Texting God: Front Matter and Introduction
Introducing The TEXT Method - Reading your Bible as a conversation between God, humanity, and you
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Table of Contents
What If You Could Text God?
Talk To God
Encounter God & Humanity
eXamine Your Heart
Talk To Others
Special thanks to:
The Gideons, for placing Bibles in places that people need them when they are at their lowest, as I was over twenty years ago.
Pastor Wayne Cordeiro, who long ago created the SOAP Method of studying Scripture. Your method inspired me to create this devotional reading method.
Andy, Lou, and Darren: thanks for the brotherhood at those Thursday lunches at Firehouse Subs and inspiring me to build my own mousetrap. It was an honor to become your pastor, hand the reigns to Andy, and eventually see all of you TEXT from the pulpit on Sundays.
~ Michael DiMarco
What if you could text God?
Do you sometimes struggle with understanding who God is and what in the world He wants from you? Do you feel too unqualified or uneducated to study and discern His Word, and so you look to pastors, commentaries, podcasts, and even Christian music to feed you truth about God? For many of us, Bible study can be a struggle. It might feel like homework or an obligation. Or you may just not know where to start! You might really want to know God, to love Him and obey Him, but still feel like you get more from your worship music than from scripture. If that’s the case you are not alone. Sometimes we might have friends who seem consumed by what they are reading in scripture, and we think, “Why can’t I be consumed? What am I missing?” Maybe that’s even led you to question your salvation or to think that you were missing something. But, the very fact that you are questioning that is a good thing, so don’t panic. It might be that all you are missing is a better way to look at God’s Word.
The truth is that sometimes we just over complicate things. We think, like the first residents of the Garden of Eden, that we have to know everything before we can be truly content. And like Eve, who couldn’t resist trying to know all that God knows, we take the serpent’s advice and say, “I’ve got to know all the details or I’ll feel like I don’t know anything.” In a strange way, this can even permeate into our approach to reading and studying the Bible. We start going down rabbit trails of, “I’ve got to know more about the history of this passage. I need to study the manners and customs of the people. I want to know what a denarii is worth today and how long a cubit is,” and we get sucked into the minutia of looking for things that make us feel like we are in the know meanwhile missing the relationship of knowing God more and who we are with and without Him. That's why more people read devotionals or listen to popular Christian music each day than read their Bibles. But what if there was a way to read the Bible like a devotional, like an actual conversation between you and God?
Those three little dots
Imagine for a moment what it would be like to text back and forth with God. To have His number right there in your contacts so you could send Him a text about anything at any time. And after hitting send, watching those three little dots in the chat bubble telling you He’s right there on the other end, responding to you in real time, but in His time. In a way, we do have this kind of immediate connection to our Creator; we send Him a message through heartfelt prayer, watch expectantly for His reply in the words of Scripture, and allow time for our hearts to react in turn. The thrill is that those three ellipses keep appearing; God is always listening, responding and guiding us into deeper relationship with Him through this beautiful “texting” connection.
You can do it, we can help.
If you’ve ever felt like you don’t know enough to truly figure out scripture. If you think you need some kind of a degree or a large library of commentaries, concordances and podcasts, to truly experience God, then do we have good news for you! Because while all those biblical references are good and have value in context, all you need in order to know and love God more is an open Bible and an open heart to receive what God wants you to know through the power of the Holy Spirit. We’re here to help remind you, with a simple yet profound devotional method, that you don’t need a theological contractor to be the go-between for you and the God of the universe. This is a DIY way of connecting with God and you can do it. So get excited! In a matter of minutes, you can know more about God, humanity, and yourself than you ever thought possible.