An old Friend Revisited

An Old Friend Revisited

If someone said to you  “who is your favorite author in the whole world,” what would you say?  Would you say Stephanie Meyer, Stephen King, or maybe CS Lewis?    There are truly some great authors out there, and some equally great books.  Reading is assuredly one of my greatest pastimes.  So many classics, so little time is how I feel.  Whenever I pick up a good book, I always feel like I am basking in the company of a dear old friend.  So how do we feel about the bible?  What allure does it have for us? Does it have any?   Is it too complicated or overwhelming for you?  Are you too busy to delve into it with the fervor that you think you should?  There are many reasons why we don’t read our bible with the same intensity we might another book.  But did you know that the authorship of the bible is God himself? Yes, it is true there were many who wrote and recorded the truths we find there, but according to 2 Timothy 3:16, these men were all chosen and inspired by God himself.  This passage tells us “all scripture is God breathed.”  There are other places in Scripture where we see the breath of our Lord giving life.  Genesis 2 tells us that the “LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”  The same breath that gave us life also gave us the Word of the Living God.  In John 20 Jesus is anointing the disciples with the Holy Spirit. We read there “And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”  Wow, so when we see that our lives were borne out of the breath of God, and the Holy Spirit was given by the breath of Christ, does this give us new insight about the bible which is “God breathed?”  The same breath that has given us life has given us the words to live that life. This is indeed “life with God.”  According to Richard Foster in his book, “Life with God, Reading the Bible for Spiritual Transformation,” we often read the bible for two main reasons, (1) to gain knowledge and information, even information to affirm what we believe and used to admonish others or (2) to address a specific issue in our life in an attempt to “solve whatever the pressing problem” in front of us.  These two reasons are not inherently wrong.  But Foster goes on to say, “But what we must face up to with these two objectives is that they always leave us or others in charge.”  Foster goes on to say that if we truly read the bible for spiritual transformation then we must be prepared to “call into question our dearest and most fundamental assumptions about ourselves and our associations.”  In other words, start reading the bible with a clean slate. Many of us have had churches, parents, grandparents, and pastors who have taught us for years from scripture, and Praise God for them. But when was the last time you read the bible without any pre-conceived notions or prior associations? (Acts 17:11) Just read; listen with your heart, and soak in God’s teaching, his comfort, his peace, and the love of his Son.  Only when we approach the Word with this attitude of humble submission, can personal transformation truly happen.  It is the inside out approach that God uses to change us with his Son-the Word of God. (John 1:1) Not the outside in approach with which we often employ in our bible reading.  So the next time you have a moment, revisit an old friend-your bible.  In the words of Richard Foster, “It is the loving heart of God made visible and plain. And receiving this message of exquisite love is the great privilege of all who long for life with God.”
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