What I Saw – October 3, 2018

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.

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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:

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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).

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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!

What I Saw – Luke 5:1-11

Luke 15:1-11 was the New Testament reading from the Moravian Daily Text for Jun 26, 2018.  I read this passage with a small group of pastors that Tuesday morning.

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I saw several wonderful truths during the reading of this passage.  The first is that Jesus sees potential and we don’t.  I saw this when one of my fellow pastors read verse 2 from a different translation than mine.  That translation had the word but in it.

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That little word suggested to me that there was potential here, potential that was not being realized.  Jesus could see this potential, but the fishermen/future disciples could not.  That idea carries into the miraculous catch of fish.  All Peter saw was a barren lake (or a lake that was at least barren for him at the current time).  Jesus saw something else and told Peter to cast in his nets.  Peter did, and there was a catch, fruit, harvest, life.

There were a couple other ideas I saw here.  I wrote them down in my journal.

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I doubt you can read my chicken-scratch handwriting, so here’s what it says:

  • Do we have eyes to see the potential?
  • Can we submit to Jesus’ authority in a place where we are experts? (This is what Peter did, and as we go forward with Kingdom work, I imagine it is what we will have to do as well; we will have to trust Jesus when He tells us to do something counter intuitive)
  • Can we accept the grace Jesus is offering sinful men? (This is another idea I got from this text.  Peter asks Jesus to leave him, understanding that he is sinful and thus not worthy of what Jesus is offering.  Jesus, however, graciously refuses, holding on to Peter despite Peter’s admitted and no doubt very real sinfulness).
  • Do we have a spirit that will attempt what seems hopeless?

All of these were challenging but inspirational.  They indicate that God is asking me to do a hard thing (which Kingdom work no doubt is) but that He is empowering me to do this hard thing and that I am accepted/allowed to do this hard thing and can do this hard thing by faith.

The leader of our group then asked us to summarize “the covenant word” we heard in this passage (covenant refers to our relationship with God; a covenant word is usually about God Himself; it is a fact or truth rather than a command).  We listed these:

  • God is a forgiver.
  • God holds on to us.
  • God has more for us.

And that is what I heard on June 26th, 2018.