation itself, that the universe was more ordered and desinged than we could ever imagine that a Creator must be behind it.  However,  the Creator of Einstein’s mind was the creation itself.  God was in the very stars, planets, nebulae, and black holes.  Very different from the personal, and anthropomorphic God of the Bible was this belief that is sometimes referred to as Pantheism.

There are a few people like myself (I am not a scientist by any stretch of the imagination!) who still hold to the belief that science and faith are not enemies, in fact they are more closely related than you could possibly imagine.  I can’t give a full discourse on why I believe this #1 because I am not as scientifically learned as required for such a proof and #2 because this is a blog, not a dissertation at Cambridge.  I am a man of faith, faith in the God of the Bible I might add.  I am equally fascinated in both science and faith.  My faith tells me that humans are created in the likeness and image of God and as such we are gifted with a mind capable of understanding the world we live in.  Not to exercise that gift, to stifle it, would in my mind be an insult to God.  For the sake of brevity (I may have already violated it) I will outline just one reason why I believe science and faith are friends still.  That reason is the theory of stellar and planetary formation known as accretion.

Accretion is the theory that stars and planets form from clouds of dust and gas that gravity causes to clump together to create a “runaway” effect of mass creation.  I will just focus on planetary accretion for now.  Once a star’s nuclear life has begun when hydrogen is fused into helium in the star’s core the outer elements are expelled and are thrown into an orbit around the new star.  The chaos of the elements causes them to constantly bombard other elements at massively high speeds and they begin to clump together.  The clumps get bigger and bigger as they begin to assert gravity of their own which attracts the smaller clumps and particle around them until a main bulge is created which is the skeleton of the new protoplanet.  Over many millions of years this process continues until all the dust and gas has been either accreted or expelled from the newborn solar system.  Accretion is not unlike a snowball being rolled down a snowy hill.  The snowball is small at the top of the hill but as it rolls down it gathers more and more snow making it larger and larger.  As it gets bigger and bigger the snowball has more surface area which allows it to gather more snow faster until it gets to the bottom as a huge and well-rounded snowball fit for a snowman.  This is the theory that explains how our planet and the others in our solar system were formed billions of years ago when the Sun was an infant.

Accretion of Earth Credit: Don Dixon/cosmographica.com

If you’ve hung in there with me so far here’s where I make the connection with my faith.  In the Bible the book of Job is the story of a man named Job who is righteous before God and who has been blessed with prosperity and wealth.  Job has many possessions, a large family, and he is respected in the community as an elder and a wise man who is learned of the ways of God.  A conversation takes place between God and Satan where Satan is asking permission of God to test one of His people.  God suggests Job who is righteous in all his ways.  Satan claims that if he could just take away all his wealth and possessions Job will curse God.  God grants Satan permission to do so.  Job has every material blessing suddenly stripped away from him, he looses his flock and herd, his house is destroyed, all his children die, and Job is left with no claim to anything on the Earth.  What ensues is a very lengthy discourse between Job and three of his friends about why this horrible calamity has happened to Job.  They all suggest that Job must have sinned to bring such disaster and punishment upon himself, whereas Job questions God’s goodness because he knows his heart has always been upright before God.  Near the end God Himself enters the discussion and directly questions Job for his accusations against God’s goodness and power.  In chapters 38-39 God declares Himself as the One who caused creation to be and He declares His power over all the wonders of the Earth and the universe.  In Job 38:37 God says something very interesting regarding His creative technique.  It reads, Who can number the clouds by wisdom?  Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens, when the dust runs together into a mass and the clods stick fast together?”  This sounds remarkably like the process of accretion!  As far as we know, the ancient Hebrews had no knowledge of planetary formation so it is astonishing that God would say something like this to someone who would have no idea what He is talking about.  I believe it is clear that the “waterskins of the heavens” is a reference to the planets which the ancient people would have thought were just stars.  The dust that runs together into a mass sounds a lot like the accretion disk that forms around the newborn star which eventually becomes a planet or moon that “sticks fast together”.

