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Friday, January 9, 2015

Making History...

As I stood in the balmy 25 degree morning temperature on the back lawn waiting for the pooch to complete her activates outside our apartment home earlier today, I thought to myself that I need to notate the bit of history that occurred over the last couple of days.  Standing out there this morning was quite a bit different than late the other night when I stood in the same place with 10 mile an hour winds creating a wind chill factor that registered 5 degrees!  That was some early history of our stay in North Carolina that I wanted to remember.  My wife and I had successfully navigated through the coldest stretch of weather since our arrival almost eight months ago.
Later on when I resumed my study of Luke 4:16-29, I also took a few moments to remember some other historical points in my life.  I recalled that night back in September of 1970 when I had arranged to meet up with a spunky young Piper Canevari at the first dance of our senior year of High School.  That occasion officially marked the night when we became a known item!  Then there was the night at the convention my wife and I attended in Oklahoma back in the 2004 when the Lord clearly spoke to me about attending Bible College.  That was a tough decision for me and even tougher on our two youngest kids, but it also became the focal decision that would ultimately change their lives for the good!
Through the years there have been all kinds of events in our lives that have left a mark in our history... both good and bad.  There’s the night at work when the doctor’s office called to give me the results of Piper’s initial brain scans in 2007 when I had to make a mad dash to the outside storage racks to be alone as I tried to make sense of the devastating news and get some semblance of control over my emotions.  Then there was the following of the Lord’s directions to quit my outside job in order to dedicate myself to the care of my wife, and lately the decision to follow the Lord’s leading to relocate across the country.
All of these events describe history being made in our lives. I am sure that each of you can also jot down dozens of decisions and/or events that made history in your individual lives.  Just for fun, you might want to take a moment right now and write down some of those events!  In Luke 4:21 Jesus tells those listening to Him that they were witnessing history in the making that very day.  In the Message Bible it says, “Then he started in, ‘You’ve just heard scripture make history.  It came true just now in this place.”
The idea of the scripture making history really grabbed my attention as I read this!  It made me remember Paul’s teaching to the church at Ephesus about His grace being “God’s plan for all history which he carried out through Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Ephesians 3:11 God’s Word ©)  It would seem that Papa God wants His Word to make history in our lives!  As I sat in wonder over that revelation, I found myself writing down the declaration that “I am looking for the Word to make history in my life on a daily basis…” and I circled in bright red ink!  What do you think about that for you?  Is that a declaration that you want circled in bright red and be foremost in your mind?
As I looked deeper into Jesus’ statement I also discovered the activator of that history making ability.  It is that little word “heard!”  Jesus said that “You’ve just HEARD scripture make history…”  The James Moffatt translation says that “Today this scripture is fulfilled IN YOUR HEARING.”  And from what we talked about yesterday, you see that most of the folks present that day did not “HEAR” and therefore understand what Jesus was REALLY talking about!
That got me to thinking about how each of us HEAR” the Word of God.  Do we “HEAR” it as a casual observer, as a judge of it, or as a son or daughter of the living God and thereby understanding it to be the wisdom and power of our loving and faithful Papa?  The old saying that “the meaning is lost in the translation” would prove to be very true in this situation!
My wife and I were listening to a young minister teach on following the call of God in conjunction with one’s dependence on other things.  He asked the thought provoking question about our first reactions to God’s directions to us to “GO ye…” (See Matthew 28:19 KJV)  Is our initial reaction to check our bank accounts, our calendars or to first consider everything else that we have going on in our lives at that moment?  In other words, are we letting other things effect how we "HEAR" God?
An interesting point about this particular story in Luke is that history WAS made that day.  God’s Word WAS true that day… but most of the attendees were not able to receive or “HEAR” and take advantage of Jesus’ truth until after His resurrection!  God’s Word is true and full of wisdom and power today… but can only make history in our lives when we “HEAR” it and put it to work in our lives!
The interpreters of the King James Version call what The Message Bible paraphrases as scripture making history as the “eternal purpose which He (Papa God) purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  God’s ultimate purpose is for us to allow His Word to make history in and through our lives to others on a daily basis!  WOW!  What a thought!  You and I and God making history!  That’s what I want… How about you?  Have a great weekend.  Stay in tune to “HEARING” His Word and keep asking yourself… “What History am I expecting to allow God’s Word to make in and through me today?”

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