Just Read It

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Contributed by Russ Perkins, Elder Oversee of Communities at Image Church

Just read it.

Not exactly Nike’s slogan, but close — I confess. 

It contains many genres (history, poetry, law, prophecy and more) but is, in the end, a single book.  A sole character (Jesus) is its grand subject.  The Old Testament points to His approaching arrival, and the New Testament declares His entry into human history.  It’s a living book, not of theory, but for real life.  So, two simple questions beg for answers — why and how should we read the Bible? 

1st  Why? — Because it’s our spiritual food; the inerrant, inspired spiritual food we were created to consume.  (There are counterfeits…)  The deepest message of the Bible is the grace of God for sinners.  Without this grace via His Son, we are undone and without true hope both now in this life and for eternity in the next. 

2nd  How? — Most simply, each day, one page at a time.  I could lay out many practical techniques, but think it more important to zero in on the overarching approach and perspective a person takes rather than any particular strategy they would employ in the regular consumption of the Word. 

Rules to keep or Promises to believe — What’s it going to be? 

If we approach the Scriptures as a rulebook laying out how we are to live and behave, every page will have us feeling the stern gaze of a taskmaster.  We are, by nature, lawbreakers.   We simply cannot keep all the rules no matter how hard we try.  Jesus kept all the rules (Laws).  He is the only one who ever did or could.

If, however, we approach the Scriptures as promises — the truths are transformed into hope, breathing into us new life and strength for this journey we, His sojourners, are on. 

So, through which lens will you read the Scriptures?  Rule or Promise?  I chose promise, as I find I need as much strength, hope and encouragement as I can get.  Let’s face it: life is tough enough — why make it any more difficult?  We absolutely are to revere and obey the truth.  I am not suggesting we are off the hook, but only that Jesus already obeyed it all perfectly — He died for all my failures and shortcomings.  God, by the work of His Holy Spirit in me, persists in my transformation — and I continue to need plenty of that!  So, if any of us is to be truly transformed — (shaped into Jesus’ image) — regular intake of the Word is paramount.  So… Just read it!  Take comfort in its promise, and then do what it says.  That’s my simple plan.  Note: I did not say it is easy because… it isn’t.

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