PROSPECTING – DIGGING DEEP AND THE BIBLE

 

It seems to me that virtually all young children, especially boys, are intrigued by dinosaurs.  While these behemoths have been extinct for millennia, interest in them seems to be growing and intensifying in these days.

boy meets dino
Grandson inspecting toy dinosaur!

Years ago, our young grandson spent many hours playing with the toy dinosaur trying to figure out how it moved.  He loved that dinosaur, but it was a passing fancy.

 

One of our older grandsons has loved dinosaurs, and all things like fossilized bones, since he took his first breath.  Even as a child, his birthday cake was a dinosaur!

 

Birthday cake - dinosaur
Apparently, all dinosaurs are not extinct!

He reads about them, he knows how to identify them, he knows what they ate and where they lived, in short, he loves dinosaurs.  Now in his teens, he has said that he wants to be a paleontologist and/or archaeologist and I am fully confident that he will succeed in that venture if his interest continues.

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Fossil found at Gray’s Fossil Site in Tennessee.

As a surprise for a job well done, we took him to Gray’s Fossil Site in upper East Tennessee.  The extinct animal pictured above greets you at the Museum and other fossils reveal that shovel-tusked elephants, saber toothed cats, semi-aquatic pot-bellied rhinos are just some of the animals that roamed in the area.

Evan searching for bones among rocks
Searching in the dirt and stone for treasures at Gray’s Fossil Site in Tennessee.

One of the activities that he LOVED was to dig in a tray of dirt and rocks in the hope that he would find a fossil or piece of bone from ages past.   Of course, you can’t make that kind of “find” by just gazing at the dirt and rocks.  No, you have to investigate it, handle it, look at it with some magnification to determine if you really have a “find” or you have a piece of hard dirt (also a likelihood in East Tennessee).

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Inspecting small piece material found in the dirt and stones.

 

He had a marvelous time digging and investigating, looking for the fossilized treasures that might be there.

 

His devotion to dinosaurs and his steady interest and determined study of them is commendable.  And, I am sorry to say, that it put me to shame.  I’m not referring to my interest in dinos, I am referring to my reading of Scripture.

 

How do I read Scripture, the Holy Word of the Living Creator God?  There are times that I read it and really think about it: but far more often I read it as if it were a novel … picking it up here and putting it down again without thought.

 

In the Old Testament we read:

For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the LORD, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.

Ezra 7:10

 

When I read Scripture, do I “set my heart” to study God’s Word?  Do I look up words so I understand their meaning and context?  Do I ask why the Holy Spirit used that specific word when so many others might have been used?   Do I think about why this is included in the Holy Writ in the first place?  If it was important enough for the Holy Spirit to direct its inclusion in the Bible, what am I to learn from this?

 

When I read Scripture, do I consider the entire chapter as a unit?  Do I think about the chapter in the context of the book as a whole?  Do I investigate how this book relates to the overall theme of both the Old and New Testament in Scripture – Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of His people?

 

The Psalmist said:

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

Psalm 119:105

 

Do I consider the Word to be a light to my path when I read the Bible?  Do I look closely at how the text would apply to my life, today?  Do I look at the Scripture and focus on what it says, while waiting for the Holy Spirit to speak in that still small voice that is usually drowned out by the television, stereo or radio, and the general cacophony of our 21st Century life?

 

When I read Scripture, do I expect to hear God speak to me?  Do I expect that the Scripture passage will apply to my life?  Do I expect that the Word will touch my heart and draw me closer to Him?

 

I confess that I cannot answer these questions in the affirmative!  I am convinced, however, that if I want my life to grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, this is how I must read His Word.  I must be quiet so that I can study it, focus on it, learn it, listen to it and let the Holy Spirit speak to me.

 

In the New Testament, we are told to study the Word so that we can teach others.

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.

2 Timothy 2:15.  The King James Version translates this verse as follows:

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

 

No matter how you say it, the Christian should study the Bible, carefully read it and investigate what the words are, what the text says, and what it means in our world today.

 

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

2 Timothy 3:16-17

 

Since this is true, then we are in possession of a Book that reveals the God that we serve, as well as His requirements, demands, blessings and curses.  It reveals His love and His justice, His holiness and our sinfulness.  It is a Book that we should reverence as well as read; it is our heavenly guidebook given by God for our benefit … we would be foolish to ignore it or to treat it lightly!

The stupid man cannot know; the fool cannot understand this: that though the wicked sprout like grass and all evildoers flourish, they are doomed to destruction forever; but you, O LORD, are on high forever.

Psalm 92:6-8

 

Father, I confess that I have not read your Word with the intensity and zeal that it deserves.  I confess that I have not expected You to speak to me through your Word, and I confess that I have not followed the commands that You have spoken in your Word.  Forgive me and help me to understand and accept your Word as I read and study it, and I ask this through Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.

