Summary: An explanation of the Bible, why it is God’s word and the role it can play in our lives
Why the Bible?
Several prominent literary figures were invited to an open forum where they were interviewed. One question that came up was: “If you were stranded on a desert isle, and you could only have one book, which book would you bring with you?” The first person said without hesitating, “The complete works of William Shakespeare” The next said, “I would bring the Bible with me” They turned to the last writer and said, “How about you? What book would you bring with you to a desert isle?” He responded, “Thomas’ Guide to Practical Ship Building.”
So why the Bible? This is God’s gift to us. We have a God who is intimately involved in and concerned about our life success. Because of his love for us, He wants the best for us and has provided a life map for us which is His Holy Word. Everything you need to honor God and please him is found in this Bible. If we follow his life map, we can experience God’s provision, we can experience God’s power, we can experience God’s protection and we can experience God’s plan and purpose for our lives. Everything we need in life is found in this life map. Today we’re going to discuss the importance and power of the Bible, three things the Bible offers us.
Slide: The Bible is our main source for life information and wisdom. The Bible has often been described as ’Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth’ (B.I.B.L.E.) Verse 14. “But as for you, continue with what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those who you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” Life is a series of developmental stages. In fact, Erik Ericcson’s work has identified several stages in human development. The first is the infant stage. It is in this stage where we hear our parent’s words which help us develop and become mature. God realizes when we are infants that we need life information so God produced this life map which would help us hear the word of God and follow his instructions on how to live. This word is more than words written by humans but it is wisdom which comes from the very heart of God. “Tune your ears to wisdom and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight and understanding….gain knowledge of the Lord. For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth comes knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:2-3, 5b-6 This is not just a great historical book but it is a message of guidance from God to you. Paul told Timothy the Bible is not just for education but for your spiritual growth and ultimately your salvation.
Before an infant can ever grow and mature, it is critical that the parent offer wisdom and guidance which provides a framework of rules by which to live. In this Bible are boundaries by which we are to live. Image of parent talking to toddler Early on as we raised our children, we found ourselves correcting our children, telling them, “Don’t do this!” and “Don’t’ do that.” “Don’t touch the stove, don’t run into the street, don’t run with scissors in your hand, don’t go to sleep with chewing gum in your mouth.” It was always don’t, don’t, don’t. We gave them rules to live by to keep them on life’s path for their ultimate success in life. And they would think how mean we were. We’re weren’t mean but we did all that because we love them so much that we were concerned more about their future well-being than we were with their present happiness.
The problem is that many of us are still stuck in the infant stage. We hear and may even know the word but we fail to follow through with the instructions and guidance from the Word. In his book, “Think Like Jesus”, George Barna tells the story of taking his two daughters to church on Wednesday nights where they met great Christian kids, learned wonderful faith principles and lessons and were nurtured in the faith. His oldest daughter recently won an award in her age group for Scriptural memorization and received a plaque as well as the accolade of her peers and their parents at an awards ceremony. Yet within an hour of returning home, she was fighting with her sister over something insignificant. This just didn’t match with what she had been awarded for earlier in the evening. So George sat her down and asked her to recite Luke 10:27 “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ’Love your neighbor as yourself..’” Good. A few weeks ago you memorized Matthew 7:12. What was that? Like a bullet it shot out of her mouth, “Do for others what you would have them do for you.” What about Matthew 5:44-45? But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” George just stared at her in a long pause and asked, Well, what does that mean? And she just stared back blankly. Then he said, Honey you just proved to the world that you know alot about what God taught in the Bible. The Bible is God’s lessons for us on how to live a life the right way, in a way that please you and is best for you….think about those verses you just told me. What do they have to do with how you treat your sister?” Her eyes narrowed a bit as she wondered if this was a trick question. She just sat there awaiting the next scripture quiz question. And then he writes, She was a champion at recalling passages of Scripture but she had no clue how those verses related to her behavior….Most adults I meet at church have been attending for many years….Although they are decades older and have had much more experience than my daughter, they are no more spiritually mature.”