A random piece of advice …
A Bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t. ~ Charles Spurgeon
Spending time with God, and reading His Word, puts everything into perspective. The Bible is much more than a book of rules or laws. It’s a living manifestation of the Holy One so in love with His beloved children that He desires nothing more than to be in relationship with them. No matter how far one has roamed, it’s never too late to come home. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit will always welcome you with open arms – they’ll even leave the porch light on for you!
Reading the Bible doesn’t have to be boring if you take time to understand the context and acquaint yourself with the characters in the stories. In other words, the more you read The Bible, the more you’ll understand. The more you understand The Bible, the better you’ll see yourself in God’s masterful story of creation and redemption and great love. Throughout history, from Adam and Eve to today, humans are flawed. We make poor decisions. We honor our selfish desires and gather worldly possessions. We’re cruel to others so we feel better about ourselves. We struggle with relationships, infertility, money, and our time. We worry. We stress. We try to control every aspect of our lives. We get mad, disappointed, frustrated, and upset when things don’t happen as we intended. We’re jealous and pea-green-with-envy because our neighbor’s house is bigger or they drive a newer car. We go to war with each other, foreign and domestic, because we hear rather than listen or refuse to agree to disagree. Despite our brokenness and stubbornness, God still loves us. He still pursues us, passionately and without ceasing. He desires to be in relationship with us so he forgives us, over and over (and over) again. God is a promise keeper. He says what he means and He means what he says. Consider these five passages of promise:
Genesis 9:11 // I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth. God instructed Noah to build an ark, gather his family and all the animals, and protected him for 40 days. God promised Noah (and all of humanity) he would never again destroy the earth with a flood. I believe in God’s faithfulness and I stand on his promises.
Genesis 12:1-3 // I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing … and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Abraham and Sarah were in their ‘golden years’ when God called him and asked him to leave his home and follow him. They were also child-less. In case you couldn’t or didn’t figure it out, but a great nation requires people and Abraham and Sarah had no offspring. Well, at least not yet. We’re fortunate to have the rest of the story and, thanks to Divine Providence and lots of babies being born through the ages, you and I are blessed because we are descendants of Abraham too. I believe in God’s faithfulness and I stand on his promises.
Exodus 19:5-6 // If you obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession out of all the peoples … you shall be for me a priestly kingdom and a holy nation. Have you ever stopped to think about Pharoah’s daughter and asked, “What if she didn’t save that baby floating in the Nile?” (This is one of MANY what-if questions I have!) This promise to Moses gives us our first glimpse at God’s most high and greatest covenant: Love me and obey my laws. Like a child who disobeys their parent, there are disciplinary actions and consequences. If you are a parent, imagine the depth of love for your child. As much as I love my son, God’s love for me is bigger, deeper, and stronger. It’s unconditional and hard to imagine! As God’s beloved creation, I am a treasure to him; but that doesn’t discount the commandments and expectations He has instructed. I have to do my part too. I believe in God’s faithfulness and I stand on his promises.
2 Samuel 7:12-17 // Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me; your throne shall be established forever. God made this promise with King David as a means to bring back his unruly children and be in relationship with them and, ultimately, declare an eternal promise through Jesus Christ. Though many generations were quarrelsome and disobedient, God continued to reign and kept his promise that our Savior would come from the House of David. I believe in God’s faithfulness and I stand on his promises.
Jeremiah 31:31-34 // The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah … I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hears; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people … for I will forgive their iniquity and remember their sin no more. Here, we have a two-fold promise: God forgives our sins and He expertly and perfectly created us to be relational beings with a heart that desires Him. Humans need relationships and we need Jesus. Our heart demands both. Because we are created in His image, and God wants to be in relationship with us, our hearts are happiest when we are in obedience with God’s law. Thanks be to God, and Jesus Christ for accepting my sins on the cross, for His relentless pursuit of my heart. I believe in God’s faithfulness and I stand on his promises.
I believe in my heart and with every fiber of my being that God will not break his promises. He has proved himself time and time again that He is steadfast and faithful and righteous and trustworthy and, above all, he loves (and well pleased) with his creation. He loves you. He loves me. He loves everybody.
Just some light-hearted reading for your Wednesday, right?! So what is my random piece of advice? Simply stated, open your Bible. Discover something about God, about yourself, you never expected. Imagine yourself in the story and learn a valuable lesson. The Bible isn’t a boring historical text (although there are books in the Bible that I like to read quickly or skip entirely!) but, rather, a living account for all of us and a connection to our ancestors. You might be surprised by what (or who) you find in the pages.
The grass withers and flowers fade, but the Word of God is forever.
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