I’ve been spending a lot of time on my knees lately but before you think that I am getting all pious on you, let me explain that in preparing the house for sale in the spring, my first project has been to clean up and repair the floorboards, doorframes and doors in the hallways and room entrances. I quickly became aware that this type of cleaning is very similar to washing and waxing your car. I’ve always said that you definitely learn the shape and condition of your car’s body when you are working a few inches away from it! I can now say the same thing about the walls and floors in our house!
Under closer observation, I discovered that former occupants may not have been as particular with their painting and repair skills as I like to be. So, I have spent a little extra time cleaning up other people’s mishaps. It also means that I’ve had a lot of time to think about a lot of things as sanding and painting isn’t exactly rocket-science… if you know what I mean!
For some reason yesterday afternoon, I suddenly found myself on the subject of my time spent in the Bible. And I began to wonder aloud if Piper and I were just normal Christians or were seen as a little bit over zealous with the strong emphasis we exemplified in our dependence on what we considered to be the finite truth we’ve always been increasingly hungry to dig out from the 66 books found in what Christians call the Holy Bible. To us it was just a normal lifestyle that we never questioned.
Let’s face it, as I have mentioned many times before, just hanging out with Piper Canevari in High School caused me to develop a hunger for the Word of God that I had felt before but never understood until she lived her Christian relationship with God before me. She just seemed to have an innate, childlike, personal and very practical understanding and application of her Bible. It was just who she was… and I quickly fell in love with that… and every other part of her! (I know… this is beginning to sound like a Hallmark movie… but it is true!)
To this day, I still am not sure where she picked it up either. Her family seemed to have a good knowledge of the Word, but it was nothing like the way Piper simply lived it every moment of her life whether at church, with the family, at school or alone with me on a date. When the WWJD* slogan became popular in the 1990’s, I used to laugh every time I heard it, because that pattern of behavior was just standard issue in our life since the beginnings of our relationship in 1970.
Our dependence on the Word really exploded in the mid-seventies when we began to learn about the authority of the believer and the teachings of who we as Christians in Christ. We were excited to live Scriptures that tell of Jesus yielding His authority to believers like those found in the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20 when Jesus told His followers that "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (EMTV).
Then there are those that tell of our legal standing in Christ including Ephesians 2:6 where Paul explains that with our salvation we have been “raised us up together, and seated us together in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus” (EMTV) or in Mark’s rendition of the Great Commission where Jesus declared that “these signs shall accompany those who have believed: In My name they shall cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall pick up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it shall by no means hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall be well." (Mark 16:17-18 EMTV)
And then as if to prove that what he had just written was accurate, Mark concluded his Gospel saying, “So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with (them**), and confirming the word with signs following.” (Mark 16:19-21 KJV)
So, what else can I say but WOW! I guess you can see why we chose to live our lives with such a dependence on the Word of God. And if I were to answer my question that I asked while massaging my aching knees yesterday, I would smile, think about ALL the circled and underlined scriptures throughout Piper’s two Bibles that I keep handy, one on her nightstand and the other for quick reference on the dining room table, and answer that for us... the time spent in God's Word was... just normal!
Looking back at our lives today, I would declare that I think that we did just fine… and state unequivocally that I am NOT about to start spending less time in my Bible now in this new chapter of my life. I believe like the Psalmist wrote in Psalm 119:160, who most think was David, as he wrote to lend wisdom to his son Solomon when he was about to take over the throne professing that: “There is nothing but truth in your (God’s) word, and all of your righteous regulations endure forever.” (God’s Word ©)
So… what about you... enough or not enough time? Have a good rest of the week, and as you do, say with me… “I expect to continue to take God’s Word as the final truth in my life today!”
*What Would Jesus Do?
**The word “THEM” is not actually in the original manuscripts and was added by the translators. Therefore, when you read the statement correctly, the verse describes how it is the Lord Who is working with and through His Word… through us on this earth!