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Come to know the Author, and not just His Book
I’m sure if you’re a reader of our blogs, you are also one who loves to study the Scriptures.
The point of this blog is simple – but I hope also profound. Many people study to learn data and facts. They can quote scripture and verse on almost any topic. They spend hours looking into the Hebrew and Greek and trying to learn every nuance. I do a fair amount of that too, so I’m not “knocking” that.
But it’s very possible to know a book inside out – including the Bible – and still miss ever coming to know its Author. Yeshua (Jesus) is the Word. He wrote and inspired what we read when we do Bible study. You’re growing in grace and knowledge – but the rest of the verse says we are to “grow in the grace and knowledge OF our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18). Come to know HIM, not just what he wrote. Sure, knowing what He wrote helps us to come to know him better as well. I get that. But go deeper than just facts and data.
Any book – whether fiction, scripture or history or whatever – becomes indescribably more interesting – once you come to meet or to know the author. The book and the words in the book will come alive. That’s why when authors come out with their latest book, they do personal book signings. They want their readers to meet them – the authors – and have a “feel” for what kind of human being this author is. They know the book will be more interesting and come alive more if people have met them, the authors, first. If you come to meet Yeshua in a personal way, you’ll also find His book to be much more interesting.
FEEL the “heart” of God and Yeshua as you read the words being expressed. Remember Yeshua is the Word (John 1:1-3) and the Bible is Yeshua in print. Come to really know your Maker and Savior through His word. The apostle Paul said one of his over-arching goals in his life was “that I may KNOW Him and the power of HIS resurrection….” (Philippians 3:10). Do you and I wish to really come to personally know our Savior? It’s a must. And you will get so much more out of His Book – if we come to know its Author intimately.
Click on “Continue reading” for some examples of HOW to come to know the Author – and not just the Author’s words.
Before delving into scripture, ask a blessing – and give thanks for – this spiritual “meal” you are about to consume. Ask Yeshua (Jesus) to open your eyes and heart, not just to his words, but to HIM. To HIM personally. Bible study will become intensely personal as you do this. In prayer, ask Yeshua to come into your own heart as you read of HIM and His heart. Ask him to manifest himself to you as you read the words He inspired. Look at your Bible study as your “personal date” – over coffee -- with your Beloved Husband-to-Be. I promise you, if you look forward to your own one-on-one times with your Maker and Savior – and ask Him to let you hear Him as you read of Him – you’ll be well on your way to coming to know the Author, and not just the book.
Let’s look at some ways we can get to know our Master better.
Pray our Father will give each of us a heart “to know” Him (Jeremiah 24:7; 31:31-34). Our carnal, normal heart is “enmity against God” (Romans 8:7) and is deceitfully wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). We can’t obey, nor can we walk in his paths, until we have his new heart.
But once we are given our new heart, that new spiritual heart is no longer “enmity” or against God. Read Ezekiel 36:26-27. Our new heart now loves God and His ways. Our new converted heart – a NEW HEART from God – is NOT deceitfully wicked, or it’s not in fact a new heart! I keep hearing preachers dwelling on the negative about how bad our carnal hearts are. That’s true. But if we’re in Christ, and have HIS heart, a NEW heart, all things have become new. Let’s start believing what scripture says about the new heart God gives us – a heart that now wants to obey, wants to walk the walk, wants to be close to God and loves Him. King David records in so many of his psalms – “Oh how LOVE I thy law…” That’s the “new self”, the new heart speaking there. Oh yes, we still have the old carnal heart as well, and we’ll have this war between the “old man” and the “new man”; between what we were and what we are becoming. How well I understand that battle. And so do you.
So ask for a new heart so you CAN walk the new walk. Then exercise restraint and resist sin and do the good and choose to walk with God now.
