Another study shows that Americans--specifically, Christian Americans--are becoming more Bible illiterate. Remember the movie, “The Notebook?” When Ally’s mom hands her the bundle of letters that Noah had written her over the years, but she had been hiding from her daughter? Ally had no idea how Noah had loved her, because she hadn’t read the love letters he’d faithfully sent! Imagine how their relationship would have grown, deeper and wider, had Ally been able to hear Noah’s thoughts, and see his faithfulness expressed a thousand different ways!
Of course, you can see the metaphor coming from a hundred miles away. We receive God’s love on faith, but if we don’t read His love letters, we can begin to believe He doesn’t really care. That he doesn’t love us, like we once professed to love Him! The Bible is filled with expressions of God’s love for you and me. Like a suitor, He pursues us. Like a good earthly father, he protects and provides for us. Unlike today’s “helicopter parents,” God doesn’t always swoop in and protect us from harm. Realizing that there are some lessons we need to learn through experience, God holds back for a moment, and then—if we are faithful to ask for it—sends people and allows circumstances to rescue us, and help us heal.
It’s a beautiful thing when God uses people to help other people heal and thrive again. To anyone who’s listening that doesn’t believe in the fall of man, and the nature of sin, I ask you to consider how logical and consistent the story is, even today. Men and women stood in perfect equality, at the beginning…in full relationship with their creator God. Adam and Eve weren’t even self-aware, I believe, because the Bible references that they were naked, and not ashamed. Do you think that was an afterthought…and casual reference of an irrelevant fact? No…it was a significant point that clarifies the status of humanity in the beginning: focused on God, and concerned for one another.
What would be the OPPOSITE of that status? Focused on God, and concerned for one another? It would be denying God, and focused on ourselves! Sound familiar? It’s where we’ve been headed since the fall of man, and it grows on a “J-curve” every passing day! Satan successfully took the first couple’s eyes off the prize, and promised them equality with God—the very claim that sealed HIS fate, so very long ago! And every moment since, we’ve marched toward a belief that would seal OURS, as well: the belief that we’re SO smart, and SO powerful, that we don’t need God, or anyone else!
But what does God’s Word say? All have sinned, and fallen short of the glory of God! The wages of sin is death! But God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever would believe in Him would not perish, but have eternal life! Jesus added a few more words: Love the Lord your God with all your heart…and love your neighbor as yourself! Be focused on God, and concerned for others. Return your heart to that precious time before Satan’s subtle hiss sowed the seeds of our destruction…and prepare for the eternal status quo of heaven. HOW can I do that? It all begins when you read those love letters…