“If you want to hear God speak, read your Bible out loud.” ~ Piper
I was asked this week to provide a ‘prayer service’ for a family who was mourning the loss of a father. It is one thing to encourage those I teach to seek answers to their questions in what is anchored in truth… but something entirely different to stand among a group of hurting people who do not know that The Truth they need is found in the person of Jesus Christ. I spoke about walking with The Shepherd who desires to guide you through the ‘valley of the shadow of death’ and in whose presence we can ‘fear no evil’ and ‘have no want.’ I encouraged them to seek comfort for their wounded hurt in His presence where ‘He makes us lie down in green pastures and drink from still waters.’ I offered them the comfort of His Words that “restore our soul and would guide them through their pain along ‘paths of righteousness for His names sake.'” But still seeing the emptiness in their eyes, I left feeling I had failed them, yet hopeful knowing that God’s Word does not return void, being able to pierce through the darkest places. Having prayed with them… asking our God to light the way to Himself so they might find hope, I am confident that all that can found in Christ is made available to those who seek Him.
Paul writes, “I once thought these things (that is position, wealth, birthright, knowledge, respect, religious tradition and rituals employment, and self righteousness) were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the ‘infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.’ For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ” (Philippians 3:7-8).
Does your heart beat like Paul’s, desiring Christ above all else? When you do finally read the Bible, is it to gain some trinket of knowledge… or is it to intimately ‘know’ the One who gave His life for you? Paul desired to ‘know’ Christ above all else, not for position, knowledge, or wealth, but because Jesus loves Him with His life, and desires to bring Paul into the presence of God. It did not matter the cost, because Jesus is ‘the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no one comes to The Father but through Him.’ (John 14:6)
That is the truth those who are hurting need to find, and you to intently know. Thank God His Word does not return void and that He is at work in our lives today.
“Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17:3)
Praying U choose Christ today
Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, and grandfather with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is a member of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church.
Daily Quote: “Do you think the devil is impressed by anyone’s Bible knowledge or degree-certificates? Not at all. Satan fears only holy, humble men and women who know God.” – Zac Poonen
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy, Psalm 33:18