Two Guarantees (Jan. 24, 2013)

…Opening To…

No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means. (George Bernard Shaw)

…Listening In…

Examine the scriptures, since you think that in them you have eternal life. They also testify about me, yet you don’t want to come to me so that you can have life. (John 5:39-40; context)

…Filling Up…

The second thing not to do when you read the Bible is to think you already know what it says. Going into Bible study with a clear picture of what you want to find when you read will guarantee two things. First, you will find what you are looking for. And second, you will miss what is looking for you.

You’ll find what you’re looking for because the Bible is a compendium of human experience stretching thousands of years. If you are trying to prove a point, some verse in the Bible will help you out. It may be a single verse tucked into the corner of an obscure chapter or a famous verse from a well-read book, but you will be able to appropriate it for your own ends. This, of course, is not a very good way to read the Bible.

Unlike other books out there, the Bible is special because when we read it, we encounter the Holy Spirit breathing life into its pages. That life flows into and out of us in the ongoing dance of God’s movement throughout history. And so, when we think we know what the Bible says, we will often miss what’s looking for us in the text. When we come to the text, we should come with open minds and open hearts. We should open ourselves up to the possibility for God to surprise us when we read.

…Praying For…

Dear God, you are the source of life that weaves its way through the library of the faith. Help me to be open to the possibilities in store for me when I delve into that library. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, trusting that you will grant me the patience to study the Bible slowly and keep my eyes and heart open for your presence in my life.

2 thoughts on “Two Guarantees (Jan. 24, 2013)

  1. I remember back in 1973 when I was new to serious Christianity some folks from church met on Saturday nights as “the Christian living group” and at one meeting I announced that I had successfully read the whole New Testament and said in my “newbie” ignorance ,,, OK, I read this now what?  The unison answer from the group was “Read it again!!” Well over 30 years later I still notice verses I don’t remember ever reading before!   Sue   P.S.  Nothing seems to happen when I click on the blue “Comment” box when the posts show up in email.  should I be able to comment that way?

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  2. I remember back in 1973 when I was new to serious Christianity some folks from church met on Saturday nights as “the Christian living group” and at one meeting I announced that I had successfully read the whole New Testament and said in my “newbie” ignorance ,,, OK, I read this now what?  The unison answer from the group was “Read it again!!” Well over 30 years later I still notice verses I don’t remember ever reading before!   Sue   P.S.  Nothing seems to happen when I click on the blue “Comment” box when the posts show up in email.  should I be able to comment that way?

    P.P.S.  For some reason this was still in my draft folder so here it is … again? belated?

    Sue

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