Monday, April 4, 2011

How Do You Treat The Bible?

Whew, the month of March was a big wonderful whirlwind of speaking and traveling, but unfortunately that left no time for blogging! The good news is, that God has been at work big time in the lives of so many women that I have encountered over the past two months, and that has blessed me with lots to write about in the coming weeks!

On Thursday, I will be kicking off a new blog series, and I'll tell you about that soon enough, but in the meantime, I heard something so meaningful on the radio the other day, that I just felt compelled to share it with my bloggy friends. :)

This ministry radio show was focused on the importance of God's Word, and how we often do not place the Bible in a place of priority in our life. It was so interesting, that I pulled out my little notepad and began jotting down some notes. It was a fresh and incredible reminder about the importance of God's Word, that I did not want to forget it.

After listening to the sermon, I had to admit to myself, that although I love my Jesus dearly, I am sometimes guilty of not giving His Word the attention it deserves, and therefore minimizing God's authority over my life. So today and tomorrow, I want to share this insight with you, and hope that God pricks your heart too, leaving you with a fresh desire to delve into scripture with a new perspective, and a new passion to make God's Word a priority in your own life.


1. Some people treat the Bible like an hors d'oeuvre tray.

Whether at a fancy party, where servers are walking around with trays of food to munch on, or at a friends house where a few snacks are being served, we do the same thing. We look at the tray, and handpick the things that seem most appealing to our taste buds, while leaving the least liked items on the tray for someone else.

It is all too easy to embrace the parts of the Bible that we like, while leaving the parts that do not seem as appealing for someone else. For example, we love Romans 8:28, where we can embrace the promise that God uses all things to His glory - but we feel angry at God for allowing bad things to happen.

And all Christians love Jeremiah 29:11, where God promises a bright future and a plan for us - but what about Matthew 18:22, where Jesus tells us not to forgive someone just once, but seventy times seven - and we dont think someone in our life deserves forgiveness once, much less over and over?

What about Romans 12:2, where God tells us not to conform to the patterns of this world, but to instead set ourselves apart - but we like watching those funny, popular television shows, full of bad language and crude behavior?

And what about Mark 12:31, where we are commanded to love our neigbor as much as we love ourself - but we dont like our neighbor at all because his dog keeps getting in our trash cans every week?

The Truth is, that God's Word is meant to be an instruction guide for our entire life, not just the parts we are willing to surrender to Him. Those parts that come easy to us, promise goodness, and do not require any personal sacrifice.

The Bible is not an hors d'oeuvre tray - God meant it to be consumed in its entirety.

2. Some people treat the Bible like car rental insurance.

A few weeks ago I traveled to Cape May, New Jersey to speak at a women's retreat. Due to the location being on the Jersey shore, I had to rent a car at the airport and drive an hour and a half to get to the hotel. The clerk at the rental car office suggested that I purchase several different benefits, all of which I felt were unnecessary expenses, and one of them was rental car insurance.

I have not had a wreck in at least twenty years. The likelihood of my having a wreck over the following three days seemed highly unlikely, so why would I want to risk wasting money on car rental insurance?

Sometimes we treat God's Word just like that car rental insurance. We know it is there, and maybe we will need to refer to it, but since we have been strolling through life just fine without making it a priority, do we need to make it a priority now? We know our Bible is available, sitting proudly on the bookshelf, but the likelihood of having a crisis today is probably slim, so we just keep in tucked away for an unexpected emergency.

We always assume that our day will go fine, even if we do not sit down and spend time in His word.

But the Bible is not rental insurance - we desperately need it, whether we think we do or not.

3. Some people treat the Bible like a seatbelt.

It is only in last several years, that the importance of seat belts has become top news, and even required by law. Even though we know that seatbelts can save our life, sometimes we just dont "feel like" putting it on.

I have to constantly remind my kids to put their seatbelts on, practically every time we get in the car, and although I continually tell them the importance of wearing a seatbelt, they still either "forget", or just dont want the inconvenience or physical restriction.

In the same way, we know we need the Bible to direct us in our paths, decisions and behaviors every day, but many times we dont "put it on" because it is inconvenient, or we are too busy. Maybe we do not want to feel guilty for sin we are committing. Or maybe, we just do not feel like reading it.

But God's Word is not a seatbelt - it not only saves lives, but gives life.

Any chance you have been treating the Bible like an hors d'oeuvre tray, a car rental insurance policy, or a seatbelt? Think about it.

Tomorrow I will share two more ways we often treat the Bible, so stay tuned.

(Reference: James McDonald, Walk In The Word)

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