11/30/15 – 339
Welcome back! Did you make it through the holiday weekend OK? I sincerely hope you all had a good time of fellowship with loved ones, old and new, and some good times of remembering those who are no longer with us. Today we begin a new story, and as usual, I have a difficult time deciding which of the myriad of Bible stories to delve into. There are so many and each one is richer than the next in meaning and truth.
What we have not yet done is work in the New Testament in this series. There are still many stories in the Old that I
would love to study with you, and I tend to to lean that way because I feel that in most churches today the Old Testament is sadly under-emphasized, as if it no longer means anything. But Jesus Himself said this:
Matthew 5:17-19 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 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. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
We also seem to forget that whenever Jesus spoke about scripture, or said things like “it is written”, He was talking about what we now call the Old Testament. The New Testament hadn’t even been started yet! So, I just think that if Jesus thought that part of the Bible was important, we probably should too. But I don’t want to ignore the other side either.
So, let’s take a look at some of the New Testament stories and see what we can find. Again, we won’t sugar coat these or leave out the ugly parts if there are any. We’ll just take an honest, open look as best we can at whatever areas the Spirit leads us into.
Since this is the Christmas season, I thought we might start with the obvious – the Christmas story. I’m pretty sure we all know the basics, so I’m going to try it from a different slant. The plan is to try to put ourselves into the story by looking at it from the perspectives of those who were there. This should be an interesting exercise if nothing else, but I hope it will open us up spiritually for God to work in us in a new way.
On the other hand, it could turn out to be really cheesy and flop like a soggy pancake. But I promise to do my best in writing it – if you’ll promise to give it your best in reading it. So, what do you say? Are you up for an adventure?
Let’s pray for that today – that the Holy Spirit would guide my mind, heart and hand in writing this story in a new way, so that your hearts and souls might be touched and lifted up through these devotionals in the coming weeks.