Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Source

There is a lot of talk these days about getting back the the source.  A trend to simplicity is in fashion now.  And that's a good thing.  We're learning the value of buying local, supporting local farmers, and keeping fuel consumption down by buying products that are produced within 100 miles of our homes.  Living on an island in the middle of the Pacific, that's not an easy task for me.  They say that Hawaii is the most remote location on the planet.  While standing in the grocery store, I fully believe it.

But it's not just in food that finding the source is important.  Finding the source of information is critical to knowing the worth of that information. We live in the information age, where we have an abundance of knowledge right at our finger tips.  But as you well know, just because it's available, doesn't mean it's credible.  Finding the source is always the place to start when looking for authentic, un-edited, and un-spun information.

Our journey of faith is no different.  Thanks to our information age, we have an abundance of information that aids us in our relationship with Jesus.
  • Christian music:  There is no doubt that music speaks to my soul and brings me into the Lord's presence.  But if I'm just listening to my music without connecting to the Source, I'm not really getting the full benefit of this resource.  (Wow, just that word "resource" shows me I'm off the mark.)
  • Christian books:  I am a voracious reader.  I have trouble reading fiction, but love to read what other's have written on following Jesus and living this faith.  But mostly, I'm reading about other people's experience.  It's helpful in my own walk, but the Lord wants to show me things first hand, too.
  • Christian speakers:  I love to listen to sermons by people who truly know the Lord and teach of His truths.  But in a court of law, when they tell me what Jesus said, it would be hearsay.
  • The Bible:  I'm sure we can all agree that this is a crucial source material.  Jesus' words are given to us in black and white (and maybe even red).  We learn of His character, how He lived His life among us in flesh.  We learn the history of God in dealing with His people.  We hear the stories of the faithful and unfaithful.  It is the source for building our faith and gives of the parameters we need to follow Jesus with all we have.  I must daily read the words of Jesus to connect with Him.  There is only one more source that trumps it...
  • Time in the presence of Jesus:  There is no better way to connect with the heart of God than to sit at His feet.  Time with my Bible is vital to understand God's ways but I have had seasons of my life where I read the Bible and left there unchanged.   The give and take of prayer and listening builds relationship.  When I am parched an dry, time in His presence restores my soul.  How can I get to know Him without spending time with Him?  That is my personal responsibility to this relationship.  No one can do it for me.  It is a privilege I cherish and frankly what sets Christianity apart from any other religion that I know.  Our God is personal, alive and active in our lives. 

Jesus is the Source.  A great example of this is found in John 1:36-40.  John the Baptist has just declared that Jesus is the Messiah that all have been waiting for.  He tells two of his own disciples that Jesus is the one.  One of these disciples is Andrew.  Without hesitation, he leaves the one whom Jesus said, "Of all who ever lived, none is greater than John the Baptist." (Matt. 11:11)  Andrew had found the Source.  He left the great to follow Jesus, the Greatest! 

I regularly use the resources above.   I'm so grateful for them!  But there is no substitute for getting to the Source.  

This morning I was listening to a podcast that was talking about fresh maple syrup.  She said that once you taste the straight-from-the-forest syrup, you can never be satisfied with the rest.  That is so true with Jesus.  Once you taste of His goodness firsthand, you can never settle for anything less.

Enjoy His presence today, for in it there is fullness of JOY!

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