November 11, 2021
Joshua 1:7-9 (NIV)
7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
My children are turning out to be my best teachers. With each passing day I realize just how much I haven’t yet learned. Like the other day, Sam was working on learning a passage of Scripture for one of his classes in school. I noticed him writing it out on a page. He said, “Dad, writing the verse out one time is the equivalent of saying it eleven times.” Who knew?! I call this practice “Scribing” and it’s something I try to do with God’s Word at least every week. You see, God’s Word is a consuming Word. It is a totalizing, comprehensive script of absolute wisdom for our whole lives.
[And by the way, I’m thinking and praying about leading a course in January on just this—Learning How to Read the Bible Better. If there’s enough interest, I’ll do it. If you are interested, Let me know here.]
Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.
Strength in the Lord and the courage to follow him come from depth in his Word and Spirit. Look at the progression here:
- “always on your lips,”
- “meditate on it day and night,”
- “be careful to do it.”
Most people try to start with #3, fail miserably and go back to their mediocre comedy of errors life. You don’t begin with doing it. Frankly, you don’t even begin with reading it. You begin with a desire to be strong in the Lord and courageous in following him.
Back to Sam. This is production week for his school play and he has one of the leads. It’s Shakespear’s Comedy of Errors. For the past three months he has carried a book around everywhere he goes. Yep, it’s the Script. It is bent out of shape—cover permanently peeled back, pages tattered, underlined, highlighted, dog-eared, otherwise trashed. But, it’s in him. I see that book everywhere—at the foot of his bed in the morning before he wakes, in the car on the way to basketball practice, in the waiting room at the orthodontist, on the couch next to the television remote control. You get the point. But here’s the kicker. Sam is not memorizing lines. He’s learning a character. He is immersing himself in a plot and narrative. He is becoming a player in the story.
He is being careful to do everything written in it.
The Word of God is our Script. That’s why we call it Script-ure. We are not just memorizing lines. We are learning a character (Jesus). We are immersing ourselves in a plot and narrative. We are becoming players in the story. When we get our eye off of that ball, we so easily slip into a comedy of errors.
So we are beginning to get the picture of rememberize, research and rehearse aren’t we? More on that tomorrow.
Father, thank you for your Word and for your Spirit who inspired it and who causes it to become living and active in our lives. We want this word to be always on our lips. We want to meditate on it day and night. We want to be careful to do it. But we know that is not really enough. We want to become like Jesus, his character, his mind, his heart, his love. We want to be strong and very courageous like Joshua, like Jesus, like Sarah, like Mary. Come Holy Spirit and usher us deeper into the Script that we might become more and more alive in the unfolding story. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
What’s the story of your own comedy of errors when it comes to the Word of God? Is it legalism? laziness? adventures in missing the point? lackadaisical, lackluster interest? ok I’ll stop. Be strong and very courageous, friends.
P.S. — ENCOURAGEMENT #11
ENCOURAGEMENT #11 TO PARTICIPATE IN THE SEEDBED ADVENT EXPERIENCE: C.S. Lewis famously wrote, “When the author of the play walks onto the stage, the play is over.” That’s how Advent begins: with the Second Advent of Jesus Christ. Most Christians have no idea of this. It is so helpful to get on the bus at the beginning of the story—at the CHRISTIAN NEW YEAR. Come on! I want to see you there. Deeper Advent = Better Christmas. You can see all the details here. If you already have the book, The Christian New Year, be sure to choose that option on the dropdown to avoid buying another book—OR EVEN BETTER—get another book and invite a friend to join us. COME ON!
For the Awakening,