This week’s #ipromise principle: The Presence of God is a Promise to live in not an experience to chase.
Today’s #ipromise principle: You find God in the Word when you truly believe the Word is of God.
It’s a new year and time for the Christian’s perpetual resolution, “I’m going to read the Bible in a year.” Genesis goes by pretty well. Lots of narrative. Familiar stories covering thousands of years in a decent sized book. Exodus continues with some interesting narrative. Then comes Leviticus. Then comes Numbers. Tell the truth, how many years of all the years you’ve promised to read the Bible have you actually made it to Deuteronomy?
Sadly, I can relate. Taken at face value, the Bible is not as consistently interesting as a great fiction or even topically interesting non-fiction book. Herein lies the issue: the Bible should not be taken at face value, and here are some reasons why.
- The Bible is God’s Word – living and active
For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. – Hebrews 4:12 ESV
God’s word is not just a collection of stories, histories, and poetry from God’s people of the past. It is God’s current word, relevant through generations and active in reforming God’s people.
- The Holy Spirit helps us understand the Bible
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. – John 14:26 ESV
At the time this passage was written, the Holy Spirit was bringing remembrance to the things that Jesus said so that the gospel accounts could be written and preserved. But the Holy Spirit still does the work of bringing remembrance and understanding of the truths of God in Scripture.
- The more you read the Bible, the better you read the Bible
The whole Bible is God’s story of creation, fall, rescue and restoration. The more we read through the whole text, the more we begin to understand individual texts.
Because of all of these reasons, we may see that reading the Bible is crucial to growth in Christ. Even more, we see that, like many most endeavors worth pursuing, practice brings more pleasure in the exercise. You will understand more of Genesis the second time you read it. The third time, even more.
The Challenge: read God’s word consistently this year. When you miss a day or two, pick up where you left off and continue without frustration. God’s word is truth; read it.