We're studying the book of Luke at church for the next year, and one of our first lessons centered around what we know for sure.
Many people have set out to write accounts about the events that have been fulfilled among us. They used the eyewitness reports circulating among us from the early disciples. Having carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I also have decided to write a careful account for you, most honorable Theophilus, so you can be certain of the truth of everything you were taught.
Did you catch all the bolded words (and circled in my Bible to the right) in that opening passage that point to how Luke, the physician, painstakingly researched and investigated all the minute details, then penned a careful account (not a quickly jotted down note) so that Theophilus could be CERTAIN of what he already knew?
Five thoughts stuck with me from Lloyd's sharing that Sunday:
1) You can't be sure about everything, but you must be sure of some things.
No way are we ever going to perfectly understand everything in the Bible and be totally right in every single opinion, much less agree about them all (here on earth). But there are some things that we MUST be sure of. Luke is going to tell us what those things are...
2) Certainty doesn't come by looking at ourselves, but at Jesus Christ.
We don't grow in our faith by looking at or within ourselves. Our faith is strengthened and our confidence in our salvation is made more certain when we fix my eyes on Him, the author and perfecter of our faith.
3) Certainty doesn't come in an instant, but with time.
God is often depicted as a farmer in the Bible. Jesus used this analogy in many of his parables. One of the attributes of a farmer, a good farmer anyway, is patience. Crops may be planted in a day, but it takes time to produce a harvest. It's the same with the heart.
4) Our deepest convictions are born from our deepest pain.
This may sound familiar. It's similar to what Rick Warren wrote in The Purpose Driven Life. Just as God is going to work through our deepest pains and will enable us to minister to others who are hurting in similar ways, so our deepest convictions––the beliefs that are going to be rock solid for us––are going to be rooted in our deepest wounds.
5) There's no certainty apart from application, from living what you know.
Very simply, if we're certain of something, we act on it. That belief changes our lives. Likewise, whatever we "know" is going to inform how we live. How we treat others. How we make decisions. Dare I say how we drive? How we react in the check out line? Because when we know something for sure, it changes everything.
Before Lloyd started sharing that day, he asked us to jot down some things we knew for sure. This is what I wrote:
I know for sure that the love (agape) we experience here has no end, because God is love and He is eternal. I know for sure that God is sovereign, merciful and just, and that He has my eternal best at heart, and that He will move heaven and earth––and already has, through Christ––to save me.
And lest you think I'm not eating Dove Dark Chocolate anymore (what were you thinking!), here's my wrapper from yesterday. It's so true of God's love. It says: A good love is delicious, because you can never get enough.
Wishing you some "good love" today...