For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. Romans 1:16 ESV
We often look at the telling of the story of Jesus’ life as if it were simply recounting one adventure after another. But when we look a bit deeper we discover that most of the Gospel is actually about the word of God revealed either through the teaching or ministry of Jesus.
John reminds us of this at the beginning of His account; -In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God and The Word was God. John 1:1
For example think of how the parable of the sower teaches us to be careful how we listen to God’s word. Jesus tells us that its transforming power only works when if enters our hearts in a way that changes our behavior and attitudes. Then directly afterward Jesus heads off in a boat with his disciples and He falls asleep after a long day. But as they begin to sail away into the sunset a terrible storm comes up and in desperation His disciples shake him awake crying out in fear. Then Jesus gets up and commands the wind and waves and – what do they do? – They immediately obey His word.
Today it is no different. God’s power in our lives occurs not by our reading, listening to or even watching films about the Bible. It only takes root when it comes in power; so that our believing and receiving forms a living connection with Him. When we get truly connected to Him then proclaiming His word to others will become more and more a natural outflow. Maybe one part of God’s purpose in this moment when we are shut in has been to give us opportunity to connect in a deeper way with the true Gospel. If we will treasure this time, then both in the middle of the storm and when it is over; His Gospel will work in power both in our hearts and around us on little patch of earth.
Give us this day our daily bread. Matthew 6:11 KJV
Last night my wife was in a baking mood and so she decided on making eight loaves of her homemade bread. The aroma of it was enough to get my mouth watering in anticipation of butter melting in to that first slice fresh out of the oven!
When Jesus taught us to ask for bread He only said to pray for what we need today. We do not need to worry about tomorrow’s bread because our Father’s bakery will never go out of business. Just like the loaves straight from Nancy’s oven, we also need bread fresh from Heaven to feed our hearts every day.
Then when our neighbors stop by, we can offer them more than just home-made bread. If we are willing to roll up our sleeves and get to work in the kitchen we will be near to the oven door so that when it opens we can find bread fresh from Heaven to share in time of need!
Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. Psalm 25:5 ESV
Did you receive the warning to download the most recent critical updates to your windows operating system this week? If not be aware that you really do need to get that done. When I saw the alert, I confess that at first I simply hurried on hoping that nothing would go wrong. Impatience and procrastination teamed up to convince me that it couldn’t happen to me. But in the back of my mind were those pesky memories of long hours struggling to extract malware, viruses and other assorted electronic ne’er do wells.
In the same way we need to pay attention when the Bible tells us to download God’s latest spiritual updates. Those updates come included in the new operating system for our lives called “The Word of God”. Only our own personal daily Bible reading will safeguard our hearts and prepare us to face today’s battles.
So when the malware of our old nature shows up in our minds and it must be overwritten by the update of His ways. The constant spiritual pressures will no more disappear from our Christian lives than spam from our e-mail accounts. But every day we can choose to patiently to download His updates before we continue on our walk with Him!