Many look for something to meet their current need. They are sad and want comfort. They have a problem they need help with. They feel lonely and unloved, and they need affirmation that God cares for them. They’re frightened and anxious and need to know God is in control and will take care of them.
Those aren’t wrong motives in themselves. The Bible does help and comfort us. God wants to meet our needs. But the Bible is so much more than a momentary fix.
We talked a couple of weeks ago about reading the Bible to foster our relationship with God. Part of getting to know God is learning truth about Him.
Most people don’t approach their time in the Bible eagerly wondering what doctrine they are going to learn that day. The word “doctrine” smacks of theological arguments, dry, dusty old books, and difficult academic language.
But what if we thought of doctrine as bedrock truth that helps us get to know God better and helps us live for Him?
Which is better?
To feel momentary relief from loneliness, or to be convinced beyond all doubt that God will never leave us or forsake us?
To question God’s handling of a situation, or to rest in the fact that the Judge of all the earth will always do right?
To struggle with feeling unloved and unworthy, or to remind ourselves that God has accepted us in Christ and has always dealt with us in grace, not according to what we deserve?
One way to mine the Bible for truth about God is to write down that truth as we come across it. Several years ago, Mardi Collier told her husband she wanted to get to know God better. He suggested she go through the psalms and write down every truth about God that she came across. As she came to a new truth, she’d write it across the top of a notebook page, and then list verses underneath as she found them. Some of the page titles focused on what kind of Person God is: My God is holy, My God is good, etc. Others shared God’s actions: My God hears me, My God is in control, and so on. Her study ended up covering the whole Bible and eventually became a book, What Do I Know About My God?
You may or may not want to do a full-fledged study like that. It would certainly be beneficial. But at the very least, the mindset shift of actively looking for truth rather than looking to the Bible as just a problem-solver, as something to make us feel better, or as just part of our routine for the day, will enrich our time in the Word and our relationship with God.
We still need to read the Bible, even when we feel we have a good grasp on particular truths. We’re forgetful. We need reminders and reinforcements. We can always learn truth more fully.
The better we get to know Him, the more we see Him as He truly is, the more we love Him, and the better we represent Him to others.
(Sharing with Inspire Me Monday, Hearth and Soul, Senior Salon, Remember Me Monday.
Purposeful Faith, Tell His Story, InstaEncouragement, Recharge Wednesday,
Worth Beyond Rubies, Let’s Have Coffee, Heart Encouragement, Grace and Truth,
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