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Friday, January 12, 2018

Food Gone Bad... PHEW!

Many years ago my wife asked me to tell her that I loved her every day and as far as I can remember, that is one request that I have never failed to fulfill.  If anything, I usually mention those three special words from the depths of my heart multiple times a day!  I believe she wanted to be reminded that our love for each other is new, fresh and stronger each and every new day.

Even though the effects of Alzheimer’s has negated her ability to respond to me much anymore, I continue to tell her how much I love her each and every day.  On some days the most special moments for me are spent kneeling down next to her chair, holding her hand, looking into her still bright brown eyes and telling her how much I love her.  Every-so-often I’ll catch a little spark or a moment of a glow in her eyes from deep inside that lets me know that she is acknowledging my words to her.

Those daily words and intimate times of holding her hand are some of the things that keep me going through the roller coaster ride that we have been on since those first tests in the summer of 2007 in Broken Arrow Oklahoma.  Words cannot describe how blessed I am to have had such a special and close relationship with this wonderful women.  I was looking at one of her many pictures that I have framed on the walls in our dining room the other day and began to tear up as I thanked Papa God for her.  What really got to me at that moment was the realization of how much the Father must love me by giving me this wonderful, beautiful, smart, holy and all around spunky partner in life.

The oneness of our relationship through the years has been one of the greatest aspects of dealing with all the changes that have occurred in her through this personality stealing disease.  Because we have been so close, it has been easy for me to see and hold on to all the other indicators she may show through her eyes, body movements, an almost unnoticeable nod of the head, or the way she’ll sometimes slide her hand into mine and hold it while I am physically adjusting her position in her chair.

I believe that the closeness that Piper and I continued to develop since those first heart-fluttering days in High School in September of 1970 is similar to the type of relationship that every Christian should be developing between them and God from the first days of their relationship together.  And just how does one develop that kind of relationship with God… I’m glad you asked!  Through the pages and adventures found in His book, the Bible.

The Apostle John called Jesus the Word of God at the very beginning of his gospel declaring that “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1 KJV)  In a personal letter to his protégé and fledgling Pastor Timothy, Paul reminded him that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man (and woman) of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (II Timothy 3:16-17 KJV) And John summed it all up in the last book of the Bible in his revelation/vision of Jesus when he described Jesus as wearing “clothes dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God.” (Revelation 19:13 God’s Word ©)

So if Jesus is the Word of God, how else then would one get to know Him than through His Word!  And on top of that… Paul told Timothy that the other benefit of studying the Word was that it “is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man (and woman) of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

I was trying to think back to when I started studying the Word on a regular basis and figured that it had to be when we began attending a small church meeting in a large motel in the early 1980’s.  Pastor Doug was a great teacher of the Bible and brought forth such depth and meaning from its pages that I remember being overwhelmed with excitement, expectation, hunger and zeal to know all I could about Jesus!  So, today, like I’ve said in many a post, I cannot even fathom what it would be like without a day that begins in personal time with Him in His Word.

Another Pastor we served under once taught that the Bible is like an onion with many layers.  It never gets old, it stays fresh and current to the events happening in your life and it always has His answers to the questions you face.  Therefore… in answer to the question I proposed at the end of Wednesday’s post (1/10/18  “Diet Plans…”), I believe that it is important for us to spend some meaningful time in God’s Word on a daily basis.

Which reminds me of Moses and the Children of Israel in the wilderness when God sent manna for them to eat.  Moses instructed them to go out each morning and “gather as much as you can eat.”  But he also warned them that “no one may keep any of it until morning” as it wouldn’t keep fresh.  But you know people… some of them did it anyway but were rudely awakened when they discovered the next morning that the left overs were “full of worms and smelled bad.” (Exodus 16:15,16,19,20 God’s Word ©)

Have you ever experienced the shock of opening up a container of some special food you saved and are blown away by the terrible stench of food that’s gone bad… Phew!  Well, I think that Moses’ words to his followers are a type and shadow of us reading the written Word of God on a daily basis.  I have found out that when the tough times come… and they do eventually come to all of us… that I don’t want to be depending on a stale revelation from God’s Word.  It works a lot better for me when that revelation is fresh and new to that day.  It not only taste better in the situation I’m facing, but is also a lot more powerful in helping me to stand for the victory I need in that particular circumstance.

So… what will it be for you?  Stale… old PHEWY revelation… or FRESH and empowering for what you are currently staring down?  And please don’t give me the excuse that “I don’t have the time…” I have also learned the hard way through the years, that all of us always tend make time for what is important to us!  It is all a matter of personal priorities!

So… have a great weekend even if you have to make some minor (or major) priority changes in your life in order to spend more time getting to know God in His Word.   And as you do, keep asking yourself… “How much closer am I expecting to get with my heavenly Father as I spend personal time with Him alone in His Word… today?”

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