To me this appears as clear evidence, not only that the Bible is more factual than most people could ever imagine, but that there are confirmations of our modern scientific knowledge in the Bible.  This proves both that our understanding of the universe has gotten us closer to the mind of God and that there is a divine Creator who operates the universe by a skillfully crafted set of rules.  The complexity and beauty of the universe is a testament to the unfathomable brilliance of God and His glory.  As Psalm 19:1 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above (the expanse in Hebrew) proclaims His handiwork”.  According to this knowledge my faith tells me that God created the universe and strictly governs it by a complex, yet beautiful set of laws that we are beginning to understand.  How marvelous is the prospect of being able get a glimpse into the mind of God by discovering the laws by which the universe operates!  Sadly, much of academia does not see it this way.  They assert the power of man’s mind and give no thought to a creator.  Let me close with another quote from Job.  Job 32:7-8 says “I said, ‘Let days speak, and many years teach wisdom.’  But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty , that makes him understand.” God grants wisdom to all men, but it is the Spirit of God that allows us to understand the true meaning of our wisdom…that it all points back to God.

Does God Care About Gay Marriage?

This weekend Governor Martin O’Malley declared that he would vocally support a second attempt at the bill that would legalize gay marriage in the state during Maryland’s 2012 General Assembly session.  This comes a mere five months after a similar bill was proposed and subsequently squashed this past March.  The proposed bill would allow for homosexual couples in Maryland to be granted the right to marry and all of the same legal rights afforded heterosexual couples.

The bill gained strong support in the Democrat-controlled Senate but failed to pass the House floor after key Democrats withdrew their support before the vote.  While I don’t want to get partisan right now it must be noted that the main support for the bill came from Democrats and liberal Republicans, while the opposition was generated from the Republican and conservative Democrat camp.  As is the case with all politics, this battle is fought not between Republicans and Democrats, but conservatives and liberals.  Whatever the right side is in this case is, to me, irrelevant.  Conservative vs. Liberal is just a façade masking the truth of the battle.  The real battle goes far deeper and is far more deadly than we could ever imagine.

If there is one thing the Bible ever claimed to be it is that its words contain the truth.  The Bible testifies of itself that it is the inspired, infallible, inerrant, and immutable Word of God.  I won’t get too  much into theology and doctrine in this post but I do briefly want to expound on what the Bible has to say on this topic.

In the books of Exodus through Deuteronomy God gave what we call the Law to the Hebrews in the Sinai wilderness.  The Law was God’s self-revelation of His character and the requirements for living a holy life acceptable to God.  Basically, the Law is all of God’s commandments for being made in His image that He expects us to keep them in order to be accepted by God as His child.  There are three different types of Law given by God: ceremonial law, moral law, and civil law.  Civil law consists of commandments as they relate to how we should treat other people such as keeping enough food for your family and the sojourner and the widow and the orphans.  Ceremonial law gives people the most headaches because it is the set of commandments that require us to abstain from eating the meat from a cloven-hoofed animal and wearing clothing made of blended materials.  Moral law is where the issue of gay marriage falls.  Moral law has to do with how we relate to God in our lives.  The number one moral commandment is “You shall have no other gods before me”.  If we keep this law we won’t break the others, plain and simple.  Leviticus 18:22 is another example of moral law, it says “Do not lie with another man as with a woman, it is an abomination.”  If we have no other gods before the LORD we won’t make a god out of sex and we won’t be led down the dark path of sexual immorality.

The bad news is that there is no one who has ever lived who can keep all the commandments of God, except one.  Nobody can live up to God’s perfect standard of righteousness.  Is then God unjust to require this of us?  Certainly not!  God is perfectly just to require us to be like Him since He is the source of all creation and the author of all life.  He is the perfect judge and there is no higher authority.  Through the Law we become aware of our sinfulness and how much we fall short of God’s righteousness.  Because of our sin, God’s wrath is set for a collision course with our soul when we die and we certainly deserve it.  God must punish sin because sin is a direct contradiction to His very nature and it is the most despicable sight to a holy God.  There is not one man or woman who can say that they don’t deserve God’s wrath for their sins, save one.  The one whom I refer to is Jesus Christ.

Jesus, God’s Son, came to earth as a man to live the life we couldn’t live and to die in our place to take the punishment we deserved then rose from death as our champion over sin and death.  Jesus fulfilled the requirements of the Law we could not keep and received the punishment for our sins, death.  By living without sin in His life Jesus fulfilled the Law so that we are no longer burdened by it’s commandments and no longer condemned by it.  Jesus is our substitute who takes our place and we take His place.  He gets what we deserved, that which He doesn’t deserve and we get what He deserved, that which we don’t deserve: the forgiveness of sins and eternal life in heaven with God.