 

Got Power?

We were camping when an unexpected cold snap caused some damage to the RV.  We searched the Internet to find a place that had the necessary parts and found such a business   A quick call confirmed that they were open and had the needed parts. So now it was up to us to get there.

021 I pulled out the trusty GPS that is created specifically for the intrepid RV camper and put in the address. [I should note that our children or grandchildren can’t say that we are technology adverse … okay, we don’t tweet, but we have the computer and GPS down pat!]  Anyway, we plugged in the address, I picked up my camera and we were ready for adventure.

We found the store, purchased the necessary supplies, and began our trek back to the campground when the GPS flashed at me just as we came to several intersecting roads and my husband was asking what the road name was that we should be watching for … but the road name was not flashing before my eyes.  Rather, the GPS said “LOW POWER” and, immediately thereafter it announced that it was “POWERING OFF”.   Then, it just went blank.  Not even a “sorry” or “I tried” or “You have 1 more minute”.  Just … well, nothing.  It apparently didn’t care if we got lost!

I couldn’t believe it.  In my second of need, it was “powering off.”  My frustration stemmed from the fact that, unlike my husband, I get lost in a paper bag.  I am the one who, in Walmart, will turn left into the main aisle thinking I am going to the checkout lane and wind up in sporting goods at the back of the store.  If there are two directions to select from, I will ALWAYS pick the wrong one.

Anyway, I was the one who had insisted that we purchase this GPS, even though my husband has a virtually infallible sense of direction, simply because I do not.  I wanted to have my own backup plan … assuring myself that we could find our way home if something happened to his directional instincts.  So, we purchased this fancy-dancy GPS thing and now, when he actually asked me a directional question, in my truest hour of need, it is “powering off”.

Rather than the GPS, my husband depended on his own God-given instincts we navigated down the road, without difficulty.  Although I was fuming about the GPS when  we stopped at a red light, I spotted something that would make an incredible picture.  I grabbed my camera, pushed the on button, and it came on only to blink and say … wait for it … “Low Battery”.  My trusty little red camera that fits into my purse blinked into cyberspace and left me holding a red metal box as my photo shot slipped past my window.  Although I waived the camera at the window, it was powerless to take the picture.

Inside the car, I went into full scale fume mode, when my husband said simply “We’ll just plug them into the chargers when we get back to the RV.”

How simple, yet how profound.  Recharge!  That’s the answer for the electronic messages that had disrupted my day.  But what about spiritually?  How do we get our spiritual power?  And, when we have exhausted our power, how do we recharge?

In Acts 1:8, Scripture records Jesus as promising that his disciples would “receive power Bible (2)when the Holy Spirit has come upon you” so we can be witnesses for Him.” [i]  We understand this coming of the Holy Spirit as the day of Pentecost, and because of that day, we believe that the Holy Spirit is within us, as Jesus promised.  John 14:16-17.

But the Holy Spirit’s presence with us is not the whole answer to the “recharge” question.  We must avail ourselves of that power.  I had chargers available at the camp site but the GPS had not been plugged in – now, it was unable to give me the information that I needed when I needed it.  It had no power even though that power had been available.

Likewise, simply having the Scripture in your hand, purse, pocket or shelf, is not availing yourself of the power which otherwise would be provided. This realization prompted me to consider how often I had ignored going to the Scripture to charge my spiritual batteries.

I had time for many other things, but, I did not have time to quell the growling hunger for my Lord by feeding on the nourishment of His Word in Holy Scripture.  Daily activities took priority over quiet time with Him that would have prepared me for those encounters that He had prearranged for me to handle according to His will, not mine. Ephesians 2:10.

Did my spiritual red light flash “Powering Off” when the assignment came because my batteries had not been charged through reading His Word with contemplation and prayer and then praising Him for His excellent goodness and mercy?

Or, did I not even see the assignment that He had for me that day because my spiritual eyes and ears did not have sufficient power to even recognize the call to present Christ to those around me?

Scripture states that the Spirit and Scripture were given to us so that we would be complete and equipped for every good work that God has for us to do.   2 Peter 1:3 and 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

The kicker is that we must plug ourselves in to the Source of our Power.  Seek the Lord and He will be found.  He is waiting for you.   Deuteronomy 4:29.   Beloved, don’t delay – go to the source of all power and life, Jesus Christ and His Word.

I wonder, what difference would it make in my day if I spent time with Him, rather than with the weather channel or with the evening news?  Do I yearn to learn more of God and of His Christ by reading the only instruction book written by the Sovereign Holy God?

Have you gotten power for your day?

[i] The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Acts 1:8