Bible Study

img_3182What comes to mind when you hear the words

BIBLE  STUDY ?

Do you get a little antsy? Do you think of all the other things you have to do? Do you suddenly have to check something in the oven or get the ironing done or rake the leaves or…You get the idea, right? But are you up for a challenge?

Toss out those old, dry ideas of Bible study.

Let’s think of Bible study in a new way.

In college, I did my share of studying. Lots of studying, in fact. Some of the classes were interesting. Others were simply required, and I slugged through the material devoid of joy. A waste? Maybe, but I’m sure I learned something, or at least experienced the joy of completion at the semester’s end. Each class was simply a specific subject,  truly limited, and wasn’t capable of making an eternal difference.

But studying the Bible isn’t like that.

Studying the Bible does make an eternal difference. It illuminates a myriad of subjects all with one eternal focus. It helps us in the our present days and shows us assured salvation for later days. How does it do that?

Well, for starters, the Bible isn’t a textbook (although there’s a trunk-full of history and plenty of big names–can you say “Melchizedek”?) So there goes any semblance of a school connection.

It’s not a cookbook (although there are interesting dietary ideas–think of John’s Wild Locusts and Honey diet–in it.)

It’s not an etiquette manual (although there are plenty of proverbs on wise behavior AND the words of Jesus.)

It’s not a bunch of letters (although, among its 66 connected parts, it does contain a bunch of letters written from unbelievable places to people facing unbelievable circumstances.)

So, just what IS the Bible?

I’m glad you asked that! You’re probably familiar with Caldecott, Newberry, Pulitzer, and Nobel authors. They don’t come close.

The Bible is God’s Word, a “library” of 66 “books” written by 40 authors who were separated by distance and sometimes hundreds of years. Yet all their messages tie together, all of it leads toward one purpose, their message is in harmony, all of it leads toward one purpose: our need for a savior and the way of salvation. 2nd Peter 1:20-21 explains how could: “You must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation.” The Bible is, as Timothy writes, “God-breathed” (2nd Timothy 3:16).

Let’s look into God’s Word together. In one way, the Bible is a mystery. Paul, himself, calls the news of Jesus a mystery in Colossians 1:25-27. But this mystery starts before the New Testament. Throughout the Old Testament are clues, each pointing to the culmination at the cross and an empty tomb.

Out of the earliest chapters in the Old Testament, in Genesis 3:15 to be precise, we hear the first faint-but-sure heartbeat of Jesus!

I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring [seed] and her offspring [seed]; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.

Enmity between the serpent (Satan) and the woman (Eve). Enmity between the serpent’s seed (demons) and her seed (Jesus). He (Jesus) will deal the fatal blow, but Satan and his demons will try to trip Him up. Those are fighting words!

Yes, this is a war story, a battle story, too. Think of when the Holy Spirit drove–yes, drove–Jesus into the desert to be tempted by Satan. Jesus would finish the battle in the worst of environments that Adam had failed to win in the best of environments. (And the battle story continues all through the New Testament.)

Speaking of the New Testament…yet another link to Genesis 3:15 is found in Galatians 4:4. Paul says that when the time had fully come, God sent His Son. He describes Jesus as:

born of woman, born under the law

Remember Genesis 3:15? And that’s just the first clue!  That heartbeat gets stronger and stronger! There are more: Genesis 12:3, Genesis 22:1-18, Genesis 49:10, Exodus 12:1-51, Numbers 21:6-9 —

Whoaaaa! I will restrain from “reinventing the wheel” here. For a wonderfully detailed list of all the prophetic scriptures pointing to Jesus’s nature, appearance, and life, I greatly encourage you to check out this webpage by Jews for Jesus. Simply click on the link below. A new page will appear and you can delve into it–into the greatest mystery–and read and connect the clues yourself!

Jews for Jesus.

As much as I love a good mystery (every Nancy Drew, check!), and the Bible is (as Richard Scarry would phrase it) The Best Mystery Ever–it’s MORE!

The Bible is a love story. And everyone loves a good love story, don’t they? It’s not a Hallmark movie kind of love story. Jane Austen’s Elizabeth and Darcy can’t touch it. It’s beyond Shakespeare (sorry, William, but ’tis true!).

It’s The Greatest Love Story EVER.

It’s the story of how very VERY much God loves us because

The Bible is the story of Jesus.

For God so loved the world that He gave His Son that whoever believes in Him shall not die but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

You are loved! Someone loves you infinitely, deeply, faithfully, forever. Now pick up your Bible. You have in your hands THAT VERY History-Adventure-Cookbook-Mystery-Letter-Love Story!

Some friends and I started a new Bible study this week. Well, we started with lunch together and going over the schedule and table of contents. A gentle beginning. These dear friends have busy lives, little children, older children, careers, and all manner of to-do’s–but there they were there. In tennis attire. In skinny jeans. Arriving late. Leaving early. Tired. Alert. And everything in between, but~

All Eager!

What were we eager to do? Be with each other? Certainly, but it was a quick rendezvous. Enjoy our quiche? Well, it was good, but I don’t think that’s what made our eyes so bright. We were eager at the prospect of drawing closer to Jesus, of growing in godliness, at humbly resting in the center of His will for our lives. We were eager to begin anew.

Sure, we have the whole story. We know the final score. We know how things turn out. We know who ultimately wins. Even so, every time we delve into this story, it reignites our passion to know Christ and to love like Him. There we are, walking along with the disciples depicted in Luke 24, our “hearts burning within us.” Our Messiah is coming! Hope begins anew!

Join us ~ open your Bible and read the story and know our Savior ♥

 

 

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