Mom and Dad usually give me a devotional in my Christmas presents. And, this year, just like in those past, I received Jesus Calling for Kids. I suppose they were trying to match my mental level. ***Grin***
They also gave me Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts. Since I spend nearly every waking moment with kids, I skipped the devotional and dove straight into the book written by an adult. Another mother. One who also spends most moments with her kids.
You can read the first chapter here…
I didn’t get far into the book until I had made up my mind to select a word to set my heart on for the course of the coming new year. I read of how her eyes had caught on a certain word and how it began to take root and change her perspective, her heart. I want that. New perspective. New awareness of what God is doing in my heart.
I began thinking of what word I could choose.
It had already been chosen for me.
The Sunday before Christmas, Larry and I settled into our Sunday classroom at the church and listened to our teachers, Wayne and Deb, speak of the angels and the shepherds. Our class just finished a series of lessons on different individuals in the Christmas story. It was the final lesson. I loved it.
Reading through Luke 2, in the class, I saw something in verse 15 that bugged me, intrigued me, distracted me for the next 10 minutes of the lesson.
“When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’”
I don’t know if this has ever bugged you before, but “this thing”? Thing? Really? I couldn’t stand it when someone called one of my boys “it”, as if he was some inanimate object.
Why not say, “Let’s go see this King” or “this baby” or “this miracle?” Why “this thing?”
I really try to not get distracted in lessons or sermons. I’ve been informed by my husband that it’s dreadfully distracting to be teaching/preaching and to look out at your spouse, who sits with her brow furrowed momentarily and then plows through the back of her Bible…frantically looking up Greek and Hebrew words. It’s even more distracting when she digs in her purse for a highlighter and starts flipping back and forth between verses and a notepad, scribbling wildly. I try not to do it. I usually do okay. That Sunday, I did wait until after the lesson to go flipping through the references in the back of my Bible.
What made me so curious? I had also noted during the lesson that the same word translated as “thing” was used in verse 17, but translated differently.
“When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,”
The noun used in both verses is the Greek word, rhema. In verse 15, rhema is translated into “thing.” In verse 17, rhema is translated as “word.”
We see “word” in John 1:1, but that is translated from logos. Logos is typically indicative of the written word or the physical word, as in “the Word became flesh.” However, rhema seems to indicate the spoken word and specifically, words spoken to someone. It’s often used in such situations as “the word of the Lord came to…so and so.”
I spent another day pondering the difference between logos and rhema. I know that I’ve heard the differences discussed before, but it hadn’t been important to me at that point. I’ll admittingly chalk that up to a hard, unwilling heart.
From what I’ve been able to scratch up in the last week, God’s Word…the Bible…is the logos that I have access to in the written form. It’s the Hebrews 4:12 word. The logos that is living and active. Sharper than any sword, it cuts down to the division of my soul and spirit and judges my heart and attitude. It is of utmost importance. I need to be hiding it in my heart.
I need to be hiding into my heart and pondering these “things” in my heart. By the way, in Luke 2:19 all of those “things” that Mary pondered in her heart, were the rhema…spoken words of her son, The Son, The One and Only…The (Logos) Word became flesh.
I have the written word. I have a Bible in nearly every room of my home. I have it on my phone. I have portions of it on plagues and paintings. I am surrounded by the written word.
However, I don’t know that I give the Spirit the time and attention to listen to His rhema word. I don’t slow down and listen as He reminds me of the logos, just as Romans 8 and John 14 say He will.
The shepherds had received a word from God. This "thing" that happened was worth spreading the "word." Rhema.
This year, my one “word” is rhema.
I want to hear what God speaks to me. I want it to be so real that I'm stopped in my tracks. So real that I have to immediately share the thing and spread the word.