Below is a speech delivered by my good friend, Jennifer Hardy Lusher. J-Lush, as she is so aptly called, is a dear friend of mine and a wonderful daughter of Christ. She speaks with conviction based upon the foundation of Scripture with a hope and steadfast love for the God revealed in his word. What does it mean to be biblically grounded? She tackles this question with clarity and the might of a woman who loves the Lord, his people, and this world. Martin Luther once said “Earth has nothing more tender than a woman’s heart when it is the abode of piety.” I appreciate my beloved friend’s heart and desire for the Lord and his work in the world. I hope you enjoy her answer to that pressing question. Good friends are a means of grace from God. I am blessed!
Biblically grounded can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. If you would have asked me what being biblically grounded was before last Wednesday, I probably would have given you this whole speech about it being an exceptional understanding of Scripture and doctrine. Or maybe accurately presenting and representing biblical truth. I would have spoken of its essentialness especially if you’re going to hold a conversation about the sovereignty of God or the importance of sound doctrine with an Andrew, an Austin or an Adam…
We’ve learned that “Context determines meaning”.
That one of the important figures of the early church Augustine should never be pronounced August-Teen.
We’ve been challenged to see that some parts of the bible aren’t as black or white as our denominational affiliation might have us believed…
We’ve learned the importance of how a proper understanding of literature can work to enhance our reading of the Bible…
And we’ve learned that Science and math can be great accompaniments to God’s timeless truths….
Biblically grounded meant something quite different before April 27th, 2011, than it does today. Before this date I would have talked a lot about what being biblically grounded meant as far as head knowledge but you wouldn’t have heard much about how this should look in the way we live our lives before the world. The blessing that comes from our time here at Southeastern is that it can become like a reprieve from the world. It’s a safe shelter to seek solace as we learn God’s word more deeply. Considering the places that God will call many of us to, this time of intense learning is a gift that should not be taken lightly.
Thursday morning I awoke, as I’m sure my fellow classmates did, to a jarring picture of suffering and heartache. Helplessness overwhelmed me. I wasn’t sure what I could do, or where I should go, yet I was sure of one thing: being biblically grounded was never as important to me as it was at that moment. I realized that the meaning of this was about much more than just having a working knowledge of the bible. Based on the burden in my heart I understood that God desired that this knowledge be exemplified through love for those who were and are suffering.
It is humbling to realize that God, in his infinite wisdom has given us the task of taking a biblically grounded knowledge to a suffering and dying world. From our time here we should be able to offer truth and hope to those who are questioning and doubting God. We should be able to leave the comforts of our world and step into the world of those who have walked through the valley of the shadows of death.
Being biblically grounded can be about all the things that I thought it was before April 27th, 2011. Yet I think during this “present crisis” God is calling us to see that its about that and so much more. The challenge is for us to actively live this out unabashedly; taking this message to everyone who God has called to himself.
God’s grace is real and it available to His children. The grace that he’s given to protect us from the storms of this world. Is the same grace that he’s given to enable us to boldly proclaim what His Word says. I pray friends, that we would not grow weary of well doing, and that this “present crisis” would spur us on to embody the Gospel to our friends, family and community with a biblically grounded message of hope and restoration.
In closing, I’d like to leave you with some Scripture that I was given by Kristie Harrick, SEBC’s dean of students, as i wrestled over what to include in this speech. Colossians 1:9-10 says:
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.