Face to face
by Chelsea Pietsch
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You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life (John 5:39,40).
Read John 5:30–47
God wants us to hear and read his word. It is one of the joys and privileges – indeed, one of the necessities – of being a Christian. Through his word, God reveals himself to us, offers us a path to eternal life and shows how he wants us to live. If only we have ears to hear.
It can be a helpful practice to open God’s word and write down passages to reflect on during the hours of the day (and night). I keep journals where I jot down scriptural passages for my own guidance and encouragement. I return to them again and again.
Yet this passage seems to tell us that while the Scriptures bear witness to God, reading them is only the beginning. God also invites us to ‘come to [him] that [we] may have life’. What does this mean?
Have you ever noticed that it is possible to search the Scriptures without ever speaking to God about them? Yes, God wants us to read his word, but he also invites us to come to him in prayer. The two go hand-in-hand. We can present to God the things we read in his word and ask him about them. He sends his Holy Spirit to guide our reading and a ‘still, small voice’ for us as we discern how God’s word is speaking to us.
God also wants us to ‘come’ to him face to face in Sunday worship. He wants to see us in person so he can shower his blessings on us through the public preaching of his word and the administration of his sacraments. He wants to strengthen us for our work in the world and as we carry our yokes – whatever they may be – on our journey to our heavenly home.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for speaking to us through your word and inviting us to be in a personal relationship with you. Amen.
Chelsea Pietsch is a member of Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Adelaide. She is married with two children and a consultant to Lutherans for Life (www.lutheransforlife.lca.org.au).
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