Exiled

I made a commitment to learn more about the Bible—to grow in my spiritual walk, so the last couple of days I was in a seminar featuring Dr. Peter Gentry as the main speaker. He was explaining the premise of the recent book he wrote with Dr. Stephen Wellum, “Kingdom Through Covenant.” I had no idea what the topic would be, but I knew it would be good because Dr. Gentry was a professor of mine and he offers great insights into the Bible, especially the Old Testament.

ImageIn one part of his lecture, Dr. Gentry mentioned that the church was currently on exile—that we entered into exile with the coming of Christ and that the church would enter the “Promise Land” when Christ comes again. I never thought about it that way, but it makes a lot of sense. He mentioned that just as the Israelites complained while wandering in the wilderness, there are people in our church now who are complaining.

The knowledge that I gained from the seminar is that we can’t separate the New Testament from the Old—we need to read the Bible as one Book, because the information that’s in the Old Testament is very relevant to the New Testament. I used to think that Christians should just concentrate on reading the New Testament (because it was written after Christ was born), but that thinking was wrong.

I think all Christians should continue to learn—when we learn, we grow. We can’t remain stagnant— we can’t expect to be spiritually prepared if all we do is go to one worship service a week; and we can’t expect to learn new insights from the Bible when we never study it or learn about it under someone else’s teaching.

If we are truly in exile then we need God’s guidance otherwise we will get lost along the way.  So, if you’re not going to church then start going; if you’re not studying the Bible, then go to a Bible study; and if you’re not reading the Bible then start reading the Bible—do it now!

Copyright © 2013 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti

The sun

This morning I woke up hearing the rain. It was a soothing sound, but I knew I had to leave the house to run errands and it would be cold and damp outside.  The thought of getting wet and miserable made me wish for warm and sunny days. It made me think about the numerous pictures I had taken of the sunrise from various parts of the world. It’s amazing that the same sun that I see here is the same sun that I saw in Florida and the same sun that rose in Nepal.

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The sun has always been there– it’s the same sun that was there when the world first began. It made me think about Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” God is consistent– He is always there. He is the same God they spoke about in the Old Testament and the One we pray to today– “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (Rev. 22:13). No matter where in the world we are, He is there. Even when it feels like He is far away, we can be reminded of His presence by looking at the sun. I then came across this other Scripture verse:

“For the LORD God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The LORD will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right” (Psalm 84:11).

On days when the sun is bright and beautiful, I am reminded of God’s constant presence in my life. He has filled a void that will never be empty again.