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Being in the Word of God is important, we all know that, but it is often easier said than done. Life comes upon us and interrupts. I love that advertisement for the Bible player on television. The sale of this is premised upon the idea that it is much more accessible because you can listen to the words wherever and whenever. I love the expressions of the actors as they breathe a sigh of relief as the Word is being read. The advertisement is kind of cheesy, but the premise is sound. Listening or reading the Word of God will offer comfort and calm in turbulent times. God speaks to us within his Word and desires for us to understand his providence and love.
Just like we know that eating the right foods will help us, the Bible will feed us in the spiritually right way, but we often choose other things. We get in our own way and, sometimes, find things to do without thinking of opening the Word. It is a part of that brokenness within us. We would rather have that treat than the healthy food when we consume and many would rather indulge in a mindless show or book or magazine instead of reading or hearing the Word of God. Most of us, I don’t believe, do that on purpose. After a long day, it’s nice to just sit down and veg out. Take a break from the worries of this world and not have to think. When things are going tough, it is easy to be caught up with a desire to find a solution for the problem, instead of taking time to pray or be in the Word.
For followers of Christ, we can find comfort knowing that we are loved by our Lord and he doesn’t hold us hostage by establishing conditions for his love for us. The love that our Lord has for us is given in spite of us and all he desires for us to do is accept him and his love. This is the truth of our faith and our Lord Jesus Christ died for all who believe and trust in him. This is a gift and our belief and trust is our unwrapping of that gift. The reading and prayer that follows in response help our trust increase and strengthens us in our belief that God gives us. In this we show our love of God and our love for Jesus which will increase our witness in a world that needs to know the comfort given in the love our Lord.
How do we reach out? That is a topic that has been of great focus of in this section. Outreach can be both internal and external. Another focus has been on how we are called to be family. We don’t want to be a family that is exclusive, but a family that is growing. That means it isn’t about finding those that fit but like families that are growing each member helps to shape and change the dynamics of the family.
As a father of six, each of my children as they grow and develop are very different from one another. Sometimes this causes friction because one wants things one way and another wants it another. We, as a church family, will have similar frictions from time to time. With my children when this occurs it takes conversation and continuing to clarify the things that are of most importance. In the church, it is important that we do the same. The most important thing is that, as the church, the most important things are kept in the front of mind. Ultimately, the church exists not solely for those that are members, but for those that are not yet.
Our witness is only strengthened by how we care for one another and love one another. This means it is important to not take part in gossip or triangulation. That witness extends outside of our walls because it will affect how we talk with others and, particularly, how we talk about one another. Let your life and your words reflect the love you have for Jesus and for your fellow followers of Christ and your witness will increase which will be a great light to those who walk in darkness.