Thursday, February 25, 2016

One Endless Discovery

A picture of inside the Nelson Cross Reference Guide to the Bible.
"And further, my son, be admonished by these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh."
Ecclesiastes 12: 12

"Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words
will by no means pass away."
Matthew 24: 35

"Today if you will  hear His voice, Do not harden your hearts..."
Hebrews 2: 7, 8

 My recurrent dream came again last night. I am taking a test I am in no way prepared for. In this case, it is a huge advanced math exam, with sines and co-sines and I have not prepared in the least for it. I will have to guess at every answer. There are 100 questions and I must get at least 50 of them in order to pass this course and thereby graduate.

Maybe because just yesterday I wrote of finishing off nursing school while pregnant with our first child thirty years ago, did this thought of tests enter my subconscious mind again. But I have had this dream, with different variants, over and over for years. I have not finished my degree and must pass this test in order to graduate and I find that I am not ready. What does it all mean?

I told my husband my dream again in the middle of the night. He said maybe it was me being too hard on myself, or something to that effect. But it makes me wonder. Each day I spend time with God in His Word and usually find time to pray to Him. Am I not preparing for my final exam?

The final exam will be on a day unannounced. There will be the sound of a trumpet, and suddenly I will be transported from the mundane, upsetting cares and worries of this life. I will be before Him who has eyes as a flame of fire. Though my sins are paid for and put away, I will give an account of my words and how I spent the time He gave me on this earth to get to know Him.

Even the Apostle Paul expressed doubt until the very end of his life. In I Corinthians 9: 24-27 he said:

"Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things, Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight, not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified."

It was only in his last prison epistle, shortly before his head went into a basket, that Paul expressed confidence:

In I Timothy 4: 7-8, Paul wrote: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing."

I hope to be one who loves His appearing. But there are so many distractions today. I could totally be caught off guard. Then again, I think of how I have been blessed to be in a solid church where the Word is the focus. I have Bibles, commentaries, Greek and Hebrew dictionaries, the Nelson Cross Reference Guide to the Bible, which I cannot recommend more highly and  I also have wonderful online references, including my favorite, the Blue Letter Bible website.

Jesus gave us this somber warning in Luke 12: 48: " For to everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more."

And so I plug on in the Word. And the more I plug, the more treasures I find. Each day as I read, I like to find verses that stand out to me, and write them in my journal. Sometimes I will use the cross reference guide to look them up and find even more similar verses on that subject. One thing is for sure, I will never exhaust learning all there is to learn.

And suddenly, I realize, that is what my life is really all about: one endless discovery of knowing that which can't be known: the fathomless depths of His love for me, and not for me only, but the whole world. Chuck Missler once said that if you make Bible study your lifelong hobby, it will not be hard to get excited about spending time in the Word. I like that. Bible study, the more I get of it, becomes more and more desirable. Why? Because I have tasted that the Lord is gracious.

"Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby, if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is gracious." I Peter 2:1-3

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