Our Messiah made it clear that those who will come to know him will walk more and more as He walked. We can’t claim to know Him and continue in a deliberate life of sin. 1 John 2:3-6 is ultra-clear about this. By this we know that we know him: by keeping His commandments. Read it. It’s all right there. His commandments demonstrate the mind of God in action. When we obey him, when we follow his Way, we learn what he’s like and why he does what he does. We come to know the author as we finally grasp that his every action is a reflection of love for God or mankind. His laws explain how he thinks. As we observe his law, we get inside his very own heart. Our old self dies and our new life is in Christ, in God (Col. 3:3-4). Many profess to know him but by their works they deny him (Titus 1:16). And in fact they risk hearing Him say, “Depart from me, you workers of iniquity, for I never knew you” (Matthew 7:21-23). Ouch! What could be worse than Messiah saying he doesn’t know you – or me?
So ask Him to open your mind to see things with His eyes. To hear things with His ears. We come to know Him as we resist sin, as we choose to walk in the paths of righteousness – even when our carnal side is crying out for our flesh to be satisfied.
So we start with all of that I’ve already stated.
Then, as you study God’s word, put yourself into any Bible situation being described. Try to “see” with God’s eyes and see and hear what HE is seeing and hearing. With God’s spirit, maybe we can do more of that than we might have previously thought. Can you read the story of how God came down and confused all the languages (Genesis 11), without feeling God’s amusement? God was forcing the rebels building Babylon to separate. He did so by suddenly preventing them from being able to communicate! Mankind - - at least those who existed after the Flood -- had never had but one language to this point. I can’t read Genesis 11 without feeling and hearing God’s amusement at the various human reactions and responses when each group of people tried to communicate with what were now “foreigners” – or those who were now speaking a “foreign language”.
Come to feel the Author’s heart as he cried out to his Abba in heaven in Gethsemane – minutes and hours before his excruciating scourging and then the torture of crucifixion. He had seen dozens of real live crucifixions before this and now it was his turn to go through this horrifying slow death. Be there with him, stop reading and feel the moment. Come to know Yeshua’s agony in the garden to the point his capillaries burst and he sweat blood.
Put yourself into the scene of John 4 – and the woman at the well. Feel our Master’s joy of revealing His identity to this sinful woman. He didn’t reveal it in the same way to the High Priest, or the rulers of synagogues, or the nobles and leaders. No, He reveals himself to this disgraced woman who had come to the well alone, at noon, when she figured others were less likely to be at the well in the heat of noon day. She was so excited after experiencing the Messiah’s presence that she left her bucket there! Feel Yeshua’s joy for her!
Then be there with Him in John 8 as the Pharisees threw down to Jesus’ feet a woman caught committing adultery. Never mind where the adulterous man was. FEEL and HEAR and come to know Yeshua’s heart as you speak his words o the trembling woman: “Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.” Feel His love and mercy.
“He who does not love, does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:8). The converse is also true. As we practice love and loving acts, forgiving and seeking cohesion in love -- we do come to know Him who IS love.
Now read more of the stories of the Bible and now be present in the moment – try to see and feel each story as Christ Himself might have, or as Father in Heaven would have.
For example, read the story of the gold calf (Exodus 32), and if you seek to feel God’s heart, you will feel not just a deep anger over Israel’s sin and infidelity – but you will feel the indescribable pain of a spouse who discovers his wife in bed with another, just weeks after she married you. Yahweh’s pain is palpable. It’s deep. This is but one example of coming to know the Author – and not just His words. Be there; pray to him as you read of his pain.
Another story: the resurrection. Experience the VICTORY Christ felt as He is resurrected from the dead, sees the stone being rolled away, the armed Roman guards fainting for fear, and now realizing HE IS RISEN. Father has accepted his sacrifice and in Christ’s resurrection was accepting all of us who believe in Him and look to him as King and Savior.
You who are moms and dads – enjoy with God the Father as you feel his great pleasure of resurrecting Yeshua from that tomb. And for that matter, share in part of the thrill our Father has every time he begets yet another child of His, as He pours out His Holy spirit.
When you read your Bible this way – and live it, and walk the walk with Christ – you will come to know your Savior more and more intimately.
I could go on and on. But the point is simple but powerful: focus more on coming to know the Author, and not just His book.
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