Lord, give us ears to hear

One way (possibly) to express what the word of God means in full (besides getting so narrow to say it means only the Bible) is this passage in Amos:

9     On that day, says the Lord God,
I will make the sun go down at noon,
and I will darken the earth in broad daylight.
10 I will turn your feasts into sad affairs
and all your singing into a funeral song;
I will make people wear mourning clothes
and shave their heads;
I will make it like the loss of an only child,
and the end of it like a bitter day.
11 The days are surely coming, says the Lord God,
when I will send hunger and thirst on the land;
neither a hunger for bread, nor a thirst for water,
but of hearing the Lord ’s words.
12 They will wander from sea to sea,
and from north to east;
they will roam all around, seeking the Lord’s word,
but they won’t find it. (Amos 8:9-12)

The famine of the word isn’t about lacking a printed word. It’s about the Lord not speaking any longer. There isn’t a “fresh word” from God.

It’s not something in addition to the written word. It is the ability to hear God.

Lord, give us ears to hear! Let the written word be made alive by the Living Word! Without hearing the Living Word, the written word can be right in front of us and we are still blind! We could still be deaf!

Speak to us, Living Word. Let us hear your word to the Church today!

 

The hand of God with Ezra

One thing that has always stood out to me with Ezra was his commitment to the Law of the Lord. He gave himself to seeking the kingdom.

There is this last line in Ezra 7:9 — “…for the gracious hand of his God was on him.” Followed by this explanation in v. 10:

For Ezra had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel.

May we have a hunger for the Word, for the Kingdom, for ALL that is available to us! And may we observe the rule of our King!

 

The Core of Why We Must “Eat This Book”

Our reading for this Sunday is Philippians, 1-2 Timothy, and Titus. As I read through 2 Timothy 3:10-4:5, I am once again convicted by these words. These verses are probably core to why the Spirit has led us on this journey as a church to read the entire New Testament this summer.

2 Tim. 3:16-17 is central. We need the power of the Word in our lives. We need the conviction of the Scripture to become so central.

Our problem over the last several decades has been we proclaim to be “people of the Book,” but we haven’t even read the Book, let alone allow the Book to be used of the Spirit to mold us into the image of Christ.

As an offshoot of that problem has been the warped way we have done Bible study. We either get into this mode of asking, “What does this mean to me” without regard to what the text may actually say, or… We have become so lost in “examining the text” we have hopped up on “exegetical methods” and “higher critical methods” that we have forgotten a fundamental issue of the Word of God: While we are called to examine the Word, what is more important is that the Word examine us.

We have become arrogant. We have come to a place where we think we know better and we can actually explain away so much of the text so that just about nothing applies to our lives and we live pretty much unchanged.

There was a word I grew up with that doesn’t exist in Christianity any more. We’ve relegated it to a court term. Conviction.

We’ve lost our ability to sit and soak up the Word and let it examine us.

And we are not more enlightened. We are more in the dark than ever before.

As a church this summer, I invite every one of us again to “eat this book.” Be devoured by what the Word just may speak to you.