Looking for a little good news? More than 10 million more Americans turned to the Bible over the past year of the COVID-19 pandemic than in the years before.1
Have you heard?! One upside to this pandemic is that the sales of the Bible are up all over, as people look for hope, scramble for peace and turn to the Bible for truth. I love that! In order to thrive, reading the Bible is vital.
T.H.R.I.V.E. ~ again, the acronym:Let's Trust God fully
get to know the Holy Spirit
Read God's Word....
God gave us his Word as a gift for insight about who he is . . .
as a historical record,
as wisdom to live our lives.
God gave us his word to comfort,
to show us the way to peace
and to keep our way pure.
I love that the Bible teaches history.
It is objective-it cites real people, real places I have been and seen, providing evidentiary proofs for its reliability.
It reminds me I am not the only one in the world, not the only one on God's mind.
It helps anchor me in time and space and remind me that God has a much bigger plan--to redeem humankind.
Simply put, the Bible has the ability to change our lives because it is divine, sharpening our minds, cutting straight to our hearts and souls. The Bible is God speaking to us what he wants us to know--important things like how we got here, how he feels about us, the history of his people, the revolutionary Savior who showed us how to live, the plan of salvation, God's purposes for our lives, the second coming of Jesus Christ and the destiny of those who believe in him, and those who reject him.
What exactly is contained inside the covers of the Bible?
Sixty-six books-39 in the Old Testament, written in Hebrew, spanning 1500 years (and 400 years of silence);
27 books in the New Testament, written in Greek, spanning just 80-90 years. It covers the life of Christ, his ministry, establishment of the Church, letters to those churches and Revelation. One of the ways we know that the Bible is true is that even though it was written by 40 different authors, there are no contradictions. Amazing!
The main thing to know is that the Bible is what it purports to be . . . TRUTH. It is the Word of God, supported by archaeological evidence, fulfilled prophecy and historical and scientific evidence. In the past 30-plus years, I have taught children, high school students and street people (including criminals and gang members) . . . at retreats, in the corporate setting, in the pulpit, on line and more, and here is what I have witnessed, up close and personally:
those who read the Bible and seek to apply it,
are radically changed by it.
Why does it have the power to change us? As Paul wrote, "All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.."2
I grew up with the Bible and always believed and respected it; however, in complete candor, I did not grow to truly love it and depend on it until about 20 years ago. It started when I was pleading for my 2-year-old's life in the hospital. I can see myself so clearly, sitting up in the bed with my left arm around my i.v. clad little guy snuggled against my ribs, and my black leather Bible resting on my right leg. I looked up the words I had to stand on and cling to, writing each one out. The precious words of God were life to me. It has been that way ever since.
Friend, the greatest gift I could give you would be a love of the scriptures and so I pray for you just now: Heavenly Father, would you fill us with a pure love for the Bible? Sometimes it is difficult to know how to tackle, but if you give us a love for your Word, we will be persistent and come to a way of understanding. And because you loved us first, we love you. Amen.
Let's T.H.R.I.V.E. by Reading God's Word~
“Promises" - a hip, greatly encouraging song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5m09rqOoxE
1 - One very interesting, encouraging article: https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2021/may/the-pandemic-fueled-spiritual-hunger-for-for-181m-americans-millions-opening-a-bible-for-the-very-first-time
2 - 2 Timothy 3.16-17