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Making It Real

Making It Real

“What does this have to do with real life?!” Have you ever heard someone (perhaps one of your children) ask that question after reading a passage in the Bible? Have you ever asked yourself that question? I am sure we all have. The practical application of Scripture is not always immediately evident, but the realities of everyday life always seem to be.

Labor Day Monday morning was Day 1 of our 15-month journey together reading through the Bible as the New Covenant family (see last week’s Life Together article for more details). At
8:00 a.m. I was making pancakes for our kids (a holiday and Saturday morning ritual in our home), and we were listening to Genesis 1-2 at All was right in the world. It was a little slice of heaven on Chalkstone Avenue. Clearly I was the leading candidate for Dad of the Year. At 9:00 a.m. reality set in. After a weekend of fun, it was time to help mom with the house cleaning. Now I was in Will and Benjamin’s bedroom cracking the whip like an Egyptian slave-driver as my boys picked up their clothes, made their beds, and dusted their dressers. Motivation was lacking, and there was a general sense of blah. As a household, we had gone from sublime to the mundane in the time it took to go up the steps from the kitchen to our bedrooms.

What did Genesis 1-2 have to do with picking up dirty socks???

Actually, quite a lot. The conversation started with the word “dominion.” Benjamin (age 6) wasn’t sure what it meant, but Will (age 11) gave me a slam dunk definition when I asked: “It means to have authority over something.” I asked Benjamin, “Who has authority over the whole world?”

He rightly answered, “God does.”

“Why?” I asked.

“Because He made it,” Benjamin responded.

Yes! We had just listened to that very truth from Genesis: God made the world so he has dominion over it. He also made people in His image and gave them dominion to rule over and care for the world as He would. Now it was time to make the connection to real life. “So,” I asked, “do you boys have dominion over anything?”

“Um...this room, I guess.”

Yes! That just happened! Genesis 1-2 do have direct application to everyday realities like a child cleaning his room. There we were on Chalkstone Avenue reflecting God’s image by bringing order to the chaos! From that point of practical application of God’s Word, we were able to discuss how we can honor God by caring for whatever belongs to us including our bodies.

The law of the LORD is perfect,
reviving the soul;
the testimony of the LORD is sure,
making wise the simple;
the precepts of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart;
the commandment of the LORD is pure,
enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the LORD is clean,
enduring forever;
the rules of the LORD are true,
and righteous altogether.
(Psalm 19:7-9 ESV)

David makes it clear in Psalm 19 that God’s Word
(or law/testimony/precepts/commandments/rules) is not static. It is vibrantly active (see Hebrews 4:12). Through it God has committed himself to accomplishing his kingdom purposes (Isaiah 55:11). Even when I don’t immediately see what a given passage of Scripture has to do with my life, I can have confidence (faith!) that it does. Any shortfall that I might sense, is not the Bible’s fault. God has made that abundantly clear -- in his Word (how’s that for an immediate application). The precious and great promises of God’s Word are fully sufficient to make me more like Christ as I apply them to my life (2 Peter 1:3-4).

This is where each of us needs “illumination,” the supernatural ministry of the Holy Spirit in which he “turns the light on” so that we understand God’s Word as God intends for it to be understood. What a gift we posses as God’s children! Let’s make sure we take full advantage of this new covenant blessing by seeking it through prayer.  As we continue this journey in the Scriptures together, make it your regular practice to ask God to give you eyes to see wonderful things -- glorious truths that intersect with your life -- in His Word (Psalm 119:18).

Delighting with you in the Word,

Pastor Dave DeHaan