1999-01-22 - The B-I-B-L-E
"The B-i-b-l-e, yes that's the Book for me....I stand alone on the word of God, the B-i-b-l-e." I don't know whom to credit for that song, but that little Bible school / Sunday school song speaks profound but simple truths.
2 Tim 3:15-17 (NLT) You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus.All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It straightens us out and teaches us to do what is right.It is God's way of preparing us in every way, fully equipped for every good thing God wants us to do.
I'm a voracious reader. I enjoy reading Henri Nouwen, Christian magazines, good secular literature that speaks to life (one can often find theological nuggets there), newspapers and more. But the unsurpassed book is the Word of God. If you are like me, you at times have looked at Bible-reading as a "have-to," something you are "supposed to do," but do not look forward to. When we view it that way, we miss the point. The Bible is a gift to us, God's love letter to us. As David's most recent devotional pointed out (1-20-99), God speaks to us through his word. In it we find encouragement, strength, wisdom, correction and more.
First and foremost, it has the most important news we will ever hear: The good news of the Gospel, that Jesus died for our sins, and overcame death and sin in victorious resurrection. (John 3:16)
It has spiritual milk and meat for us as we grow in the Christian faith. There can be no growth in the faith without learning from the word of God. For in this word we learn about God. We learn about His character, and the more we learn about Him, the deeper our security in Him grows. The word proves Him faithful, loving, merciful, good.
Psa 92:15 (NLT) They will declare, "The LORD is just! He is my rock! There is nothing but goodness in him!"
Even those who love us the most will hurt us on occasion. But God will never let us down. If you are going through emotional turmoil, I suggest reading some passages about God's character, and asking Him to help you take them to heart.
The Bible also furnishes help for all our problems. It provides unchanging principles. Where else can we find a solid foundation of knowledge which does not change, because the Author of the book does not change?
James 1:17 (NLT) Whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God above, who created all heaven's lights. Unlike them, he never changes or casts shifting shadows.
From a literature point of view, it has history and romance also! (See 1 and 2 Chronicles for example, and the Song of Solomon.)
If you are not reading the Bible daily, I urge you to pray for God to give you a love of His word; He will do it! Ask Him to help you understand and apply it in your life. If you are bored with it, try a new translation! Attend a study under an invigorating teacher or study with a friend. You have in the Bible a wonderful present from God! Take advantage of it!
: ) Jan