by Sharon Merhalski
People send me a lot of forwards and articles. I don’t have time to read all of them but a statement in one article grabbed my total attention:
“Jesus Christ was the theme of their life.”
As I sat with God and mused on this statement I first thought of a themed birthday party and how obvious the theme is when a person enters the room. From the decorations in the house, the cake, the plates, napkins, cups and games…all will display the theme. And often the birthday person will even wear clothes displaying the theme of the party.
I then thought of Bronner’s, a Christmas store in Michigan where every single thing in the building portrays the Christmas theme…even the way the sales clerks dress. From the time a person gets the building in view until the time they leave and the building is out of sight, the theme of the establishment is unmistakable.
I did a word study to help me further understand the word “theme.”
Theme: a subject or topic of discourse or of artistic representation; a written exercise; a melodic subject of a musical composition or movement (Webster’s Dictionary)
Theme: the theme is not intended to teach or preach. In fact, it is not presented directly at all. You extract it from the characters, action, and setting that make up the story. (Learner.org)
Our person—our life—not just what we speak–is a message…an “epistle” which in the Strong’s Concordance means: written message; letter.
2Cointhians 3:2-3 “Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.”
2 Corinthians 3:3–Barnes Commentary: “They had been made manifest to be such by their conversion. The sense is, it is plain, or evident, that ye are the epistle of Christ.”
“Jesus Christ was the theme of their life.”
Philippians 2:12 “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”
Work out—Strong’s Concordance G2716 to work fully, that is, accomplish; by implication to finish, fashion: cause, do (deed), perform, work (out).
My heart is filled with questions: What theme have I worked out in my life–with the Holy Spirit–for others to see and not just to hear? How much of my epistle have I written in my own strength and wisdom? Does the theme I have worked to ‘write’ honor and glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and show—not just tell–the power of His resurrection?
I believe God makes it clear that we are responsible to author our lives: In the Old Testament He admonishes us to “up and sanctify yourselves” and in the New Testament He admonishes to “work out”/cause/fashion our “epistles”. We are responsible for writing our books that all men will read. The question is does that book we have chosen to write have the theme of Jesus Christ from the first word of chapter one to the last word of the last chapter?
We just loaded our new web magazine with articles, and we are continuing to do so. Some of the articles were moved over from the old web site…but not until each was read and often edited by the author. Some old articles were even discarded. Some may ask why they needed to be edited…or discarded? Because God continually works to mature/change His children, desiring to teach us Biblical truths, often dispelling things previously learned and believed. (I have grown to believe that all of us need to take inventory to see what we may be embracing that has sadly become the ‘norm’ instead of what the Word of God plainly says is absolute truth.)
The Bible says we need to “put off” and “put on.”
Ephesians 4:22-24 “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old
man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the
spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in
righteousness and true holiness.”
As I sit here this morning I am asking God to show me where I need to use an editor’s pen. I am seeking the Holy Spirit, “the Spirit of the Living God” to re-set…where needed…the theme of my epistle that God may be totally glorified in every nook and cranny of the pages.
Lord, I so desire to be like the Christmas store in Michigan where my theme is plainly seen from the moment a person approaching gets me in view. I want the manifestations of the absolute truths of the Word of God and the power of the Spirit of God to consume the pages of my epistle for Your glory only and the power of Your might through the workings of Your Holy Spirit.