First Presbyterian Church

First Presbyterian Church
221 North Main Street
Belvidere, IL 61008

Monday, December 24, 2012

Script #121


This is the last script of 2012!

People keep asking what's happening on the corner of Lincoln and Main as...!

Well, it's gotta be experienced to be, uh, experienced!

"Best ever" Cantata, "Best ever" Children's Program, reinforcements, rivers not trickles, healings, miracles, peace, unity, and so much...

It's all happening because we're increasingly letting go and letting Him!

I urge you to see the only two things hanging on the walls in the study that I occupy temporarily as representative of what's happening on the corner of Lincoln and Main!

And here's a symbolic serendipity of what's happening many times almost every day through saints like you on the corner of Lincoln and Main now that we've let go and let Him:

Verbatim (12/21/12)

W/M: "I've got a terrible problem with...I
    didn't come to see you before
    because...But then I went to a service
    last week because I heard about what's
    been happening and...

RRK: "I'm glad you were in worship.  David
    said, 'God inhabits the praises of His
    people.'  What he meant was God works
    supernaturally in folks who just worship
    Him.  All kinds of problems just disappear
    when we worship Him.  I can't explain
    it/Him.  It/He just happens when..."

W/M: "O.K., but I spent lots of time talking
    to Pastor ___ before...I didn't want to...So
    I...But then I came to worship last week..."

RRK: "Excellent!  I believe our Lord wants
    us to agree to meet regularly until you're
    completely freed from...But I gotta tell
    you that I'm not a BSer.  I've gotta tell
    you straight: 'Silver and gold, I do not
    have.  But what I have, I give you, in
    the name of Jesus, walk!'  That means
    you can be the kind of woman/man
    you want to be as long as you are
    serious about Him, worship Him
    regularly, get into the Word, and, more
    than less, start doing what He tells you
    to do."

W/M: "I've been looking for someone who
    won't BS me...That's why I stopped
    coming here and stopped going to...I
    didn't like some of the..."

RRK: "The posers are gone, friend...The
    people who gather here now are
    serious about getting closer to Him and
    loving Him by loving like Him.  They're
    tired of the BS too...'religions' about
    Jesus...They/we really want authentic
    relationships with Him and His..."

[...We talked a lot about the preceding...]

RRK: "O.K., so we will get together
    regularly.  You will worship regularly.
    You will get into His Word."

W/M: "Deal!"

RRK: "Remember, my goal is that you
    do not become dependent upon me
    or anybody else but only on Him.  And
    as soon as you're healed - and that
    will be sooner than later if you keep
    the deal - we will stop meeting so
    I can refer people to you who need
    you to help them overcome this
    same problem..."

[...We talked a lot about the preceding;
    and then as she/he was walking out,
    the symbolic serendipity occurred...]

W/M: "Do you have any guides for me on
    how to read the Bible?"

RRK: "Wow!  Just before you came in,
    the Lord told me to write something
    about scratching the surface of
    Bible reading.  He has been compelling
    me to do lots of that kinda stuff lately;
    and I just started one on Bible reading
    just before you came in...I'll have it
    for you when..."

[...It's attached to this script...]

W/M: "I felt led to come here.  You felt
    led to...strange."

RRK: "Nah, it's just what's been happening
    almost every day on the corner of Lincoln
    and Main now that we've..."

Praise the Lord!

I pray your/our relationship with Him in
2013 expands beyond anything you/we
have ever experienced/expressed!

Blessings and Love!

Scratching the Surface


Bible Reading

(A Brief and Incomplete Guide to Devotional Bible Reading)

The Bible is our manual. 

It tells us about God’s love for us and how we can love Him back.

While it’s sometimes/often hard to obey His Word in Jesus as attested in the Bible, it’s more truthful than cliché to admit, “God said it!  We believe it!  That settles it!”  We don’t dare say, “We know that’s what God says in Jesus and the Bible, but we think…” 

Fortunately, we know Jesus forgives how we don’t measure up to the manual as long as we trust Him as our Lord and Savior.

