As a child, I lived within a community of people who taught me to sing a song that went like this:
"The B-I-B-L-E; Yes, that's the book for me.
I stand alone on the word of God, the B-I-B-L-E."
This fun little jingle not only taught me to spell a word, but also was one of the many things that encouraged me to make the Bible a constant companion in my life. I have a stack of marked up Bibles that can chart the seasons of my life, from my childhood, teen years, college days, youth ministry, to my current season with you.
What Paul said to his student Timothy could easily be said of me: "You know how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Jesus Christ."(2 Tim 3:15)
The Bible has shaped my life for all of my life. For all of my days, and I dare say for the rest of them, what I sang about the Bible as a child is increasingly true: It is the book for me.
I am not alone. The Bible has been the source of instruction, inspiration, and invitation to faith for billions of people for thousands of years. It continues today.
Our aim in this series is to elevate the Bible in your life. I believe any honest examination of the Bible will naturally result in amazement that will draw you to it, compelling you to engage with it and its message.
However, that honest examination will reveal some other things, too. It will reveal that the Bible has been misunderstood, misused, and misinterpreted. This happens when people (including me) have brought with them presumptions about it that are off-target, which results in the compromising of its intended purpose and power.
Somewhere out there in the universe there is a message that suggests that there is an all-powerful God. It says that this God is love, and this God loves humanity so much that He will do anything to maintain a practical and personal loving relationship with us that brings peace, joy, and "rightness" to us now and for eternity.
That message (spoiler here) is contained, explained, exemplified, and proclaimed by the Bible. This is the Bible's intended purpose, and within this purpose resides its power.
But when we approach the Bible for something - anything - else but what it intends, we end up extracting from it something far less glorious and impactful.
And so, this series. For those of you who have never studied the Bible because it seems confusing, intimidating, or inaccessible, my hope is this series gives you enough to open its covers. For those of you who have studied the Bible for decades, like me, my hope is that this series reveals something that elevates the Bible's intended purpose and power to you even more.
Questions? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will try to be sure they are addressed in this series.