Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Bible tells me so

The Bible is an incredible gift. It is an amazing thing to be entrusted with the oracles of God. An advantage in every respect, as the Apostle Paul would say.

We search the Scriptures day and night, and well we should. They are God-breathed and useful for training in righteousness, equipping us for every good work.

Equipping. Equipment.

In other words, the the Bible is a means to an end, not the goal itself.

Bookworm that I am, this is a bit hard for me to swallow. Bible study comes easy for me, and I'd really like to believe that my affinity for words gives me Christian superpowers, or at the very least a few extra automatic holiness points.

But that's not what the Bible says about itself. The Bible tells us that Bible study is a very (very!) good thing, but it also tells us that Satan himself knows his way around the holy text, and that zeal for the Scriptures is not necessarily even a sign of faithfulness.

Love is. Love is the goal, love is the sign. Love is how we (and everyone else in the world) can know that we're not just wasting our time with all that Bible study.

We search the Scriptures day and night, thinking that in them we have eternal life, but the Scriptures point to Jesus.

On the Day of Judgment, God is not going to ask us how much time we spent reading our Bibles, but rather, how we responded to Jesus.

We encounter Jesus in the holy pages, yes, definitely. But more importantly, we encounter Him hungry and exposed and lonely, in the places where we least expect to find Him. All our studying is to prepare us for these practical pop quizzes that face us every day, and none of it matters if we don't prove to be a people marked by love.

The Bible tells me so.

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