Remember when the puzzles Connect the Dots used to entertain you during long car rides, or during the pastor’s sermon to keep you quiet, or at the doctor’s office in kids magazines to distract you from what was about to take place once they called your name?! Chances are you’ve seen a connect the dots puzzle and welcomed the challenge of figuring out the big picture. What a huge disappointment when you accidently connected the wrong dots and had to erase and rethink how to connect them correctly. Well, our blog is going to be a lot like connecting the dots…or in our case connect the posts. Each post may only appear to be a dot.
While a single dot can make a great point (haha! pun intended!), it will only give you a point of reference until you see another dot to connect. In my childhood, I collected a lot of dots in Sunday School. It was a great foundation for my Christian faith. These dots consisted of your typical Bible stories, such as Adam and Eve, Father Abraham (just broke out in song while I typed that one!), Noah, David and Goliath and so on. As a child, my understanding of the Bible looked much like this…
I saw the dots and as my age and faith increased I was pretty excited to start connecting the dots. The only problem was that I did not know there was an order. Sure, I could connect the dots and make some sense of them, but it was not necessarily the intended purpose for the dots. Sure, there are multiple applications and take-away points depending on how you choose to look at the dots, but the author may have had something else in mind.
Now, I had been told for quite a while that when you read anything you need to first identify the author, the audience and the time/culture during which it was written. Well, I finally started to see the Bible differently when I began to identify the author as God, not just men used by God. You could say the audience in general is for all people across all time, but you have to realize that God chose to reveal and work His plans and purposes through the Jewish people and that Gentiles have been grafted in by grace. We can only know the Father through Jesus Christ; and God made a provisional way for His son through Jewish lineage. As we begin to take scripture and put it in context of Jewish origin, we better understand the first and second coming of Christ, which is known as the former and latter rain! The entire Bible no matter where you look points us to His comings. By His word we are to prepare our hearts for His return because the former rain (His first coming) has already come to pass which most of us are quite familiar. However, so many people continue to live their lives mystified, unaware and unprepared for His return. People let’s get ready!
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Hebrews 13:8 (NIV)
Since Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever, we will begin our blog with first studying the former rain — that which has already been fulfilled through His first coming — in order to set the stage for the latter rain. It’s exciting to say the least, but requires a lot of patience and personal investment on your part as we lay down the dots in hopes to help you connect them to see the big picture!