Every day a verse of the day appears in the inbox on my computer. It is something I look forward to - a little gift for mind and heart to begin my day. The verses are often well known to me, in fact many are verses that I have memorized and drawn insight or comfort from over my decades of walking with Jesus. Often times the scripture stirs feelings of gratitude and appreciation for God and God’s word. It is like I have run into an old friend, one I haven’t seen for a while, there is a immediate connection, a deep knowing we have because we have done life together.
But every so often one of my friends (verses) shows up and they appear quite different than I remember. There is an edginess to them. The interaction does not go smoothly – there is something else going on, something beneath the surface. This type of encounter happened the other morning. I clicked on the email that would reveal my morning scripture and there it was – a verse I had memorized and used years ago to design a retreat around. But today this old familiar friend was somehow less familiar, less friendly, actually challenging. That is what I love about scripture – it is living, active and able to penetrate, exposing my inner most thoughts and desires – that is what I enjoy about God, always inviting us to more fully live our faith.
The passage, or more to the point, the portion of the passage that caught my attention were the words; fix your eyes on Jesus. It was the word fix that really stood out to be – it was speaking of looking at Jesus with a concentrated focus. I could hear my dad’s voice as I was learning to play baseball – keep your eye on the ball. Now it was keep my eyes on Jesus.
What I realized in this encounter was that I do not tend to fix my eyes on Jesus. I am more like the young child playing in the park, running here and there, climbing up this, sliding down that, and occasionally scanning the park to catch of glimpse of my mother or father so I know all is well. I think this is often how I interact with Jesus. I live my life and every so often I catch a glimpse of Jesus to remind me that I am all right or it is time to get a snack, go home…. But today it seemed that the Spirit was calling me to something more intentional in my walk with Jesus – a more deliberate fixing my eyes on Jesus, not looking to the right or to the left. As of now I am not sure what this means but I am opening up to this truth and trusting God to lead and guide me.
I share all this with you to ask you this; what is your relationship with scripture? Do you merely read scripture or do you allow it, invite it, to read you? Have you learn to listen as the Spirit communicates to your heart and mind through the scriptures? In a world that has lost it’s way, where we are losing the ability to even distinguish good from evil it is important to avail ourselves of the power of God’s word – a lamp, a mirror, our spiritual food, a sword – living and active able to birth new life and freedom to live Jesus and enjoy the fullness of our life in Christ.
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