You all probably know that already if you’re reading my blog so there tricky part is that what does all that have to do with passing gay marriage in Maryland?  It has everything to do with passing gay marriage in Maryland!  Christ has fulfilled the Law for us but He has not abolished it!  As Paul says in Romans 3:31, “Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.”  Elsewhere Peter exhorts new Christians to be holy like their heavenly Father in 1 Peter 1:14-15, “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct“.  Our call to live holy is clear so we cannot banish the Law from our lives, on the contrary, we need it now as our guide on how to live holy.

Finally, we are called as children of God to be witnesses for God in a world full of darkness.  We are to take God’s standards to an unbelieving world that is in open rebellion to the God who created them.  God loves mankind and does not wish that anyone should perish, but have eternal life so He sent His Son to forgive sins and He has commissioned us to carry the message of the Gospel to the whole world.  One way we testify for God is to stand for what He stands for, righteousness.  God in His Word is clearly against homosexuality and makes it clear that marriage is reserved for one man and one woman.  There is no room for compromise on this issue, you’re either on God’s side or not.  The Bible says that anything that doesn’t stand up to God’s truth and perfection will burn away like chaff in the wind.

Let us spread the word of God to our state that so desperately needs to hear it and call them to a biblical standard of lawmaking!  I hope this post has spoken to you and your conscience and stirs you to some kind of action!  I will be posting on this topic regularly for the next couple of months as this is going to be a major issue in the coming year.  Pray that God would open the eyes of our lawmakers and instill in them a longing to see righteousness upheld in our state and our country.  Until next time, grace and peace.

 

P.S. here is a link to the most recent article from the Washington Times that I read.  http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jul/24/omalley-sees-hope-for-gay-marriage/

If you feel lead to speak out against this bill I strongly urge you to follow it in the media as closely as possible!

 

know what you believe

Last night I was watching a National Geographic special on the recent discovery of the so-called “Gospel of Judas”. If you know anything about the Bible, then you know that Judas Iscariot was one of the twelve disciples of Jesus. His name, however, lives in infamy for the only thing he is recorded of in Scriptures. Judas is the disciple who betrayed Jesus for 30 pieces of silver and subsequently hanged himself out of remorse. Judas’ betrayal was the event that lead Jesus to the cross and although his betrayal was evil, it caused the single most important and glorious event in the world’s history. But nonetheless, Judas betrayed Jesus Christ to the Jewish authorities for a bag of coins. His sin is considered so great that in the classic poem “Dante’s Inferno” by Virgil, Judas is reserved the deepest circle of hell and endures being devoured by Satan over and over.

The program on the Gospel of Judas was able to authenticate the manuscript as being 1700 years old and not a forgery. Once the document was authenticated it was time to begin the arduous task of piecing the 1700 year old flaking pages to decipher the ancient words. These words were not new to the church however. In 180 AD the bishop Iraneus of Lyon condemned the gospel as heresy. Iraneus also condemned almost 30 other gospels as heresy including the gospel of Philip, Thomas, Mary,Bartholemew, and etc…

The early church was riddled with different views of what Jesus’ life was and what He really said and did. Different people wrote their accounts of Jesus’ life and different churches and groups adopted different gospels. Therefore there was widespread confusion about what the good news really was. Iraneus’ job was to determine which accounts were truthful and divinely inspired. This is where we get Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The stories in these four gospels are the most similar, contain the basic message of life, death,resurrection, and ascension. These accounts were determined to be divinely inspired because they are all about Jesus instead of man. After it was deciphered, the gospel of Judas was determined to be extremely man-centered and does not contain anything about Jesus’ crucifixion.

But perhaps the most disturbing part of the gospel is the way Judas is portrayed as the good guy. As the author of Judas claims, Judas was the disciple Jesus loved the most and was His most trusted and faithful disciple. And when it comes to his act of infamy, the gospel suggests that Jesus planned his arrest and asked Judas to carry it out. This requires a huge sacrifice on Judas’ part because everyone would hate him. Judas was also privy to the greatest secrets of heaven that even angels didn’t know. A completely different portrayL of Judas than we see in the synoptic gospels.

I’ll close with a commentary. It’s amazing how Satan tries to derail the faith of millions! The involvement of Satan in the discovery of this ancient text is apparent. The forces of darkness will, for all time, try to deceive the faithful and lead people astray. But if you know what you believe and it is grounded in the Bible and in the knowledge that God has inspired the texts in the Bible and that all we need to know for salvation, life, and righteousness is contained in Genesis to Revelation. Anything not contained in Scripture is not of God and is made by man without inspiration of the Holy Spirit. God has promised us that some will be led astray by every wind of false doctrine and teaching but if we build our houses on the Rock of God’s word then we will be secure for eternity and be able to stand against the all the attacks of the Devil.

