THE GOSPELS 56
TIME OUT TO THINK
The Bible tells us that we were made in the “image” of God. Obviously this does not mean that God has five senses with which to perceive the physical world, or a body which occupies space. We were made in the “spiritual” image of God. Of all the wonders of creation, nothing can compare with the human mind. With this mind we can study, evaluate and make choices in our world which set the standards we live by and chart the course of our life. Having given us this power, God expects us to use it to find and embrace Him as the source of our life. This takes effort and creates a personal relationship with Him.
One of the major sources of all religious error and division is ignorance. Not because people are dumb or stupid, but because they refuse to make the effort to find the truth. Paul urged Timothy to study to show himself approved before God. He commended the Bereans for being more noble because they searched the scriptures to find the truth. Ignorance is the favorite tool of power-hungry men who seek to control others. Certain religious institutions actually discourage the study of the Word of God because such study would destroy their control, and expose the errors which they use for power. This is the bane of organized religion. People refuse to study for themselves, but allow the institution to tell them what is truth. Their loyalty is not to God’s Word, but to the institution to which they belong, and so, they become ignorant of that which would create a personal relationship between them and the Father.
Words are tricky things. Each word is subject to multiple definitive interpretations. Therefore, the serious student needs to take time and give much thought to the things which he reads. The danger of “daily Bible readings” is that people often read the words and feel that they are successful daily Bible readers, but never see the real truths contained in the words. People should spend ten times as much time thinking as they do reading, or the reading is a waste of time.
These essays are designed to examine the profound and meaningful words Jesus is using in the Sermon on the Mount, and to try to discover the power these words have to make us the kind of people He wants us to be. A disciple is a follower of Christ, but we must carefully study the path if we are to know how He wants us to walk in it. I would have you find in these essays a motivation to read the words Jesus uses, and to say, “Lord, what do you have to say to me ?”