Reverend Dawn M. Conti

 

From The Pastor:

The Power of God’s Word

Ally McBeal was a legal comedy drama television series that aired from 1997 to 2002. I don’t remember a lot about the show other than the fact that she, Ally McBeal, had a “theme song.” It was the song she would play over and over in her mind when she needed to remember who she was and what her life was about. She drew on it to give her inspiration and courage for living. Just as Ally McBeal had a “go to” song to help her when she needed to find her way, how much more can God’s Word be a “lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path” (Psalm 119:105)! As Christians, we have the deep reservoir of 66 books known as the Bible, to draw from, to help in every situation life throws at us. In Deut. 11:18, God says, “You shall put these words of mine in your heart and soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and fix them as an emblem on your forehead.” He was talking about the 10 Commandments, which can be found in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5. But as 1 Timothy 3:16 puts it, “All scripture is good for teaching and reproof.”  What are some of your “go to scriptures?” Perhaps you learned them as a child; most of us can draw on the comfort of the 23rd Psalm or the Greatest Commandment from memory. Perhaps someone shared a verse with you in a difficult time, and it has become a verse that continues to strengthen you, such as Jeremiah 29:11, “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says  the LORD, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” Others that anchor my life include:

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33

 

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding Proverbs 3:5

 

I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly John 10:10b

 

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

 

He said to him, "'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all

your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment.” Matthew 22:37

 

If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.  1 Corinthians 13:1 and 13.

 

He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to

love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8

In order to be able to access these scriptures when we need them, we need to find a strategy to, as the

Psalmist puts it, “hide God’s word in our heart.” Perhaps that strategy is a simple as choosing a theme

scripture for the month and putting it somewhere where you can easily reference it like the bathroom mirror or the note pad on your I Phone. You may even want to cut out one of the scriptures mentioned above and put it in your wallet.

There is no substitute for a steady daily diet of reading and meditating on God’s word to provide strength for living. When we practice the spiritual discipline of studying scripture, it begins to become a lens through which we see the world. Metaphors start popping up all over.  Fred Craddock (the preacher I most admire) tells the story about a time when he was at an Atlanta Braves baseball game with Tom Long (another one of my favorites). The two were waiting with other friends for the game to begin when two stadium officers came down the aisle, stopped at their row, walked past them to the man three people away and then escorted him out of the stadium. After all the commotion, Fred looked at Tom and said, “I guess he didn’t have a wedding jacket.” If that makes no sense to you, then refresh yourself by reading the Parable of the Wedding Banquet in Matthew 22. (By the way, I’ll be preaching on that scripture on October 12th .)

In the midst of the cacophony of other messages with which we are bombarded with each day, and the

challenges that are part of every life, we have been given a treasure trove of guidance, grounding and direction in God’s Word. So dust off the Bible on your coffee table or go find it on your shelf, open it and

read it. If it is difficult for you to read, get a recorded version and listen. Develop your own strategies to

continue to “hide God’s word in your heart.” (Psalm 119:11)

In the bond of faith,

Pastor Dawn