Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: The Reader (04/15/10)
TITLE: Reading the Heart
By Edmond Ng
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And He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up; and as was His custom, He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, and stood up to read. (Luke 4:16 NAS)"The best way to know me is to know my heart, and my heart is in my devotional writings."
This was what I said to my online friends not too long ago. Over the past two years since I began writing devotionals, several people have told me they were able to read my heart through my writings. Although this may sound like a vulnerable position to be in, it is the way I hope my readers will get to know me and understand my thoughts.
Like the readers of my devotionals, I also frequently read stories written by others, to learn from them and at the same time give constructive feedback to push them on to greater heights. Once in a while, however, I would be lost for words to give any useful feedback to certain writers whose pieces were too beautifully written that I found myself inadequate to give any constructive comment.
In a sense, all of us are readers. We read different kinds of writings every day. Some of us may read news, stories, and poems, while others may read devotionals and other text on paper or on the worldwide web. Few of us, however, will ever get the chance to read writings about ourselves written by other people, except maybe our biography or news about our accomplishments.
The Bible mentioned about One who, unlike us, is able to read writings about Himself which were written even before He was born. Jesus, while He was in the synagogue at His hometown, read from the book of the prophet Isaiah concerning Himself (Luke 4:14-24). He then said to all who were present, "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."
All throughout history and in this present day, and even in the future, there can only be One who is able to read writings written about Himself from ancient days to the day the world comes to an end. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End (Revelation 23:13). Jesus is the ultimate Reader, the One and only who is able to read our minds and hearts, and all that we write about Him (Matthew 9:4; 12:25; Luke 9:47; 11:17; 24:38; Psalm 94:11). He alone has the authority to affirm the things written about Him.
Unlike Jesus our Lord, we will never get a chance to read writings about ourselves before we were born. Neither will we be able to read the minds of other people. We can, however, read the mind of God and understand His thoughts and heart through reading His word, just as my readers were able to read my heart through my writings.
Like our Lord who was able to read from the Scriptures the book of Isaiah while in the synagogue, we can also read the Old and New Testament to understand God intimately. We can know His will for our lives and discover many great truths in His word so as to understand ourselves better and find answers to the many issues we face in our daily lives.
Once in a while, however, there will be days when we may be lost for words while reading the word of God because of the overwhelming and piercing truth of the Scriptures. In days such as these, all we need to do is to remain silent and listen to what the Spirit of God has to say to us, and receive from Him the 'constructive feedback’, wherein is the lesson we need to learn to push us on to greater heights.
Instead of reading the many bad news from the news daily, therefore, let us make time each day to read the word of God and discover the bountiful blessings that come with it. Let us understand God’s mind and know His will for us by reading His word regularly and claiming the promises written within.
Open our eyes dear Lord that we may behold wondrous things out of Your word. Move in our hearts Lord as we read Your word each day. Grow in us O Lord an understanding of Your heart and mind. Renew and overflow us that we may in Your word read and hear by Your Spirit the things we need to know in order to walk rightly before You.
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