Monthly Archives: October 2013

What’s in a name?

 

Knowing God’s name gives us confidence that he will always remembers his promises to us. When Moses asked who he is, God said to Moses (Exodus 3:14):

“I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”

Hebrew ‘I AM’ sounds like ‘Yahweh’, and that’s what is meant every time you read ‘the LORD’ in your Bible. But what does ‘I AM’ mean?

It could be the present tense, ‘I am who I am’. He is totally independent and can’t be changed by others. For him to save you, it must be on his terms. We don’t decide what God is like, as if he’s a Bunning’s DIY project god! He is who he is.

It could be the past tense, meaning ‘I have always been who I have always been’. He’s got history with his people, he’s not a ‘Johnny come lately’ but is the God of Moses’ ancestors, the one who has made promises and is committed to ongoing relationship.

Or it could be the future tense, ‘I will be who I will be’. He has a future, and there is more to come in how he acts to save his people… ‘You ain’t seen nothing yet, watch what I am about to do with you!’

It might be all three meanings… you can trust the God who has history with you and has made promises in the past; you can trust the God who is real and who is independent to you; and you can trust the God who says we have a future together – I’m about to save you, this is just the beginning.

In Christ, Tory Cayzer.

 

Setting out on the Exodus

I’m excited about the journey we start today at Walgett and Collarenebri Churches in Exodus. Arguably, you cannot understand the grand story of God’s rescue mission for the world without understanding this OT book.

But how do we read such an epic book today?

Is it just history… spectacular events that happened over 3000 years ago on the other side of the planet so that we can fill our heads with history and facts… but not love the God behind the history!?

Does it give us just images and symbols… so we can put ourselves in the story and apply these images and symbols to our daily struggles as individuals and people groups… but ignore God’s grand plan of salvation for the whole creation centered in Jesus Christ!?

Is it a self-help book… look for verses that might encourage and give me warm-fuzzy feelings of inner-peace!?

Is it a proof-text… find verses that support what I’m already doing, but ignore anything that challenges us to live a different way as a follower of Jesus!?

No. Exodus itself forces us to read with a focus on our God, the LORD Yahweh. We have to focus on God, not ourselves.

It’s not until we know the character of God that we can have true faith and hope. Then we can journey through life with a rock solid confidence in God.

Because what we will see is that Yahweh will not allow anyone or anything to stand in the way of a close and committed relationship with his people.

So the paradox is that it’s not until we focus on God that we understand who we are.

In Christ, Tory Cayzer.

Reading the Bible today

Men often have hearing problems.

But once an elderly man was concerned his wife was getting hard of hearing. And so he asked his doctor how he could show his wife she has a hearing problem, in a sensitive and loving way. The doctor’s plan was simple: ‘From a long distance ask her a question. If she doesn’t reply take a step closer, and ask again. Get closer until she finally replies, then make a point that you’ve been asking from far away and it was only from this close that she heard. That will make the point.’

So the man went home and asked his wife: ‘Darling, what’s for dinner tonight?’ When she didn’t reply, he moved closer and asked again: ‘What’s for dinner tonight darling?’ No reply. He moved closer again. ‘Darling, what’s for dinner tonight?’ Still no reply, and so a step closer he asked the same question. No reply. Finally, he stood right beside her, and at last her reply came: ‘For the fifth time, ROAST LAMB!!!’

Poor hearing frustrates us all. Even worse is when we don’t hear God. He speaks through his Word the Bible and so we must listen carefully. Careful listening results in doing what his Word says.

How is your Bible reading going?

Let’s encourage one another today to be a church family devoted to hearing God speak. It’s through his Word that he leads us to our God and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Here are two Bible reading methods you may find useful:

A 7-minute method…

Pray for 1-minute asking help to hear God’s Word.

Then in 5-minutes read the Bible passage asking:

WHAT does the passage say?

SO WHAT is the meaning of the passage?

NOW WHAT are we to do?

Pray for 1-minute asking help to do the NOW WHAT.

 

The C.O.M.A. method (from One to One Bible Reading, David Helm, Matthias Media, 2011). Read and re-read the passage asking…

Context – what comes before and after my passage, what else comes in the book, where does this passage come in the Bible?

Observation – What do you observe about the main characters, what surprises you, what conflict or crisis is there, what logical connections exist (and, for, because, but), what is repeated?

Meaning – Does the author gives hints to why he is writing, what does this teach about God and salvation in Jesus Christ, are there specific commands or instructions, how would you summarise this passage?

Application – how does this passage challenge or confirm your understanding of who God is and what he is like, is there a behaviour or attitude you need to change, how does this passage lead you to trust in God and his promise of salvation in Jesus Christ?

 

If you are wondering what to read, here are some Bible reading plans and resources: http://www.communicatejesus.com/2011/12/30-resources-to-help-you-read-the-bible-in-2012/

In Christ, Tory Cayzer.