Today in church I asked the question, “What would you do if you only had a bible?”
We get so much spiritual input from Google, TV and radio, devotional books, bible study books, study bibles, well-meaning friends and family, and our own experiences. All those things are helpful, blessings and important to our understanding of God’s word. But what if we didn’t have any of those things. What if all we had were a bible?
I think you would do just fine. It’s OK, even beneficial to unplug from all of those things to just listen to what God has to say. That’s one of the amazing things about God’s word. Even though it was written a long time ago, it still speaks to our situation, our context, and most importantly, our hearts.
You don’t have to understand all of the bible. In fact, I would encourage you to set aside those parts that puzzle you or confuse you. You can address them later, maybe with some other tools. Instead, go to those place that touch your heart, lift your spirit and calm your soul.
I use many resources to help me understand scripture. I turn to commentaries, bible dictionaries, sermons and devotionals to make sense of and apply the scriptures to my own life. I appreciate the influence of the Holy Spirit in the lives of others who teach and apply the scriptures.
But sometimes I put all that aside and just let God speak to me in His word. When the hurricane comes, I go to that time the Jesus said to the storm, “Be still.” And it did. Or I re-read a resurrection account, which fills me with the joy of life even in the face of death. Or I listen to Jesus say, “Let the children come to me,” and I am so thankful that I am one of his dearly loved children.
Or sometimes I just like to go back and listen to God say things atet are off the wall. Like, “The dog returns to its own vomit” (2 Peter 2:22). Or Ehud plunged a dagger into the fat king’s belly (Judges 3:22). Or how Herod was “consumed with worms and died” (Acts 12:23). And I realize that God really does know what this world is like. He really does know what it’s like to live here.
If all you had was a bible, you would be just fine. You would know that God loved you, came to rescue you, and will never abandon you. You don’t have to understand every nuance. Just the main message. “These [things] are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:31).