The true value of the Bible lies, not in its historical accounts of the Israelites or of Jesus, although they are incredibly insightful into the nature of God and man and certainly capture the essence and teachings of Jesus, but in its being a living document of our living God. It is as relevant today as it has been for the twenty centuries since Jesus lived. At its best the value of any study of the Bible lies not in someone else’s interpretation of it, but in its impact on our lives today. If you’re reading the New Testament and not feeling like Jesus or Paul or another writer is talking directly to you about your life, then you are not getting at the essential value of the Bible.
Full of truths about God and the human condition, the Bible tells us how to get out of our dilemmas, just as surely as God showed Moses how to bring the Israelites to freedom. Does the Bible seem relevant to your life today? Are you allowing the words to come alive in you or are you sticking with the same interpretations that you’ve heard all your life. If you approach any passage from the Bible with fresh eyes, you will be amazed at what you will glean from a whole new perspective that is helpful right now, today. Try this: take a short passage, a parable say, and chew on it for a day or a week until it speaks to you.
Are you willing to let the Bible speak to you today? Will you allow yourself to step into the story or parable and experience what is being said and done, and then see how you react to what it reveals to you? Will you set aside everything you’ve ever learned about the Bible and see it wholly new? It’s really the same issue with God, really. Will you let God reveal to you who God is or are you relying on someone else’s interpretation of God to be your own? Are you willing to build your faith on your own experience of God? Or are you still dependent on others to tell you how and when?
Christianity at its best is a living religion, adapting and changing with the language and experience of the times and can work the same way in our lives if we allow it to. As we grow and change throughout our lives, it’s essential that our concepts of God and how we are to live our lives grow and change, too. Otherwise we are living in the past, working with old interpretations and no longer growing into the relationship with our living God. We are dependent on others for our spiritual sustenance, not on the source. We do not have a living God; we have a dead religion, full of expectations and assumptions, neatly categorized and stale.
Something to ponder: How alive in me is my relationship with God? Are the Bible and its teachings a living document to me? Am I going into it deeper and deeper every year? Or do I live with the same tired responses and know what it says before I even open it?