Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 24 Number 7 July 2022
Page 14

Priscilla's PageEditor's Note

Divine Dining – No Fast Food

Marilyn LaStrape

Marilyn LaStrapeThe Bible overflows with the commanding message of seeking after and searching for God. Knowledge of divinity is eternally imperative. When Moses asked God the question about His name, He said, “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3:14 NKJV). From that timeless declaration of God’s divine identity, He has continued to declare that He is the LORD, the Great I AM.

Since we are the highest of His creation, God wants us to know who He is. He wants us to know why we are here, where are we going, how will we get there and when will this happen. The short answer is that we are here to prepare ourselves to spend eternity with God and teach others to want to do the same. God has provided the answers to all these questions in His Word, the Bible, and these answers take time to study and learn. When we become God’s spiritual children, we will spend the remainder of our lives in His divine dining room with His Word. Are we willing to invest ourselves in the study of the Bible to learn Who God is and to understand His expectations of us as His children? Do we realize that time invested is crucial to our relationship with God while the fast food mentality is useless? If so, we will conclude that time spent with God is always time well spent.

In her book, Impossible, Casandra Martin writes, “The Bible is a catalog of the Possible. From the opening words to the closing Amen, the pages are filled with descriptions, details, promises, prophecies, and blueprints for the Possibles that God wants to work in our lives. Immersing ourselves in His Word will help us stand against the Impossibles that press against our hearts” (182).

David said in Psalm 37:3-5, “Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.” There will be no trust and no commitment to someone we do not know. It takes time to get to know the Supreme Being. God has revealed everything we need to know about Him and how He deals with us.

Jeremiah 9:23-24 declares, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might, Nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,’ says the LORD.” Proverbs 9:10 states, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Gaining biblical wisdom and knowledge is found nowhere else but in the Bible! We must first have a fervent desire to gain this biblical wisdom and knowledge. We must understand the purpose of this mental transformation in our thinking, talking and acting, as we get to know God. The purpose is for us to embrace the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Getting to know God inherently means getting to know His Son. Jesus said quite plainly and simply in John 10:30, “I and My Father are one.” John 14:23 records Jesus saying, “…If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” To know Jesus is to know the One who gave His life for all people. One writer said the Bible has a three-fold message. From Genesis-Malachi the message is “Jesus is Coming!” From Matthew to Acts 1:8, the message is “Jesus is Here!” From Acts 1:9 to Revelation, the message is “Jesus is Coming Again!”

Before Jesus went to the cross, He prayed for Himself, His apostles and all of us. John 17:1-5 records:

Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.”

As Jesus gave John instructions to the seven churches of Asia, our Lord extended the invitation above all invitations to the lukewarm church at Laodicea. In Revelation 3:19-20 Jesus said, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”

Dining with Divinity takes time. There is no place for the fast-food approach in building a lifelong relationship between the Father and His children. Through God’s strength and power, we will withstand the raging storms of life’s traumas, tests, temptations, tribulations and tragedies. The goal is to continue to overcome them all – time and time again until Heaven is finally our home!

Works Cited

Martin, Casandra. Impossible. Nashville: 21st Century Christian, 2001.

My Bibles

Beth Johnson

Beth JohnsonHave you ever read a passage in your Bible that made you stop, read it again and again, and then highlight it because it touched you in such a profound way? Later, when you ran across that same passage, you might have wondered why you had highlighted it in the first place. Or, maybe you had written in a cross reference that was meaningful at the time but looking at it again made you wonder what the two verses had to do with each other. My Bible has been the object of such scrutiny over the years as I read and read again (Luke 24:32). It is my treasure, my life history, my diary of thoughts and dreams, and my journal of progress on the road to salvation (Psalm 51:10).

My first Bible had very few highlighted passages. I remember it vividly as a very soft, easy-to-carry, KJV published by Nelson Publishing Co. However, at the time it was given to me, I was a rebellious teenager, not wanting to be forced to read as punishment. Unfortunately, when my mother rebuked me, she often forced me to go to my room and read (nothing specific, just read), and those times were “in my craw” so to speak. The wear and tear on that Bible was mostly to the beautiful Moroccan leather cover and to one or two torn pages after our first son was born. The Bible itself was not to blame, but parents of strong-willed children should remember such reactions to correction may change the course of a child’s life. When parents rebuke their children, wouldn’t it be better to sit with them to read appropriate passages rather than send them to read (Colossians 3:21)?

Another Bible that became my treasure for a different reason was a large Dickson Bible. It was given to me with much love and affection by my husband. He inscribed two phrases taken from our elder two children’s oft repeated prayers during devotional times. It went something like this, “May this gift of my love to you help you to be ‘more righteouser’ and to love Him in every way you can.” The phrase “more righteouser” was our little daughter’s coinage, while “love Him every way we can” was our eldest son’s phrase. Those were so dear to my heart and a very great encouragement to me (Matthew 18:3).

During the time I owned that Bible, I was eager to put in cross references while my husband preached. It became my very own chain-reference Bible with Christian, rather than denominational, references. However, trying to get every verse and the notations necessary to explain those verses was nearly impossible as I simultaneously dealt with two very energetic little people on the pew beside me. Often, there were mistakes in the chapters or verses, perhaps mistakes in the book references themselves. Pages became thick and worn from use and discoloration was obviously the work of my hands. During my private study time, I made every attempt to correct mistakes but did not always manage to do so (Acts 17:10-11). That grand old book was worn to a frazzle. It had whole sections that came loose from the stitching; pages were literally falling out and the binding came off. I had it rebound more than once. Finally, I started the search for a new one.

 By that time, the Dickson Company had stopped printing Bibles, but I was able to find a photocopy of one in smaller print from World Publishing Co. At great sacrifice, when family money was scarce, I bought one for my mother and another one for myself. My mother had only a little time to use hers before she passed from this life, but her marginal notes and questions were there for me to cherish. Especially after her passing, I was eager to read everything she had written to know more of what was in her heart as she studied (Matthew 12:34; Jeremiah 17:10). Then, thieves broke into our house and her Bible (in a green canvas cover) was one of the many things they took. They apparently thought they were taking a purse (Matthew 6:19).

I managed to buy another copy of the same edition and have again begun to make my own chain references. Someday, those will be the lock that opens a deeper understanding to my heart (Psalm 40:8). It is my Bible that contains more of my mind and heart than any other single item in my possession. Again, its pages are getting thick and worn, and sections are falling out, but it still serves me well. I pray that I will have time to search and compare many more Scriptures on my journey to eternity (John 5:39). These have been my meat while I live and will be my gifts to my children and grandchildren after I am gone.

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