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70 Faces
Scripture: Joshua 1:6-9; Psalm 119:15, 23, 27, 48, ...
Track 5 of 9 in the Primal Christianity - Love4 series
Running time: 1 hour, 05 minutes, 06 seconds.
In all that the Bible is, with all of the complex issues and personalities of its writers and the circumstances in their lives, it possesses a supernatural harmony from beginning to end. This book is omnirelevent to every person on the planet. Why Because the Author is directly connected with our soul and through that connection feeds the spiritual body within us. When we open the sacred scriptures, this is where God Himself bares His soul. The Bible will make you marvel and nothing speaks to the soul like scripture.

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Mike Nobis Speaker: Mike Nobis
Sunday School Teacher, Former Elder at Madison Park Christian Church. Mike is President of JK Creative Printers & Mailing in Quincy, IL. He is married to Pam and has three children, Tom, Tyler and Jennifer. Mike has three grandchildren: Ryne, Ivy and Alicia.

View all sermons by this speaker.

70 Faces

Love God with all your soul! Our last lesson took us to an area in our relationship with God that is hard to describe, the soul. How to love God with all our soul is a concept that is hard to define but one we experience every day. I like to use the word “wonder” to describe the soul. The soul is the inner connection we have with the wonderment of God and all He does in our lives. When our soul is turned on and active, we see everything beautiful in God and are awed by His powerful creativity. The soul is our spiritual emotion, our spiritual electricity. When we love God with all our soul, it is like plugging into the electricity of God. Everything around us is alive, all the wonderment of God is before us I all it beauty and amazement.

I can remember the first time I got to watch the Wizard of Oz on a color TV. We didn’t have a color TV when I first saw that movie. We watched it in black and white. But when Dad brought home our first color TV it was the day when the Wizard of Oz was on. Wow, when Dorothy stepped out of the house and the movie changed to color, that was something I never forgot. Our soul is a lot like that, it is the source that feeds our “Wow Factor”. When we love God with all our soul it is like we are experiencing God in living color.

What are you passionate for? What is it that really turns your senses on and you just have to pursue this one thing?

Sir David Brewster was awarded an honorary Master of Arts degree from the University of Edinburgh and was ordained to preach. But his first sermon turned into being his last. Brewster was so nervous when he got behind the pulpit that he vowed never to do it again. It was a sad day for the ministry but a good day for science. Brewster decided to pursue his first love, his passion, the science of optics. In 1816 his childlike passion produced an invention that captivated the imagination of kids for centuries, he invented the kaleidoscope. The kaleidoscope contains fragments of glass at the end of a mirrored tube that reflects light in an endless variety of colors and patterns.

Scripture is the same way. 2011 is my 35th year of teaching Sunday School here at MPCC. One would think that after all those years I would run out of material to teach. But in reality, I could teach for 100 years and never come close to teaching all that is found in the Bible. I am amazed how many times I read the same scriptures over and over and always find something new that I never thought of before.

According to rabbinic tradition, every word of sacred scripture has 70 faces and six hundred thousand meanings.

If we had to describe the Bible in one word, it would be “kaleidoscope”. One can read the same verse or passage on various occasions and it will speak to you in totally different ways. The Greek philosopher once said, “You never step into the same river twice”

The same is true with reading scripture; you never read the same verse of scripture the same way twice. This is a tremendous testament to the divine nature of the Holy Spirit who inspired the writers of scripture thousands of years ago. That same Author illuminates each reader today and His Scripture is based on His infinite knowledge of your personality, your circumstances, your dreams, your doubts, your history and your destiny. That is why scripture speaks to us in such kaleidoscopic ways.

Where did the Bible come from and who were its writers? What are the themes and what were the circumstances of the writers who wrote it? What are the settings and in how many languages is the Bible written in? What were the personalities like of the more than 40 writers? What types of people were the writers of the Bible?

In all that the Bible is, with all of the complex issues and personalities of its writers and the circumstances in their lives, it possesses a supernatural harmony from beginning to end. This book is omnirelevent to every person on the planet. Why? Because the Author is directly connected with our soul and through that connection feeds the spiritual body within us. When we open the sacred scriptures, this is where God Himself bares His soul. The Bible will make you marvel and nothing speaks to the soul like scripture.

The quest for the lost soul of Christianity always leads us back to the Bible.

So, what is your personal Bible study like? I am not talking about when you meet in class or attend a small group, but what is your personal, quiet time like with God’s Word?

Joshua 1:6-9 “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Reading the Bible is not enough. Rediscovering the wonders of scripture requires more than just reading, that is where the quest begins but that is not where it ends. If you want to get the scriptures into your soul, you have to meditate on it and when you do that, you will live it out. Meditating on God’s Word turns reading the Bible from two-dimensional knowledge into three-dimensional understanding.

How many of you have seen a move in 3D? Does 3D make the movie seem more alive? Meditation is like putting on 3D glasses when reading scripture. When we live out what we meditate on, it turns two dimensional understanding into three dimensional obedience.

