Friday, February 12, 2016

Living and Active

The Bible is an ancient book. Yet it sparkles with new life every day.

I’ve been a Christian for thirty-seven years. Through all my highs and lows in this walk, sometimes more than others, I’ve tried to be consistent about reading the Bible.

I’ve read the entire Bible more than once, been a part of many studies and classes, memorized actively as some points. I’ve known the verse about this book being living for a long time.

Hebrews 4:12: For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

It is true. After all these years, I still find the Bible to be new to me.

I’ve been reading through the books of Numbers and Deuteronomy. Often these have been a struggle for me to plod through. But lately, I’ve been seeing here more richly the depth of God—his grace and mercy, his purity and jealousy, his justice.

The Scriptures are filled with fascinating stories. The story of Balaam and Balak is in Numbers. I’ve known this story for a long time, but recently, this became a page turner for me. I pressed on through the chapters, eager to see in detail what happened next. I’m excited about getting to Kings and Chronicles.

Other topics I’ve been thinking about have popped up for me in my reading too—women, what I can add to my writing, how God’s love is shown in the Old Testament, special help for me in prayer, giving peace, showing grace, God’s specific direction to love people of other nations and care for those with special needs.

Deuteronomy 14: 28-29: At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year’s produce and store it in your towns, so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands.

Romans is fun!

I’ve always found Romans difficult to understand, and when we came to it in a Bible study group I was in, I warned that it might be hard. I still find it difficult, but recently, I realized I wasn’t just rushing through reading it. Some points pricked my interest. I slowed down, reread, tried to figure it out. Many of the difficult points began to make more sense, and made me want to study further.

And some of the verses that comfort me most are found in Romans. I’ll share just two.

Romans 5:9-10: Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

Sadly, I’ve often been proud about the teaching I’ve received and my knowledge of Scripture. Now more and more Scripture is becoming mind-opening to me, showing me where I need to grow, reminding me of my need for humility, giving me reasons to smile.

I have been with the Bible for a long time and many repetitions, but I’m learning new truths, hungering for more. Truly, the word of God is alive.

Psalm 119:18: Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.

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