Connecting the Dots
A retrospective look, gives us understanding by way of the history of a matter and being studious of the past, while a prospective look invites us to follow the clues of the present time to forecast that to come, with some borrowing from the past's trends, to then recreate a situation and prove a claim. Our sense of facts, our biases and beliefs, our intuition and imagination, our intelligence and calculations, and our feelings send us on our way, hopefully with the steering of the Holy Spirit, by whom connecting the dots has a chance to lead us, at the least, correctly, and at the most, gloriously into truth.
As a made-up example, let's prove the claim that washing your hands with soapy water protects against the 'cold'. A retrospective study might contact all the people who had a cold last month, and by interview determine if they routinely washed their hands. Let's say 100 people had a cold. For those 100 with a cold if we found 87, a good majority of them, were not hand washers, that would be suggestive of an association between not handwashing and catching a cold. A different approach, such as a prospective study might get 100 well volunteers during the cold season to be watched, with half given instructions to wash their hands every six hours while awake for the winter, while the other fifty would be advised not to wash their hands. At the end of winter they would all be interviewed. If, of the fifty hand washers only 2 got a cold, and of the fifty non-hand washers 35 caught a cold, it would be supportive of the claim that hand washing prevents catching colds. Other things would weigh in.
This is a manner of 'connecting the dots'.
However we appreciate our own 'dots', the most massive of dots within all of our considering is that 'GOD IS', 'GOD KNOWS', and 'GOD DOES'. Another big dot is that 'WE ARE NOT GOD.'
But, we can be glad that God gave us a guide, His living Word, even though, by the accumulation of evidence, all over the world we show ourselves to be in denial a lot.
Connecting the dots means we are sinners in need of a Savior, without whom, we are left on our own merits to gain eternal life and heaven, and not needing God's costly gift of mercy and grace- we just have to be perfect. Most religions are fundamentally about 'doing', but the saving fellowship we have with God, says 'done' in Christ.
Agur, the speaker of Proverbs 30, evidently caught this message, responding to life with a very distinctive, though O.T., gospel orientation: his plea, 'While I yet live, give me the
Word.' [paraphrased v.7], and 'Don't let me get the big-head, keep me honest' [also paraphrased v.8a] Connecting the dots, he humbled himself before God, hopefully knowing also GOD IS LOVE, as well as GOD IS HOLY, two huge 'dots'...
"Surely I am more brutish than any man, and have not the understanding of a man."[v.2] By self-description, Agur was physically selfish, a beast by conduct, and his understanding either primitive or perverted. "I neither learned wisdom, nor have the knowledge of the holy." [v.3] He was by all accounts privately and publicly utterly fallen. But, God:
"Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? Who hath gathered up the wind in His fists? Who hath bound the waters in a garment? Who hath established all the ends of the earth? WHAT IS HIS NAME AND WHAT IS HIS SON'S NAME, IF THOU CANST TELL? Every word of God is pure: He is a shield unto them that put their trust in Him." [v. 2-5]
The message of the gospel is bittersweet, and taken completely should be dispensed as written, by way of the Word itself:
"Thy words were found, and I did eat them, and Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by Thy name, O' LORD God of hosts."
"...if ye believe not that I AM, then ye shall die in your sins." John 8:24b
"And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. And I took the little book out of the angel's hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth, sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter."
With such as a new year before us, and such diverse hopes as to signify our disunity in many ways, prayerfully the ending of 2020, and the beginning of 2021 will be characterized by a right connecting of the most principal of dots before us, lending to godliness, personally, collectively and at the level of the greater community; that we relax our fists and soften our words, for the sake of grace at the table of meeting, and for the sake of grace within the words coloring our most needful conversations.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus, have Your way. Bless as only You can, and forgive us for the good undone,and the withheld reasonable protest of your born-again saints, while lives lie in the balance, and while the greatest of glory days near. May the earnest work of connecting the dots be a transforming work, as we reflect on Your loving work on Mercy's tree. Thank You Jesus! Peace be upon us.
Abiding Light which touches me, Thou with reaching setting free: How dare I rest, how dare I run without becoming, good begun.
Thou Light which spake and giveth breath, Thine whisper casting down my death- I pray to know and gain Thy ways, to bless Thee, Blessor, all my days!
(by Dr. McNeal Brockington)
Amen! Excellent devotional Dr. Brockington!
Amen brother Brockington! An awesome devotional!
Amen! 🙏 an awesome message for the new year.
the most massive of dots within all of our considering is that 'GOD IS', 'GOD KNOWS', and 'GOD DOES'. Another big dot is that 'WE ARE NOT GOD.'
Praise Him! Amen
Amen Bro Brockington!
Excellent devotional! Improved ny vocabulary too ... thx Dr Brockington!
Amen Dr. Brockington!! Amen!
Excellent testimony of God’s truth.