It?s a new year; it?s time to start a new you.
We see this theme in everything this time of year.? It?s time to begin a new diet, a new exercise regime.? A new bible study plan. ?I even used it this week for A Woman?s Journey.
Praying about this year, I really felt like the Lord was saying to me personally that 2020 is a year for study and activation.
This year we want to try to share a topic each month with a rotation of speakers (Selena, Chuck & Hannah) but we want to encourage everyone to delve into what God is showing you about these topics.?
But, as we study we must remember that we all have filters that we are seeing the world through that filter and it affects how we understand scripture.
1 Cor. 13:12 ESV, For now, we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I will know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.?
1 Cor13:13 TPT Until then, there are three things that remain: faith, hope, and love?yet love surpasses them all.? So above all else, let love be the beautiful prize for which you run.?
We all have many types of filters:
Male/Female; Ethnicity: Black, White, Asian, Latin, *That?s just in America! African, European, Asia, Euro-Asian, Middle Eastern? THE WHOLE WORLD has it?s own filter.
Protestant, Catholic, Charismatic, Pentecostal, Your church label, What you have been taught by your favorite Sunday school teacher or relative.
Time has created a filter in itself as we study the scriptures.? Some words have changed in meaning.? A perfect example of this in our own culture would be the word, Gay.? There is an old movie I watched from the ?30s or ?40s and the character danced around singing: ?I?m a gay man! Oh yes, I?m a gay man!? What he was meaning was happy.? Nowadays this would have a totally different meaning.? Using today?s filter hearing that same line from the movie we would come to a much different conclusion as to what is happening.? But if you watched the whole movie you would understand that he had just dropped off the leading lady and he was in love and happy.? If you used today?s filter you may see this same man proclaiming his independence and making a declaration of his identity.
The bible as we read it today creates its own filter.? We have 66 books of the bible, traditionally believed to be written by 35 authors.? But our modern bible is sectioned off not according to historical or chronological order? It is sectioned off by Historical books, poetry books, major and minor prophets, transitional books (Matt, Mark, Luke, John) History of the new church, letters to these churches, lastly the Revelation of Christ.
As new believers, we are hungry to learn about what the bible says to us.? We begin strong and get bogged down by the many different theologies of the day.? Don?t get me wrong, I think it is important to know and understand theology, but only to help us grow and unite, not to divide and conquer.?
*The best way to approach theology is with a willingness to disagree and an openness to learn from others.
As we begin this New Year as a church; I want to challenge us to read the bible for ourselves praying about the filters we carry.?? Let us position our hearts to love the Lord with all our hearts mind and souls, and then to love our neighbors as ourselves. ?
When we read and study let us continually ask ourselves;
1. What we are reading meant to the writer?
2. What we are reading meant to the original reader?
Let us go into this new year this new decade making an intentional effort to open our hearts and lay down all that we thought we knew and allow the Holy Spirit to come in and reveal new truths and shed light onto old truths.?