Saturday, July 22, 2017

Acts 29: "rhyme and reason"

The Word for today:
Acts 25:13-27
The book of Acts stops at chapter 28, verse 31. But the reader is left hanging in mid-air, with the definite impression that Acts may have stopped there, but it doesn't end there:
"The book of Acts is still being written. Like the Gospel of Luke, the book of Acts is yet another record of the things Jesus ‘began both to do and to teach.’ Jesus isn’t finished yet. He began His ministry in His human body, as recorded in the Gospels. He continued in His body, the church, through the book of Acts. He continues His ministry today through you and me and every other believer on the planet. The book of Acts will be completed someday. And when it is completed, you and I will have a chance to read it in glory, in eternity, when the plan of God has been fulfilled. When we read it, what will my part be in that great story? And what will yours be?" –- Ray Stedman, Adventuring Through the Bible
Stand in the Rain is taking a long look at various aspects of believers' testimonies--the stories, in-the-making right now, that will someday appear in "Acts 29."
As we speak of these stories in general, we encourage you to think, in particular, about the tale your own life is telling--and to "edit" (where necessary) before publication!
personal: modified or affected by personal views, experience, or background
expressing or dealing with facts or conditions as perceived without distortion by personal feelings, prejudices, or interpretations
Two realms have staked out territory in the human psyche. Sometimes referred to as "Rhyme and Reason" (or as "Heart and Head" or as "Subjective and Objective" or as "the Affective Domain and the Effective Domain") these states of mind are often thought to be in conflict, because within us they often are. But in Jesus Christ, they are so seamlessly and exquisitely apportioned that the one is the other:
For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.  (John 1:17/NASB)
know Jesus is God and I know that the Bible is the Word of God. But much of my certainty stems from the subjective realm: I know Jesus is God because he, far more than anyone or anything else I've encountered, rhymes and harmonizes with my experience; the truth he has pronounced in scripture is in accord with what I know to be true about life.
Truth isn't truth because he approved it. Truth is what it is because he shaped it that way. He's not a philosopher who observes truth. He's the Creator who engineered truth to match what he'd already envisioned. Truth didn't enter his head; it emanated from his head.
He's not a mere example of what is beautiful and noble; he's the source of beauty and nobility. He, indeed, is beauty and truth.
There. Those are thoughts that come straight from the poetic realm, from the realm of rhyme. Rhyme is musical and harmonic, sensual and memorable. It's that certain something -- "something in the way she moves" -- that made you fall in love.
But, as your Dad should have told you, rhyme doesn't pay the bills. Reason -- "just the facts, ma'am" -- may not win hearts, but it keeps the creditors at bay. So while I know in my heart that Jesus is the only real issue and the only valid answer, I cannot just emote that truth to others.  I have to arrange a rational explanation in order to express my heart. The apostle Peter wrote that we should prepare a reasoned explanation for our faith in Jesus, so that we are ready to respond when questions come our way:
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.  (1 Peter 3:15)
It's great if Jesus sets your heart aflame, makes you feel as if you're walking on air, and leaves you positively twitterpated. It's great for you, that is.
But feelings can't communicate, to others, why you feel as you do. We can't tell someone, "I'm joyful because I'm joyful." They want the reason why.
Rhyme and reason are both part of the Christian experience. So as you live out the story to be published in Acts 29, make sure that it resonates in the heart and communicates to the head.
Tomorrow, we'll focus on writing "rhyme" ("heart"/the subjective/the affective) into your testimony. So don't forget to bring your violin or any other items of enchantment.
On the day after that, you'll want your thinking cap and your slide rule (What's that?!) when we'll be adding "reason" to the mix.

No comments:

Post a Comment