Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Get the Message

As I read through the Bible this year, I have decided to read from The Message. I have used this version many different times in preaching and enjoy the different perspective it brings for me. As I started this morning, I read an essay by Andrew Peterson (author of this version) that shared the concept of Read, Think, Pray, Live. This isn't the first time that I have heard this from him, but it is something I have been meditating on all day long. 

I strongly believe in the authoritative power of God's Word for our lives. I have no doubt in my mind at all about its complete accuracy and the ability of that Word to create a tension that can only be resolved through the power of the Holy Spirit. In spite of my confidence in the veracity of the Word and God's ability to reveal His true nature through it, I sometimes struggle with maintaining my firm commitment to reading & applying it. I find myself getting distracted or even (dare I say it?) bored as I read through the year. It can lead to periods of time when I am reading for the sake of reading and no life transformation or powerful revelation seems to occur. 

Dwelling on Peterson's challenge of Read, Think, Pray, Live narrows my focus to what is important and is something that can be encouraging to anyone. We don't necessarily have to figure it all out as we sit there. There doesn't have to be a resounding chorus of angels singing as we read it. What will happen as we follow those four words is that we will be striving to put into practice (in our flawed & mistake-filled fashion) what we read, and trusting God to guide us as we trust Him. Those four actions will identify us as Christ followers who are committed to studying the Scriptures, letting our mind work around them, seeking God's wisdom, and then taking action. 

I'd like to see what would happen when a local church is filled with people committed to doing just that.

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