Written by Joe Stephenson
The Big Secret Part 1
As of right now, my church is going through a transitional phase. We are currently without a Senior Pastor and guess what? I get to fill the pulpit! I did a sermon series recently titled the Big Secret. The whole point of the series was to reveal the secret on how to stay connected with God. I felt that it would be appropriate for this venue. To understand the Big Secret, you first must understand the four basic principles that the Big Secret rests upon. The four principles consist of these: Bible, Prayer, Church, and Mission/Evangelism. Let us begin!
What I am about to say is going to seem like a no-brainer, but the truth is that without the Bible we cannot grow spiritually. I am not saying that the Bible is the only avenue through which one can grow, but its role cannot be taken lightly. The Bible has become a direct link between God and us. It is kind of like this. If you want to know what Jesus would do, just look at what Jesus did! The Bible is the vessel that point us the Word! Wait, what? I thought the Bible was the word? Well, according to John Chapter 1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” This verse tells us that Jesus is the Word! It is a powerful reminder that the Bible was written to point us to Jesus– the Word. So, what do we do with this information? First, that means that when referring to the Word we must first distinguish between the written word(Bible) and the actual Word(Jesus). Our language heavily utilizes the context to deduce the meaning of words, but I digress. If the written word is a direction connection to the actual Word, then that means it is a source of connection between me (the reader) and Jesus. I can hear you now, “But the Bible is so boring to read!” It can be! I will not argue that point. However, I will say this. For the Bible to come alive, Jesus must first be alive in you! Here is a little golden nugget for you to chew on! The point is when most complain that they feel far from God, one of the common reasons is that they are far from the Bible which then transcends into them being far from God. So, step one to being able to feel connected God again is to read the Bible. In case you did not know, there are these really cool things called Bible studies, or personal devotionals that you can participate in or buy that will help direct your scripture reading. Bible reading is meant to be both communal and personal!
Guess who my closest friend is? Well, that might be a hard guess since a lot of you probably do not know me. Anyway, the correct answer is the one that I talk to the most! There is something powerful when we share our inner thoughts, fears, and dreams with somebody. It is in these moments that our life converges and interlocks with another person. Guess what? Prayer is not just asking God to grant us every wish on our wish list. Or is it? I believe that our greatest desires are covered up by all the junk/chaos we run too. I wonder if our biggest wish is to be connected or to be intimate with someone other than ourselves. So, many times the loneliness of life seems to catch us at that moment we cease to move.
This is my point of the prayer topic! I do not like the saying that prayer is talking with God. Prayer is so much more than that. Prayer is INTIMACY with God. It is in these moments that we feel connected in the depths of our souls. I know that we try to fulfill this deep intimate connection through other people, but the truth is that it is not the “end all” answer. I am not saying that we should not seek connectedness with other individuals, but what I am stating is that mere people cannot fill the emptiness that only Jesus can fill.
Being connected with people is part of this topic, but it must wait until part two of this blog.
Image by Wassim LOUMI
NO changes were made and this picture is used by permission under the Creative Commons Licence
 John 1: 1, NIV.