Taking God’s Word Seriously, Pt. 2

I shared yesterday how my relationship to God’s Word over the past few years has been changing. After reading through the Bible a third time, I immediately wanted to do it again. So last Fall, using the Reformation Study Bible, I began in Genesis, Job, and Matthew. I’m currently in 1 Samuel, Isaiah, and 1 Corinthians and having a great time getting to know my Creator and Redeemer better.

My schedule this time is a little more flexible, but I try to read 6-12 pages at a time. I continue to marvel at how little I actually know of God’s Word, how His character is consistent throughout, and how God is eager to meet me in His Word if I just take the time to read it. In the past I’ve been prone to return to passages I’m familiar with. Now I’m seeing how they connect to the Bible’s story line, and starting to notice that God can speak to me even in the “obscure” passages. Is there any portion of what God has spoken to us that isn’t important? Certainly, some sections are clearer and more easily applicable than others, but is there any word God has spoken that I don’t want to be intimately acquainted with and benefit from? For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (Rom. 15:4, ESV) Jesus said, “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” (John 17:3, ESV)

The question we have to answer is, “How badly do I want to know God and Jesus Christ the one He has sent?” Will I be satisfied with what I can glean from creation and thrilling but temporary experiences? Can we ever know Him too well? Is there any reason I wouldn’t make it my aim and delight to search out the glories of God in His Word?

Of course, we can and should seek to know God every way we can. There is nothing sub-Christian about benefiting from the writings of much smarter and wiser Christians who have written down their thoughts about God. We’re foolish not to. The best writers direct us back to God’s Word, inspire faith in the authority of God’s Word, and cause us to depend on the sufficiency of God’s Word. But nothing should ever take the place of personally meeting God ourselves in the pages of Scripture.

I’m no Bible scholar. I know some guys who are, and I’m clear on the difference. But like every Christian, I am a theologian – one who studies God. I’m not sure how many years I have left to live. Lord willing, it will be about 25 or more. But whatever time God allows me, I want to spend it getting to know Him more accurately, more deeply, and more completely through His Word.

I’ll share some of the ways pursuing God more earnestly in Scripture is changing me, and suggest some other ways to benefit from the priceless treasure of God’s Word.


5 Responses to Taking God’s Word Seriously, Pt. 2

  1. Steve S January 18, 2006 at 8:14 PM #

    Bob, this is really encouraging stuff. I know that once I finally stopped reading the Bible as a textbbook and began reading it on my own, I found what you have been finding.

    Reading entire books, and the flow of Scripture itself, sheds new light on a lot of familiar verses. Sometimes we find that they say nothing like we always thought they said! And, on the other hand, sometimes we are reassured in what we believe because we see it reinforced in context.

    steve :)

  2. Call Me Ishmael January 19, 2006 at 6:23 AM #

    Great post! Fantastic blog!

  3. Scott January 19, 2006 at 11:10 AM #

    this is good stuff–thanks for doing this and being real

  4. Matthew Westerholm January 22, 2006 at 1:19 PM #

    I’d also like to plug that Reformation Study Bible. . . it’s really fantastic. The book introductions and notes are definately a step higher than other study bibles I’ve used. I don’t know how Crossway is going to improve on it for their ESV study bible, but Justin Taylor’s hard at work.

  5. Amber Ziegler January 15, 2008 at 3:36 PM #

    One question you raised caught my attention: “How badly do I want to know God and Jesus Christ the one He has sent?” What a challenging question! I think most Christians would say they would do anything to know God on a deeper level, but I’m not sure as many are willing to make the sacrifices (mostly of time) to do that. It is easy to say I want to know Jesus us more, but a completely different thing to get up each morning and seek his face in his Word.

    On another note, in my own walk I sometimes get distracted and substitute time in the Word with other books. You make an excellent point that we should read other authors, but that good authors always point us back to God’s Word!

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