Radical love

Jesus said in Luke 6:32, “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?  For even sinners love those who love them.”  The difference between human love and divine love is so incredible that it’s hard for us to fathom how to love people divinely.  It is so contrary to our nature to love those who act wickedly towards us because our love has conditions attached to it.  In order for us to love someone we have to see them as worthy of our love.   This usually requires them to be nice, gracious, or merciful to us, or we might like their personality, ect…The point is, in order for us to love someone, they must act, think, or behave favorably toward us first.  We are so fickle about who we choose to love and not love that we forget Jesus’ words in this passage that we ought to love everyone, even those who don’t love us.  Forget the conditionals upon which we base our love, which by the way is here today and gone tomorrow, and start to love people the way God loves people.  If God based His love on similar conditions that require us to act or think affectionately towards Him God would love absolutely no one  on the planet.  That, however, is not the case because we have verses in the Bible that tell us things about God such as “God is love” (among other things).  The love that Jesus speaks about in Luke 6 is love for all men and women as fellow image-bearers of God and love that softens their hearts to show them the Gospel.  Regardless of how people treat us and say of us we are called to replicate God’s love to our fellow humans.  Every human who is lost is exactly where we were before God grabbed a hold of us and we need to help them see the light of the Gospel by showing them God’s love the same way we were shown God’s love and won over our hearts.  The love of God is radical in human terms and needs to be spread by His ambassadors on this planet.  Our lost brothers and sisters are in desperate need of experiencing God’s radical love to save their souls.  I pray that the Holy Spirit would strengthen you to be a herald of God’s love and the Gospel to the multitude of lost souls out there.  Preach the Word!

h’our dourves

The best part about going to a party at someone’s house, let’s say for New Year’s Eve, is usually the food!  The Super Bowl also is usually a great time with food and friends (that is if the Steelers don’t win).  The finger foods and h’our dourves are usually delicious and get you in the mood to socialize and have fun.  Good food at a party is often the warm up to having a fun time and a preview of good times to come.  God’s Word is similar to h’our dourves because they are a preview of what’s to come.  The Word of God is a preview of what God is like while we can’t see Him here on the earth so we have the Bible to show us what God is like and show us how much He loves us.  God has revealed Himself to humanity through the scriptures and the Word has revealed the glory of the Most High God.  As Christians we have a huge privilege to draw near to God through the reading of His Word.  The Word is a concrete entity worthy of praise. As the psalmist often says, “Who’s Word I praise”, the Word is a member of the Trinity and was with God before creation and has played His part in history by revealing the glory and character of the Godhead.  The Word is God and is with God.  The Word made a covenant with the Father and the Holy Spirit to be incarnated as a man to walk among the earth and to be born under the Law to redeem our fallen race.  When we think about Jesus, we think about the Word that we read.  They are one in the same. 

We have been granted a huge privilege to have been given the Word.  Whenever we read the Word join God in communion and peek at His glory and righteousness.  Basically, we have been given a glimpse of what our redeemed and glorified lives will be like when we attain perfection and reside with our Lord in heaven.  This side of eternity, the best we can get to this glorious experience is spending time in the Word.  But we often don’t take advantage of this privilege because we don’t recognize how important it is to our souls.  Brothers and sisters, I exhort all of us to fervently seek God by spending time in His Word because it is a fountain overflowing with love, grace, and mercy.  Within lies the power to forgive sin and live a life that is pleasing to God.  The Word is also the power of God to offer salvation.  I pray that we would refocus our vision to desire more and more of God’s Word!  God desires to refresh our souls when we are weary and to have us fall into His mighty hands in times of trouble. 

Psalm 50:15

“Call upon Me in the day of trouble;  I will deliver you and you will glorify Me”

As Isaac Watts says in his hymn “How Sad Our State”, God is our rest from trials, weariness, and sin:

To the blest fountain of Thy blood,
Incarnate God, I fly;
Here let me wash my spotted soul
From sins of deepest dye.

A guilty, weak, and helpless worm,
Into Thy hands I fall;
Be Thou my strength and righteousness,
My Savior, and my all