All in Delight in the Word
Have you ever thanked God for the shoes you wore today? How about the tastes you have experienced this week? Pick one you especially enjoyed, and think about it for a moment, letting the memory dance across your tongue. Have you thanked God for the color palette your eyes paint across your brain as you scan the room right now? Wasn't blue a good idea?
The following is an adaptation from my NIV Application Commentary: Hebrews (Zondervan, 1998), 388-89. Here are 6 characteristics of biblical faith according to Hebrews 11. See how your faith measures up.
Over the past few weeks we have been in a series on “6 Ways to Transform Your Reading of the Gospels.” First I suggested that we Read Matthew, Mark, and Luke from ‘the Earth Up’ and John ‘from Heaven Down.’ Last week we looked at how to Read Each Gospel for Its Unique Perspective. Our third principle, the topic of this post, is As we Read the Miracle Stories Ask, “What Does this Tell Me about the Identity of Jesus?”
Let me be honest. At this stage of life, I sometimes struggle with fear. That gut-wrenching, cloud of dread that descends in the dead of night, shooting “what ifs” at my mind and heart. I can fear for my wife, my kids, myself. I am tempted to be afraid about finances, or illness, or the future. I fear incompetence, or making mistakes, or insignificance. Do you know what I mean?
Sometimes the experiences of life in this world can make us feel rather small. The powers—powerful people, powerful governments, powerful forces in the world—are loud in their posturing against God and his people. “Why do the nations rebel and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers conspire together” (Ps. 2:1-2). They think they are big, and they can make us feel small. Further, the normal experiences of life, whether illness, or financial distress, or relational turmoil, can be hard, soul-grinding, reducing us, making God seem distant or small.