Simply, the Bible is a personal love letter from God to us.

Whenever we read it, we get closer to Him and experience more of His love for us as we are increasingly compelled to love Him back.

A little exercise with 1 Peter 5:6-11, which can be applied to almost any part of the Bible, illustrates our personal relationship with Him.  Read the following sentences aloud and say your name when a ___ appears:

            If ___ will humble her/himself under the mighty hand of God, in His good
            time, He will lift ___ up.  Let Him have all ___’s worries and cares, for He is
always thinking about ___ and watching everything that concerns ___.

Trust the Lord; and remember that other Christians all around the world
are going through these sufferings too.

After ___ has suffered a little while, our God, who is full of kindness through
Christ, will give ___ His eternal glory.  He personally will come and pick ___
up, and set ___ firmly in place, and make ___ stronger than ever.

To Him be all power over all things, forever and ever.  Amen!

Devotional Bible reading, discovering God’s love for us and how we can love Him back, includes approaching every word reverently, redemptively, realistically, and regularly.

Reverently – Because we believe the Bible is inspired or God-breathed, we approach it with attention not contention.  Our privilege/responsibility is to read it and enflesh its clear truths into our lives.

Redemptively – Because we believe God wants us to know about His love for us and how we can love Him back, we know immersing ourselves into more intimacy with Him through devotional Bible reading will supernaturally restore more love, joy, peace, patience,

kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness/humility, and self-control into our lives.

Realistically – English is a notoriously imprecise language; hence, there is not one translation/paraphrase of the Bible that is pure and perfect in every way.  That’s why taking the time to read the Bible in different translations/paraphrases will yield more clarity and certainty about the content. 

Regularly – Giving the first and last words of the day to God in devotional Bible reading is a good start!  Be sure to include parts of the Hebrew Scriptures and New Testament in your daily plan; and while daily plans vary, remember this cardinal rule for devotional Bible reading: read the book more and more and more than books about the book!

I would never suggest my daily plan is better than anybody else’s; however, I am reminded of Moody’s retort to someone who didn’t like the way he did it: “I prefer how I do it to how you don’t do it.”  While I tend to stay with the NET, NIV, NKJV, NLT, RSV, Message, and Voice, I start every day by reading parts of the Hebrew Scriptures and New Testament, read one book from either sometime during the day, and ask the Holy Spirit to direct my final reading of the day. 

Yes, I look at the originals on occasion and often become preoccupied with one book over others for seasons; yet regardless of the reverent, redemptive, realistic, and regular plan, Eugene Peterson’s conclusion has convinced me by experience/expression: “As we read, and the longer we read, we are in conversation with God.”

Please note this is a brief and incomplete guide to devotional Bible reading!

Devotional Bible reading is different from reading the Bible to prepare a Bible study lesson for Sunday School, homily/sermon/message, write a paper, or some other kinda academic, ecclesiastical, or professional pursuit. 

Devotional Bible reading is more about increasing our personal relationship with God than preparing to help someone else through exposition of a text(s); meaning we allow Him to direct us as we encounter Him in the Bible more than decide how we want to communicate Him to others.

Devotional Bible reading recognizes the necessity of getting closer to God in a personal way as a prerequisite to communicating in a corporate way.

Finally, my home pastor Harold F. Mante suggested this general rule for getting closer to God that can be applied to devotional Bible reading: “Be slow!  Be steady!  Be solid!”

Intimacy with our Lord increases as we increase intimacy

with Him through worship, prayer, Bible study, fasting,
sacrament, silence, stewardship, and regular
fellowship with His family of faith
uncommonly called the Church.

Are you still looking for a different way to do church?
Are you tired of the SOSO RELIGION?
Are you put off by posers in pews, politics, and pulpits?
Are you searching for something/Someone real, honest, timely, and true to…?
Try our family of faith on the corner of Lincoln and Main!
(Belvidere, Illinois)

Sundays at 7:20 and 10:00 a.m.

And so much…

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