Dear Lord; Happy Monday Father!
It’s been a good while since I’ve laid our conversations to print Lord… Quite possibly far too long. Which is why when I once again felt You urging me to pen my thoughts, I nearly dismissed those promptings.
Nonetheless… Here we are again.
As you well know Lord, I’m nearing completion of yet another full read-through of the Bible, this time following a chronological reading plan I found on YouVersion.com. It’s been a wonderful way to absorb Scripture for me Father, helping to add more of something I believe is vitally important to reading and understanding Your Word…
Your truths are eternal Lord… I don’t question that. But I’ve also come to understand through intense study and prayer that those truths and Your intent are very much presented throughout the Bible and in our daily lives in a context that gives pronounced and specific meaning to those You’re addressing and guiding. Therefore as we read Your timeless words in an attempt to embed those divine truths upon our hearts, I believe it’s absolutely essential that we seek a sense of the context in which those events occurred to truly draw Your will from those pages.
And without that contextual perspective Lord… I’m very much afraid we lose the message for the words.
Social media is a double-edged sword Father. On one hand it allows us to stay “connected” to an amazing number of people and share ideas, inspiration and encouragement. However on the other hand, it also provides an easily accessible platform for distributing misunderstanding, intolerance and hate. Recently, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriages this past week, both edges of that blade have been well sharpened.
And while through study and prayer I have my own perspective on that subject of which You’re well aware Lord, what’s been especially grieving my heart has actually been the outpouring of sentiment from what I believe to be well-intentioned “Christians” using “soundbites” of Scripture, completely out of context, to condemn and attack those with beliefs different than their own.
Take one verse from Deuteronomy, add a dash of Romans, toss in a line from Revelation and stir gently…
One serving of Bubblegum Christianity ready to post.
And in many cases Father these Biblical tidbits are also served up with a side helping of pithy catch-phrases such as “Hate the sin, but love the sinner…” (Which to be honest I believe only You’re truly capable of Lord…) or “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve…” (Which actually isn’t accurate either… You made Adam, Eve, Steve, Phil, Shannon, etc…)
All in all Lord, it’s a meal that’s not exactly prepared or delivered in the warmth of Christian Love… It’s nearly always served cold.
My point here isn’t to debate sin Lord… We do sin. Every day. All of us. It’s also not for me to decry the beliefs, perspective or choices of anyone… In the end, only You have that right. What I am speaking of is the need for us, as followers of Christ, to not approach Scripture as a collection of one-liners to be used in making a point, winning an argument or to malign others. Your Word is such a precious gift Father; one that’s worth every effort we can make to prayerfully and studiously gain Your true intent from those pages.
Therefore Lord, my prayer today is simple.
Open our hearts Lord…
Open our minds.
Guide us to see the true nature of Your Word and to diligently seek Your intent…
So that Your Love Story serves it’s purpose and draws us closer to You…
All of Your Children…
For it’s in Your precious name I pray Jesus…
~Phather PhilPin It