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Monday, July 4, 2011

Inspiration of the Reader and the Listener

the Stainned Gless of depicting the Holy Spirit.Image via WikipediaThere is a great deal of emphasis on the inspiration of speakers and writers.  We all feel blessed when a gifted speaker or writer enlightens us on deep matters, and we label that one INSPIRED!

What about the readers and listeners?  I believe we are inspired to receive teaching through the written word or through the spoken word when God confirms his truth to us.  That is inspiration too.

In Luke 24:30-31 the disciples who ate with Jesus after the resurrection recognized him "when their eyes were opened."  They saw him, but they did not know him until he revealed himself to them.  Their spiritual eyes were opened.  Their inspiration had begun while they were talking with the risen Jesus on the road.  They testified that their hearts had burned within them when he opened the scriptures to them.  They had been inspired.  Their spirits had grasped God's truth even before they knew who they were talking to.

Believing the scriptures when we read them is a different quality of knowing and understanding than having them revealed to us by divine counsel.  The disciples on the road were Jews who knew the Old Testament and understood its instructions, but Jesus opened a new level of truth to them through the Spirit and their hearts burned.  

Paul supports this understanding of inspiration for both speakers and listeners, writers and readers, in 1 Corinthians 2:9:

 “No eye has seen,
   no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
   what God has prepared for those who love him."   

Then he continues to promise that God has revealed by his Spirit these truths.  They are intended for us to know and understand.  They are available and we can apprehend them.  They require us to surrender our minds and wills and attitudes for the Spirit to instruct.  It will be a demanding discipline, and he will correct and convict as he instructs.  Submit to the Spirit and receive of his teaching and be inspired.

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