Weekly Devotional

Each week a devotional is sent to recipients around the country.  It begins with a story taken from my personal life, history, news media, or a current trend in society.  The story then connects with relevant passages from the Bible, and concludes with a challenge to consider personal applications.  These devotionals are intended to present the truth of the Bible to a non-christian, enlighten a new believer, as well as provide scriptural insight to the mature Christian.  This week's devotional  is provided below; don't forget to check this page when you return.  Anyone can join the list of recipients by contacting me at know.doubt.268@gmail.com .  There is no charge.  Your address is not shared with anyone.  And you can drop off the mailing list at any time.

interpret the words  (march 24, 2023)

I was driving home from a doctor’s appointment and, because of road construction, took a detour through an unfamiliar neighborhood. Approaching a curve in the road, I saw a yellow and black sign that read, “Blind Driveway Ahead.” Having never seen a blind driveway before, I slowed down to get a good look.

As I passed by, the driveway appeared to be like all other residential driveways. Nothing suggested the driveway was blind. I then thought perhaps the sign meant it was a driveway for blind people. I imagined there would be beeping signals on either side of the driveway to guide a blind driver down the middle. No such signaling devices were present. Nor were any similar warning systems at the entrance of the driveway to warn blind drivers passing by. What could the sign have meant?

English teachers, of course, would have written a grammatically correct message. Something like, “Be Cautious Because You Are Approaching a Residential Driveway Not Easily Seen When Driving on this Road.” Politicians would have wanted a politically correct sign, “Visually Impaired Driveway Ahead.” Generation Z would have preferred, “Check Google Maps Now.”

How we interpret words might also be asked of what we believe about the Bible. Individuals and churches claim they are “Bible believers.” Perhaps they believe the Bible is a book with several authors, each writer telling a story. Or do they trust the Bible as a collection of God-inspired writings, flawless for subject matter (Proverbs 30:5); suitable guidance for how to live according to the Lord’s standards (2 Timothy 3:16-17)? Observing someone’s lifestyle can provide a clue as to what they believe.

A “born-again believer” might tell you that during delivery they came down the birth canal, looked out and retreated; believing the time was not right to be born. Or, maybe they were given a second chance by a lenient judge. A biblical interpretation would be a new life granted by the Spirit of God when someone believes Jesus is the Christ (John 3:3-7; 1 John 5:1).

“Believer’s baptism” can be correctly interpreted either as immersion in water or the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (John 3:5; 4:1-2), always following a person’s repentance and acceptance of Jesus (Acts 2:38-39; 1 Peter 3:21). The term hardly means the reaction of someone held underwater who believes they may drown unless they believe in Jesus. Nor could it be understood as believing you only need to get in water to have sins forgiven, a weekly bath of forgiveness.

Lastly, “saving grace” is not storing up God’s unmerited favor to use when the need arises. Rather, it is the gift of a loving God to bring salvation freely to everyone, because we cannot escape the effects of sin by our own efforts (Ephesians 2:1-9).

Well, “the end is still to come” (1 Peter 4:7-8). Certainly, for this devotional. More importantly, God’s revelation, which includes the judgment still to come, has been written (Habakkuk 2:2-3). Each of us needs to be ready, not by what we think is right (Proverbs 14:12), but by properly interpreting God’s word.