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Posts Tagged ‘reading scripture’

Sunday Feb. 28, 2010

  • Season: Lent
  • Sermon: Where Is Your Refuge?
  • Scripture: Psalm 27
  • Songs:

1st Service

  1. How Can I Keep From Singing?
  2. Our God Saves
  3. Everlasting God
  4. Jesus Paid It All

2nd Service 1.  O Worship The King 2.  How Deep The Father’s

We are in the Season of Lent, a time when we move from self-reflection to divine-inspection.  I realize this is a phrase that can scare just about anyone or at least annoy.  Inspection.  Sure, it makes me think of those automobile inspection we had to do 20 years ago, or the termite inspections we still have.  Inspection, it implies that someone is coming in to point out what we’ve done wrong.  Unfortunately, many of us have this vision of God.  We think of him as the “Divine Inspector” just waiting for us to mess up.  But that is not the only thing an inspector does and they would probably argue that is not their intention, to strike fear in our hearts of fines and “do-overs”.  A good inspector lends an eye to help show us things that could improve our equipment, keep us and others safe, point us in a direction that will enable us to use what we have for its intended purpose.

What I mean by divine inspection is the gentle grace of God searching our hearts so that we might live into the creative wonder and image he intends for us.  That purpose is that we might have life and live it abundantly.  Lent is not a season to be downcast, but a time when we allow God to search us so that we might remove the things that hinder us from living fully and pick up the things that give us wings.  My attempt on Sunday was to reveal a way to read scripture that allows the scripture to read us.  While we did that, my hope was that we could allow Psalm 27 to reveal our hearts in order that we might find our relationship with God enlivened and enriched.

The tool we used is a simple method of reading scripture loosely base on “lectio divina” (i’ll post on this another day), and one I think most can pick up quickly. This reading practice is formed on the idea that we must do more than read scripture for information, but ultimately for transformation.

It requires 3 things.

  1. Prayer: Ask God to gently search your heart and to help you be open to his grace.
  2. Willingness:  To allow the scripture to ask the question, ‘Is this true for you’
  3. Honesty:  To be honest with yourself.

How does this work?

1. Prayer.  Pray to God, be honest with him and tell him that this makes you uncomfortable if it does.  Ask him to help you ask the right question.  Ask him to help you with the other 2 steps.

2. Willingness.  The Psalmist in Psalm 27 says that the Lord is his light and salvation, be willing to ask yourself if this is true for you and if not, then what is your Light.  If it is true or has been true from time to time, meditate on how it has been true.  Remember what it was like, how you felt, how it impacted your day, life, family, whatever. Let’s use John 3:17.  Jesus says that he did not come to condemn the world but to save the world.  You might ask yourself, “how do I condemn myself?”, “how do I condemn others?”  “If Jesus doesn’t condemn, why do I and how then might I love and live as Jesus”.  You might ask yourself if you have been saved, and maybe think about how your life has been saved and possibly how your life has been spent.  These are just a few examples.  If you need further assistance, email me.

3. Honesty.  We hear that Jesus is our light and we agree with it, but are we really being honest.  There are a lot of things that I say I believe in the Bible, but if you checked my living example on a few, you might question my belief and I am not talking about dietary laws in Leviticus.  When you do this, just be honest with yourself.  There is no one around to be shocked with your answers and if there are, just ask them what kind of stone they are going to throw. Egos do not get us further in our walk with God.  Be humble and allow God to love your through the transformation.

I would love to hear how God is reading YOU through scripture.  What are ways you have experienced the Grace of Christ as you have read and been read by his word.

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