From the Margin of… John 21

29 01 2008

From the Margin of…When I was in seminary, a local pastor (Dr. Robert Rayburn) came and shared with us the discipline of annotating our Bibles.  He brought his old Bible which for years he had been filling with notes.  He’d had it re-covered at least once and it looked like a Bible that was used and cherished.  As he flipped through its pages, he’d stop and share with us a great quote.  Then he’d turn a few more pages and read to us some wonderful exegetical insight that really opened up a passage.  Some of richest moments were those in which he took us through a few choice psalms beside which he had written dates of prayer, dates he’d prayed that psalm for some brother or sister or family member.  As I listened, I was captivated by the discipline of connecting my Bible so closely with my life and what I was studying.  I admired this mature brother who was carrying around this treasure- a Bible study library and personal history in the palm of his hand.  From that day, I decided I too would make annotating my Bible a personal discipline I’d pursue.

I now have my own re-covered Bible filled with notes I’ve gleaned from my reading and study over the years.  It has psalms marked with dates and names in the margin next to them.  The processes of finding a text to correspond with a quote (of thinking as I read “how does this connect with my Bible?”) has been a wonderful discipline.

Now I’ve decided to connect my Bible with my blog.  Today I’m beginning a series of posts (with no specific point of termination) in which I’ll share some of the notes from the margin of my Bible.  I hope you’ll enjoy reading the quotes and insights that have moved me over the years and seeing where I ended up connecting them with the Scriptures.  If you have the same practice of annotating your Bible, I’d love for this to become a two-way conversation with us being able to show each other the nuggets in our margins.

So, for my first “From the Margin of…” post, I thought I’d share one of my favorite John Piper quotes.  I put this quote in the margin of the last page of John’s Gospel (at the end of John 21). There were so many places in the Gospel itself that I thought about writing the quote, but I just couldn’t choose one. Piper’s words are a wonderful reminder I stop to ponder each time I finish reading through the great Apostle’s rich work. This description of regeneration reminds me of God’s overwhelming grace in my life and fuels my love for the unsaved I meet- may they too experience the glorious dawn of salvation!

Piper describing regeneration:It was like the opening of the eyes of the blind during the golden dawn.  First, the stunned silence before the unspeakable beauty of holiness.  Then a shock and terror that we had actually loved the darkness.  Then the settling stillness of joy that this is the soul’s end.  The quest is over.  We would give anything if we might be granted to live in the presence of this glory forever.”       

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2 responses

30 01 2008
becky

Thank you so much for your posts that continually point to our Lord, Ryan! They truly help me reflect on and learn about Him…and God uses them to point out ways I need to change to be more like Him. What a blessing!
And thanks for the idea of annotating dates/prayers/quotes by Bible passages! I want to do that in my new, awesome journaling Bible that 2 of my favorite people gave me! :) I LOVE that idea!
Before I married my wonderful Aaron, on Sunday evenings I went to the church Pastor Rayburn pastors! My aunt & uncle & cousins go there!
Okay…finally wrapping up this comment…It’s been a long time in coming, so a lengthy one seems appropriate. :)
Thank you for sharing Piper’s quote. I was convicted as I read it that I currently need to be stunned silent before the beauty of God’s holiness; I need to be all the more shocked and terrified by my current sins as I should be becoming more sanctified; I need to truly gladly give anything for our Lord and His kingdom since I have been blessed with the unspeakable gift of salvation and will forever live in His glorious presence… I am far too often so complacent … Praise God for His faithfulness!! …and for godly friends & His Word and Truth!

~becky

30 01 2008
Ryan

Worth the wait! I thought you might know Dr. Rayburn. Every time he came to chapel, I really enjoyed it- his messages were rich and deep. Amy said this quote from Piper reminds her of something C. S. Lewis might write. I love the very visual way he describes our relationship with God and when he puts it like that it is easy to see (as you pointed out) that often that awe and delight grows a bit slack. The good news is that it isn’t that God has changed, it’s just that we need to get our eyes back on Him! Have a great day my wise older sister.

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