Love the Gift: A How-To Book My child, hear my Words, Words of the greatest sweetness, surpassing all the learning of the philosophers and the wise of the world.The previous chapter closed by suggesting we get to know God better. The process for me involved reading, and the big step was reading the Bible. And to get to know God, that really is the way to start. What could be better? Begin by reading what was written by messengers, witnesses, and apostles of the Lord. You will get to experience history, places, and developments and be enlightened and delighted by what you learn.What a challenge. Read the Bible from cover to cover. It was quite an experience for me. Or I should say, it is quite an experience, since it continues to this day. Just about every day I read a portion of the Bible; it may be just a few lines or most of a chapter. Something strikes a chord, makes me think about a passage, or a situation occurs that causes me to find an answer or the right thing to say in the Word. I have not been disappointed yet. It is like Ask.com: you go to the reference, and you find an answer to your question.
My initial attempt took over a year. I was often confused or had questions and began to search elsewhere for added clarity, historical evidence, confirmation from another source, or just to learn more about the topic that was presented that for me just needed more detail. I was successful each time. My interest and enjoyment grew. The Old Testament is a difficult read, and remembering all the kings and the tribes of Israel, where and when they came and went, was quite a task. Also, how God was presented took a bit of work to fully comprehend and appreciate. Creation: okay, I got it, but was it successful? Did God achieve his end, especially with Adam’s error? Why the Jews, the chosen people, and all their trials and tribulations and their errors too?
The Old Testament and the New Testament are quite different. The God in the New seems different in some ways from the God of the Old. I know they are both God, but with the New, we now have Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Most of what occurs in the New is forecast in the Old and often in ways that tell the Jews that there will be consequences for their actions. There is a lot crammed into sixty-six books and one thousand or so pages (depending on the font and the footnotes). The Old and the New, however, go together, and in the New there are changes, a means for the mistakes of the Old to be corrected in the form of a new covenant or a new creation. God, his Son, and the Spirit work as a team to transform man, everyone, into being part of that team to make the world the heaven on earth God planned.
The Gift of Love
The gift of Jesus, of God, is love. And the answers to all questions can be found in one place, one source—the Bible. How simple is that, a how-to source? The Bible is the Word of God, God-breathed, for all to read and understand. Admittedly, it is not an easy read. But it is worth the effort, the time, and the dedication because it will open the reader’s eyes to a life that is good. There are many metaphors, some conflicting elements, but taken as a whole, it shows why all people are today, and have been since the birth of Christ Jesus, God’s children. If asked whether some passages as written actually happen, is that the way it all took place (literally), I must admit I cannot answer, but what I can say is that they are true, helpful, and powerful messages.
The Bible is a way of seeing God. It is the means by which God speaks to us every day. God comes to us via the Bible. Conditions of our lives, situations that occur, are addressed by the Bible and by God speaking to us through the Word. Scripture is all encompassing. The Bible is not an exclusive document; it was written for everyone.
Most people read books, some more often than others. My wife reads more than a book a week. But how many of you have read the Bible? It is the biggest seller of all time, written in just about every language and with various translations. The different translations and writings attempt to make the Bible more readable, more understandable, and more widely available to greater numbers of people. It is a resource that has found a way to be there for everyone. Have you read it? If you have time to read a daily newspaper or a book, set aside just fifteen minutes each day to read the Bible. Read the Bible, and the gift becomes more apparent and more readily available.
There are so many stories, so much advice, poetry, odes, songs, and guiding principles. It is a joy to read, and the impact it will have on you as reader cannot be fully appreciated until you yourself get involved with and captured by the Word of God.