Thursday, April 03, 2008

So What Did I Learn?

After reflecting on my 90-day Bible-reading experience, I have a few thoughts about what I learned...

...especially now that I have had a few hours to think about it during my layover in Amsterdam.

So what did I learn?

(1) The God of the Bible is gracious, loving, compassionate, slow-to-anger, and abiding-in-kindness. Both OT and NT are consistent in their affirmation about the character of God. I talk to so many people (and have dealt with in my own life) who doubt the goodness and love of God as they experience the harshness of life. I appreciated 90 days of overwhelming reminders about the kindness, goodness, and graciousness of our God. More than anything, I think my 90-day Bible read reminded why I worship Yahweh - He is truly an awesome God.

(2) The Scripture is full of regular people like me. I was encouraged that God uses people from every kind of background and walk of life to accomplish his purposes. He uses farmers and kings, nomads and writers, shepherds and engineers, governors and servants, slaves and warriors. God uses anyone whose heart is completely committed to Him. He does not prejudice based on status in society, but rather chooses those He uses based on His sovereign grace. There is hope for us all!

(3) The mission of the whole Bible is to reveal to humans that God is working to redeem His people and restore His creation to its original wonderful state out of passion for His own glory among all peoples and out of love for His creation. I learned to continue to study and teach and preach the Bible as a whole narrative, not to rip stuff out of context and make the Bible say what I wanted it to say. I learned that our Bible is one story with God as the major player and Jesus as the hero.

(4) I walked away with greater appreciation for the need to study God's Word deeply. While I had fun reading it quickly and felt like I grew closer to Christ during the process, I also was reminded that great insight from the Scriptures only comes with great labor in them. I can't even remember how many times I said to myself, "I wish I could slow down and spend a week in that passage - I know there is more there than what I'm getting in this quick read." God's Word is a deep well that I am only beginning to understand.

(5) The whole of Scripture pointed me toward that day when Jesus will return with all power and glory. The 90-day Bible read gave me an even-greater longing than I had before for Jesus' second coming. So much of the Bible looks with great longing to that day when the Lord will come in person, execute justice on the earth, demonstrate His great grace and mercy toward those who have trusted in Him, and restore His creation. The longer I live and the more suffering and injustice I observe, the more fervently my heart desires for His return.

(6) Finally, I was reminded of the great treasure we have in the Scriptures. 40 different authors, 66 different books, one God and Father, one great Savior Jesus Christ, and one awesome Holy Spirit. I was challenged by this final thought: if I can read it in 90 days, why would I ever neglect it on any one day? But yet, this is what God tells us we might be led to do - to neglect this treasure. Except for this gift, how would I have ever known the true God of the universe, His great love for me demonstrated in Christ, and His purposes for my life? I ended these 90 days thankful to have the whole Bible in my language and to be able to enjoy it every day.

Why are you thankful for the Bible?


Brent said...

I'm thankful that it exists.

I mean, did you ever stop to think that pretty much 1,600 years of the faith took place without believers having their own copy?

Caitie Moon said...

It was so good to see you and Barie this weekend :)

Dinner will happen soon, I want to hear more about all the things God is doing with you guys!