If you're just popping in on this November series, you can catch up here.
I hope, rather than having been bored by a review of the Trinity, that your faith has been rejuvenated by reflection on the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Mine has! I suppose there isn't enough time in all of our lives combined to plumb the depths of all there is to know about the Godhead. Glad we've got eternity in our future!
Today I'd like to turn our sights to this:
Yep. The Bible.
Are you aware of some of the claims made by Scripture about Scripture? Here are a few:
For everything that was written down in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4
For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, bone and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12
And from the same letter to Timothy that has guided the beginning of this series:
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
The Bible is God's inspired Word to His people.
For the Christian, the book is not only sacred, but indispensable.
Jerry Bridges, an author and long-time staffer with Navigators, whose books have been a source of growth for me, says (and I paraphrase) that we need to give the Spirit something to work with inside of us, meaning, we need to be reading our Bibles, learning what God has said, ingesting and chewing on His Word. When God's Word is in hidden our hearts, the Spirit can call it to mind when needed.
One of the things that frustrates me about myself is my inability to really remember what I've read. I can't call up quotes from my brain because, well, they're not there. I remember the gist of things, but rarely great detail. (And of course I'm married to a man who has this quality I so desire! He's my hero.) I can be so energized by reading a Bible passage in the morning, then be virtually incapable of recalling it later in the afternoon. But you know something? With regular Bible reading over the last decade of my life, following various plans and doing different Bible studies, the Word is more hidden in my heart than it used to be. I use my concordance a lot to find the references, but many lines from Scripture are buried in the recesses of my heart and mind as a result of regular exposure. Not only do I treasure the Word more than I used to, but I also experience its influence more regularly as I think about life, make decisions, and go about the mundane tasks of the day.
I take comfort in verses like this one:
So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11
Blow the dust off the cover of your Bible, friend. Crack it open, and get reading.* I highly recommend it! :)
What does all this have to do with the call to a holy life?
I hope you're thinking: A LOT!
In the next weeks, we'll be taking a look at various passages in the Bible and what they have to tell us, God's people, about what the holy life is and how we are to live it. Scripture is our guidebook as well as the great story of God redeeming His people. I'm astounded by God's willingness to communicate with mankind. How wonderful that we are saved and called to a holy life not because of anything we have done, but because of His own purpose and grace.
Do you have regular times in your day or week set aside for Bible study?
How have you seen God use Scripture to shape and form you?
Feel free to share in the comments!
I'm so glad you're here with me this month.
*Related to this post, two great places to begin would be Psalm 19 or Psalm 119 - both in praise of God's Word. Psalm 19 really surprised me when it registered that the psalmist was actually thanking God for His law and its life-giving power. (At that point I obviously just thought God's law was there to cramp my style!)