Highly Concentrated Truth

There is no doubt in my mind that some of the worst commercials on tv currently are the ones for 5 hour energy drink. I am pretty sure they round up individuals to be actors off the street and give them no time to rehearse before they start shooting these spots. Each one is a variation of the same story. A bleary-eyed individual bemoans how long it takes to make a pot of coffee/how quickly the spike from a can of soda will wear off before they joyfully discover a vial that will solve all their problems, 5 HOUR ENERGY. After consuming a bottle they perk up and go about their day with bright eyes and a bushy tail.

Every time I see one of these commercials I want to light something on fire or stab my eyes out or both. Maybe I am overreacting a little but they are bad and they seem to come on every time I turn around. Also, they haunt my dreams. With all that being said I do want to make a spiritual comparison–to the product itself, not the campaign because I assure you nothing good could come from that. You see what they have done is taken an entire energy drink and condensed it down to the size of a shot glass, 2 ounces. Because it has no carbonation it can be consumed quickly and on the go. You get the equivalent of a cup of coffee or a redbull in just a sip or two.

We just underwent something similar at freshlife. At the end of last year I challenged the church to read through the New Testament in 30 days starting January first. We also decided to give the first day of 2011 to the Lord in prayer and fasting, specifically in preparation for the launch of our Whitefish campus, but also as a way of giving God the firstfruits of our time in the new year. It was all an initiative added on to the Winter of our Discontent series. Yesterday was the last day of the NT challenge and having crammed so much truth into one small window of time was intense and invigorating. It was a rush to have been in Matthew just 4 weeks ago and to have finished Revelation yesterday. One day our reading assignment was the whole book of Hebrews–talk about high-octane!

Considering our speed (roughly 9 chapters a day) it definitely wasn’t a notice every detail kind of a journey, but covering all these books so quickly you were able to appreciate the forest and the big picture of the greatest story ever told. There are benefits to both scrutinizing and surveying when it comes to going through the Scriptures. My wife and I tried to do half the reading each morning and the other half later in the day to avoid the fatigue where you are no longer processing what you are reading. (shoutout to the staff members I heard about who got behind and were reading 30 chapters a day the last couple days to try and catch up–aka getting nothing out of it.)

I have heard several people say that they are sad to see it end and that they have enjoyed having so much of God’s Word pumped into their veins each day. A few people have asked if they can do it again. Ummm? Yes! Totally! Rock it in February. See how many times you can make it through this year. Or bust out the Old Testament in the next couple months and turn it into a 90 day challenge. My wife and I are going to do the New Testament again but slow it down to 60 days to make it more bite size. Whatever you do, keep carving out a daily time to systematically work your way through God’s Word! While I can’t promise that you won’t have a 2:30 feeling, but you will definitely have more spiritual energy and it will keep you from crashing later.
God’s Word doesn’t return void!

Psalm 19:7–11 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward.