Daily D – Romans 9:31-33
But Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not achieved the righteousness of the law. Why is that? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. As it is written, Look, I am putting a stone in Zion to stumble over and a rock to trip over, and the one who believes on him will not be put to shame. (CSB) ROM. 9:31-33
A quick Google search for the two words Bible code provided 189,000,000 results. There is a book available by that name. There are YouTube videos demonstrating how people detect the secret code in the Bible. The Apostle Paul used the word mystery twenty-one times in his writings.
What does this mean?
It means we need to read the Bible for the plain meaning of the text. This is a core truth when it comes to biblical interpretation. It means to stop looking for hidden meaning and pay attention to the obvious meaning.
When Paul wrote about mystery twenty-one times, he was referring to what was promised and hidden in the past which has been revealed in Jesus Christ. What the prophets of old anticipated had come true. If there is a Bible Code it is this: Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through him (John 14:6). The secret is out!
So many people prefer researching mysteries without any clues to actually opening the Bible and seeing what God said for himself. This is why television preachers who act like magicians on stage — on stage — attract more eyeballs and dollars than the faithful preacher in a congregation of ordinary folks who declares the truth simply and straightforwardly without unnecessary drama or manipulation.
There is no doubt that TV preachers are more entertaining. Books like The Bible Code make engrossing reading. Halloween candy can also substitute for a meal. However, when we read the Bible in an orderly, systematic manner while asking God to speak to our hearts, he does what he said he would do in Jer. 33:3: “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and incomprehensible things you do not know.”
If you want to know God and to experience him, take the Bible and read it day by day. Do not only read it but do what it says (James 1:22-25). Use the SOAP acrostic this devotional is drawn from:
No longer will you search out mysteries without any clues. Instead, you will seek God in the manner he has preserved for you for centuries with words of truth and life. You may not get all tingly like the TV preachers and book authors want you to, but you will know and experience God. The greatest mystery of all is why more people do not do just that.
I will seek to know and experience God through the words of truth and life he has preserved for me and for all who will seek him in this manner.
Our Father, open my heart to your words of truth and life. Speak to me. Teach me. Give me ears to hear what your Spirit is saying. Give me a willing and obedient heart to do what you say. I want to know you and to experience you. I will stop seeking out the unknowable and give attention to how you have made yourself known to all people for all time. Amen.
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Psalm 139:17, 18 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
2 Corinthians 5:1-5 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 10:13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.