“Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 MSG
We can guess what you’re thinking – because at some point or another we’ve probably thought the same thing – how is the Bible relevant to our lives now?
The people that wrote the Bible never had to deal with half the stuff we do today. No snapchat, Facebook or Instagram – in fact forget about social media altogether. And the internet? Non-existent (can you imagine!? Where would we watch all those cat videos?) These people would never have seen a jumbo jet, experienced global warming, or had to worry about nuclear bombs, eyebrows being on fleek or the Kardashians.
We can get down with the ‘happy clappy’ motivational stuff right? The kind of verses you’d see on a meme or can stick on your pinterest wall. But there’s some seriously challenging parts of the Bible, and some bits are just outright confusing!
So when Timothy says “Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us”, that can’t ring true today can it? Surely the gap in time, culture, geography and language is enough to make this ancient book completely irrelevant for our 21st Century understanding.
Well a rather clever chap, Peter Enns, thinks different: “The Bible is not a Christian owner’s manual but a story—a diverse story of God and how his people have connected with him over the centuries, in changing circumstances and situations.”
That sounds a bit more relatable.
And what’s more when you start reading the Bible you realise these people had hopes, dreams, and a whole heap of flaws and questions – just like us. Struggling to understand God, life, happiness and pain, all that stuff we sometimes squash down in our deepest being.
It’s an age old ache. And us humans have never really quite gotten to the bottom of it.
It’s fair to say reading the Bible isn’t the easiest thing to do. But like anything worthwhile – it takes commitment on our part. Like the latest vegan-extreme-bikini-bod diet, it can feel like hard work. But the fruits of that effort will be totally worth it.
Here are a few ideas to up your Bible ante in 2017:
Reading something is better than nothing! Find a rhythm that is manageable for you. Perhaps commit to a Psalm a day. And if you miss a day don’t feel guilty (like when you eat that entire bag of cookies because the salad you had for lunch didn’t cut it). Just do your best to get back on track the next day.
Find someone you can be accountable to. Let them know what you’re up to. Or better yet, find someone to read with you! Talk about the stuff you read afterwards – it’s sure to help you process it. And if your chosen someone isn’t available that often? Facetime for the win!
Okay so obviously us VerseFirsters are big on getting those creative juices flowing 😉 (Who says you just have to read stuff anyway?) If drawing, painting, taking pictures or making music helps you to really think about what you’re reading, then DO IT! And who knows? You might inspire someone else with whatever magic you make.
Some of us are literally allergic to reading. It’s just not our thing. If this is you, no problem, why not listen to the Bible instead? (Seriously though – isn’t technology the best!?) www.biblegateway.com lets you find the perfect translation, language, and even the accent of the narrator. Sorted.
VerseFirst was dreamt up to get you started on an adventure with this strange, mysterious, misunderstood book that we call the Bible. So join in with our online community, ask questions, and check out our feed for some verse inspo to get you started!
And remember, the Bible is for everyone. We believe it speaks across divides and cuts through the things that separate, spoil, and sadden human hearts and lives. It has no favourites. It’s not just for the rich, the religious, the university educated or the experts who know about Bible, faith and Church stuff. It’s yours to interpret and explore and experience. And if you’re up for the challenge, it’s yours to live out.
‘Whether we are reading the Bible for the first time or standing in a field in Israel next to a historian and an archaeologist and a scholar, the Bible meets us where we are. That is what truth does’ – Rob Bell