People travel around the world to catch a glimpse of something visual. It creates a sense of wonder. It could be the Louvre in Paris, the Rocky Mountains, or the wonder found in the birth of a baby. One look and you are moved to a sense of wonder.
Again, I would like to write about my wall of visuals.
The second visual that speaks to me is a picture of an engraved stone. It sits at the centre of the seminary which I attended, Dallas Theological Seminary.
My wife and I were just three months married when we moved into our 450 square foot apartment. International housing supplied friends from around the world. Every class was a pure joy.
The engraved stone which I would walk past every day as I attended classes had three words on it - "Preach The Word."
At first glance you might say to yourself "nice slogan for a seminary." I was equally impressed with the Briercrest Bible College sign in 1980 - "The grass withers, the flower fades but the word of our God stands forever".
Why is it on my wall? Let me tell you. Over the years I have occasionally succumbed to a ministry leaning which I call "the magic bullet syndrome" where it seems like there is something just around the corner that is going to save the day.
Don't get me wrong, they were all a part of how I have been shaped to serve the body of Christ and the community around me. Strangely I acknowledge them as God trends as they have created opportunities of ministry.
However, that is all they are . . . trends.
As Solomon said, of the writing of many books there is no end . . . the conclusion of the matter is to fear God and keep His commandments.
No matter how many times I get distracted by another magic bullet, at the forefront of my mind is the question "What does God's word say?" Preach the word.
That is what Bible writer Paul said to his apprentice Timothy and those instructions are still good and true today. Let me tell how you should respond to the preached word.
Receive the word as God incarnate. In the book of John, he introduces Jesus as the word who was with God and who was God. Although it might seem a bit mysterious and inexplicable, the word wants to speak to you.
Don't let paper colour, font types, accents or language inhibit you. If you have ears to hear, eyes to see, the word will speak to you.
Let the word feed your spiritual soul. Slogans are cute. Statements are pithy. Topical thoughts can be interesting.
Alliteration adds flavour. However . . . the word all by itself has the ability to taste really good. It's soul food.
Permit the word to shape your mind. Good decisions. Better decisions. The best decisions. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
Allow the word to point you to Christ-like living. If the heavens declare the glory of God then I am convinced that every Bible story, paragraph, sentence and word points towards Christ. We just need to look for it.
Start with the book of John. Try the first chapter and see if it has the power to be more than just a trendy spiritual preference.
- John Thoutenhoofd is a Young Adult Life Coach at Central Heights Church.