~ by Randy Bushey All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16).
Think of this scenario: you are headed out to church this Sunday, and your neighbor stops to ask, “Why do you even read the Bible???”
What would you say?
Here’s a short, specific, intelligent and world-view oriented response – and it works for that 15-second conversation as you are getting in the car or on the bus:
“I read the Bible because I’m convinced 1) God exists, and 2) He has spoken.”
And underpinning that is an entire worldview of coherent thinking.
Our engagement with the Bible – reading, studying, memorizing, preaching, doing word studies, discerning book themes, interpreting parables, comparing prophetic declarations, developing doctrinal statements – is essentially for 3 purposes:
- to know the God Who has spoken,
- to apprehend truth and reality,
- to respond to what He expects of me.
This is indispensable for the true Christian to be rooted in authenticity in a culture that pursues that which is false.
But is our culture so different in thinking patterns from those of us who follow Christ?
Exhibit A: this short sentence written by justice Anthony Kennedy in the US Supreme Court decision for Planned Parenthood vs. Casey (1992) set the stage for how most people around us think:
“At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.”
Whatever that means, it is encouraging introspection, self-assertion, and a worldview without the bothersome and inconvenient restraints of reality and truth, let alone any input from God.
However, when Paul – in the final months or weeks before his own martyrdom – wrote to encourage his young “son in the faith” Timothy, he was very direct and specific:
In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths (2 Timothy 4:1-4)
Takeaway: at Bethel, we are committed to a diet of God’s Word – it’s the first component of our DEUS vision. We need to read, teach, and live out the Gospel of Christ – and that never happens in a faith community unless the Word of God is consumed.
And His promised blessing results: Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD. Blessed are they who keep his statutes and seek him with all their heart (Psalm 119:1,2).
~graphic by Stephen Sullivan, freeimages.com.