Sunday, December 17, 2006

Bible Study: That We Might KNOW

Bible Study: That We Might KNOW

Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things accomplished among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and servants of the word, it seemed fitting for me as well, having investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellent Theophilus; so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been taught.” (Luke 1:1-4 - New American Standard Bible - emphasis mine).

I have had a bunch of knee surgeries. Frankly, I am sick of them! I always like reading the doctor's report concerning the surgery details. I know what he has told me. I know what I feel. I want the facts! It would probably seem dry to most people if they read exactly what happened when my knee was "cut on", AND exactly how it was done. I don't find it dry or uninteresting because it's happened to ME.

When I read the Bible I think like that too. I know about what others have told me. I know what I feel. I want the facts!

These first four verses of Dr. Luke’s Gospel account are simply his greeting and purpose of writing this work. Luke writes to his noble friend Theophilus. Luke writes of things that his head knows and his heart is sure of, saying that these are things “most surely believed” among himself and his cohorts. He wants Theophilus to know the “certainty of those things” that concern the faith. Obviously Theophilus knows something of the faith, but Luke wants Theo to be sure of the solid foundation in which he stands.

There are some things that stand out here. Number one, Luke is so convinced, so moved, and so transformed by the life, death, and resurrection of Christ that he can find no way to hold it in. I am sure that Luke had seen his fair share of Judaic and pagan religions that left people unfilled, unchanged, and unhealed. He knew of the power of Christ’s blood and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. He wanted others to know too! Do you?

Number two, Luke was so convinced that he was willing to make a “declaration” of these things. He was willing to make a statement; to stake something of himself upon who Christ is. He was willing to put his reputation on the line, to claim Christ publicly, to take the time to help others understand and hear. Are you?

Number three, Luke was convinced that faith in Christ was THE WAY. It was not open for discussion. His friends had told Luke, but the Holy Spirit had assured him. It was not a mere movement of knowledge, but a transformation of a life. It had moved past religion and become breath! To Luke it was more than something to do; it was who he had become. Luke faith was not one of words but it was living. Is yours?

Number four, Luke’s faith was worth working for. NO, NO, NO…he was not trying to earn it! Luke simply lived a life in response to God. He did not witness about God because it was his duty, but because he could not keep it to himself. His faith might have been personal, but it was surely NOT private. He told others. He took to the streets (read Acts). He picked his pen up and wrote. Whatever the means, Luke shared! Do you?

Surely Luke had head knowledge but, more importantly, he had heart belief. He just had to tell about Jesus! It was not a knowledge movement to him but a life mission. It was not a mission trip but an eternal message. His favorite song, were Luke alive today, might sound like a collection of old hymns: “What a wonderful change has been wrought since Jesus came into my heart, so I surrender all because He is worthy of worship. Where He leads I will follow and tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love.” Do you just gotta tell that old, old story? Has it meant anything to you? Does it still?

Do you know what has happened in you? Bible study is an awesome way to unfold all that God has done, to know what it means to you and for you, and to sharpen your ability to tell others.

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