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Monday, November 10, 2014

Give God some face time!

Not much of what I own actually lasts forever.  In fact, many things have to be regularly "weeded out" in order to make room for fresh or new items.  Why?  They show their wear and tear, or they are spoiled by the time they sit around.  Such was the case when I took out a bottle of vegetable oil to make some cupcakes a few weeks ago.  The bottle was nearly half full, but it had "turned" on the shelf.  I couldn't use it because it would give a bad taste to the cupcakes.  I was lucky I had a new bottle just behind it so I could finish the batter which was in a half-made state!  I have clothing which becomes "worn looking" after a few years of frequent wear.  Stains, small pulls in the fabric, and even a few loose seams make them look shabby.  They might be okay for working in the yard, but they certainly are not good enough for wearing to work!  There is very little we actually possess in this world not subject to this wear and tear of time.  Yet, we do possess something which cannot ever change - something which is already perfect and will remain perfect.  What?  The Word of God!  Absolutely nothing can improve upon it - absolutely nothing can make it less effective or powerful!

The Law of the Lord is perfect; it gives us new life. His teachings last forever, and they give wisdom to ordinary people. The Lord’s instruction is right; it makes our hearts glad. His commands shine brightly, and they give us light. (Psalm 19:7-8 CEV)

The Word of God is an unchanging certainty.  We can build upon it, but we cannot change it. We can rest upon it, but it will never falter.  We can take from it, but it is never depleted. We can stand upon it, but it will never cause us to stumble.  We can take it in, but it will never fail to satisfy.  It is true - the Word of God is perfect!  The most amazing thing about the Word of God is how it affects ordinary people with extraordinary outcomes.  As it is taken in, trusted fully, and applied to our lives, ordinary people see extraordinary results.  Where else in this world can we be privileged to such a tremendous never-ending flow of goodness, grace, power, and provision?

Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, "A moment's insight is sometimes worth a life's experience."  One taste of the insight contained in the Word of God and a life is changed forever.  I think this is why we see those who regularly "take in" the Word so dynamic in their walk.  They are renewed day-by-day with "freshness" from the Word - insight once hidden to them, now made clear and life-giving.  William Shakespeare penned the words, "All glory comes from daring to begin."  I wonder just how much insight we might receive if we'd just dare to begin to take in the Word of God on a consistent basis?  I wonder how much we'd be changed from "glory to glory" as we explored the pages of our scriptures?

First, the Word brings us the truths which give us new life.  Once we have stepped into this new life in Christ Jesus, we are free to begin to trust in the teachings he has contained for us in his Word.  As we ingest these teachings, we begin to recognize the power of grace - the changing of things thought unchangeable in our lives.  Past becomes less significant, today reveals a mountain of possibility, and tomorrow takes on the mounting hope of promises yet unrecognized.  Second, the Word of God is reliable - we can count on the truths revealed there - they haven't failed anyone yet, and they won't start now!

There is nothing more revealing than light.  There is nothing more terrifying than darkness. There is but one place we find light - in the presence of God - the place where his Word is spoken into our lives.  The written word becomes living word in those moments of communion with him.  We neglect this place of communion way too often, my friends. When we do, we are cutting ourselves off from the greatest place of provision, peace, and privilege. What a shame to have so much at our access and then never even explore what is contained for us within those pages!

John Maxwell says it best:  "Reflective thinking turns experience into insight."  When we take time to commune with God, getting the Word of God into us, it has a chance to take root within.  When it does, the transition is certain - the renewal is forthcoming!  Just sayin!