Sometimes when I read Scripture, a word or a phrase will spark my interest. On the surface it isn't necessarily an important word, yet I cannot get that word out of my head. Inevitably, I will continue to see the word used in other verses. Then I begin to investigate. Meditate. Wonder. Speculate. Apply. Over a week ago, I read Acts 15:11 and it started the word search for a deeper meaning...
"But we believe that we will be saved THROUGH the grace of the Lord Jesus" Acts 15:11
Through. Seemingly, so simple. In fact, it almost seems too simple. It is difficult coming up with the right definition, so I looked it up. Truth is, I didn't really enjoy the official definition either. A few more days of reading and thinking and I began to play a little game. I thought of different ways that I would use the word "through".
I walked through the door.
The thread went through the needle.
The needle pierced through Zoey's ears.
Through is a simple preposition; however, it has changed the way I understand and apply some verses that I have read dozens of times. When I see the word through in my simple statements, I realize there is a commonality. An object going through another object requires action, which ultimately means these two objects physically collide.
When I walk through the door, I must take action and walk my body throw a doorway where my body meets the opening of the doorway.
When a piece of thread goes through a needle, the thread is carefully placed in the eye of the needle and the two objects meet as the thread passes through.
When a needle pierces my daughter's ears, someone places the ear piercing gun on her ear and takes the action that causes the needle to go through her ear. The needle and her ear meet.
Through. A simple preposition, but there is a great power in the through.
Acts 15:11 states that when we believe, we will be saved THROUGH the grace of Jesus. Friends. Give me a little grace as I take my new fondness for through and apply its awesomeness to this verse. When I believe (which requires action on my part), I am saved (from death, hopelessness, loneliness, separation from my Creator) THROUGH (my action forces me to move towards and through) the grace of Jesus. My action allows me to meet Jesus's grace. We have an encounter that is powerful and beautiful. I am not sitting still waiting for Jesus to plop his grace down next to me. He often comes close...oh so close... but freewill means that I must take action to move into His grace. Visually, I imagine me, in all of my ugliness and flaws, moving through Jesus's grace and it wipes, polishes, and molds me.
"and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts THROUGH the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." Romans 5:5
We receive Jesus's love (which gives us hope) THROUGH the Holy Spirit. We have an encounter with the Holy Spirit and it passes through our lives. When we are in situations or circumstances outside of our control, we have hope because the Holy Spirit works through us and in us to fill us with a Savior's love. There is a hopeful power in the through.
"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory THROUGH our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 15:57.
We will have victory because Jesus has pierced our lives. We have met. We are one. When I feel Satan attacking or I feel as though all hope is lost, I am reminded that through my Jesus, I will have victory. There is a victorious power in the through.
Do you see the pattern? I believe that each word in scripture plays a part and has meaning. The preposition, through, is powerful. There is power because it reminds me that I have the opportunity to have encounters with Jesus every day. The encounters are not passive. We aren't sitting near one another without melding and mixing. Jesus doesn't sweep past me, but offers love, forgiveness, grace, hope and mercy through a piercing, intimate, molding, life-changing encounter. This type of encounter requires me to take action. To make a choice. Sometimes the passing through can be painful. Confusing. Shocking. But the process provides the opportunity for an intimate relationship with Jesus.
Oh, there is power in the THROUGH!