January 3, 2004


Mrs. Tek7
Tek asked me to pick up Day 3 of our daily devotion.  I'm not sure if that was a good idea or not, but I'll give it my best attempt with what time I have.  I can't even begin to approach his eloquence, especially when I'm out of school and I thought my brain was on vacation!

I found today's exerpt from My Utmost for His Highest here.  This isn't to replace the book--I would consider it a staple item in any believer's library.  I just thought it might help facilitate discussion if you'd like to contribute but you haven't gotten the book yet.

For a relatively short devotion, Chambers' text packs quite a punch.  With each sentence, you get more bang for your buck. [Insert any other relevant cliche here].  In today's devotion, Chambers seems to address two main issues: understanding and reverence.  


As Chambers points out, we can't expect unbelievers to understand the teachings of Jesus.  Before we are allowed such insight, we must first yield ourselves to Him.  It is the Spirit of God that gives light to the Word for our own, personal understanding.  I was trying to think of an analogy to illustrate this point.  My first thought was a child reading a book.  A fairy tale perhaps.  He may enjoy the pictures, and he might even think the story is alright.  Then, as he matures into adulthood, the story becomes clearer, and he may find a moral or some deeper meaning to the tale.  I thought, "Sure, kind of like spiritual maturation."  Nevertheless, after pondering it some more, I think my analogy was a little off.  Instead of becoming more like the adult, we are like little children.  Children with a loving father who whispers into our ear the moral of the story and gives clarity to what we otherwise would not understand.  We can thank God that we don't always have to see things as "clouds and darkness," but as "spirit and life" instead.


Chambers also addresses the related issue of reverence.  He writes, "If we have never had the experience of taking our commonplace religious shoes off our commonplace religious feet, and getting rid of all the undue familiarity with which we approach God, it is questionable whether we have ever stood in His presence."  Even those of us with the privilege of understanding God's Word may stumble in this area upon occasion.  An updated version of Chambers' text replaces the word "commonplace" with "casual."  How can I feel comfortable just casually walking up to the Throne of God, muttering a quick prayer, and dismissing myself before I allow God to get a word in edgewise?  How often do I do it anyway?  This is the Creator of the Universe here!  May we never find God so familiar that we forget who He is.  May we never approach Him without the reverence and awe He is due.  It is God's desire that we truly experience Him.
I understand that I'm a few days late making this post, but this week has been rather packed and what I want to share is (intended to be) brief.

While reading this day's devotional, I thought back to something my pastor had told the congregation about parables. I can't say it was anything revolutionary, but it was enlightening.

Jesus began his ministry speaking plainly to the people. He then reached a point where, if he continued speaking plainly, the religious leaders would soon sieze and kill him--and it was not yet his time to die. So, instead of stopping his ministry altogether, he began speaking in parables. By using parables, he was able to reach and minister to those who did wish to hear the Word and, for a time, avoid the wrath of those whose hearts were closed.

If we are to understand the Word--truly grasp it and bury it like seeds in our hearts--then we must make it our focus and purpose to grow closer to the Lord. Reading for the sake of reading benefits little. Reading for the sake of serving the Lord and growing closer to Him yields great benefits.