A Love to Show Us the Way
Kayla, my wife, is an amazing teacher. I know that without ever having sat in her classroom for a single lesson. I know it because everywhere we go, young people ages 14 to 21 run to her just to say hi. I had maybe a teacher or two in my life that I would have acknowledged while in public, never at the risk of embarrassing myself. These kids lose all sense of self, and it doesn't matter how many years it's been, she always remembers them, she's always so happy to see them, and it's beyond obvious that seeing her has just made their day.
I also know what a great teacher she is because I see the preparation that goes into her constantly-evolving craft. Every lesson can be improved on, every idea is tried, perfected, re-perfected, and then scrapped for a new one. Kayla has taught the same subject at the same school in the same grade for eight years, and I doubt that much of anything from her 2011 class would even be allowed in today. She loves her subject, her school, and her students, and she's driven to make a significant impact in their lives. She gets it!
I say all of that because it's true, but also, it is her constant need for change and improvement that led me to this article. This year, a friend and co-worker of Kayla's recommended she read a book called The Book Whisperer. It was the story of a Language Arts teacher who decided to raise the stakes and standards in her classroom, challenging her students to read 40 books per year, and the success that her ideology has resulted in. Kayla was blown away. She knew immediately that her classroom wasn't reaching its highest potential, and so, halfway through this current school year, she scrapped her plans and changed everything. Her teaching style now encompasses a reading workshop, and her students are reading like never before. They have lofty expectations, and she will push them to achieve. And, because my wife is who she is, she is planning to read the same number of books as her students. If they can do it, so can she. (While grading 100 worksheets, essays, tests, journals, leading meetings, working after school, volunteering at church, all while maintaining her status as an elite mother, wife, sister, daughter, and friend.)
So, my thoughts are, if she can do it, so can I. That's a lot of braggy introduction to simply say, I'm trying to keep pace with her. I try to read some portion of my Bible everyday; it's the food of life. It is my joy and my strength. But I've also read two books in the last two weeks. The Judgement of the Nephilim by Ryan Pitterson and The Now Prophecies by Bill Salus. Both are excellent! The research is terrific, and the teaching is incredible. If it wasn't clear, both books are supplemental to the Bible. They have both caused me to see scripture in incredible new ways, especially concerning the prophetic scriptures and God's singular ability to know the end from the beginning.
I asked for and received both books for Christmas because I am fascinated by Bible prophecy. Watching the word of God, scriptures thousands of years old, find fulfillment in front of our very eyes excites me! Every fulfilled prophecy offers further validation of the authenticity of its divine nature. As much as archaeology, fulfilled prophecy proves that there is indeed a God. To know that something was written and has remained unchanged for 3,000 years while also seeing it happen exactly as predicted is undeniable. Bury your head in the sand if you'd like, but I KNOW that my God is real!
You might say, "Yeah, but, many of the prophecies in scripture are vague, not for future events, etc. Same with prophecy about Jesus, how can we be sure they were about Him specifically?"
These, and many other sentences like these have been given to me as somehow denials regarding the word of God. How laughable! In the book Science Speaks, Dr. Peter Stoner used confirmed reasonable scientific and mathematical data to show that one man fulfilling only 8 of the 300-350 messianic prophecies listed in the Old Testament would equal 10 to the 28th power (or 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) and yet the historical life of Jesus fulfilled these 8 test prophecies as well as all 300-350 others. The odds of that being possible is almost inconceivable, and yet true. Likewise, in the last century, two entire chapters written by the prophet Ezekiel more than 2,500 years ago have found fulfillment (chapters 36 & 37). Not only has Canaan land, Israel, bloomed like a flower in the desert since the return of the Jewish people, but also, Israel, a nation dead for basically 2,000 years, like dead bones in the desert, has risen to life following the darkest hour of Jewish history, the Holocaust. Israel, in 1948, became a nation once again. As Isaiah said, "Can a nation be born in a day?" The answer, with the divine touch of God, is unequivocally, yes.
But this is a website dedicated to the love of God. And, while all of this is quite nice, it really needs to shine God's unfathomable love, right?
Well, it most certainly does. See, it would have been easy for God to leave us to take all life as it comes. We could have been left to die in our sin without the validation of evidence found in fulfilled prophecy, left to try to figure things out without the inconspicuous fingerprints of the divine all around. But God is love! He loves us enough to create an atonement for our sin before sin ever even existed. He loved us enough to tell us the story's end in the third chapter even while millennia of future had to play out to make it so. What was that end? That the son of woman would crush the head of the serpent (Genesis 3:15). Jesus wins!
Get to the point already! I'm getting there, I promise.
God does love us. He loves us more than we'll ever understand. And in his love he was able to give us the results of the still-occurring play. In our discernment, we can even know what act and scene we are currently in and what preparations to make. The return of the nation of Israel put the world back on the prophetic clock. What comes next is the end. The preparation that we need to make is to be sure that we are sold out for Jesus! He is our hope and our salvation! He has promised us that he came before and will absolutely come again! His love, the love to show us the way, is the only love that can change the world.