Now that we know what studying The Bible isn’t about, it is more important that we know what it is about.
|Don't just be informed; be transformed!|
1. Studying The Bible is about allowing The Word of God to change us. It is about allowing it to conform our lives to the image of Christ. Period.
One of the ways the Bible helps us to become more like Jesus is that it helps us to see others like us who have successfully done so. They have walked to the end of the path which we now contemplate. We have abundant examples but perhaps due to familiarity, we sometimes miss the powerful ‘mentoring’ they offer us.
When I was a private tutor, one of my students saw a ‘Jerusalem’ branded bag and to my surprise, she was surprised! She wanted to know if this Jerusalem was the same Jerusalem of the Bible. The conversation that followed revealed that my 9 year old student really thought that Bible stories were just that-stories. Not stories of real people but the documented activities of a bunch of fictitious characters.
How many of us read the Bible that way; having a form of mental assent but lacking grounded consciousness that we read about men of like passions- people like us bones, blood and all. I know I get passive sometimes and then, I lose the essence of what I’m reading. We read about people like you and me, who lived, breathed, ate, got married, had children, lost children, owned their own businesses, worked for other people, became wealthy, and lost it all. They had moments of extreme joy and intense sorrow; many were tempted by lust, greed, and other sins; they grew in faith, they despaired; they served in agriculture, commerce, politics, clergy and education. Their methods were different but the concepts are pretty much the same yet in all these, quite a number of them found God.
These same people, mere mortals came to know God, and some in their time came to believe in Jesus and follow Him till they drew their last breath- some times, their faith in Him was the reason for their last breath, yet they lived and died like the type of Christian that some of us aspire to be.
This is the beauty in reading the Word. It helps us to become like Jesus especially by showing us how people we can totally relate with became like him. So if you are given to anger, quick rebuke, and (almost thoughtless) outbursts, you can relax, knowing Apostle Peter did it. There are few things you can think of to disqualify you from the mercy and love of God and the grace for discipleship that other Christians in the Bible did not do. Some finicky people can say “Oh you don’t know, they didn’t have drugs then and I have done a enough drugs to start a cartel.” Well, praise be to God! What can I say?
As important as the example of older Christians are to us, there is a more fundamental reason that we study The Bible. It is also to become like Christ but this time, we become like Him by looking at Him, not just by looking at others. It is a mystery how this works. We don’t become like Him by trying to be like Him. We just keep our gazes on Him and from the inside out, without seeing rain or wind; the valley is filled with water! It’s a miracle! It is like a “look and live” thing. It never ceases to amaze me how God transforms us with the power of His Word.
That my friend is why we study the Bible. It is why we cannot help but study the Bible. Apart from the fact that men may feed us falsehood from their own well of opinions, by staying away from the word, we miss the opportunity to be transformed. We study that we may know Jesus, the Life, the Way and the Truth and as we know the truth; we tell which is the lie that we may avoid it.
Let us look at the path the saints have walked that we may walk well also. It give me great comfort to know that many witnesses are cheering us on in this race, offering words of hope, wisdom and encouragement, saying to us “Christian, don’t give up! We have done it and you can too.” In the midst of their voices, there is the voice. The only voice that matters in the cacophony of the voices of our flesh, the world and the devil; it is the voice of Jesus saying to us, “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. All power in heaven and earth is given to me and I am willing and able to use this power to help you walk worthy of Me.”
Isn’t this wonderful? It is a joy to hear the words that Jesus has to say to us from His word. Don’t miss a chance to hear Him today. Are you still reading a blog? Come on, go get your Bible!
Have you been impacted, transformed or encouraged by The Bible? Have you drawn strength from a Bible character? Feel free to share with us in the comments section.