Thursday, July 25, 2013

Book of Love

Not to us, Lord, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.
                                                                                                         Psalm 115:1

My grandpa Haines was a great man. By that, I don't mean he was a man of stature, or that he held a position of national importance. He was a great man because he loved his people. He loved his parents and helped care for them in their old age, and he loved his children and grandchildren. He died several years ago. As the Old Testament would say - he is resting with his ancestors.

Recently, my mom gave me some family papers she'd been saving. I, like my ancestors before me, am a archiver. We collect family letters, histories and stories. In the box of papers was a letter written to me by my grandfather in 1984, when I was 16-years old. It starts out like this...

"Dear Erika:

     Some day I'm going to die. (Do I have your attention?) No, don't get excited; I don't mean this year or in 5 years or anything. But some time. So what else is new? Everybody dies sooner or later.
     And what does this have to do with you right now? It's just that every so often I think about dying, and then there is this: Because I love you very much for being my granddaughter and for being the very fine person you are, I want to leave you with something. There's no way of telling what can be left in the way of money, whether a fair amount or a mere pittance. And anyway, money is a thing that's here today and gone tomorrow. Personal possessions? Perhaps some day you might like some little thing as a keepsake, but other than something to glance at on rare occasions it would have little value."
He goes on to say that he wanted to leave me something that lasts. For him, that meant words of advice and wisdom. The letter is three pages long and is very dear to me. My grandfather was a wise man. For most of my life, I thought he was just my nice old grandpa, but now, I can now see, how much he really loved me.

It's the same way with the Bible. For many people, it's just an ancient book filled with outdated, irrelevant words.
                                                                    But it's so much more.

                                   The Bible is God's book of love for us.

In His kindness and faithfulness, He's handed down all the world's wisdom, history and stories. In Jesus, He's given us much more. He's given us his spirit that dwells in our hearts so that we'll have him for eternity.

Do you see God's word as a stale, leftover remnant of antiquity or a living testimony of his mercy and faithfulness?

Tomorrow, I'll post about some ways to make reading this book of love easier, but in the meantime, I'll leave you with this advice from Grandpa Haines.

"As you go through life, have a good time doing it. Wherever you see a chance for clean, honest fun, go after it. Another popular way of saying it is this: As you pass by, don't forget to smell the roses."

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