We are going to look at this graphic from left to right.
- Abandoning a Posture of Power: Reading the Scripture well requires we be willing to abandon our posture of power over the text. We don’t read the Bible to master the text. We read the Bible because we’ve come under the authority of the Master of the text. I cannot stand above the text in a manner that suggests that my reading is the only, right, determinative interpretation. I can’t suggest by my reading that I have a corner of the God market. I can’t pretend as we talked a few days ago to have God’s Eye View on the text. Instead, we come to the text as those who’ve encountered the God of the text. We meet God on our way into the Bible and that encounter humbles us. It reminds us of the vastness, power, and immeasurable magnificence of God. We come to terms that our brains are real small and our God is real big.
- Peering through the Text: Once we’ve been knocked to our knees, we are ready to read the Bible. We pick up the Bible not as an end in of itself. The Bible is not a stand-alone, self-contained, self-referential, self-evident text. The Bible is not an object of worship. The Bible is first and foremost the means through which God chooses to make himself known. From our knees, we peer through the text to the One who has been at work throughout all human history, inspiring the events recorded in the text, inspiring the writers of the text, at work in our reading of the text, revealing himself through the text. We come to know who God is, specifically as He makes himself known in Jesus Christ, through the text.
- Going In: Now that God is revealing himself through the text, we can’t toss the text aside as if to say, I’ve got God, what do I need the Bible for? No, upon our encounters with God in and through the text, God thrusts us back into the Bible. God chooses not only to reveal himself to us through the Bible, but it is through the Bible that God reveals who we are. I come to understand my place in the story of God, my identity, my purpose, and His will for my life (our lives) through deep engagement with the Scriptures.
- Story Change: Let me put it this way. As we find ourselves face to face with the God of the universe, the One that hung the moon in the stars in the sky and boundaried the oceans, the One that said, “Let it be and it was, and it was good,” the One who dawned the flesh of humanity, endured the cross, and was raised from the dead, He leads us back into the text declaring, “This is MY Story.” Through engagement with His story, the old stories of my life are stripped away. They pass away as I discover God’s hope-filled, redemptive, never-give-up on creation New Kind of Story, a story that continues to press humanity forward into God’s tenacious love and unrelenting desire to reclaim all that is lost, restore all that has been broken, and announce once again, “It is good.”
- Find YOUR Place: We are called (as we talked about yesterday) to find our place in that story, so that as we enter into the world, our day to day life, we aren’t overcome by its stories, but overcome its story through the story of God’s grace and through the power of God’s Spirit. We become the people of God’s story dispatched into the world to live a life to God’s glory. We live a life aligned to His purposes, His will, His desires, and ultimately HIS KINGDOM! Faithfulness is found in a life consistently immersed in His presence and consistently aligned with His story.
- Understand…HIS STORY lays complete claim over our lives. The One we see through the text declares to us, “I see YOU!” “I want YOU!” “You are MINE.” We are claimed by God as His masterpiece, His workmanship created to fulfill the good works and character of God’s design.
It’s Luke 6 time! Now we take another step into the story of Jesus and this time he begins to reshape our stories in pretty significant ways. I want you to read Luke 6. What do you discover about the heart of God through this text? What kind of impact does this passage have on how we understand our lives, our place in God’s story? What kind of realignment is God calling you to through these passages?
For you over achievers…
Read Matthew Chapters 5-7. How does what you read there correlate with Luke 6? What does Matthew do that Luke doesn’t? What impact does 3 chapters have that 1 chapter doesn’t or vice versa?