As we kick of the November issue we want to spend considerable time on the topic of how we read the Bible. The Bible can be plain and simple…as direct and straight forward as one could possibly imagine. It can also be complex: a rich text with multiple layers of meaning, diverse contexts, written into various circumstances and translated from Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic into languages we can read and understand.
How we read the Bible and understanding what the Bible is communicating is vitally important for the future of the church. We have to be intentional about being good stewards and students of scripture. We must instill in a new generation a love for the Scriptures and eyes and ears to understand what they mean and how to apply them.
I am looking forward to sharing with each other this month on how we read the Bible and what we can learn from each other to get deeper into Scripture than ever before.
To set the stage for the rest of this issue I want to work off of Hebrews 4:12-13,
The Bible is living and active…it will do something to you, if you let it. It will shake you up, form your heart, bring you to your knees and lift you to your feet. It is able to mend a broken spirit, bind up wounds and splint fractured spiritual bones. It is able to give us spiritual sustenance that allows us to make it in this world without starving for truth and direction from God. It is able to give rest to the weary and at the same time motivate the complacent.
The Bible is sharp and penetrates our lives to even divide soul and spirit…joints and marrow…it can dissect your heart into a million pieces in order to put it back together into a whole that is God-honoring and God-desiring. It can excise spiritual tumors of sin and rebellion so that our souls can heal and experience peace and wholeness.
The Word of God judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart…not only can you know Scripture but Scripture can know you. It knows where you stand and helps you get your footing on a firm foundation.
Everything, then, is laid bare before the One to whom we must give an account…And through all of this and with receiving such a great blessing of scripture comes great responsibility. To be handed the Holy Scriptures, read them and toss them aside as irrelevant, impotent, or unintelligible is like throwing away the most precious gift One could receive…
So let us pick up the Scriptures and read them with an ear for what God is trying to tell us. Let us learn to listen to not just how it can inform us but how it can actually form us. As we walk along side each other and alongside Scripture this month let us be sharpened, equipped and encouraged by the time we share together this month as we learn to open our Bibles with both fresh and ancient eyes and ears.