Feeling barren inside one day as I wrote another article, I searched for relief.
Walking over to a sitting room that had big stuffed chairs—needing any other chair than my office chair—I sat and allowed plump cushions to comfort me. Starting to feel a bit better but still weak and burdened, I bowed my head and prayed to the Lord. All I wanted to hear was what He had to say. After a period of resting in His arms, I realized I needed a red-letter edition of the Bible.
The last fifty years have been a search for the context world for me. I had been taught that a Bible verse taken out of context was a pretext. Doing this and not searching to see how the rest of the Bible comments on a verse has led to cults and atrocities. Yet I had become addicted to searching for contexts to the exclusion of nurturing my relationship with Jesus. A sad state of affairs, my congested mind and heart sighed in unison.
Then I found what I had when I was a frightened seventeen-year-old boy who went away to a Christian college that was far from home. I held on to Jesus and what He had said when He promised to provide everything I needed if I would first seek the kingdom of God. That red-letter verse has been a life verse for me, and I still claim its truth as an old man.
Professional accuracy had gotten in the way of my first love. Searching the context to see if a biblical interpretation was accurate had become primary. I had missed yielding to the Spirit and abiding in the Vine so I could bear fruit secondary.
Red-letter edition Bible reading is providing what I need. This verse speaks to me as if I’m one of the privileged few who walked with Jesus on the dusty trails of the Holy Land. I hear His voice and feel His love as a fresh breeze stirs my heart and clears my congested mind.
Read the words of Jesus, and listen to what He says.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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The Rev. Dr. Bob Segress served as a licensed psychological clinician for twenty-five years. Upon retiring, he served for fifteen years as a prison minister. Retiring again, he began writing full-time after a period of boredom. He has written: The Biblical Approach To Psychology while serving as a college educator, The Shelton Series, and, in 2012, Ten Years Inside Shelton Prison. Currently, he writes for several publications such as Halo Magazine.