The Bible: An Adventure Worth Reading
As we enter 2019, let's approach studying God's word with refreshed excitement and renewed resolve. Follow along with Pastor Robbie in this blog post as he shares four truths he has been reminded of after spending much time in the Word during his studies at seminary.
The Bible: An Adventure Worth Reading
I love rock climbing. There is nothing like scaling the side of a mountain, literally hanging in the balance of the material and the majestic. I liken studying a book of the Bible to that of rock climbing. Although reaching the top takes hard work, the payoff is worshipful. I love reading the Bible because the same is true. It’s not a fleeting experience but a never-ending joy. It takes work to read the Bible, but you begin to notice details and worship like never before.
As I begin my final semester of seminary, there is one thing that stands out the most in my studies. God’s Word is AMAZING! In my years of studying, here are four lessons I have learned that make me cherish the Bible more than ever before:
God’s Word is God’s Word
In an age of flippant terms, out of context quotes and misused meanings, it becomes natural reading words through the lens of self-service. I breeze through news articles looking for interest and relevance for me. Though we may not want to admit it, this same habit can occur all too easily when we read the Bible. We are tempted to read God’s Word and quickly jump to ask, “What does this mean for me today?” There may even be the small group conversationalist who begins his reflection from the study with, “Well, what this passage means to me is…” However, God’s Word was not written by us; therefore, we must take God at his word, not take our word about what God has to say. In his divine wisdom, God provided 66 books, which span thousands of years, for the purpose of communicating one grand narrative with one main character–God. This message is given so that we can understand, experience and discover what God is like. God wrote a book, so let’s see what he has to say and discover the everlasting, eternal satisfaction in him.
God’s Word is Accurate
After learning how to understand languages like Spanish, Chinese and my most recent studies of the ancient Biblical Hebrew and Greek texts, I have discovered that proper translation is incredibly important. You can capture translation through generalities or precision. For example, say a rock climber is stuck on a mountain and not sure where to go. The general translation could simply be, “Go up.” But a more precise translation would state, “Use your left hand to reach up over the crack, and you will feel the next hold.” Our translations of the Bible have experts in the fields of ancient and modern languages to communicate with precision. But don’t take my word for it, let’s look at the Bible. One way to test the accuracy of Scripture is to see what God’s Word says about itself.
Scripture claims it is:
- Totally true (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20–21)
- Completely trustworthy (John 17:17; Proverbs 30:5–6)
- The ultimate Spiritual authority (2 Timothy 3:16–17; Isaiah 55:11; 2 Peter 1:3–4)
- Identical to Jesus (2 Samuel 22:31; Jeremiah 26:2; John 1:1; Hebrews 1:1–3)
- The very Word of God (Isaiah 40:8)
- From God (1 Thessalonians 2:13; Zechariah 7:12; 2 Timothy 3:14–17)
- Identical to the authority of God (Jeremiah 8:8–9; Mark 7:1–13)
- Precious (Matthew 4:4; Psalm 119:103)
- Powerful (Hebrews 4:12)
The Bible is accurate and without error. How do we know? Because God wrote it and he is accurate, trustworthy and perfect. He has graciously preserved his Word so that more will come to know and experience him through the person and work of Jesus Christ, as recorded in this wonderful book.
God’s Word is Purposeful
It is easy to skip over words that seem insignificant in order to get to the “more important” words when reading. However, if we keep in mind that God wrote this book, we are able to slow down and notice each tiny, minute detail. For example, Jesus says in Matthew 5:18, “I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth pass away not the smallest letter or stroke of a letter will pass from the law until everything takes place” (NET). Or the more popular way of translating this is, “…till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled” (NKJV). What Jesus is referring to here is the Hebrew letter that is called iota (pronounced “yoda…” like the Star Wars character). Jesus declares that the Bible is purposeful down to the very detail, the very jot, that not even one letter is out of place. Therefore, when we read the Bible, each word is considerably important. We must do the hard work to notice these details and remember that each word, sentence, paragraph and discourse is placed for a reason. If you have looked at the same passage of Scripture for a long time, look longer. Keep looking and the Lord will continue to reveal more of Himself to you!
God’s Word is Life-Changing
When you read the Bible, is it simply a combination of letters or do the words come alive? At times, it can be easy to just see black letters running along a white page. However, I can tell you first-hand, my life has been radically changed from reading the Bible. Individuals all over the world have been changed due to the powerful innerworkings of God’s Spirit through the Bible. It’s easy to expect that every time we sit down with our morning coffee and open up Scripture, we should be wowed. It is tempting to expect a mountaintop experience each time we read. However, this temptation is purely “me” focused, expecting God to serve me. Rather, the point of reading the Bible is to be in relationship with God and discover more of him. May I be so bold to challenge you to build into your relationship with God by not expecting, but rather anticipating? Pray and ask God for you to anticipate the supernatural experience of reading the Bible, because it is only by his power that lives are changed. I have to humble myself daily asking God to help me understand the Bible and read it supernaturally.
Check out this resource to help see Scripture come alive.
When we read the Bible, we can marvel at the beauty and wonder of our Creator.
So, read the Bible with intentionality, meditation and anticipation. Be like a rock climber and hang on to every word as if your life depended on it. But don’t just take my word for it, spend time in the Bible and see for yourself the changing power and glorious truths revealed.