¡Hola, hola! Welcome to week 28, Friends! Do you realize that we are almost exactly 2 months away from finishing this challenge? Crazy, right? God has been so incredibly kind to us in drawing closer to us as we have been learning to draw closer to Him. Now, I must say I wish I could hear all the things that each one of you have been gleaning from this challenge. I am sure each story is wonderful!
This week I came across this article by John Piper, an article that was adapted from his book A Peculiar Glory (a book I absolutely loved!). And when I read these words in his book I remember thinking that they captured exactly my love and passion for the Scriptures, so I want to share them with you so that you may be encouraged too:
“Whenever I read the Bible, it was never like a masterpiece hanging in a museum that I viewed this way and that. Rather, it was like a window. Or like binoculars. My view of the Bible was always a view through the Bible. So, all along the way, my view was getting clearer and brighter and deeper, I mean the reality seen through it was getting clearer and brighter and deeper. Clearer as the edges of things became less fuzzy, and I could see how things fit together rather than just smudging into each other. Brighter as the beauty and impact of the whole message was more and more attractive. And deeper in the sense of depth perspective—I suppose photographers would say “depth of field.” Things stretched off into eternity with breathtaking implications—in both directions past and future. You could sum this up with the phrase the glory of God. That’s what I was seeing.”
And then he continues saying,
“This is where I stand with hope and joy and love. This is the window of the Word through which the vision of God has exerted its compelling power. I do not merely hold a view of Scripture. I am held. The glory of God shining through his Word has been an irresistible treasure. Nothing in this world comes close to the beauty and the value of God and his ways and his grace.”
This phrase, Friends, “I do not merely hold a view of Scripture. I am held.” shakes my whole being. And the more we spend time in the Word, the more we come to understand this truth. The Word of God is holding our lives, in the most literal sense. Remember what we read in Hebrews? We read that Jesus “upholds the universe by the word of his power.” If the sun is in its place, shining and giving warmth, and the ocean is still obeying his Word and doesn’t spill over the earth, and the snow falls, and then Spring comes, and stars keep shining because of the power of His Word, then certainly our very existence is hanging on its power too. When we come to the Word, we come to the very Words of God. We don’t merely read words, we are sustained, held by each Word of God we read. And when we humbly come before His Word, He opens our eyes to see more of the glorious truths hidden as treasures in His Word. This is our God, a God that wants to be known, a God who has spoken, a God who has given us His Word so that we may be held by it. So if you feel like you need someone to hold you, come to Christ, come to the Word of God, He will hold you in the palm of His hand and sustain you with the power of His Word.
This week we will finish reading Job and Romans. We will meet Job’s last friend, Elihu who seems to get more than one thing right. And the reason we know that Elihu got things right is because God doesn’t rebuke him, and Job doesn’t try to argue against his case. So keep that in mind as you read his speech (six chapters!). At the end of the book, after everyone has had a chance to speak, it is the Word of the Lord that is last and the one that prevails. His Word sustained Job through these trials. His Word was honored. God wins.
Romans ends exalting God too. Jesus our Redeemer (Job’s, Paul’s, and ours) is exalted as the only One “who is able to strengthen us according to the gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ (His Word!).” Then Paul reminds us that now through “the prophetic writings” (His Word!) this gospel has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God to bring obedience of faith – to the only wise God be glory forever more through Jesus Christ! Amen.” Oh! How the Word holds us!
Saturday we have a catch-up day, and I suggest that if you are current in your readings, you read the first epistle of Paul to Timothy.
May our prayer this week be, “Lord, hold me with your Word, with the gospel of Jesus Christ, every day.”
Under His sun and by His grace,
Becky Pliego and the Team of Christ Church Ladies Fellowship