Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Familiar Story

Yeah, yeah, we all know the story.  Shepherds, angels, a baby. . .  same ol' thing every year at this time.  Sometimes that can be our approach to the Bible stories we've become so familiar with.

Yet, I wonder, have you ever read the Christmas story when it was not the holiday season?  Try it sometime and see if you do not gain a fresh perspective on the scenes.  Maybe the Bible seems to be dry as burnt toast.  It is not meant to be that way, ever.  We must first have put our faith in Christ, but then after that, our approach and attitude towards it makes all the difference.

The Word of God is living, active, and powerful.  It can be that way in our lives as we come to the Bible with expectation, understanding that through it God reveals Himself to us.  I do not read the Bible only to gather information about God, or to discover truth.  Rather, I come to the Word expecting to meet heart to heart with the living God.

When I read an account from the Bible, familiar or not, I understand it as God's personal message to me for that day.  This is why I cannot emphasize enough the importance of systematic study of the Scriptures.  Devotional books and commentaries are good tools, but are only man's opinions.  Do I look to God or to the tools?  Try looking only to God and the bare Scriptures, no tools, and see if God does not satisfy your soul.

The Christmas story is so rich with meaning.   We can't brush it off as only an interesting story or pivotal history.   Yet, to get beyond the surface, God must reveal His truth to us.  We can read a passage over and over and never really see until God makes it known to us.  This is why prayer is so important.  We are utterly dependent on the Spirit of God to disclose the Word to us.

The Word of God is so precious to me, because through it, I commune with my Heavenly Father in intimate whispers as lovers share secrets.

I love teaching this Word to others, especially children.   But we do them a disservice by only giving them the story without weaving its message within.  No wonder many adults of today recall with disdain their days of Sunday School and consider church a chore.  Often the stories were taught without passion and life giving revelation by the Spirit of God.

We cannot compete with the fast paced entertainment of today.  However, prayer is more powerful than any entertaining program for it is "not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the LORD Almighty."  (Zech. 4:6)   Are our children getting the message that to study the Word is an encounter with God Himself?

The Christmas story is not worn out unless we make it that way.   Rather, it is filled with life, but we must ask, seek, and turn our hearts toward Him.  Next post I want to share with you an example of  how God met me through the Christmas story and continues to do so.  Ever living is His Word.  Love it.  Love Him.

"In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God."  (John 1:1)

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