Holding on to Truth
I read this two mornings ago and it reminded me about what was being said about not just letting words to songs (or any truth shared with us) float through our heads, but taking the time and effort to hold on to them and to find and consider what they mean for us personally. To make them vertical transactions with Jesus.
These are two excerpts from an e-mail that Jon sent out in May called “If we resent the light we will die, regardless of the environment.” I had just read it the other day. : )
The second thing is, we need to be willing to receive the light from others. If someone brings light into our life, we need to be willing to really seriously think about it. When I hear something being read, or listen to a tape, or whatever, I have to keep bringing myself back into focus and keep applying it to my own life. The tendency is to glaze it over in our minds’ eye and stop hearing it, and watch the continuous stream of children in and out of the bathroom, or pay attention to the babies, or get distracted thinking about other people or things, or what happened to us today, or the headache that we have. The fact is, we have to discipline our hearts to pay attention to what is being said, whether it is in the form of something being read from 1741, or something being said to us face to face, we have to discipline our hearts and minds to pay attention to it and to apply it to our own lives. That’s what Jesus called loving the light.
That’s what the apostle John called walking in the light. There is something that we have to choose to do when things are brought to us in whatever form they are brought to us and that is to find a way to push it down into our hearts and to say, “If there is just 1% of this that applies to me, I want to get everything I can out of it. I don’t want to miss it.” That’s loving the light. “I want to embrace this thing. Yes, I know how weak I am. Yes, I know how many times I have failed. Yes, I know how dull and senseless and foolish I am. But God help me to grab this seed and bury it in my heart that some day, some how, by your infinite mercy and power this can bear a harvest in my heart, thirty, sixty and a hundred fold.” First the seed and then the head and the full grain in the head and the multiplication of that. That’s the second thing. Being willing to receive the light from other sources, and to cherish it and to treasure it with all of our heart……….
The fourth thing is as priests of God, we bring the word of God to each other on a regular basis in its many forms. We offer each other the word of God, not just as a personal challenge about some specific thing, but we also carry around within us the Word of God, the treasure of life, and we offer opportunities. It is vital that we do this for each other.
We need this. Maybe something that is read or a tape that you hear isn’t something that was originally directed specifically to you by name. Maybe it happens to be a precious gift of God speaking through a man in 1741 that has the seed of Life in it and could bring those with soft hearts great benefit. So we offer those things to each other, when we don’t have anything specific to say. We still hold up the light that lights men’s paths for them on a regular basis. Whether it is a cassette tape or a reading, or opening up 2 Timothy and reading it together. Whatever we do, we do it for each other on a regular basis. We bring it to work. We bring it wherever we go. Always ready, in season and out of season to bring the word of God into each others’ lives. Maybe it is something specific. Maybe it is something general. But God will get something out of it if we have those other qualities. Right? If I have that quality of being willing to bring something out, in humility, that has never been dealt with or noticed by anyone else (or at least no one ever said anything); if I have that kind of humility to love the light; and if I have the humility to receive light from someone else, then when someone brings something that’s of the word of God in a more general sense, I will be treasuring that. And I will want it to find a place in my heart to divide between soul and spirit, bone and marrow. So you have done me good. Even if it’s the fiftieth time I’ve heard it this year.
The word of God is like food. It’s not, “I’ve heard that before,” “I’ve read that before, I already know that.” That’s not the way it is when you are really in love with Jesus. “ Like a newborn baby craving pure spiritual milk of the word.” How many babies say, “Oh, I’ve already had that milk, I don’t need that. I’m bored.” It doesn’t take very long before they start crying again because they want the food. They need the food. They live on it. Not by bread from earth, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. We are craving that, and we don’t mind hearing 2 Timothy or Deuteronomy 8 for the thirty-eight thousandth time, because God feeds us through it. We are watchful. We are praying. Every sentence is different than it was the last time. This is a building process. This is how we must build together. It is through relationship and through the living word of God; through treasure in earthen vessels………