Wednesday, October 21, 2015

the reunion of heart and head

The Word for today:
John 3:22-36
Not long ago, I went to the monthly men's breakfast at a nearby church. The pastor spoke about the purpose of the Word of God:
"The purpose of reading the Bible is not information, but transformation."
When we read, he said, "We should ask ourselves--
What is this saying?
What does this mean?
How does this apply to me today?"
I tend to be an academic head. I can be three cross-references over that-a-way before I even know it. Certainly there is nothing but right with mining deeply for the treasures of God's Word. But, from one to another, let me say to all you academic heads out there--
How does this apply to us today?
When I got home from the men's breakfast, I turned on the computer to write tomorrow's Stand in the Rain blog. I looked at the reading schedule for the day: John 3:22-36. I turned to the bookshelf beside me and reached for my big, trusty New American Standard Bible, center-column-referenced. At verse 23: Now John was baptizing in Aenon near Salim..., I was already in the back of the Bible, in the maps, looking for Aenon near Salim.
God made the head and the heart. They are to be seamless, of a single piece. Emotional so-called Christianity turns my stomach, if it is not accompanied by a deep and systematic study of God's precious Word. I know no one--no not one--who neglects systematic Bible study and knows Jesus well.
And I know no one--no not one--who studies scripture but disdains to practice it, who knows Jesus well. In fact, the Bible shows us a group of such men: the Pharisees. Enough said.
The trick is not to stop being emotional. Be ever more emotional! But make sure you are using your head as well as your heart.
The trick is not to stop being academic. Be ever more academic! But make sure you are using your heart as well.
So, with the breakfast's lesson still sounding in my ears, I placed my heavily referenced Bible back on the shelf. I reached for a little pocket Testament. There'd be no cross references in there.
Listening for direction, I heard John the Baptist say, "He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less." So I purposed in my heart to live that way today.
Then I closed my little Testament and reached for my Bible atlas. I found where Aenon near Salim was.
Then I closed my atlas and began to write this blog, my heart now reunited with my head.

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