Thursday, December 7, 2017

Writing In The Margins

I don't know if you write in your Bible, but I write in mine. It took me a long time to get comfortable doing that because perfectionist. True story: I have pages torn out of journals because I didn't like the way I wrote something and my acutal 'journaling Bible' has some lined side margins missing because it didn't look right. Yes, I know I have issues.

But once I found a pen that makes my writing look neater (truly, pens make ALL the difference in the world), I started to get more relaxed. I don't write extensive notes. A Strong's number here and there, a question, a comment, a date, a title and page number from a book. Nothing major, just enough of a reminder.

Of all the things I have written in the past year the most challenging is next to Matthew 11:20-24. My question in the margin: How many miracles must you see before you turn and repent? I know, light-hearted.

Have I seen someone lame walk? Figuratively. Have I seen the dead rise? Figuratively. Have I seen waters part? Figuratively. Have I seen the blind see? Figuratively. You get the point.

When we see the word miracle we tend to think of the bigger things, the more newsworthy, Hollywood adapted movie things. And while those things are great, if that's all we classify as a miracle, we are missing some pretty huge stuff in our every day lives. 

In Deuteronomy 10:21, Moses says of God: "He is the one you praise; He is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes." (emphasis mine) Nothing about the things we've witnessed are accidental, because of a bribe, or because God shows partiality. They were all for our benefit, to see and believe, to turn and repent. Question is, are we aware enough to recognize them.

When we think about the fact that Jesus left heaven to come to earth, the pat answer to why is to rescue us from the hand of our enemies and enable us to serve Him without fear in holiness and righteousness. (Luke 1:74-75) But if we dig further into His mission, we can see evidence of miracles overflowing every step of the way.

To seek and save the lost relative or friend we didn't think would ever be receptive to Jesus.

To heal the sick loved one that was so deep in addiction that is now free from bondage.

To reveal the thoughts of our hearts so that we could turn to God in untold and unprecedented ways.

To forgive us when we fall flat on our face for the hundredth time and show us grace to try again.

To calm the storm that rages in our heart over the unexpected phone call that rocked our world.

To challenge our motives to do things for the right reasons even though we started out with the wrong ones.

Clearly, it would be easy to go on and on.

As we inch ever closer to Christmas Day and the miracle of the birth of Christ to become Immanuel, God with us, let's take the time to think about all the miracles we have seen Him perform since last Christmas. They weren't done out of boredom or just to display His power to feed His ego, they were done so that we would see them, praise Him, and lead others straight to His heart.

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