All of it

Read: Genesis 42-43, Matthew 13:33-58

When asked if she was aware that Jesus loves her, my four-year-old niece matter-of-factly responded, “Yes, I know that,” as though it were a silly question that didn’t even need to be asked in the first place.

The love of God toward His children—us—is something we should be reminded of every day. But there are many other things from the Word of God that we, like my niece, scoff at. Of course we know that. Do we really have to go over it again?

Matthew 13:52

We often make the mistake of throwing out the old in favour of the new. We do it with almost everything we have. When something is of no use to us, it gets tossed rather than repaired or renewed. Many Christians have done the same with what we may view as old ideas. We accept Jesus’ teaching, but nothing else. Yet, Jesus himself told his disciples that the old is just as important as the new. Maybe even more so since the old is the foundation on which the new has been built.

An argument may be made that Jesus came to free us from the law. He did. He came to free us from the bondage of it. There was no way that any human being could fulfill every letter of the law. Another way had to be made to access God.

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

Matthew 5:17 (NIV)

If we view the Old Testament—the Law and the Prophets—as obsolete, how then can we fully understand Jesus who is the fulfillment of it?

Matthew Henry said that, old experiences and new observations all have their use. Our place is at Christ’s feet, and we must daily learn old lessons over again, and new ones also.

I have never met a person who reads through their Bible over and over again and says that they discovered nothing new. If God’s mercies are new every morning, surely there is revelation to follow. And we should seek it with all that we are. God wants to reveal Himself to us through His Word—all of it.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask of God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

James 1:5 (NIV)

The golden ticket

I grew up watching the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I still get the golden ticket song stuck in my head:

I’ve got a golden ticket
I’ve got a golden chance to make my way
And with a golden ticket, it’s a golden day

Charlie dances around singing a song and his bedridden grandfather miraculously hops out of bed to join him.

Jesus gave us a golden ticket.

The truth is, you can go directly to the Father and ask him, and he will grant your request because you use my name.

John 16:23b (NLT)

Jesus wouldn’t have told us that we can go directly to God if it were a difficult thing. His name is our golden ticket to access the Father.

On my last mission trip, there were several older people on our team. Apparently grey hair gets you the golden ticket—literally, they got a yellow slip of paper—that allowed them an easier time through the security line. They got to leave their shoes on and only had to go through the metal detector, not the full body scan. They had the closest thing to a free pass the airport could give them. And they (and their aching knees) were happy about it.

You haven’t done this before. Ask using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.

John 16:24 (NLT)

Comparing our prayer life to an airport security line may seem trivial, but it can help to see the simplicity of Jesus’ words. Christianity is not complicated. Access to God is not difficult. Jesus gave us the use of his name as our golden ticket to God, all we have to do is use it—without hesitation. Those people in the security line with their yellow card didn’t hesitate to reap the benefits of what they’d been given and neither should we.

So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it.

Hebrews 4:16 (NLT)

Daily Bible reading: 2 Chronicles 23-25, John 16:16-33