I’m not sure if you can make out the scripture written on the note card above, but it is Judges 6:23-24. It says, “But the Lord said to him, ‘Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.’ So Gideon built an altar to the Lord there and called it ‘The Lord is Peace’. I bought yards and yards of rainbow ribbon and hung scriptures around Noah’s room that we had written on note cards. I wrote many that said ‘peace’ in them, one because Noah means peace, and two because I needed to keep reminding myself of God’s peace…God’s word is what enabled us to persevere through each day.
Now, I know that the Bible can seem daunting, a bit intimidating in size, downright discouraging, and unconquerable, but let me share some of my thoughts on it…First of all, truth be known, we are all very lucky that the Bible is as short as it is. I say that because it says that if everything Christ did while He was on earth was written down, the books on the earth could not contain it. Wrap your brain around that! If you’ve ever read a series of fiction, you’ve probably read more pages in those 3 or 4 or more books than fill the Bible from cover to cover. When I first started reading the Bible almost 20 years ago (my anniversary of following Christ is 1987 on Mother’s day) I didn’t really know where to start. But, I was at a point where if I was going to believe in God then I wanted to know Who the heck it was that I was believing in and why. My parents bought us Study Bibles and a set of 36 markers. They said, “Don’t take it from us or a priest or a pastor. Read it for yourself. It’s your textbook. Use these markers to mark it up, underline interesting things that stand out. Whatever you want. The Bible is your textbook.” I couldn’t believe I was allowed to actually write, with pretty markers, in a Bible! I felt so free:) I have that same Bible with a fancy packing tape binding and now, Noah’s foot and handprints in it.
I’m not sharing this to boast about how much I know about God’s word. I’ll be the first to tell you that no matter how many times I read it, or how often, God knocks my socks off even on the same passage. Also, there have been many days, months, seasons that have passed in my life where I didn’t hunger for God’s word and didn’t care if I read it or not. I am currently not in that season, thank God, and I hope to never go there again, but as weird as it may sound, March Madness reminds me of the Bible. Let me explain…you see, if you have ever played an organized sport, or participated in orchestra or band, there are play books that each member must study and know for when game day comes or for a performance. Don’t think for a minute that athletes are just physically prepared for competition. They study the play book so that when something happens in a game, they know just what to do. There are defensive and offensive plays. When your season of competition hits, your breathe, eat, think and sleep that sport.
Well, the Bible is our play book. It is God’s gift to mankind as a manual for how to live in a world for which we were not intended. We weren’t created for earth the way we live it. God meant for us to hang out with Him in the Garden, playing with lions and enjoying His company. The Bible is God’s gift of light in this dark place to expose the devil’s schemes and his constant attempts to turn our hearts and eyes off the Lord. It contains rules for living, not for the sake of just having rules, but to ease the road and the reality of the consequences of our choices. It contains raw heart cries from people wondering what on earth is transpiring in their lives. It has promises of hope and healing, eternal life and salvation. It has everything we could ever need for minute by minute plays.
So, I guess with this post, I want to encourage you, and myself, not to be intimidated by the Bible, but to pick it up and read sentences, chapters, paragraphs, books, whatever. Don’t try to go from Genesis to Revelation in one sitting. It’s meant to be meditated on, so if you only have 3 minutes, then read a paragraph and then pray about how God wants to integrate His truth into your life. If you don’t know where to start, read John. It’s in the New Testament, the 4th of the gospels. It’s a world rocking account of Jesus’ life on earth. As we get God’s word into us, deep into our hearts and minds (put on the helmet of salvation – Eph 6) the Holy Spirit will bring it to your rememberance when the enemy tries to tempt you or discourage you, or destroy you. It’s our textbook for living. The course if Life 101.