"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lent - Day 7 Tuesday March 15

“All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16)

As I set out on any journey, be it to downtown Atlanta, around the Square in McDonough, to one of the beaches in Florida or to any other location in the world, i need to figure out how to get there. Having grown up in Atlanta and Henry County, I do pretty good in navigating around, also, there are a few other places that I’ve been to enough to feel somewhat comfortable in traveling and finding my way. New York City, Washington D.C., several cities and islands in Florida are all within my comfort zone. However on a mission trip to New York several years back, I did manage to get a van full of white teenagers lost at 9 p.m. in the midst of Harlem. Talk about God’s protection of the idiot student pastor!

I’m currently planning a trip to England for research on a book I am writing. Ain’t got a clue about anything over there, excited about going, but am reading every book, map and train schedule I can get my hands on. Nothing is scarier than being in a situation where you don’t know where you are, what to do, and just want to get back to something familiar. Knowledge is a comfort.

As I journey through Lent, writing these thoughts each day, I’ve been surprised on a couple levels. One is that I actually do know scriptures by heart. I guess all those years in Junior and Intermediate Sunday School, plus the many Bible drills I was in, are paying off. However, for every verse that pops into mind on particular days, makes me realize how many scriptures I don’t know that would prove so helpful. I have the standard verses to fall back on during times of spiritual learning and travel; John 3:16, Romans 8:28, Proverbs 3:5-6, Isaiah 41:10, Jeremiah 29:11 and so many more. Those pop into mine and your heads easily. However, as I search and read the Bible more during these days, I find so many treasures of scripture that I’ve never known. Are they new? Are these some of the ‘jots and tittles’ that we hear about? Are they not in the particular version of the Bible I use? Nope. They are there and have been for all time. God gave these words to man by inspiration and they have stood the test of time. Scriptures to Guide. Direct. Encourage. Comfort. Strengthen. A book written by God, not a person. The only standard for life direction you can depend upon.

Let me encourage you (as I encourage myself) to spend more time in God’s Word (especially during this Holy Season of Lent). This is the time to learn more, grow more and draw closer to our God. Just an extra verse a day, then a chapter, then two. Before long, all you want to read is Scripture at the expense of all other books. I spoke with a grown adult man a couple years ago at Salem who mentioned that the only book he reads is the Bible. “It’s the only one I need. The only one that interests me,” he said. WOW!

And this scribe can add no further words to that. I’m praying for each of you and hope you are gaining just a tidbit from these musings.

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift.


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