“For the word of God is living and powerful.” (Hebrews 4:12, NKJV)
We are now in the second month of the new year. Many people begin a reading program designed to take them through the entire Bible by the end of December. Even those who may not make it to Revelation 22 by the end of the year will have gained from whatever time they spend reading and meditating on God’s Word. It’s a win-win situation.
I love reading the Bible, but I have a confession to make. I struggle to get through some parts. Long lists of “begats” I can’t pronounce, prophets with messages I don’t quite understand, customs that seem strange to my 21st-century self. But I keep reading because I believe if God included it, He had a purpose. When II Timothy 3:16 says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God,” I accept that “all” means every part—even those hard-to-read names.
Some may question whether the Bible is out of date, not relevant in today’s culture. When someone recently commented that a large portion of the Old Testament seems so far removed from our modern world, I began to ponder its relevancy today. Being a pen-and-paper type person, I grabbed a notepad and began jotting down my thoughts. While not profound, they did bring fresh feelings of thankfulness that God gave me this precious book.
The things we read in the Bible are given us as an example. Although these events happened thousands of years ago, I can still learn from them. “Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come” (I Corinthians 10:11, ESV).
The Bible is an unfolding story. It begins in Genesis and flows through every book of the Bible. We need it all to understand God’s great redemption plan.
The Old Testament gives us the foundation for right living. It’s more than just the Ten Commandments. We learn the blessings of obedience and the consequences of sin. It teaches us how to love and respect God and also our fellow man.
Old Testament prophecies validate Jesus as the Messiah. There aren’t just a few, a dozen, or even a hundred. Hundreds of prophecies can be cross-referenced in the New Testament.
The poetic and wisdom books teach us how to handle life. When we question suffering, we read Job. When we feel discouraged or beaten down, we turn to Psalms. When we face a change in life’s seasons, we go to Ecclesiastes.
Stories of deliverance show us God’s faithfulness. When I read about the parting of the Red Sea, David and Goliath, Daniel and the three Hebrew children, and other stories of God’s intervention, I know He can do it for me also.
The Bible teaches us about the depths of love. The greatest, of course, is the love of God. But we also learn how to love each other as God loves us. If the Bible were to be summed up in one word, that word would be love. Everything else flows from love.
Is the Bible relevant in my life today? Absolutely. Yes, it contains unpronounceable words. No, I don’t understand everything those Old Testament prophets spoke. Nor can I explain the meaning of much in Revelation. I do know the Bible is an amazing book—a book that speaks to my heart today. I’m thankful for God’s Word in my life.
Suggestion: Take a few moments to journal your thoughts on how the Word of God speaks to you personally. Rediscover the joy of storing His Word in your heart. It is relevant. It is life-changing.