Saturday, March 10, 2007

Jeremiah 5:20-31; Psalms 75, 76; Romans 3:19-31; John 7:1-13

Here is the “Berra/Twain” system of reading the Scriptures!

When it comes to applying the Scriptures to my life, I use lessons from Yogi Berra and Mark Twain. Yogi directed his players to make smart moves on the field of play. When asked how he did it, he simply said, “You can learn a lot just by watching!” In reading the Bible the “watching” part is simply looking at the plain statements in the text. And Twain observed: “I’m not so much worried about the things in Scripture that I don’t understand…. I worry about those things I understand all too well!”

So my Berra/Twain system of Scripture reading is this: Concentrate on the clearly-stated parts, and don’t get hung-up on the difficult parts. Let’s see how this system works for today’s selections.

Jeremiah 5:30. “A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land: The prophets prophesy lies…and my people love it this way.” What amazes me most about this stern message is this: “and my people love it this way.” I wonder if I care more about my own image than I do about speaking honestly and openly from my heart?

Psalm 75:7. “But it is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another.” I’m comforted to know that there is a sovereign Lord who is in charge of all things. Those who get promoted or demoted – in the church or in politics – are in the hands of the Lord.

Romans 3:23, 24. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.” Here’s the heart of our Christian faith. It is good to keep this one clearly in mind and not try to get too sophisticated in stating my core beliefs.

John 7:8. “I am not yet going up to this feast, because for me the right time has not yet come.” The disciples were on a roll and wanted Jesus to “show himself to the world.” They knew he was the promised Messiah. Now let’s go up and take this city, Lord! It’s interesting that Jesus knew the right time had not yet come to do this. Timing is everything. When acting on good ideas make sure your timing is right.


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