I provided some personal updates in last week's Memo, and thought I would continue with that strategy again this week. This time, I will include a few biblical insights I have had recently. As I entered the number for this week's Memo (757), I am amazed that I have been writing the Memo almost every week without interruption since 2001. I thank God that He has empowered me to take something this simple and make it into the tool for encouragement and teaching that it has become. Thank you for reading, and if you will keep on reading, I will keep on writing!
- I came across Romans 15:1, which states: "We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves." I thought it interesting that Paul considered himself and others strong in faith, and placed others in the weak category. This indicates that there are both strong and weak in God's kingdom where matters of faith are concerned, and it is permissible to categorize yourself as "strong." Where purpose is concerned, I am strong!
- John 9 contains one of my favorite Bible stories of the man born blind whom Jesus healed. At the end of the chapter, Jesus had this exchange with the Pharisees: "Jesus said, 'For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.' Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “'What? Are we blind too?' Jesus said, 'If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains'" (John 9-39-41). When I say I am a mess, Jesus is with me. When I am blind to my mess and focus on the mess of others, I am still in my blindness and Jesus cannot help me. Let me say without hesitation and with no explanation - I am a mess!
- It seems to me that we have not spent enough time emphasizing the importance of Genesis 1 and 2, and Revelation 21 and 22, the bookends of the entire Bible. Colossians 1:19-20 states, "For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross." Jesus came to restore all things, including the conditions in the Garden before the Fall. The concepts in Genesis 1 and 2 include purpose, creativity, goal-setting, time management, teamwork, and rest. We have trivialized Revelation by focusing on the work of the antichrist instead of the Christ, and we have made the forgiveness of sins, as necessary as that is, as the only work of the cross. Jesus came to do more than just forgive sins; He came to restore God's kingdom!
- I was talking with someone the other day who said, "Gosh, Jesus is a writer because Hebrews 12:2 says He is the author of faith!" I stopped for a minute and had to smile that I had never considered the word "author" in that verse. In light of my publishing company and my own books, I am now praying to Jesus as one author to another!
That's it for now. I am not sure where we will head next week, but I am sure the same God who directed me through 757 Memos has a few more for me to write. Have a blessed week!