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Purpose matters

“We Christians are going to have so many opportunities to model Christ in the coming days. I don’t know what form this should take but God has called us to this task in this time brothers and sisters. Let’s do this.” Karen Swallow Prior

“He said to the, ‘How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?’ And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” (Luke 24:25-27)

Understanding the purpose behind something matters. If you don’t understand the purpose of something more often or not you find yourself frustrated and breaking something. If you try to build a house using coffee mugs for hammers you will end up frustrated, with no house, and with a lot of broken coffee mugs. Because coffee mugs were not created with the purpose of driving in nails; their purpose was to hold hot coffee.

Coffee mugs do a great job holding hot coffee and getting it to your mouth for you to enjoy the flavor; and hammers do a really good job driving nails into wood. But they do a poor job serving coffee. Getting those purposes backwards will lead to a lot of messes, a lot of destruction, and a lot of frustration that does not have to be the case if only we would use mugs for mug purposes and hammers for hammer purpose.

So if this is so important it would most certainly benefit to know the purpose of the Word of God. And to understand the Word of God’s purpose we simply need to ask the Word himself Jesus what is this whole thing about? Jesus tells his disciples over and over again that the whole of scripture is about him. It’s completely and utterly about him. He is training up his disciples and he is about to unleash the gospel in its entirety, through the church, and when he sits down with his disciples he does not show them a new governmental system, which obviously could have benefited him.

Let us not forget they are being ruled and oppressed and will be tormented by Rome. And at no point does Jesus sit down and say “Hey, let me teach you how to govern using the Bible.” And the Word of God has a lot to say about governing. He does not say “The Pharisees and the Sadducees have been morally oppressing the Jewish laws so let me tell you how to properly read the Old Testament rules of rights and wrongs.” That could have been hugely beneficial to the Gentiles and Samaritans that have been left on the outside. And the Word of God has a lot to say about what is right and what is wrong, about what is righteous and what is wicked.

Yet what we see Jesus reveal to his disciples is that when they read the Word of God they should see him; they should look and find him. Fellow brother and sister of Christ one of the reasons you and I get frustrated in our lives is because we are seeking to use the Bible for a purpose that it was not primarily designed for. When we read the Word of God in a world where we wish we had more money, or a world where we worry about putting food on the table, or a world where we wish our government looked and worked differently, or in world where right is called wrong and wrong is called right far too often, we get up from our reading only viewing what we have read through those lenses.

So then we walk out our door and we start swinging coffee mugs like they’re hammers. We get frustrated and upset because the world is not shaping itself to the Word of God even though we are diligently calling it to do so. But in reality we are frustrated because of something we are doing. Scripture is given to you and I so that we would be more and more like Christ. That we would think on, dwell on, have our spirit conformed with Jesus. And when we seek that first and when we want to see him first and live like Jesus first then all those other things start to make sense and overflow because of that.

So we do what is right not because of lists in the Bible but because we want to be more like Jesus, who the Bible is all about. We model our citizenship not after proper governmental pictures we may find in the world of God but by the citizenship we see Jesus walk in and as citizens under the kingdom of the King of Glory. You can spot a Christian who is reading the word of God improperly when they speak of the things of Jesus through gritted teeth and flared nostrils.

The Word of God shapes you and I to be and live and look more like Jesus. So in a world that is broken and can appear to be darkening before our very eyes use hammers for nails, use coffee mugs for coffee, and use the Word of God to see Jesus.



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