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Is That All You’re Focusing On??

Can I tell you some of the biggest frustrations I have as a minister is when someone picks a tiny part of a sermon or something I say and dwells on it to either argue a point, or focus an agenda? It’s frustrating, partially, because I know that’s how they approach the word of God. And we do it because of our backgrounds, really. We approach the Scriptures in a way that we’re comfortable with, and we try and interpret it through the lens of our ecumenical backgrounds, our traditions or denominations, what our family taught us, through our sins (if we don’t want to agree with Scripture) and number of other factors. What we should be doing is allowing the Holy Spirit to be our interpreter.

Don’t get me wrong, there are great Bible Scholars that I even admire, folks from across the Christian Spectrum (different denominations), whom I have studied, and appreciate in their scholarship, but when it comes down to it, Scripture says “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). We can get so caught up in what this teacher, or that teacher, or Brian Doyle (me, in case you’re wondering), or that book, or that tradition says, we miss out on the Holy Spirit’s teaching through the Scriptures. We look and search, like in a hidden picture puzzle, for the things we want to find, and ignore what God is trying to speak to us. So let us stop focusing on our agendas. Let us stop focusing on our traditions, and let us get in to the Word of God, so that we may rely on the Person and Power of God dwelling within us, the Holy Spirit, that He may reveal to us all things, as Jesus said He would.

John 16:1-15

“I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away. They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me. But I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told them to you.

“I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.

“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

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