With today’s devotion, I want to do a little teaching…leading to some challenges for you to apply.
Next time you fly in a commercial airline check out the safety instruction card that is usually found in the seat pocket in front of you. Here’s what one such United Airlines card says. “If you’re sitting in an exit row and you cannot understand this card or cannot see well enough to follow these instructions, please tell a crew member.”
Obviously, those directions present a slight problem. If people can’t understand the card or see the instructions, how can they be expected to tell a crew member about it? Sounds like a catch-22! Believe it or not, the Bible is a lot like that safety instruction card. Many people read scripture without understanding it. It makes absolutely no sense to them. Not because they lack eyesight or reading ability, but because they lack faith.
As Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 1:18… For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.
In other words, unless you have faith you won’t understand the Bible. But unless you understand the Bible you won’t have faith. Sounds kind of like a catch-22…or is it?
Romans 10:17… Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ.
That’s why we have the Holy Spirit! When we turn to the Bible with a willingness to learn about God…the Holy Spirit will reveal what He is saying. Even the deep things of God.
1 Corinthians 2:9-10…. “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” the things God has prepared for those who love him— these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
Whenever you study God’s word with an open heart the Holy Spirit helps you understand it so that you can grow stronger in your faith.
If you read God’s Word and then think, “That was a waste of time, I got nothing out of it”, think again…it always enlightens!!!
Isaiah 55:11… so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
God also uses people like us to explain The Bible to unbelievers. When someone tells you, they don’t understand The Bible, that’s like an airplane passenger telling a flight attendant they don’t understand the safety instruction card….it’s the flight attendant’s job to help you understand it.
And the Holy Spirit will use you to make God’s Word clear to others.
Make what clear? The fact that God created paradise (it was good)…created man to enjoy His creation…and yet we see that man (and woman) wanted to be their own God and make their own rules, they sinned.
God was disappointed but still loved them and created a way to restore the broken relationship. He sent His sinless Son, Jesus to take our punishment.
Through faith, we are forgiven and have eternal life.
It’s the reality of the Law showing us our sin…and the good news of the Gospel showing us our Savior!!!!!
So, who is this Amazing God of the Bible…and how can I get to know Him better…as my Lord and Savior?
First of all, contrary to today’s culture, there is only one True God!.
What comes to mind when you think of God? Maybe love, mercy, all-knowing, servant, king, friend. Those are words commonly used. Another is a little harder word to wrap our minds around:
The Trinity…Father, Son, Holy Spirit…three distinct persons in one divine being.
Sounds confusing, but then, how could we (humans) fully understand God?
I find some understanding from Jesus’ baptism. Jesus stood in the water, the Father spoke from heaven, the Spirit of God descended upon Jesus.
A very weak way to think of 3 persons one God, would be using this illustration:
- I am Dave Timm….only one of me!
- But I am Dave Timm the father (to 4 wonderful children)
- But at the same time, I am Dave Timm the son (of a fantastic mom and dad…both deceased)
- But I am at the same time Dave Timm the pastor.
- There is only one me…but known as 3 distinct persons. I function differently with each hat I wear…and yet I am one.
Now, like I said, it’s a weak comparison to God’s perfect harmony within the God-head…but hopefully it puts a little perspective to who God is.
It seems easy to envision and understand God the Father…the creator.
As well as Jesus the Son…who would lay down His life for us.
But the Holy Spirit is a little harder to grasp. Some think of a Casper the ghost-type spirit. Not hardly!
So, what is the deal with the Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit sanctifies you (makes you holy…more Christ-like) by inviting you and bringing you to faith in Christ through the Word…so that you will lead a godly life. He renews you so you can strive to overcome sin and do good works to God’s Glory.
The Holy Spirit also calls, gathers, and enlightens us to be the Church on earth….including Royal Redeemer where we gather around Word and Sacraments.
So, what’s the point of this devotion??
- If you want to know, trust, and have faith in God…read His Word!
- If you want to understand and apply His Word, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and point you to Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior!
- If you want to see and experience Christian living, become active in the life of a Christian church!
- If you know someone who does not know Jesus…or is confused about God’s Word, invite them to worship with you…join a small group or Bible study with them, invite them to sit and talk with a pastor!
Humor for your day:
A priest is walking through the jungle when he comes upon a hungry lion. Just as the lion goes to attack, the priest crosses himself and says, “Lord, if you can hear me, please instill the Holy Spirit in this beast’s heart.”
The lion stops in his tracks as a bright light begins to glow around him. He looks to the sky, folds his paws in prayer, and says, “Thank you, Lord, for this meal.”