“But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what He has done has been done through God.” (John 3:21)
I spent the first week of August in Oregon with my sister and brother-in-law and I thoroughly enjoy attending their church, Countryside Community. God only knows, literally, why that particular Sunday sermon impacted me so powerfully. My note taking was fast and furious and that paper tucked into my Bible is becoming dog-eared from re-reading and review. The “Centrality of Scripture” in my faith walk hit with a new vital clarity. Sooo, here is my attempt to use those notes and capture that message.
JOLT #1 God’s Word is necessary in my daily life. It is the message given by God and heard by any and all … and my personal call to faith and grace. Romans 10:13-14 and 17 says “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. How then can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message and the message is heard through the word about Christ.” I needed to hear from the Word at that little Methodist church in order to step into faith as a young child, and I need to hear from the Word today to continue living, sustaining and growing my faith. I NEED Scripture! I need to hear it, read it, talk about it, and pray through it. I NEED it to feed me and keep me full of His love and grace as I walk today.
JOLT #2 I crave Illumination with a capital “I”! In the world we live in, pulling on my hip waders before I venture out into the muck and disarray seems the best option most days. The real Truth is, the Bible is designed to light my daily walk in the midst of it all. It is my guide, my source of understanding in the middle of turmoil. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105) I crave His light in my daily walk and He knows it. From the beginning, literally, God knew we would need light. I need the clarity, the light, the ILLUMINATION that is provided for me in the Word to navigate this world or I will stumble in the darkness.
JOLT #3 The Bible is enough! A multitude of things clamor for my attention shouting “look here,” “read this,” “trust us,” and on and on and on! Many of those things are indeed good, informative, enlightening, and edifying. I believe we are meant to use them. The true test always has to be, “Does it lead me back to the Word?” and equally important, “Is it leading me away from the Word, away from God?” I have to be solid enough in my Bible to trust that it is SUFFICIENT, and my only real help and hope is knowing that Jesus is the key that unlocks all that is good in my life. I can be in this world but not of it IF I AM A WORD CENTERED PERSON. The gift of discernment in this world is what I seek every day. I want to listen to Timothy as he says it in “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful in teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
JOLT #4 God’s Word has the final say … it is authoritative. I believe that my Bible, my copy of God’s Word, is a living, breathing entity and that if I come to regularly it in prayer and supplication it will indeed breathe itself into all I say and do. Do I always do that? Of course not! I am an independent sort and I was raised on the “you can do it” and “you are in charge of your life” themes. But that is just not true! Every single time I try to do it on my own, or argue my case, or bargain with God, it always, comes back to Him saying “Charlotte, I love you, and I am in charge of your life. I have the final word and, it is in my Word. Place yourself back under my AUTHORITY again please!”
So here is the song that wants and needs to burst from my being under God and under Grace … “The B-I-B-L-E , yes, that’s the book for me. I stand alone on the Word of God, the B-I-B-L-E!”
Love and Joy!
*Thanks Pastor Paul Duppenthaler for the jolts!
Char can be reached via email here.