Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A Free Book Becomes Valuable

I was recently invited to dig through several boxes of books to see if there might be some I would want, before the remainder was donated elsewhere.  I have to confess to you, with all the reading I do, I usually do not have the time nor the storage space to handle all the books I choose to read, let alone the "freebies" which are donated. 

After collecting a handful of books from the boxes, I dropped them in the back seat floorboard of my truck where they stayed until this morning.  Out of the 10 books I picked up, I had no favorites, no priority to read one before choosing another, but I decided to look through a couple of the first ones I  selected.  

The first one was a book that looked as though it had never been opened.  The binding held the pages tight like a brand new book.  My first inclination was to look for a publication date, which might lead me to ask why the book had been idle and unread for so many years.  Maybe you are ahead of me here, but this book which caught my interest was published in 1996,.........twenty years and had never been read.

The next thing I do when I discover a book like this, is to scan through the table of contents and maybe read a couple of paragraphs to see if there is anything that stimulates a desire to keep reading. Today's experiment in scanning this book led me to look a little deeper. 

I have no idea if the book would have a similar effect on you and your theology, but I have to tell you I have read over half the book this evening and find myself wondering why I have missed some vital information concerning the events following  the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. 

Ok, here is the book title. Paul, the Spirit, and the People of God.  It is written by Gordon D. Fee, a Canadian theologian.  I will let you know just a little of what spoke to me as I read today.  For me, the key word is "presence."  The writer lets us know of the dealings of God with the people of the Old Testament, especially concerning his presence with them.  Then the new covenant comes along, after the events of the cross, and a new covenant begins. The key word remains the same.  It's the word, "presence," except now, the presence of the Lord, through his Spirit, becomes personal.  We  now experience his presence because he lives in us! 

Most of the evidences and proof comes from the writings of Paul in the New Testament.  It's good reading and I hope you will come to see the importance of experiencing God's presence in your life, too.

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