I have been really taking my commitment to God in this new year to get closer to Him very seriously. I’ve begin studying the word in different ways, looking at it from all angles. I had truly forgotten what happens when we truly commit to digging deep into God’s words. As I have been on this journey, I’ve noticed something that I had noticed before, talked about before, understood before—but I forgot.
It’s really easy for me to sit down and read the Scriptures with my “I have heard this before, I know what’s going to happen” attitude. One of the worst, one of the biggest mistakes we make is when we stop reading Scripture with “fresh eyes.” What I mean is that we stop looking for what God is really wanting to tell His people in 2012 and concentrate on reminding ourselves of our own well-protected, padded, comfortable theology. It’s easy to forget that the Scriptures are not a stagnant thing, but rather,
“God’s word is alive and working and is sharper than a double-edged sword. It cuts all the way into us, where the soul and the spirit are joined, to the center of our joints and bones. And it judges the thoughts and feelings in our hearts” (Heb. 4:12, NCV).
Like last week, we have to remember that God’s word is very much alive—very relevant to us today, no matter how much we’d like to freeze it in time to fit what we know or are comfortable with. The word is life, church! The word is alive! It gives life to the lifeless, restores sight to the blind, raises the dead back to life! It’s not just a manual on “Good Christian Behavioral Correction.” It’s WAY more than that, in fact, I’m pretty sure it’s not that at all! The Bible, the Scriptures are God’s Story—they are the story of the Divine; of the King and His Kingdom, of His Story and history. The Bible is your story, too!
The story of God which starts out in a grand, magnificent, pointing-to-God event of Creator creating creation and saying “It is very good,” and rolls on through the fall of man. Then there is the Exodus, the Law, the Judges, the Kings, and then the Prophets and the story covers millennia, through four hundred years of silence, and then God’s D-Day; the Birth of Jesus Christ, His ministry, Life, Death, and Resurrection. It gears up when the Holy Spirit bomb drops on Pentecost, through the letters to churches, and the climaxes and finishes with the righting of all wrongs, God’s people where we live with Him forever, and the Story continues on forever! I’ve never tried to sum the Bible up in a paragraph, so hopefully you followed that.
See, as people, just like the Israelites, just like the first Christians, we are captivated by stories! Jesus spoke in parables (stories) and most of the Bible is written in narrative (a story) form! Why is that? God relates to stories! He loves to tell them! He loves to pass them on! He is the BEST storyteller! He also knows that since we are imbued with His image we are story-relatable people! The Bible is sixty-six books that weave a gorgeous tapestry and tell the story of God, and His relentless, passionate, and persistent pursuit of his love, us! When we isolate texts and passages it is easy to camp out on the “do’s and don’ts” instead of the listening to the real story of God.
I want to make maybe the biggest challenge to you I’ve ever made. This week, I want you to pray that God will give you a fresh look, fresh eyes to see His story, which, is actually our story, too. Ask Him to give you fresh hunger for the word not looking for the “How can I be a better person by obeying rules” mentality, but by looking to see how the whole story ties together in one, perfect, God-breathed message to the Creators beloved—His people. Then you will see that is not just history, but it truly is History. Ask Him to help you see where your hang-ups and traditions interrupt the story. Ask Him to help you see where your own life tends to try to take the spotlight off the real hero—God. When we see Scripture as still alive, see it as the ongoing story, the church will never be able to stop getting people to Jesus. Why? Because when we find our story—our purpose, we can’t help but want to be a part. What story have you been telling? Just something to think about. – Scott