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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

From the Lord

Prof said over and over again that interpretation without application was abortion.  It is a poignant paraphrase of James 1:23 – 25.  It is not enough to read the Bible.  The Bible has to impact the way we live.  So the last question we ask in Bible study, “What does it say that I need to do?” is one of the more important.  For, if we do not apply what we have studied to our lives, we have wasted our time.
What do we do with the challenges we face?  How do we learn from them?  Thoughts at DTTB.
Jeremiah has been the focus of my study for the past several months.  This morning the Lord led me through a thought process that summed up, at least at this point in my study, what it is I need to be doing with what I have seen in the book.

It is clear from Jeremiah that the Lord is behind what is happening to Judah.  He ordained the Babylonians as His instrument to discipline the rebellion of Judah.  He also brought Babylon to bear on the surrounding nations for their disobedience.

As I was working through the prophecies concerning the nations this morning it dawned on me that all the adversity I experience is from God.  He has either ordained or allowed it which practically amounts to the same thing.  A few days ago I suggested that the Lord is intelligent, intentional, and intimately engaged in all aspects of our lives.  That being the case, the adversity that He brings into my life has purpose.  Based on what I read in Hebrews 12:4 – 12, His primary purpose is to shape my righteousness.

There have been many things in my life that would qualify as adversarial.  This morning I realized that I needed to spend some extended time working through some of those to see if I can understand what it is that the Lord wants to accomplish through them.  I have worked through some, but it was clear this morning.

So my application is to carve out some extended time in the next few weeks to get apart with my journal and Bible and seek the Lord on what it is He wants me to learn.

If I can, I will let you know what I learn.

1 comment:

  1. I'm astonished at how easily I accept what the Bible says God has done in Biblical history and fail to see the incisive similarity to what is happening in my world. This morning's newspaper was filled with horrors of all kinds in several categories. I find myself thinking about how different to the relatively bucolic days of my youth on my grandfather's farm. Even the trials of my high school era were minor: no drugs, sexual issues were mild, no porn (even Playboy was
    not yet), and the international struggles of the time were probably just muted rather than absent but not of much concern over what was known. The general spirit of my contemporaries was one of hopeful expectation in the future and better lives in the offing (even though most of us were quite happy with the present, the future provided hope for great contribution and development).

    I am often told that older generations have always felt the present situation is worse than the past. Perhaps true - but the testimony of history from as early as any history is available is that civilizations have started, grown, become powerful, declined and been obliterated. The Bible itself testifies to that reality.

    So, should we be surprised that the Bible does in fact chronicle this process? But I find most believers quite unconcerned with what God might be saying to us about this? A few decades ago when our family moved back to the US after living overseas for a few years the thing for believers was to move to (fill in the blank) and build a cabin in a stockade, stockpile food, weapons and ammo and learn to live off the land. I know that's still out there, but it seems a lot quieter now. What I mainly hear is something like, "Don't worry about it; hunker down and just make it through; we're not going to be around here when the bottom drops out anyway."

    I don't believe that's the Bible answer for most of us. He did counsel Noah to prepare for such a disaster, but in the mean time his task was apparently clear as he was "a preacher of righteousness" for 120 years while the ark was prepared. What might that mean for us?

    I think the answer is woven through out the entire Bible really; and I'll propose a tentative answer for discussion. It's to live, work and invest our resources in such a way so the people around us get a taste of the Kingdom of God.