In my childhood and youth we would often to memory texts at the meetings. Before church each week mum would get us to learn our memory verse. It’s what you did. Later in life a Youth Director stressed to us the importance of having a repertoire of ‘learned scriptures’ to draw on in times of stress or trauma.
This made some sense in the religious culture in which he and I lived. Like ‘claiming’ Bible promises it came from a context of imagined separation where the onus of getting comfort from God depends largely on you. It comes with a tinge of quoting texts as a means of badgering God into doing something. Jack Deere might call this Bible deism - a situation where one’s relationship to God is through the Bible. Kind of like, ‘There is one mediator between you and God - your Bible. Sadly this is the only kind of relationship many Believers experience - a relationship with a bible. In this vein you may have heard of Biblicism’s wry pseudo trinity of Father, Son and Holy Bible. Sadly this all some Believers are used to. There is much more on offer. And it’s already yours.
IN GOOD COMPANY
You are never alone. God is never somewhere else. And neither is He a religious generality. He is Jesus Christ and manifest in you by the Spirit. He is Christ in you and with you. You are never alone. As a Believer the Holy Family make their home in you. They are part of your life. This is the incarnation. In addition to this you have the companionship of Holy Spirit to amplify your spirit of sonship - and to empower you to do what Jesus did on any day. You are never alone and never dependent on remembering Bible texts or religious paraphernalia. You are in God and God is in you. This is not dependent on your performance. It’s the result of Christ’s performance. For you.
If your church were to suddenly disappear, like down a sink-hole; if the Christian book-shops were to go out of business and if some truth seeking thief were to make off with your library of Christian books … If your Bible was found to be mislaid - would you have a life in Christ. Or is what you call Christianity an involvement in The Christian stuff?
LIVE FROM ABUNDANCE
I hope you would survive very well because Jesus is none of these things. He is I AM. He is independent of them and just as real around you in His Spirit as He was with the disciples in Palestine. Let’s be so clear as to say that His stuff - actually ours - is not Him. Yet Jesus is in us and with us. The rites and observances are never a substitute for Jesus. Yet they can be ignited when He is our life and as such become illuminated by His Spirit. But we must not depend on these. In this age we OURSELVES are ignited. We carry His presence. As the sons and daughters of God we are the manifestation of the trinity to the world.
Jesus affirmed that He was way, truth and life. He never said he was partly sufficient or even mostly good enough. He was saying, ‘I am all there is. I am totally for you and meet all your needs.’ He said ‘ I am with you always and that we would never be orphans. We are always sons of our Father and brothers and sisters of His. Paul takes of Christ in us and of Christ our life. This was no mere religious saying. He meant what Jesus had already implied - that Christ is our life in all ways. Theologians call this the vicarious humanity of Jesus.
THE REALITY: BEYOND PROMISES
Francois Du Toit writes, “Jesus Christ remains the most current, relevant and pivotal message of all time. He is the language of God. He is the Word that was from the beginning face to face with God, nothing in him distracts from who God is; He holds all things together for ever; the Father of mankind has us all wrapped up in him. The sum total of philosophical thought and contemplation could never match or replace him. He is beyond the principle of the promise, and gives personality and person to every detail of the prophetic word. He is the very one in whom all things exist. He completes mankind’s every expectation.
You are who you are in Him. You have eternal life in Jesus. And just as important, you have every day in His life. Living the Christian life is not your life with Jesus added. Kingdom life is His life as ours with us ignited and complete in His life. In His life we are alive with spirit and with life. As ourselves we release rivers of living water.”
This is far above any relationship with God that can be had though the law, through the externalities of religion or the routine of church. It is you and Father are one. This is your inheritance and your daily bread.