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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

Throw Away or Take Away?: Day 1

Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light for my path.
Psalm 119:105

Our family is like all families: It is always something.

Recently one of those times had come and gone and in its wake, I was feeling peaceful and grateful to God for the victory. Then these words came into my conscious mind: “Then the devil left him for an opportune time...” (Luke 3:14).

My first thought was, Yes, that is true. No battle is ever over while we are on this earth. We have been given a victory, so victory is possible, but don’t kid yourself that this situation has gone away.

My second thought was, That line was from the narrative of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness. Why have I never heard a sermon on that?

In the words of author and Bible teacher Jennifer Kennedy Dean, “God doesn’t have throw-away lines.” I would go a step further and say that some of the best take-aways come at the beginning or the end of the New Testament narrative and the parables of Jesus. In other words, the Bible both explains the point of the story and provides an application (potentially saving a lot of preachers over the centuries a lot of sermon prep time).

Finally, my third thought was actually several thoughts, as other examples of this pattern came to mind, thus leading to my fourth thought, I bet I could write about this.
So here we are.

Nancy Shirah

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