I met with my church devotional group Wednesday night. After prayer, we got our scripture passage from the Moravian Daily Text. It was John 5:1-15.
Most of the folks there had the NIV (1984). Since I believe using unfamiliar translations can help us hear God, I choose to read from The Passion Translation:
I usually ask people what catches their attention in the text; I believe that is an indication of where the Spirit is taking them. This time, though, I decided to do it the way I do my evening prayers (for which I use the watchword and doctrinal text from the Moravian). I asked them to finish the statement, “I see that God is…”
One person said they saw that God is compassionate, willing to heal a crippled man. Another said they saw that God sees and knows people. Yet another said they saw that Jesus is a healer. A fourth said they saw that God gives hope in hopeless situations.
This was a great start. It gave us a “covenant truth”, that is, a truth about who God is. It is so important to have covenant truths like the. Covenant truths fuel or drive us for Kingdom truths (truths about what God wants us to do). We actually see this in this John 5 passage. Only after healing this man (a covenant action) does Jesus command this man to walk away from sin (a kingdom responsibility).
It is the same with us. Covenant truths result in and empower kingdom truths. While we seem to see kingdom truths easier (most everybody looks at a Bible text and says something like, “Well, God wants me to trust more”), we can’t do them apart from covenant truths.
The way we did devotions this night made the covenant truths more obvious. I then asked everyone what kingdom truths they thought the Spirit was leading them to via these covenant truths. Some had immediate answers. Others needed to think about it a little bit. I won’t say what those truths were or weren’t either way, as that is their business. But I will say it was good!
That’s what I (or we) saw on Wednesday, October 3. Join us on November 7th when we will see more!