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Spreading Your Message

3 John 1:13 

I have much to write you, but I do not want to do so with pen and ink.

Did you ever get a text from someone who piqued your interest with something like this, “I can’t wait to tell you what happened this weekend. Here’s a hint. You’ve gotta see what I’m wearing!”

That kind of message makes you determined to see them face to face. You want to hear more from them. Is it a new uniform to wear to a new job? An engagement ring? A maternity dress? An expensive business suit? If you know your friend really well, you have an idea of what they’re going to show you or tell you about when they see you. Did they get that promotion they had been hoping for? Sometimes you have to wait to find out. But waiting is so rare with today’s technology.

A lot of people are more connected with their friends these days because of texting and Skype and emails and other communication apps. Today’s technology puts a giant spotlight on our interests. Do you meet with friends over an online war game? Do you play word games with several friends on handheld devices? It makes me wonder what apps people would’ve used in the Bible days.

Would Paul have had a popular blog with thousands of comments on each of the daily posts? Would Luke have his own YouTube channel where he posted “medical-related miracle” videos?

I’m sure that whatever the application used, they would’ve made sure that their words had the same impact with technology as it has had without it. They were simply letting their own technology carry the message. It was quite powerful without all the graphics.

Let’s take a minute to think about our message? Does it honor God? And how is it being carried to others? Am I living the message of God to those around me? Does my writing have the right kind of impact? Am I being true to my gifts and the God who gave them to me?

How are we using the words God has been filling us with? Someone once told me that every conversation is an opportunity for ministry. Don’t wait around and expect pastors to do the work of spreading God’s love. It’s our job too. With every word we say or type or write, we’re spreading a message. What’s your message?

The Enduring Word

Luke 16:17
It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law.

If you’ve studied the Bible, you may have noticed that there are a lot of places where God said something would happen, and then later a different place in the Bible shows that it did happen. God isn’t into gambling. If he says something is going to happen, it’s truly a sure thing. So when God tells us he loves us, we don’t have to wonder if that’s true. When Jesus says he’s preparing a place for us, don’t say, “Really?” Instead, say, “What color are the walls?”

God wants us to believe what he says. This is also stated in Matthew 5:18, “For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”

Through the ages, God’s word has proven to our ancestors that though our technology changes from ark to chariot to car to jet, he’s always with us, providing solutions to our problems. God has given us promises in the Bible that many of us don’t take seriously enough. Why? I don’t know. Maybe because we’re trying to see how much we can accomplish without God’s help. I have kids in school who come to me, asking for help when they need to figure out what to do next. God waits for us to come to him, asking for help too. We’re his kids. And he has all the answers.

The same words Moses wrote so many years ago still apply to us today. We have the same wisdom God gave to Solomon because Solomon wrote down much of it for us to read. Should we tell God that the Bible available to us today is antiquated and useless? Just because it was written a very long time ago, doesn’t mean it’s powerless. The age of the text doesn’t give it power. And there’s no expiration date.

The reason God’s words have endured  is because God said them. If I made a promise that my neighbor would give you twenty dollars, you wouldn’t expect to receive that money like you would if my neighbor made that promise himself. God has made promises to us that he backs up with his presence and his power.

God’s word endures because God endures. God’s word is powerful because God is powerful. God’s word is true because God is truth.

The Word of God

Jeremiah 8:8

How can you say, “We are wise, for we have the law of the Lord,” when actually the lying pen of the scribes has handled it falsely?

When we hold up our Bibles and declare to the world that we have wisdom, but we don’t spend time in prayer or give to the orphans and widows or spend time just worshipping the Lord, we deceive ourselves. How can we say we have wisdom when we don’t spend time getting to know God? He is the one who gives us wisdom. Without a close relationship with God, our wisdom is foolishness.  

This is what the Lord says: “Let not the wise boast of their wisdom or the strong boast of their strength or the rich boast of their riches, but let the one who boasts boast about this: that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight,” declares the Lord.     Jeremiah 9:23-24

Anyone can read the Bible. Those who read and believe what God says about himself are on the right path. You can only act on belief in God if you have belief in God.

If you ever find yourself studying the Bible in your own intellect, not asking God for wisdom, take a step back and reconnect with God. I’ve done that. I’ve tried to figure out things on my own, but nothing was making sense. I had to set my Bible study aside for a moment and find out what God wanted me to do instead. Sometimes he asks us to pray for others or take action to help others.

It’s best to start our Bible reading time with a reconnecting, a time of heart-to-heart with God. Then we’ll be ready to stop and listen when we notice he’s trying to whisper something into our hearts. God can help us navigate the wisdom in the Bible when we stop shoving him away and start paying attention to his subtle guidance.

His word is truth. Always. But anyone can take truth and twist it to deceive others. Our relationship with God will strengthen our ability to see the truth when others try to distract and deceive us. It’s not the Bible we should believe in, but the God of the Bible.

Without the Lord, there is no word of the Lord.