Saturday, November 23, 2013

Giving Thanks #23 National Bible Week

It's not unusual for people to treat the Bible like it's the most boring book in the world, the most irrelevant. Like you'd have to be insane to want to read the Bible. It's not unusual for believers to treat Bible-reading like a chore or a duty. Something to put off as long as possible. The idea that someone could be excited about reading the Bible, could love the Bible passionately and wholeheartedly, well, it's a foreign concept. And in some ways that is just how it is. Because until God gives a person a new heart, until He fills a person with His Spirit, the Bible is something that is foreign to us, something we can't make sense of, something we can't comprehend or appreciate. (1 Corinthians 2:10-16). Still I worry about those who profess to be Christians who treat the Bible with indifference. 
I want to make one thing absolutely clear. God does not love Christians who read their Bibles MORE than Christians who do not read the Bible. God's love--His grace--is not something that can be earned, added to, or subtracted from. He cannot love you more; he cannot love you less. Read that again: He cannot love you more; He cannot love you less. You might be thinking... If Bible reading doesn't earn a person extra credit with God; if Bible reading doesn't take away God's anger or wrath, then why bother???

My answer is simple, I hope, and passionate. God has revealed himself to us in His Word. Think about it. God has chosen to reveal Himself to us. He wants to be sought. He wants to be known. He wants to be delighted in, loved, treasured. He wants our praise. He wants our hearts and minds. How do we come to know God? Through reading His revelation. Through reading His Word. The Bible reveals EVERYTHING we need to know about God. Not that it reveals everything about Him, not that it answers every single question for every single believer. But what needs to be known is clearly revealed in His Word. God is BIGGER than our Bibles. God is beyond our comprehension. He has given us enough for now; the Bible is not a book that can be outgrown during our lifetimes. But here's something else to consider: not only does the Bible tell us everything we need to know about God, the Bible tells us everything we need to know about ourselves. Far from being irrelevant, the Bible is the most relevant book imaginable. It speaks to the condition of every single man, woman, or child. It is a book for every one of us in every stage of our lives. The Bible speaks truth. The Bible may be unpopular because it speaks truth. But that doesn't make it irrelevant. It makes it convicting.

Do you want to know God? Do you want to want to know God? Are you scared of what knowing God will mean to your life? Take time to think, to consider. Don't be afraid to pause and reflect. Honesty is more important than mumbling through the "right" answer that you're "supposed" to say when you're put on the spot. Whether you want to know God or not, you can't run from the fact that you are known by God. There is only so long you can pretend things are fine, that you don't have to decide any time soon. 

National Bible Week has been 'celebrated' annually the week of Thanksgiving since 1941. I plan to have special posts all week long.  

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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