Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,--Hebrews 12:1

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Daily Message: Let the Word of God work in you ~ 1 Thessalonians 2:13

I hear so many people, Christians and non-Christians alike, who try to explain away parts of the Bible they disagree with by claiming it's a "book written by man." The problem with this, of course, is that when you take the verses you don't agree with and say they mean nothing, and I take the verses that aren't palatable to me and claim they don't apply, and others do the same, before long there's just not much left and the Bible loses all its authority as the Word of God.

When Amanda was killed, one of the first things I did was pick up the Bible and start reading. I reached for it and read it, looking for answers. I wasn't looking for the Bible to tell me why she was killed, but how to keep living in the wake of losing my precious daughter. I didn't turn to the works of the Greek philosophers, or the enlightenment authors, or the contemporary inspirational authors, because I knew the words of individual men and women would do me no good at a time like that.

I needed answers from the ultimate authority...from God Himself. And that's why I turned to the Bible.
"And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe." ~ 1 Thessalonians 2:13

So many times before I'd read, or tried to read, the Bible and found myself struggling to continue because I just couldn't seem to understand what I read. Most of those times, I wasn't reading looking for answers. Several times when I was younger, at points in my life when things just weren't working out like I thought they should, I picked up the Bible and read, thinking that God might reward me and straighten out the things I couldn't get to work the way I wanted. I picked up the Bible more because I thought it would please God and He would subsequently do things I wanted done in return.

And all those times, I never really got much out of reading the Bible. Looking back now, I believe it's because I wasn't looking at it as a guidebook, but more as a work on a reading list to be checked off. In short, I wasn't treating it like the true, unadulterated word of God, to be studied, learned, and lived.

Things changed when Amanda was killed. It amazed me how much I understood and how relevant verses seemed to leap from the pages when I read. After losing her, I NEEDED the Bible to be a guidebook, a how-to manual to tell me how to keep going and survive my tragic loss. For the first time, I wasn't picking up the Bible to persuade God to do things my way. I picked it up looking for God to SHOW me the way.

Jesus Christ saved me from despair. He lifted me up from the darkest pit, placed me on solid ground, and showed me the direction I needed to go. I firmly believe that finally giving the Bible the respect it deserves, opening myself up to see it as the actual Word of God, and to treat it as such, was a necessary step for me to finally hand my life over to Christ, 100% hand it over and let Him have it to use as He sees fit.

Therefore, I urge all of you to not fall prey to the modern day assumption that only parts of the Bible are true, or apply in today's society. There is a peace that passes all understanding, the promise of eternity with no suffering, no pain, and no tears, and more contained in the pages from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelation. The Bible--love it, learn it, live it and all that can be yours.

If you don't know Jesus as your personal savior, if you're missing the faith, hope, and love written about here, if you want the peace that we as Christians have in our lives, please visit our Got Jesus? page for step-by-step instructions on how to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.

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