Be grateful for people who do the important work of protecting and preserving the Bible for future generations. This is a photograph of the oldest known copy of Romans 4-5. Some people have risked everything to protect copies of Scripture in order to assure the every generation is able to possess it and read it. Even today, people take great risks to assure that Christians in countries such as Uzbekistan, Ethiopia, and China are able to read the Bible for themselves.
The word is very near you. YES!
It is in your mouth –
That I may
- Confess it
- Share it
- Teach it
- Write it
And in your heart –
That I may
- Cherish it
- Remember it
- Think about it
- Dwell in it
- Immerse myself in it
- Be nourished by it
- Mature in my understanding of it
So that you may do it.
In this way I will grow into the person God created me to be.
If you think the world has turned upside down, Chris Skates agrees with you.
How did we get here?
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
The New Living Translation makes these verses sound more like daily conversation:
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 Timothy 3:16 NLT)
When Paul wrote to Timothy, he had already written a letter to the church at Ephesus, in which he said, “We are [God’s] workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10 ESV).
- In the letter to the Ephesians, what did Paul say was the purpose for which God recreated us in Christ Jesus?
- Paul sent Timothy to the church at Ephesus, and he wrote 2 Timothy as guidance for Timothy’s work there. What did he tell Timothy was the necessary way to learn how to live out God’s purpose?
- If Scripture is inspired by God, what part of it can we safely ignore?
- If God has inspired Scripture to help every Christian, why would he want to make it hard to understand? In other words, when you are reading Scripture, is it safe for you follow the plain meaning, or do you need a code book to understand it?
- What did Paul say Scripture does for us?
- Jesus said that our natural food is every word that comes from the mouth of God. (Read Matthew 4:4) How often do you need to eat? How often do you need to nourish yourself from the Word of God?
By Katherine Harms, author of Oceans of Love available for Kindle at Amazon.com. Watch for the release of Thrive! Live Christian in a Hostile World, planned for release in the winter of 2016.
Image: Open Bible
By Wnorbutas (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0
O Christ, Our Hope
O Christ, our Hope, our heart’s Desire,
Redemption’s only Spring!
Creator of the world art Thou,
Its Savior and its King.
How vast the mercy and the love
Which laid our sins on Thee,
And led Thee to a cruel death,
To set Thy people free.
But now the bands of death are burst,
The ransom has been paid,
And Thou art on Thy Father’s throne,
In glorious robes arrayed.
O may Thy mighty love prevail
Our sinful souls to spare;
O may we come before Thy throne,
And find acceptance there!
Translated from Latin by John Chandler, 1837
Text is in the public domain
The Bible is our ultimate source for truth, and any statement which purports to be insight into our faith must be tested against the Bible. The creeds of the church are wonderful tools that help us summarize our faith, both in reminding ourselves of truth and in explaining the reason for our faith to other people. Hymns also teach us by reinforcing biblical teaching, and singing hymns attracts the kind of thoughtful attention that might lead unbelieving individuals to consider what Christ has done for all people. The thought questions below are intended to help you consider how a hymn, the creeds and the Bible teaching all help us both to live our faith and to share our faith with others.
- The Apostles’ Creed states that God the Father created heaven and earth. Where does the Bible tell us that this creative act is the work of God? How does the gospel of John explain Christ’s involvement in that act?
- The Apostles’ Creed summarizes the teaching about Christ’s death in the words “was crucified, died and was buried.” Where does the Bible explain how Christ died and why he died?
- The hymn celebrates the fact that “the bands of death are burst.” Why is that important? Where does the Bible tell how the “bands of death” were defeated? How does the Apostles’ Creed tell this part of Christ’s story?
- The hymn writer refers to Jesus sitting on a throne and to our appearance before his throne. What does the Bible say about Jesus’ throne and our appearance there? How does the Apostles’ Creed sum up this part of Christ’s story?
- When you want to share Jesus with someone, how do you decide what part of Christ’s story to mention first in the conversation? Have you ever tried to sum up the story of the whole Bible in conversation with someone? Think through the Apostles’ Creed and verify each statement with a text in the Bible. Does that exercise help you prepare to share Jesus with someone?
By Katherine Harms, author of Oceans of Love available for Kindle at Amazon.com. Watch for the release of Thrive! Live Christian in a Hostile World, planned for release in the winter of 2016
Image: Open Hymnal Source:http://foter.com/
License: CC BY-NC-SA