Lutheran Church Extension Fund

New Receptivity: Spiritual Butterflies!

Reading time: two minutes. So what is it that turns a lowly caterpillar into a butterfly?  I’m sure Mr. Romine tried to explain it in high school biology, but I totally missed.  I have no clue. But we do know how God is at work in our lives, daily renewing, transforming, shaping, correcting, instructing, molding us to be fashioned into the likeness of Jesus.  God is at work in His Word. An expedition far greater than exploring the depths of the ocean or the far reaches of outer space is the life-long journey into the wonders of God’s Word.  Like the unfolding of scenic vistas on a mountain hiking trail, every encounter with scripture is a touch of beauty and wonder for the Lord’s children, an adventure into the new. With a church year winding down and Advent approaching, what’s your plan for renewing and refreshing your daily devotional life? It’s the Word of God that is His force for transformation in our lives, His means of delivering grace upon grace to His people.  Now I’m not what I could be and certainly not what I should be, but thanks to the work of the gospel in my life, I’m not what I used to be! I love how M. Robert Mulholland differentiates between Bible reading for information and Bible reading for formation There is a big difference, isn’t there?  When reading for information, there’s a temptation to seek out Bible passages that confirm my own self-centered, distorted view of what God wants in my life.  It’s easy to zero in on scriptures that make me feel comfortable and self-satisfied. But when I consider that the Holy Spirit’s work in the life of a Christian is really formation, changing me from what I was to who I might become by His grace, my time in the Word looks different.  Entering the scriptures with a humble, repentant heart and with the expectation that My Father will speak to me a new word, a new insight, a new challenge, a new conviction, opens me to His work of formation. Ouch.  That’s often uncomfortable.  It’s what we call reproof and correction.  But it’s also like healing; being made new. This is a great time of year for considering how to develop a new, fresh habit for Bible reading.  It’s a time for setting plans: Will I follow a lectionary?  Are there books of the Bible that need my focused attention and study in the days ahead?  Shall I change my daily schedule so that time in the Word becomes a greater priority?  These (any many others) are all good questions as a new year dawns. Whatever your plans are for your Bible time and devotional life in coming days, I’ll be praying that you will be receptive to the voice of God and to the power from heaven that makes things new.  Our creative Father is in the new creation business.  He’s a butterfly maker. May He bless your time in His Word. Thanks for reading. (Get it?) Our ministry is made possible by the generous donations of people just like you. Click here to discover how simple it is to make your gift of any size to Grace Place Wellness. Do you know someone who might be interested in becoming a major benefactor to sponsor a retreat in your area? Our President/CEO Randy Fauser would love to hear from you today!