jtrhart

How Do You Ask For God's Autograph?

In theology on April 7, 2008 at 8:49 pm

autographThe ESV blog linked to an interesting post today on a man’s encounter with J.I. Packer. Packer was signing various books for folks when a man asked Packer to sign a copy of his bible. Packer responded, “Son, this is God’s book. If you want it signed you will need to ask him.”

So, I’ll ask the obvious question. How would you go about asking God this? What kind of answer would you expect?

When you ask an author to sign their book, you are showing them how much you appreciate their work. Obviously the author has already poured himself into the book. He didn’t give you half his work, he gave you his full work, so you are not asking him to add anything more to it by autographing it, you are not looking for additional information on the subject. Asking for a signature also shows your recognition of the author’s authority on the subject he wrote about. You realize that the author is more knowledgeable in a particular subject and has more experience with it than you do, if not, you would have wrote the book in the first place. Asking for an autograph is a great complement to an author, it’s something you go out of your way to do.

How then would we ask for God’s autograph? How would we should him how much we appreciate his work?

  1. ‘You have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel’ Col 1:5 – this may seem obvious but God wants you to believe his word as truth. The author didn’t mix truth with lies, his whole book is true, not just parts of it.
  2. ‘But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves’ James 1:22 – any teacher would say they greatest complement they get on their teaching is seeing it have its effect in their students’ lives. You ask God for his autograph when you show him that you are living out his word.
  3. ‘Be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love just as Christ also loved you’ Eph 5:1-2 – how else can we imitate God unless we know what it is we are to imitate? This knowledge is found by Spirit-led study of his word, which brings up the next point…
  4. ‘These words…you shall teach them to your sons and shall talk of them and write the on your doorposts’ Deut 6:6-9 – an author’s delight is to know people are talking about their book and putting it on their “coffee table” for others to read through.
  5. ‘I have hidden your word in my heart’ Ps 119:11 – but an author’s joy is to know that his book has been memorized and taken to heart. That it is meditated on day and night and touches every area of life.

I think this is how we show God we want his autograph, when we worship him. ‘May all the kings of the earth praise you, O LORD, when they hear the words of your mouth.’ Ps 138:4

Please add to this list, how else do we ask for God’s autograph? Or maybe answer the question: what kind of answer do we get from God when we ask for this?

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  1. I think that we sometimes ask for an autograph to add value to the work, or to add to its authenticity.

    2 Timothy 3:16
    All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness

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

  2. Mary, great answers! Thanks for the Scripture references, those are perfect for this discussion.

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