Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Your Unfolding Gives Light
The unfolding of your words gives light;it imparts understanding to the simple. (Ps. 119:130)
On Sunday Craig preached from 2 Timothy 4:1-2 where Paul exhorts Timothy to "preach the word." Craig instructed that this text is often the most popular section of the Bible for ordination services and for preachers to meditate on in their service of the church. However, Craig's emphasis was on the responsibility of the church (not just pastors) to allow the power of the word to "reprove, rebuke, exhort" us daily. This comes when we approach the word as the authority over our lives.
Paul's charge to Timothy is not just that Timothy preach the authoritative word, but that I recieve and actively pursue its correction in my life.
Craig said, "there is resident power in the Word of God that when proclaimed--a miracle happens." This miracle is the kind correction of God that help us to see the ugliness of sin and the beauty of Jesus. It is the means by which the Holy Spirit opens our eyes to truth. Namely that God is holy, I am sinful, and the cross is my hope.
Because the preached Word has this kind of "resident power" we were challenged to "raise our expectations and anticipation" of what God will speak into our lives. Specifically...
1. Pray for the pastor that is preaching--for faithfulness to the text. That the preacher will see the glories of Christ.
2. Prepare your heart throughout the week to be ready to hear God on Sunday
3. Come to the meeting EXPECTING to hear from the Lord personally
4. Listen actively while the word is heralded
5. Repent where you see you are lazy in the word or falling short
6. Ask for a hunger for the word.
For me, when Craig referenced Ps. 119:130 my heart leaped. It is an amazing thing that words on a piece of paper, that when preached, bring "light" to see the truth of who God is.
God is a God that loves to communicate the contours of His beauty. He has spilled out truth all over His creation--from tiny tree insects, to mammoth elephants--from the laziest ripple of a puddle, to the waves of a tsunami. He has not created the universe to go secret, but to reveal His glory.
However, the revelation of this glory in creation is a black hole compared to the light that shines out of His word.
I am stunned by the plain fact that apart from the Holy Spirit illuminating my heart to the "resident" blaze of God's Word, I will lose my way. I will stumble and fall because the light of creation doesn't describe the person and work of a Savior apart from the informing work of the Word. In the word of God (Bible), the Word of God (Jesus) is "unfolded" before me. He is the Lamp unto my feet, and the Light unto my path (John 14:6; Ps. 119:105).
Lord, make the ears and eyes of my heart hear Your voice, and see Your beauty through the word. Make me hungry for the Bible--not for a cerebral experience, but for the joy of Your presence.