An Introduction |It is my diligent prayer over your lives that you will know and understand the freedom that comes from living within God’s will reaffirmed through His written word, the scriptures.
A Prose| Written words are powerful tools. Through writing, humans can record fact, create worlds of fiction, and blend the two. We can dream beyond our limitations. We can move emotions, change theories, and pivot another human’s journey. Written words are often more permanent than a spoken word. They are sometimes louder than a voice. They can be stakeholders in a point of time or they can be reused in moments far away from their origination. Written words can be bent and swayed and molded by context, used as stubborn weaponry in one moment and as healing compassionate balm in another. Written words can fall flat in the reader’s mind, or inspire subsequent new creation.
Written words are powerful.
God created them to be.
And with our ability to use them comes great responsibility.
A Reflection | Sometimes I’ve wondered why God chose the form of scripture as a tool for guiding us. We often read and interpret the scriptures askew, filtered through our own culture. We tend to want to wade through them with blinders on.
Yes, the scriptures are written words: often misinterpreted, often misunderstood, and sometimes they seem too flexible in the winds of interpretation and the waves of history. They are mostly screened through bias. They are foreign, yet familiar. The scriptures are sometimes confusing and sometimes pointedly clear.
Yet, in spite of these things—in spite of the wrestle with meaning and context and relevance—I’ve learned to cling to them as my primary map for navigating life.
As I have clung to them, I’ve found not that I know how to measure each sentence against hard scientific truths or that I can fully extract the deeper meanings hidden in the words of Jesus — but that they, despite my understanding of them, are a solid foundation and a clear path. And even when God’s commands stated within them seem impossible to abide, I’ve come to understand their authority.
Yes, my sons, the scriptures hold authority.
An Instruction| The holy scriptures are a merciful gift from our God and when you courageously and consciously remove the blinders, step beyond your culture, push aside your bias (or ask the Holy Spirit to do that for you), and leap into the discovery process of God’s word, you will find hope and freedom. You will find Jesus saying, “Come, follow me.”
See, sons, most of my young life I felt that Jesus’ command to follow him was a request for a sacrifice I could never know how to give. The disciples left all their belongings and all of their responsibilities behind to follow Jesus. I’ve spent many days and nights praying “How can I do this? How could Jesus ask me to leave it all behind? Does this even apply to my life?”
What I’ve come to know, through many trials and crossroads, is that Jesus’ command to “Come, follow me,” is not, alone, a request for sacrifice (of ourselves and our egos, and rightly so)—it is a merciful gift of kindness. By leading us, Jesus is removing the burden of navigating this life on our own and trying to find our own way or make our own decisions. We no longer have to feel the need of determining right and wrong. In His mercy, God relieves us from our own inability to determine the best path to walk down. He knows the best path. It’s already been determined. All we have to do is follow. And, yes, it does apply to me — and you.
It’s a simple gift—a trail to follow. But it’s not an easy one. Jesus asks us to take up our cross and follow Him, and I believe He means it.
Trust him, my sons. And be wary of voices that filter God’s written words through cultural standards and personal bias through, diluting His powerful gift of direction their own determinations of right and wrong. Let the burden of right and wrong roll off of your shoulders and trust your Father’s guidance.
His path is narrow. It does require sacrifice. But you will not be left to navigate the path on your own. It is clearly defined in His Word.
This path was constructed with incredible kindness for you—and, ultimately, it is good.
A Final Greeting|I know it may be hard to believe, my sons, but He loves you even more than your mom could ever love you. Follow His scriptures, feast off of His word. He will never lead you astray.
And that is my prayer for you, my sweet boys, every day.