What is the difference between two dimensional obedience and three dimensional obedience?
So What Does All This Mean? It is all about FREQUENCY!

How many of you like to listen to the radio? Is there a difference between AM and FM? When you tune into FM 88.5, what do you get? How many different frequencies are there?

The same is true with the Holy Spirit. How many different channels does the Holy Spirit use to communicate to us? Through creation, the still small voice, open doors, divine appointments, spirit prompted friends.

But God’s primary channel of communication to us is through his channel of the scriptures. When we open the Bible, it is like God opens His mouth. That is how we get on His frequency,

I was holding Ivy last night and she is a very calm baby. She just loves to be held or sit with you and just chill. She is at that age that she likes to hear you talk and once in a while you can get her to talk back in her little baby language. But if she hears mom’s voice in the distance, she breaks off all contact and interest in you and starts to search out mom. She knows her momma’s voice and she starts to look for her. Loving God with all our soul is a lot like that. To love God is to love his voice. To love God is to love his world.

Can anyone tell me what “white noise” is? How does this type of noise affect you? In our spiritual lives, is there such a thing as “white noise”? What is it?

Have you ever experienced a season in life when God seems to be silent? A time when we need to hear a word from God but he seems not to answer?

There are thousands of testimonies about this experience and for many, the problem wasn’t that God was silent; the problem was that God couldn’t be heard over all the white noise in life. For most, reading and meditating God’s word was absent or diminished. Life and the heavy hustle and bustle found there can and does drown out the voice of God. We need to find our quiet cave where the noise of life is turned off so we can spend some quiet time with God. This needs to be done daily and often.

True or False: Hindsight is 20/20.

For those of you who say this is true, what does it mean? Can this hindsight create a bias?

How many of you like to watch a movie more than one time? Does it ruin or diminish the wow factor when you know how the movie ends?

Psychologist call this “hindsight bias”. We know how the story ends so we develop an understanding about the whole story based on the familiarity we have of it. The hero dies in the end so when he dies, we aren’t shocked. When the surprise in the story plays out, we are surprised because we knew it was coming.

Is there such a thing as hindsight bias when it comes to reading scripture? Why is that?

How many times have you heard the stories in the Old Testament and know how the stories end? The battle of Jericho, David and Goliath, Birth of Jesus, the Crucifixion…We’ve read those stories so many times that we are blinded from their beauty. We read only with the eyes. What should shock us doesn’t even faze us anymore. We actually believe that the events recorded in scripture are as more predictable than they really are. The result? We miss the drama in the Drama!

As a teacher, my challenge is to each week add the drama back into scriptures you have read and studied all your lives. What is exciting about this class is you all still have the passion for knowing God’s Word. Too often we stay within our neighborhoods scripturally. We like to roam in areas we are familiar with never venturing outside.

So how do we recapture the most exciting drama that ever staggered the imagination of humanity? How do we rediscover the drama in the Drama? Here is the secret: you can’t just read the Bible; you have to meditate on it. Reading gives breadth to our understanding, meditation gives depth.

In the longest chapter in the Bible, Psalm 119, the word “meditate” shows up 8 times.

Psalms 119:15 I meditate on your precepts, and consider your ways. 23: Though rulers sit together and slander me, your servant will meditate on your decrees. 27: Let me understand the teaching of your precepts; then I will meditate on your wonders. 48: I lift up my hands to your commands, which I love, and I meditate on your decrees. 78: May the arrogant be put to shame for wronging me without cause; but I will meditate on your precepts. 97: Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. 99: I have more insight than all my teachers, for I meditate on your statutes. 148: My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises.

All throughout this chapter, David displays a major theme…staying in close relationship to God and following his ways requires meditation. Unfortunately for the church, meditation ranks as the least understood spiritual disciplines and our souls suffer because of that.

So what is meditation? What does God mean when he calls us to meditate on his scriptures day and night?

In secular meditation like yoga and other eastern religions, it is the emptying of one’s mind.
Biblical meditation is just the opposite; it is filling one’s mind with God’s Word.

One thing I am amazed about from this class is how quickly satisfied you become in studying the Bible. For many of you, what I tell you seems to be what you believe or accept. I love to bring up scripture where I know there is a hindsight bias. The study of Daniel was one attempt to get you to look at scripture in a new way. It was based on the question, why did the Magi travel to worship Jesus? There are so many truths about God that we just skip over because we are satisfied with what we learned and don’t really have the hunger to know more. That is why I think so many Christians are no longer astonished by what they read in the Bible.

Ways to do this:

• As you read, use your imagination and put yourself there. What would you do in that situation. Not only try to learn something about God, learn something about yourself.
• Pray the scriptures.
• Memorize Scripture: Use the Topical Memory System by the Navigators. You can find it at http://www.navpress.com/product/9781576839973/