When I read advertisements like these I am reminded of the line in the movie “The Wizard of Oz” when Dorothy comments to her dog upon their unexpected arrival in the land of Oz, “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore, Toto!” Articles on such events or the lighted sign outside a local gas station that advertises “Fried Chicken Livers Inside” would be unusual, to say the least, in the high tech/information tech business mecca of Northern California from which we moved!
Don’t get me wrong! I am not being critical of the local culture nor of that in Northern California.* My comment is just to demonstrate how different the various regions of our country as well as those around the world can be! My wife and I actually enjoy grits and I think it would be a blast to attend the festival which, by the way, will be held in St. George, SC April 10-12. It is free and you can call 843-563-7943 for more information.
Yesterday afternoon, as my wife, the pooch and I were preparing to head out on our first neighborhood walk of the day, I was discussing the blog post from yesterday (“Strange Voices”) and had just commented on the thought of paying more attention to what people may say rather than who they are, when the words from Mark 16:20 popped into my mind. Here the writer of the second Gospel ends his recording of Jesus’ activities by leaving the reader with the thought that “going out, they (the disciples of Jesus) preached everywhere, the Lord working with (them) and confirming the word (the Logos) by (miraculous) signs following.” (MKJV)
My immediate thought while I untangled myself from the dog’s leash and stumbled over to my notebook on the kitchen table so I could write down my star-struck revelation, was that this is the reason we need to be more in tune to people’s words than in getting hung up or even dependent on who they are. The Bible tells us that Jesus works with and confirms His Word that is spoken from our lips! Remember that the word “them” is not in the original manuscripts. It was added by the translators of the King James Version, most likely to fit their personal understanding or training.
It is His Word that makes the difference for us in this world! It is His Word spoken through our lips that can change our natural circumstances. It is His Word that calms us in all the potentially scary situations we may face, fills us with peace when everything around us seems to be crumbling before our eyes, saves the sinner, heals our bodies, meets our needs and gives us the earnest expectation and confidence of His love working in and through our lives unto others when He declares that He “will never neglect you or abandon you.” (Joshua 1:5 God’s Word ©)
Hebrews 4:12 tells us that God’s word “is full of life and power…” (Weymouth New Testament) Proverbs 4:20-22 encourages us to pay attention to His words “because they are life to those that find them and they heal the whole body.” (God’s Word ©) I believe that this was the source of life that the angel of the Lord meant to direct the women at the tomb to. (Luke 24:5) It is the one place for us to go to today that is full of His life and His power!
Do you need any changes today? Well then, I would strongly encourage you to look for it among the living, powerful and active Word of the living God! And you know what is great about it? God’s Word is the same anywhere and at any time! (See Hebrews 13:8) It doesn’t matter what region of the world you live in… for He will work with and confirm the Word with accompanying signs… just for you… as you speak out His Word - in faith, believing. Have a terrific day! Stay in tune to His Word and keep asking yourself… “What or Who’s Word am I expecting for Him to work with and confirm today?”
*PS: We now live in an area called “The Research Triangle” which was established for and known as a center of High Tech companies and enterprises and includes three major universities. In fact, Duke just won the NCAA title game!