Most of us concede that if we really have to remember something, we write it down. Important information seems to come at us in lists. If you watch, Scripture is no different. Some of the lists you’re already familiar with- Ten Commandments, Fruit of the Spirit and so forth. Sometimes though, the lists are a little more subtle.
They can take the form of instructions, like in the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20 “Go… teach… baptize… teach.”
They can be attributes, as in 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
It might be an action plan. “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord and to do it and to teach the statutes and ordinances in Israel.” (Ezra 7:10) Yesterday we discussed being prepared for worship, and today, we’re prepared to work. Here’s our mission. We find out what God says, we do it, and we tell others. Why would we want to make it more complicated than that?
One of my favorite lists is in Ephesians 1:3-6. Check out the blessings in those few verses! “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.”
1. Every spiritual blessing (We could actually stop there. The rest of it explains some of what that entails.)
2. Chosen in Him before the foundation of the world
3. Holy & blameless before Him in love
4. Adopted as His children
5. Accepted by His grace, according to His will.
Now we could dicker about exactly how many things should or could be on the list… ‘Holy” and ‘blameless’ could be two separate items, but no matter how you cut it, that’s a pretty fantastic list. There’s another in Romans 5:1-11. Check out all that ‘we’ have, what ‘we’ were and what ‘we’ are now.
Noticing and even writing down the lists that are in Scripture cause us to slow down and consider the truth for an extra moment or two. I number them in the text or write them in the margin. Watch for lists in Scripture, and spend some time with them, at least as much time as the grocery list or that to-do list. After all, these will last much longer.