Winging my way west to Southern California today...
As I sat down on the airplane, I got out my pink Bible (I’ll explain)1 and started reading Acts 19 again, while I noticed the guy across the aisle was reading his Bible too. That was a first - I liked it.
Hey I remember one morning at the gym years ago when I was reading my Bible study notes on the elliptical trainer. Something caught my eye and I turned to find a big young guy on the bicycle to my right reading his Bible . . . and an equally big guy on the other side of him also reading his Bible! I could not resist, of course. Hopped down I did, stepped in front of their bikes and asked, ‘ok, what’s going on?’ That started a great conversation, actually the first of many I would have with the two of them. After I introduced myself, found out both were former San Clemente High School athletes, so I invited them to Fellowship of Christian Athletes and they came! “Big Dave” stuck. We all loved the big teddy bear of a guy - In the picture is Big Dave in the ocean with me baptizing one of 10 students on a cold December day (this was a brother and sister) . . . so many memories. God is so good. Fact is - it all started because we were reading our Bibles. I love that.
Why read a Bible on the airplane?
Why read a Bible at the gym?
Wait, wait...the first question is ‘why read the Bible at all?’ and the second, ‘why read in a public place?’ (Okay, I have another story about that while at a coffee shop really early in the morning in Israel… maybe I’ll share tomorrow)
I hear how people just feel too busy to read their Bibles.
Truth is, we think we are so busy, right? Sure, our schedules are full and we do indeed busy ourselves, but how much of what we do is vitally important?
How much is essential in thinking well and making our days count? Our perception of our available, disposable time influences our decisions about what we read and even think about.
Why read the Bible? Of all the things you could opt to devote your attention, one stands alone – the Bible. In these Morning Briefings, we have just embarked upon Paul’s third and last missionary journey and his path toward the end … in Rome. Some of what we may study might seem tedious or irrelevant to you and your daily life. I mean why study the end of Acts when you could opt for clearing out your work email, checking Facebook or watching ESPN?
Those things are fleeting. Scripture endures. True - in a world where everything seems so transient, God’s words to us have meaning that sticks. “The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the Word of God stands forever.”2
So as I am considering closely the spread of Christianity, I understand how faith in Jesus Christ has changed lives and eternities for more than 2000 years; I want to be part of that continuing legacy. The more I get to know of the man, Paul, and the tremendous impact he had--I want to be like him.
Notice what happened after Paul asked the believers in Ephesus if they had received the Holy Spirit when they believed… it is really quite remarkable how God works, how God shows up, how God affirms his ways and his words then and now:
Just three verses - but three verses that show that the people believed in Jesus once they knew of Him, were baptized, and when Paul laid his hands on them and prayed for them, they spoke in tongues--as God-given evidence. Remember with me that this was the same evidence of the Holy Spirit’s presence as on the Day of Pentecost, that momentous day recorded back in chapter two of Acts. Coincidence? Not on your life. All knew this power was the same Holy Spirit power brought through the salvation of Jesus Christ. God delights in connecting the dots! Divine dots.
"So God! Inspire us to want to learn what we can about You from the Scriptures, give us a desire to be more like the men and women you used so powerfully. Give us a thirst for what is contained in the pages of our beloved Bibles. Amen."
I pray you feel inspired to read the Words of God...
more to come on just how life-changing, life-altering and life-breathing they are~
1 – So I have this new Bible - the Filament Bible. Slimline, New Living Translation, with great capabilities using an app on phone or ipad. Just bought Dylan one too.:). https://www.tyndale.com/sites/filamentbible
2 - Isaiah 40.8