On hearing it, many of his disciples said, "This is a hard teaching.
Who can accept it?" John 6:60
I guess I am old school because I still prefer a real paper book instead of reading on an electronic device. But I must admit, I love the feature of electronically highlighting the portions of a book that I like and having the ability to copy and paste. This way I have all the parts of the book that really mean something to me saved for later reference. As a writer, cut and paste is often used in my work. I can remove a word, sentence or entire paragraph and move it all around. I can copy a quote and paste it right into my paper.
I remember the first time I really studied the book of James and felt very convicted by most every verse. There were parts that I kind of wish I could remove and ignore. Interesting thing that after many years of using the same Bible, sections began to loosen and James was part of the section that fell out one day. I am so thankful that I had it stitched back in because today it is one of my most treasured books in the Bible.
I recently felt a warning from the Lord during worship about not accepting all of Him. We have become so accustomed to cutting and pasting and sending documents to the trash bin, that before we know it we are picking and choosing which parts of God’s word to keep.
The Spirit brought to mind the passage in Luke 4, where Jesus had just returned from His time of testing in the wilderness. He returned to Galilee and began teaching.
Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him. (v. 14-15)
The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.
All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked. (v. 20- 22)
Everyone praised him. The eyes of everyone were fastened on Him. All spoke well of him and were amazed at his words. Suddenly everything turned. Just a few verses later we read: "All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff." (v. 28-29)
Now, the message wasn’t what they wanted to hear and they not only wanted to delete the message, but also the messenger. You know the same can be true of us.
We praise Him. We love Him. We are in awe of him and our eyes are fixed on Him until suddenly a new verse in life comes and we reject it. It’s not the way life was supposed to be. This can’t be the God I love.
We are so quick to cut the hard truth and send it to the trash bin. Before we know it we have a twisted view of God. We put our expectations onto God instead of aligning our hearts to Him. The really big truth is, He is God and we are not.
HE IS GOD AND WE ARE NOT! TRUST HIM!
"'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,'”
declares the Lord. 'As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.'" Isaiah 55:8-9
We may not want to push Him off the brow of the mountain, but we do the same in our hearts when we reject any part of Him. He is not a pick and choose, cut and paste God.
Lord, convict our hearts of the places that we ignore, that, which is just too hard to obey. Forgive us when we quickly move from awe to furious. May we keep our eyes fastened on the One who knows all things. May we never be guilty of throwing you off the throne of our heart. Give us grace to endure and receive the hard teachings and difficult verses of life. And thank you that you are God, and I am not.